Death of the Justice League: Who Lives and Dies in Justice League #75?
The day that DC has been teasing for months has finally arrived. On Tuesday, the publisher released Justice League #75, the landmark issue that is poised to kill multiple members of the titular superhero team. The issue, which is appropriately being billed as "Death of the Justice League", will be the final issue of the current ongoing series, and will springboard into the upcoming Dark Crisis event. Dark Crisis is expected to dive into the fallout of these high-profile heroes kicking the bucket, coinciding with the anniversary of the groundbreaking Death of Superman event.
"A big piece of Dark Crisis is showing how characters in the DCU react to the idea of death now, considering that they've all come back from the dead at some point, right?" writer Joshua Williamson previously told ComicBook.com. "I was when doing research for this and some other stuff we've been talking about for the last two years, I saw that there was a block of time in DC's history where almost every character had died twice. Aquaman had died twice in a very short amount of time, and I found that fascinating, and so I wanted to explore all those ideas about what death means. On a weird meta-level, because I wrote Dark Crisis first, and we started exploring that, announcing 'Death of the Justice League' the way we did and seeing the reaction to it was fascinating. Because it was mirroring how the characters were reacting in the book."
One key component of "Death of the Justice League" has been the notion that all but one of the team members will be killed in the fight against Pariah and his Dark Army — and it's safe to say that the plot of the issue delivered in that regard. So, who died (and who lived) in the events of Justice League #75? Keep reading to find out. Spoilers for Justice League #75, from Joshua Williamson, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Taragona, Matt Herms, and Josh Reed below! Only look if you want to know!
Dies — Batman
Chronologically, the first three "deaths" to occur happen in a single double-page spread, as Pariah hits Batman and two other heroes with a flash of energy. This leads to all three of the heroes having their screaming faces wither apart and die, not unlike Barry Allen's death in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths.
To an extent, Batman's death had been forecast in the various tie-ins to Dark Crisis, particularly with a panel paying homage to the "oath" that Batman had Dick Grayson recite before becoming Robin. While this certainly isn't the first time Batman has appeared to die in canon, it's still a significant one.prevnext
Dies — Superman
Superman is another of the three heroes who die on the initial splash page versus Pariah — a death that had also been forecast in the subsequent Dark Crisis material, namely in the Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League — Superman #1 one-shot. And again, Clark Kent has famously died in canon before, but it will be interesting to see how things fare for him this time around.prevnext
Dies — Wonder Woman
Rounding out the page is the "trinity" of DC Comics, with Wonder Woman also meeting her doom alongside Batman and Superman. While Wonder Woman had (understandably) been a fixture in some of Dark Crisis' covers, and of the statues that appear to be erected of the fallen Justice League members, the idea of her "dying" for a second time in several years is narratively unique.prevnext
Dies — John Stewart
John Stewart is one of the last Leaguers to make it to the fight against the Dark Army, using his Godstorm to summon "backup" for the entire team — only to die by the end of the issue.prevnext
Dies — Zatanna
Zatanna is revealed to have a personal connection to the fight against the Dark Army, as her father, Zatara, passed away in one of the initial fights against the Great Darkness. Tragically, a similar fate soon befalls her.prevnext
Dies — Aquaman
Standing next to John and Zatanna in their deaths is Aquaman, who dies soon after. Like Superman, Aquaman's passing was seemingly spoiled in the Worlds Without a Justice League solicits, but it still is impactful nonetheless.prevnext
Dies — Hawkgirl
Also among the skirmish is Hawkgirl, whose fate had also seemingly been spoiled by the statues in Dark Crisis.prevnext
Dies — Martian Manhunter
Rounding out that particular group is Martian Manhunter, whose fate was also sealed in a deadly context.prevnext
Dies — Justice League Incarnate
While not technically part of the larger "Death of the Justice League" puzzle, several members of the multiversal team Justice League Incarnate appear to die in the battle with Pariah. This includes Captain Carrot, President Superman, Avery Ho / The Flash, and the new hero Doctor Multiverse.prevnext
Dies — Green Arrow
Before Pariah's powers begin to kill the League, Green Arrow is actually the first who appears to fall in the fight, after Doomsday smashes pieces of rubble on top of his head. While Green Arrow had not actually been called to participate in the mission, and had instead followed Black Canary as extra help, he appeared to die from Pariah's powers by the end of the issue.prevnext
Dies — Black Canary
Green Arrow and Black Canary prove to be a key emotional through-line throughout the issue, especially after Oliver optimistically decides to tag along to help her with the mission. After using her Canary Cry to clear the rubble off of Oliver and hold him, she was last shown holding him before Pariah's powers took effect.prevnext
Lives — Black Adam
So, who is the one League member to survive the ordeal? Black Adam, who only manages to counteract Pariah's powers by utilizing the power of Shazam to change his form. While he appears to pass out in the cosmos where the fight is held, the issue ends with Adam waking up inside of the Hall of Justice, and revealing to the world that the League is dead.prevnext
What Does It Mean?
While things look pretty dire for the vast majority of the heroes in the issue, and we'll probably have to wait several more months to see the full narrative take shape, there is a chance that the "Death of the Justice League" might be more than meets the eye. In particular, the events of Williamson's recent Infinite Frontier miniseries need to be taken into consideration, especially the showdown between Pariah and Barry Allen / The Flash in the final issue. That storyline concluded with the reveal that Pariah had placed him into "Earth-Flash.1", which appears to be a pocket universe where all of the members of his family are alive and happy. Pariah argues that this will allow everyone to "be happy, no matter what."
Pariah uses similar language during the events of Justice League #75, telling the heroes that "What I do now is for the best. You'll see. You'll be happy." That could very well mean that each of the "dead" characters were transported into pocket universes of their own, something that we could see play out over Dark Crisis itself. Of course, there is always a chance that something entirely different could be at play — but fans will have to wait and see.prev