Dark Crisis #1: The Justice League is Dead

  • Writer: Joshua Williamson
  • Artist: Daniel Sampere
  • Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
  • Letterer: Tom Napolitano
  • Cover Artists: Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sanchez
  • Editors: Chris Rosa and Paul Kaminski

Cover: The wraparound cover is shown below; click on it for a larger, numbered version with the key below.

1) The Great Darkness 2) Pariah 3) Doomsday 4) Eclipso 5) Empty Hand 6) Neron 7) Nekron 8) Ares 9) Darkseid 10) Deathstroke 11) Batman (Bruce Wayne) 12) Zatanna 13) Aquaman (Arthur Curry) 14) Martian Manhunter 15) Hawkgirl 16) Superman (Clark Kent) 17) Green Lantern (John Stewart) 18) Wonder Woman 19) Green Arrow 20) Black Canary 21) Flash (Barry Allen) 22) Supergirl 23) Plastic Man 24) Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) 25) Dr Light 26) Booster Gold 27) Green Lantern (Simon Baz) 28) Changeling 29) Starfire 30) Steel 31) Green Lantern (Sojourner Mullein) 32) Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) 33) Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) 34) Red Hood 35) Ravager 36) Superboy 37) Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) 38) Batman (Jace Fox) 39) Robin (Tim Drake) 40) Etrigan 41) Impulse 42) Aquaman (Jackson Hyde) 43) Cyborg 44) Atom 45) Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) 46) Robin (Damian Wayne) 47) Superman (Jon Kent) 48) Black Adam 49) Shazam 50) Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) 51) Wonder Girl (Yara Flor) 52) Green Lantern (Jessica Cruz) 53) Nightwing 54) Flash (Wally West)

Page 1 – Panel 1: Like INFINITE CRISIS #1 before it, the layout of these panels mimics the opening page of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1.

Page 1 – Panel 4: Batman on the left and the young Dick Grayson, soon to be Robin, taking the oath he mentions.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 1: Batman and Robin (Dick Grayson) in action.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 2: Superman and the appearance of Supergirl flying from the rocket that brought her to Earth, a homage to the cover of ACTION COMICS #252, her first appearance.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 3: Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl (Donna Troy).

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 4: Aquaman and Aqualad.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 5: Flash watching Wally West get doused in lightning-struck chemicals on his way to becoming Kid Flash.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 6: Green Arrow and Speedy.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 7: Green Lanterns Hal Jordan (top), Guy Gardner (middle), and John Stewart (bottom)

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 8: Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 9: The first meeting of the Justice League and Justice Society of America, a homage to JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #21. Across the top in the cloud left to right are Hawkman; Dr Fate; Black Canary; Green Lantern; Hourman; and the Atom. Looking up at them are Batman and Superman, as well as two silhouetted members of the JLA.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 10: The New Teen Titans. Clockwise from top left are Raven; Starfire; Changeling; Nightwing; and Cyborg.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 11: Young Justice. Clockwise from top left are Wonder Girl; Superboy; Robin (Tim Drake); and Impulse.

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 12: I’ll treat the floating heads as a single panel, working left to right: Blue Beetle (Ted Kord); Booster Gold; Black Lightning; Firestorm; Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner); Shazam; Black Adam; Green Arrow (Connor Hawke); Steel; Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes); Batwoman; Stargirl; Robin (Damian Wayne); Red Arrow; the Signal; Green Lantern (Jessica Cruz); Green Lantern (Simon Baz); and Kid Flash (Wallace West)

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 13: The young heroes of tomorrow: Aquaman (Jackson Hyde); Green Lantern Sojourner Mullein; Superman (Jon Kent); Batman (Jace Fox); and Wonder Girl (Yara Flor.)

Pages 2 and 3 – Panel 14: And the Justice League: Superman (Clark Kent); Wonder Woman; Batman (Bruce Wayne); Flash (Barry Allen); Hawkgirl; Aquaman (Arthur Curry); Green Lantern John Stewart; Martian Manhunter; and Cyborg.

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 1: The vigil outside the Hall of Justice. Nightwing stands at the podium and it’s his words we’ve been listening to so far. The crowd scene is shown below; click for a larger numbered version. There are several unknowns highlighted in blue; if you can identify any of them, use the Contact Me page to get in touch and let me know.

1) Green Lantern Sojourner Mullein 2) Superman (Jon Kent) 3) Black Adam (maybe) 4) Green Lantern (Jessica Cruz) 5) Starfire 6) Plastic Man 7) unknown 8) Cyborg 9) Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) 10) unknown 11) Platinum 12) Iron (maybe) 13) Gold (maybe) 14) Lead (maybe) 15) Roundhouse 16) Booster Gold 17) Black Lightning 18) unknown 19) Gorilla Gregg 20) Dr Light 21) Naomi 22) Sideways 23) Wonder Twins 24) Katana 25) unknown 26) Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) 27) unknown 28) Red Tornado 29) Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) 30) Robotman (maybe) 31) Flash (Wally West) 32) Dove 33) Hawk 34) Mr Miracle 35) Big Barda 36) Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) 37) Signal 38) Crush 39) Mercury (maybe) 40) Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) 41) Robin (Damian Wayne) 42) Changeling 43) Superboy 44) Christopher Chance 45) Lois Lane (maybe) 46) Supergirl 47) Aquaman (Jackson Hyde) 48) Robin (Tim Drake) 49) Bratgirl 50) Batwoman 51) Chupacabra 52) Batgirl (Stephanie Brown)

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 3: Overlooking the vigil are a number of members of the Secret Society. Silhouetted left to right are Phobia; Prometheus; Deathstroke; any cloaked member of the Society; Shrapnel (maybe); and Count Vertigo (maybe)

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 4: As Nightwing talks about the League’s legacy remaining as long as the candles are burning, Deathstroke pointedly blows his candle out.

Pages 6 and 7: Credits for this issue.

Page 8 – Panel 1: Superman and Flash battling the cult of Kobra. Flash received a call from Superboy about this in the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE: ROAD TO DARK CRISIS.

Page 8 – Panel 2: This is apparently weeks later, but the call Flash received seemed to be before the vigil had taken place.

Page 9 – Panel 3

Page 9 – Panel 1: The crosshair framing motif is one that will recur throughout the issue.

Page 9 – Panel 3: Clockwise from the top left are Kanjar Ro; Green Lantern Guy Gardner; what appears to be a BLOODLINES parasite; another parasite; Green Lantern Jessica Cruz; another parasite; and Green Lantern Simon Baz.

Page 9 – Panel 4: Facing off against presumably generic vampires are the Squire (in front of Big Ben); the Knight (in the centre of the panel); and Frankenstein at the bottom.

Page 9 – Panel 5: Battling agents of HIVE are Katana on the left and Dr Light on the right.

Page 9 – Panel 7: Kobra himself, leading on his agents.

Page 9 – Panel 8: And a big green boot lands on the ground, knocking Kobra off his tank.

Page 10 – Panel 1: And here comes Green Lantern Hal Jordan.

Page 10 – Panel 2: When Wally was Kid Flash, Hal Jordan was best friends with his uncle, Barry Allen who was the Flash. Stands to reason that, even though they now look to be about the same age, Wally still refers to him as “uncle Hal.

Page 10 – Panel 3: Another clash with JUSTICE LEAGUE: ROAD TO DARK CRISIS as in that issue, Jordan found out about the death of the League from Aquaman.

Page 11 – Panel 1: The events Black Adam recounts here happened in JUSTICE LEAGUE #75 where President Superman of Earth-23 gathered the League to face Pariah and the dark army.

Page 11 – Panel 2: The League assembled left to right are Aquaman; Green Lantern John Stewart; Hawkgirl; Wonder Woman; Superman; Green Arrow; Batman; Martian Manhunter; Black Canary

Page 11 – Panel 3: And the dark army itself: Spectre; Neron; Nekron; Empty Hand; Darkseid; Eclipso; Doomsday; Ares; and the Upside-Down Man.

Page 11 – Panel 3

Page 11 – Panel 4: Pariah on the left, Black Adam on the right.

Page 12 – Panel 1: Black Adam being questioned by Superman, Flash, and Hal Jordan.

Page 12 – Panel 2: And Jordan is unimpressed with Black Adam’s tale.

Page 12 – Panel 3: Jordan is rightly sceptical of Black Adam – as he says, he used to be a villain.

Page 13 – Panel 1: Dr Fate.

Page 13 – Panel 2: The two Atoms, Ray Palmer at the top and Ryan Choi below.

Page 13 – Panel 3: Director of the DEO, Cameron Chase.

Page 13 – Panel 4: Captain Cold, a long time Flash villain who at least tries to be honourable.

Page 13 – Panels 5 and 6: Flash and Jordan split up, one to look for Barry Allen, the other to find the villain behind everything.

Page 13 – Panel 8: Flash stepped into his role following the death of Barry Allen in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and spent a long time trying to live up to his mentor’s memory.

Page 14: Jon flies up and looks at the statues that have been erected in honour of the League, gaining inspiration from them, thinking he knows what to do.

Page 15 – Panel 4

Page 15 – Panel 1: And we’re off to Brazil where we find . . .

Page 15 – Panel 4: Wonder Girl Yara Flor battling what I’m assuming to be a generic monster. If I’m wrong, contact me and let me know. The Pegasus in the background is named Jerry.

Pages 16 and 17 – Panel 1: And here comes Superman to help out.

Pages 16 and 17 – Panel 2: Not that Wonder Girl is particularly in need of help, nor that appreciative.

Pages 16 and 17 – Panel 4: But together, they take down the monster.

Pages 16 and 17 – Panel 6: The “esquecida” Wonder Girl mentions are the Amazonian tribe of Amazons.

Pages 16 and 17 – Panel 8: Jerry appears to like Superman.

Pages 16 and 17 – Panel 10: The pair introduce themselves to each other.

Page 18 – Panel 1: Superman pitches the idea of Wonder Girl joining the team he’s putting together.

Page 18 – Panel 3: And Wonder Girl turns him down.

Page 18 – Panel 4: The crosshair motif again, implying that someone is watching these heroes.

Page 19 – Panel 1: And we’re off to New York.

Page 19 – Panel 3: Where we find Jace Fox’s Batman.

Page 19 – Panel 3

Page 19 – Panels 5 and 6: The Trigger Twins, criminals rather than the heroes from the Old West who shared that name.

Page 20 – Panel 1: Superman arrives and stops the Twins’ car.

Page 20 – Panel 3: Superman gathers the villains up and greets Batman. “World’s finest” is a callback to the long running series that featured team ups of Batman and Superman.

Page 20 – Panel 4: And while acting with the best of intentions, Superman has ruined Batman’s investigation.

Page 21 – Panel 1: Again, the crosshair motif.

Page 21 – Panel 2

Page 21 – Panels 2 and 3: Contrasting Superman’s youthful enthusiasm is Batman’s disinterest.

Page 21 – Panel 5: And with that, Batman makes it clear he is not interested in joining a team.

Page 22 – Panel 1: And a quick fire round of recruitment. Dr Light says yes.

Page 22 – Panel 2: Swamp Thing says no.

Page 22 – Panel 3: Harley Quinn seem uninterested.

Page 22 – Panel 4: Green Lantern Sojourner Mullein has other things on her mind fighting a Manhunter android.

Page 22 – Panel 5: Damian Wayne says no and believes Batman is still alive.

Page 22 – Panel 6: Killer Frost says yes; she previously served on the Justice League of America with Batman and others.

Page 22 – Panel 7: Supergirl (and Krypto) who’s unsure.

Page 22 – Panel 8: Aquaman says yes.

Page 22 – Panel 9: Jesse Quick and Kid Flash who turn him down as they’re going with Flash to find Barry Allen.

Page 22 – Panel 10: Peacemaker says no.

Page 22 – Panel 11: Vixen says no.

Page 22 – Panel 12: Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes says yes.

Page 22 – Panel 13: Firestorm says no. Unsure why Firestorm is a little hesitant here.

Page 22 – Panel 14: Naomi who regrets not being with the League when they died.

Page 22 – Panel 15: Shazam who has the same reservations about Black Adam that Green Lantern Hal Jordan had.

Page 22 – Panel 16: Booster Gold and Blue Beetle Ted Kord who are both in.

Page 23 – Panels 1 to 3: Mourners and protestors alike gather outside the Hall of Justice.

Page 23 – Panel 4: Black Adam watches them. The “Adrianna” he mentions was Adrianna Tomaz, his second wife who died protecting Khandaq. Prior to the New 52 relaunch in 2011, Adrianna had been the hero Isis as well.

Page 24

Page 23 – Panel 6: Black Adam is ready to leave the Hall of Justice and return to Khandaq.

Page 24: Superman unveils his new Justice League. The only member not shown in the previous recruitment drive on Page 22 is Frankenstein behind Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.

Page 25 – Panel 1: Black Adam is unimpressed by the line-up.

Page 25 – Panel 4: He does not trust either Killer Frost or Harley Quinn.

Page 25 – Panel 5: He doesn’t see the point in having two Blue Beetles.

Page 25 – Panel 8: Superman is crushed by Black Adam’s words.

Page 26 – Panel 1: Nightwing, the man Black Adam believes should leave any new Justice League.

Page 26 – Panel 2: Titans Tower, home to the Titans Academy where established heroes train a new generation.

Page 26 – Panel 3: Left to right are Nightwing; possibly Stitch; possibly Matt Price; Summer Zahid; possibly Dane.

Page 26 – Panel 4: Nightwing’s long time friends and co-Titans, Cyborg; Starfire; and Raven. Red X had recently (at this point in time) attacked the Academy and the Titans.

Page 27 – Panel 1: Distraught from Black Adam’s dismissive words, Superman heads to Titans Tower.

Page 27 – Panel 2: Chupacabra, injured and bloodied, asks Roundhouse for help.

Page 27 – Panel 3: The crosshair motif once more.

Page 27 – Panel 4: Bratgirl is startled by Chupacabra’s appearance.

Page 27 – Panel 5: As Nightwing opens her jacket, he sees a bomb strapped to her chest.

Page 27 – Panels 6 to 8: And with no time to act, the bomb detonates.

Pages 28 and 29: The Secret Society lead and attack against Titans Tower. Click the image below for a larger numbered version with the key below:

1 Lionmane 2) Gentleman Ghost 3) Silver Banshee 4) Neutron 5) unknown bat craft 6) Typhoon 7) Black Spider 8) Dr Destiny 9) unknown craft 10) Firefly 11) Hyena 12) Carmen Leno 13) Multiplex (there are multiple copies of him around but only counting this one) 14) Scavenger 15) Bonny Hoffman 16) Shadow Thief 17) Girder 18) Shaggy Man 19) Copperhead 20) Hellhound 21) Prometheus 22) Dr Phosporus 23) Angle Man 24) Crazy Quilt 25) Flamingo 26) Shrapnel 27) Felix Faust 28) Dollmaker 29) Bug-Eyed Bandit 30) Prankster 31) Skorpio 32) Tattooed Man

Page 30 – Panel 1: Watching from afar as the rain begins to fall are Count Vertigo (in the air); Warp; Deathstroke; Phobia; and an unknown woman in an apron.

Page 30 – Panel 2: Despite just being in the main attack, both Shadow Thief and Prometheus flank Trident with Changeling.

Page 30 – Panel 3: The crosshair motif appears for the last time, indicating that Deathstroke and/or the Secret Society have been watching the heroes for some time.

Page 30 – Panels 4 and 5: And just like that, it appears Changeling has been shot in the head.

Page 31 – Panel 1: We return to Multiverse-2, the original pre-Crisis Multiverse. The captions are speech from Pariah who appears to be speaking with the Great Darkness.

Page 31 – Panels 1 and 2

Page 31 – Panel 2: As he talks, we appear to be watching previously broken Earths reforming, as though the Crisis on Earth-0 is fuelling the regeneration of the Earths here.

Page 31 – Panel 2: “A dying world” refers to Krypton and the origin of Superman, while “parents shot down in an alley” refers to Batman’s origin.

Page 31 – Panel 4: Displayed across the broken screens before him are (on the top row) Deathstroke; Wonder Girl; Batman (Jace Fox). On the second row are Black Adam; Nightwing; Dr Light; Superman; Flash; and Green Lantern Hal Jordan.

Page 31 – Panel 5: Pariah shows the emblems of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman.

Page 31 – Panel 6: He plans to turn hope into a weapon. Red skies are a long standing tradition in Crisis events.

Page 32: Pariah, wearing new armour reminiscent of the Anti-Monitor’s from the original Crisis, apparently torturing the still alive Justice League. In the globes, top to bottom, left to right, we see Zatanna; Superman; Wonder Woman; Martian Manhunter; Hawkgirl; Black Canary; Green Lantern John Stewart; Batman; Aquaman; and Green Arrow.