Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Daniel Sampere, Alejandro Sánchez, and Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: July 5th, 2022
After the DEATH OF THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, brigades of villains have used this as the opportunity to conquer the world without its most prestigious champions! Overseeing the onslaught is DEATHSTROKE. However, there appears to be something much darker energizing his rage. With an enormous legion spreading siege to TITANS Tower, only NIGHTWING is left to stand between DEATHSTROKE and what remains of our heroes. However, how does all of this connect to Pariah? And, what about Wally and Hal? Where are they in all of this? Let’s dive into DARK CRISIS #2 by Joshua Williamson and find out!
The overall premise is instantly interjected as soon as DARK CRISIS #2 kicks off. The “plan” or “purpose” is ironed out almost immediately, which was quite refreshing. After the confusion that was DARK CRISIS #1, it was reassuring to immediately dangle a carrot for the readers to feel like they understand… something. So, instantly I give brownie points to Williamson for understanding the end game for Pariah.
However, DEATHSTROKE as a tyrannical, evil villain and overlord just doesn’t pass the sniff test or seem… believable. Plus, the cliffhanger with Garth turned into something almost too far-fetched for words. Furthermore, DEATHSTROKE’S reasoning for shooting Garth seemed like a sick joke that wasn’t funny nor did it hit the mark or “wow” factor. Additionally, why is DARK CRISIS turning into another TITANS–DEATHSTROKE parlay? DARK CRISIS #2 almost felt like another JUDAS CONTRACT, which is weird since I thought this was a crisis.
Yet as DARK CRISIS #2 continues to unfold, Williamson thrust some other special guests into the comic to mask some of the story’s insufficiencies and lack of an in-depth storyline. Again, the purpose was stated early. Everyone can see Pariah’s intentions and understands that DEATHSTROKE is simply a puppet. However, there really isn’t anything else to grab onto. The intriguing elements of this DARK CRISIS are surrounded by the narrative threads wrapped around Pariah. Yet, we get very little of that along with a story cloaked by disconnected action and spicy character guest stars that provide zero substance to the story.
Nevertheless, as DARK CRISIS #2 comes to a close, fans are shown what Hal Jordan has been up to as well as the FLASH family. The good part is that Williamson didn’t forget about these characters and found a way to quickly sprinkle them into the story after issue one. Still, the bad news is that Williamson appears to have too many moving parts that it’s almost as if he’s focusing on the wrong items. He should be concentrating on the Lanterns, Pariah, and the FLASH family and tell the TITANS‘ story off-panel instead of the other way around.
Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sánchez continue to have free reign to showcase their artistic talents. The action is pretty intense AND the plethora of characters that they get to illustrate is immense. From the GREEN LANTERN CORPS to CYBORG SUPERMAN and the range of villains at DEATHSTROKE’S disposal, Sampere and Sánchez will keep the readers interested and locked in almost from the first page on. These two understand action sequences and framing extremely well making the melee flow from one panel to the next. Their expertise is blatant and reassuring which offers a solid crutch for any writer exposing an issue solely for its action.
Readers, DARK CRISIS #2 felt more like cliff notes to an actual story. Williamson gave fans the highlights of the overall plot, which DID seem to make sense. However, he missed the mark on substance and depth. The focus has to shift away from the TITANS and DEATHSTROKE and needs to readjust towards Pariah, his plan, who’s really pulling the strings, the hunt for Barry, and the Emerald Army.
Truthfully, the real problem is that Williamson has too many moving parts, side plots, and B-Stories that weigh this narrative down. Fans need more issues almost bi-weekly in order to tell this story properly. But overall, the element that hurts the most is that I can see the potential as well as the direction Williamson wants to go… and I think the story could be REALLY good. Nevertheless, he needs more pages, more frequently to get across everything pertinent to truly make this DARK CRISIS more impactful. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!