Writer: Dan Abnett / Artist: Will Conrad / DC Comics
In Justice League Odyssey #11, Abnett and Conrad take big strides into the climax of the story. We’re presented with some expected turns, some shocking surprises, and some welcomed connective tissue.
All the loose ends are getting tied up as we enter into this story’s big event, the one its been building towards since issue one: Sepulkore.
The issue opens up on a flashback from before Lex Luthor’s death where he speaks with Brainiac about Darkseid’s absence, and how he had wished to bring him into the fold of his plan. It’s a quick scene, but it’s a nice bit of glue that makes the events of this series hold much more weight in this grand tapestry of storytelling being told across multiple series. My only minor gripe is that if you aren’t keeping up with all of these series, it might come off a little confusing. But if you are, it’s a really big moment that makes this series feel important.
We finally got a really concise definition as to just exactly what Sepulkore is. It’s been a little vague up until this point. We just knew it was something that Darkseid was trying to do, and he needed this team to do it. In short, Sepulkore is a failsafe for when the multiverse collapses in on itself because of the fall of the Source Wall. It’s a crazy behemoth of a ship that uses complicated Apokoliptan math that will put a safety net around the Ghost Sector, preserving all life within it, no matter what happens outside. It’ll bring Darkseid back to full strength, both physically and fearfully. But he’s the only one powerful enough to command Sepulkore, so he knows the Odyssey team has to play ball if they want to save all the people within the Ghost Sector.
The crew, led by Cyborg, thinks different. They know that even collectively, they’re nowhere near the might of Darkseid. But they’re confident that they can trick him into starting Sepulkore, and then steal the ship from under his nose in true space heist fashion. One little problem, though: Darkseid is. That giant gray boulder with scary red eyes is always an insurmountable amount of steps ahead. He saw all of this coming. Better yet, he expected it, counted on it.
For the last few issues, it had seemed like members of the team were being controlled by Darkseid in an effort to thwart any double-cross before it even happened. The two with their heads on straight seemed to be Cyborg and Jessica Cruz, and Azrael and Starfire seem to be the most suspicious. That was the real twist of this whole thing because it turns out that Cyborg was the one that’s being controlled, or rather, Darkseid was sittin’ in the cut, ready to manipulate Victor and use him to his advantage.
This was done in a really good way from a craft point of view. The scene was framed around a conversation featuring Cyborg and Darkseid. Darkseid becomes almost like a mentor figure to Cyborg. Vic has always been a character who has clinched to what little bit of humanity he has left physically. It’s his motor. His motivation. Darkseid basically convinces him that he’s much more than that. And by hanging on to his humanity, he severely limits his potential. At the end of the conversation, Vic seemed to go full on Terminator, with his sights set on the Odyssey team. What I liked about this exchange was that the stakes were all set within this conversation. Every dialogue bubble one-upped the other as these characters danced their individual desires off of each other until Darkseid eventually got the upper hand.
Justice League Odyssey #11 sets us up for some internal conflict that the heroes will have to overcome if they’re gonna be able to stop Darkseid from enacting his plan.
8.5 Terminator Cyborgs out of 10
Reading Justice League Odyssey? Find BNP’s other reviews here.