As the new DC crossover event Dark Crisis kicks off on June 7, it begins in the wake of the DC Universe losing its premier superhero team, the Justice League. With the latest crisis bearing down on the DCU, Superman’s son Jon Kent has fully inherited his father’s iconic mantle and decided to form a league of his own to help fill the void and defend the universe. However, Jon quickly discovers that creating a Justice League is no simple feat as he tries to rally the heroes around his cause.
Spoilers ahead for Dark Crisis #1 from DC Comics.
Here’s why exactly Jon has set out to create a new Justice League, which familiar faces agree to join the fledgling team, which heroes decline Jon’s request and why, and what this slapdash ensemble could mean for Dark Crisis moving forward.
Why is there a new Justice League?
In the miniseries Justice League vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes (by Brian Michael Bendis and Scott Godlewski), the Justice League learned from the Legion that the Great Darkness threatened to destroy all reality. The corrosive cosmic entity corrupted the multiversal wanderer Pariah, converting him to its will to destroy the entire multiverse, with Pariah leading a Dark Army to eliminate any opposition in their path. After taking out The Flash, Pariah and his Dark Army faced off against the Justice League on a faraway planet, resulting in the League’s apparent deaths in Justice League #75 (by Joshua Williamson, Rafa Sandoval, and Jordi Tarragona).
The only survivor of this apparent superhero massacre is Black Adam, who barely escaped back to Earth to relay the information of what occurred to the shocked superhero community. As Nightwing resumes training the next generation of heroes with his fellow Titans at Teen Titans Academy, Jon Kent embraces his ongoing role as Superman and vows to create a new team to defend the DCU following the Justice League’s demise in Dark Crisis #1 written by Joshua Williamson, illustrated by Daniel Sampere, colored by Alejandro Sánchez, and lettered by Tom Napolitano.
Who answers the call to join the new Justice League?
Accepting Jon’s offer to form the new Justice League, without any vocal caveats or hesitation, are Doctor Light, Booster Gold, the classic Blue Beetle Ted Kord, the modern Blue Beetle Jamie Reyes, and Aquaman Jackson Hyde. Killer Frost accepts the opportunity as a chance at her own redemption while Harley Quinn accepts, incredulous at being considered in the first place. Damian Wayne refuses to believe his father Batman is dead but decides to support Jon based on their longstanding friendship. Supergirl is similarly hesitant, having just returned from her own adventure off-world, but ultimately accepts. Frankenstein, who previously met Jon during Peter S. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Doug Mahnke’s Superman run, also joins the team though his initial response to Jon’s request is not seen.
Who turns down the new Justice League?
Not all heroes are on board with Jon’s decision to haphazardly form a new Justice League, including the two heroes he approaches first. Approaching Yara Flor (Wonder Girl) in Brazil, Jon’s offer is rebuffed as Yara feels her responsibility requires her full focus to be dedicated towards defending the Amazon and her fellow Amazons. Jon then meets with Jace Fox (the new Batman) in New York City with a similar offer to create the World’s Finest for a new generation, only for the Dark Knight to firmly reject him and insist on continuing on alone.
Other heroes that turn Jon down include Swamp Thing and Green Lantern Jo Mullein, with the latter being too busy fighting the Manhunters. Jesse Quick and Wallace West have both already committed to Wally West’s impromptu team to search the DC Multiverse for the missing Barry Allen. Shazam is uncomfortable at the notion of being on any team with Black Adam while Naomi declines, guilty she wasn’t with her Justice League teammates when they perished. Firestorm similarly displays a deep sense of guilt, though it is unclear if it stems from the Justice League’s death or his role in the 2017 story Doomsday Clock. Peacemaker prioritizes his duty to his country over the survival of the multiverse while Vixen is busy providing vital supplies to impoverished communities around the world.
One Justice League hero that leaves the team upon Jon unveiling its new roster is Black Adam. The sole survivor of the previous lineup’s battle against the Dark Army feels that Jon and the team he has assembled are grossly unprepared for the fight that lies ahead. Dismissing much of the roster as incapable children, Adam calls Jon unsuited to lead a team and implies that such an endeavor would be better spearheaded by Nightwing as he flies away to parts unknown.
What this new Justice League means for Dark Crisis
The new Justice League is about to receive its first major test as Deathstroke leads the Secret Society of Super-Villains to launch a brazen attack on Titans Tower. After a recent brush with death and resurrection, the lethal supervillain is intent on wiping out entire superhero legacies, starting with the school that has been training scores of aspiring heroes. With the Titans caught off guard, it falls on Jon and his squad to save their fellow heroes from this opening ambush.
Beyond Earth, Pariah and the Dark Army continue to move through the cosmos unimpeded now that they have stopped the Justice League and other superhero teams across the multiverse. Jon and his impromptu Justice League have to do more than quell the supervillain onslaught on their own planet, they must succeed where the veteran League failed and save the entire DC Multiverse from the Great Darkness before it can corrupt and destroy all of reality.
Written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Daniel Sampere, Dark Crisis #1 is on sale now from DC. Dark Crisis #2 goes on sale July 5.
Get in on the ground floor of this big DC event with our Dark Crisis primer.