Talk about fighting a losing battle, am I right? While we shouldn’t have been too shocked by the turn of events for the Odyssey team, it was still one heck of a bomb dropped on their laps that taking the Sepulkore from Darkseid was going to be easier said than done. Especially when one of their strongest was transformed into his new herald right off the bat. If control was that easy to take away from one of them, what did that mean for the rest who were still struggling to remain who they were before the upgrades?
What made this issue so crazy is that we were seeing everything from the perspective of Darkseid. This was pretty much his game now. I couldn’t argue with this change in point of view because there was no better time than now to really dig into what makes him tick. It was one thing to follow this side of him that is so driven towards self-preservation. It was another thing to see him when victory is so close in his grasp and relishing in everything suddenly going his way. The best thing about this chapter for Darkseid was how much focus was placed upon showing why he is so formidable. Here is the madman reduced to this weakened state, and yet he was not the guy to underestimate in this battle for the fate of the Ghost Sector. Part of me couldn’t help but think that the Odyssey team in general forgot that they were squaring up against Darkseid. You don’t simply outsmart him or steal from him. Not without a proper wake-up call to remind you of where you just screwed up.
This issue was action-packed, and also where this art team did some of their best work. It was exciting to see what Starfire, Azrael, and even Cyborg could do when they really tapped into that new power of theirs. Nothing of course in the face of Darkseid, but you had to love the intensity that you could never get anywhere else but here. The colors were explosive, and every hit these characters threw at each other had impact. What stood out the most was the slow introduction of the New Gods’ newest heralds: Cyborg, Starfire and Azrael. I was already blown away by the transformation of Cyborg. It was awesome to see what he looks like when the machine half has taken over enough of him, and what it looks like when he holds little back with the guns he can manifest. When Starfire and Azrael transformed, they got the same reaction for the creativeness that went into making them look like gods. The designs were nothing over-the-top, though they did cosmetically match what comes to mind when you picture a New God.
Up to this point I would have said that Jessica Cruz was a troubling character. Not annoying because that is a personal opinion, but troubling. I say this for the fact that you knew which direction her story was going to take from the start. The minute she attempted to steer the ship to meet resistance, her fate was pretty much sealed. While that wasn’t exactly easy to follow like everything else unfolding, it all really mattered when it came down to her to show that courage when there was nothing else in the tank to back it up. In that moment I felt myself moved since it didn’t matter whether she was standing up to her friends or Darkseid. It takes some balls having the odds stacked against you the way she did.
It also goes without saying that with spectacular interior work from this art team, there was a standout effort that went into the lettering as well. Whether it was creating that unique voice for characters, or sound effects, there was a lot which jumped out at you to make the dialogue engaging from start to finish.
Ouch, I think the Odyssey team may have taken more of a licking than the actual Justice League fighting to stop this impending doom. We all knew that Darkseid was going to knock them down a peg, but you couldn’t have expected how easily that would be for him by the end of Justice League Odyssey #12. Next month should be very interesting, because there is no guessing how they will overcome this loss.