Justice League Incarnate may have just revealed the force that’s about to kill the Justice League and nothing in the multiverse can stop them.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Justice League Incarnate #5, on sale now from DC Comics.
Ever since it was announced that DC’s greatest superhero team would meet their end in Justice League #75 in April, there has been plenty of speculation over what could be so powerful that it would wipe out all but one of these heroes. The answer may have just arrived in another Justice League book, as Justice League Incarnate set the stage for the landmark “Death of the Justice League.”
Justice League Incarnate #5 (by Joshua Williamson, Dennis Culver, Andrei Bressan, Jesus Merino, Hi-Fi and Tom Napolitano) ended with the multiverse’s Justice League admitting that they needed the League from the regular DC Universe to fight their latest battle. The Great Darkness has returned to seek a new status quo for the multiverse and the omniverse beyond, one in which it is in complete control. Although the Justice League Incarnate thinks it may not be enough to halt the Great Darkness’s new army, Earth-0’s Justice League may not be enough either. Especially not when readers discovered which villains were a part of the Dark Army.
It’s all of DC’s worst and most powerful villains. Darkseid resisted the Great Darkness’ pull throughout the series but, in the end, it wasn’t enough and now he’s just a pawn in this cosmic entity’s grand plan. The Lord of Apokolips alone would be a tough opponent for any Justice League to fight. Even without his armies he can go toe-to-toe with Superman and win. He’s also been responsible for the defeat of a few Justice League variants in his own multiversal conquests. His allies in this fight make this impending battle seem even more hopeless.
Alongside Darkseid are a whole host of evil villains. There are the demons Eclipso and Neron, as well as the old god Ares and the cosmic embodiment of death, Nekron. There’s also the Man of Steel’s killer – Doomsday. With Justice League #75 homaging the “Death of Superman” landmark issue Superman #75, his inclusion here is appropriate. The Dark Army also features major Justice League Dark villain the Upside-Down Man as well as The Multiversity‘s (by Grant Morrison and others) deadly foe, the Empty Hand, who gave Darkseid a run for his money in Justice League Incarnate.
On top of all that, there’s Pariah from the original Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, who trapped Barry Allen in the mysterious world known only as “Earth-Flash.1.” outside of the multiverse back in Infinite Frontier (by Joshua Williamson and Xermanico). All of these villains are under the control of the Great Darkness and, with their minds in unison with this cosmic evil, there will be little error when they face off against the Justice League in the team’s final battle.
Many of these villains are direct foils to some of the most powerful members of the Justice League. Doomsday, for example, was a force that the entire League was unable to stop during his debut. Only Superman stood a chance and that resulted in his untimely death during their first infamous fight. Nekron is the entity of the Black Lanterns, one of the Green Lanterns’ greatest enemies. Then of course there’s Ares, the Greek god of war and a longtime adversary in Wonder Woman’s quest for peace. All of these seem to confirm the deaths of these heroes in “Death of the Justice League.”
There’s more to this Dark Army than just being perfect matches to the members of the doomed Justice League. With their powers combined, forget the DC Universe, the whole multiverse doesn’t stand a chance. Some of these villains could cause an entire Crisis all on their own and indeed some have. The next generation of DC’s heroes will have to pick up where the fallen League left off and defeat the Great Darkness in Dark Crisis but that means they must face these villains first. Can the united force of all of DC’s heroes stop what the original Justice League inevitably can’t? Right now, the answer looks grim.
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