The DC Universe has been relaunched. With Justice League #1, everything is the same yet completely different. Over the last few months, we've been seeing covers and solicitation information on the new titles. Some characters appear to be untouched and unaffected but "The New 52." Other characters look to have a complete overhaul.
Justice League #1 answers some of the questions we have had about this new DC Universe. We've heard over and over that it's not a reboot. In some ways it is and in some ways it isn't. Looking over this issue and what will come after, we can see the groundwork being laid out before us.
Be aware that there will be some minor spoilers below. If you haven't read Flashpoint #5 or Justice League #1, you really should. It's a comic-reading experience you don't want to miss. Here are the five most shocking differences in the new Justice League.== TEASER ==
Cyborg is a founding member?
The first is obvious. Cyborg will be part of the team. While the first issue doesn't make it official, Victor Stone is in the issue and has been on the covers and promo images. There's nothing wrong with Cyborg being on the team. The shocking part is how his story will fit in with the formation of the Teen Titans. Justice League #1 begins five years ago and he hasn't become Cyborg yet.
Speculation has been that he was added to give some racial diversity to the team and to give them an expert in tech. Superman is from another planet. That's pretty diverse. Wonder Woman (we assume) is still from Themyscira. Aquaman is from Atlantis. The Justice League isn't made up of a bunch of white Americans. If this is the reason for adding him, that's fine. I just want to know if he will be part of the Teen Titans first in this flashback and then quickly move up to the Justice League.
As for the tech-angle, he doesn't appear to be a tech expert. He's a kid that's really good at playing football. No hints have been given that he knows about technology. His father is another story and that connection could bring something to the League.
Heroes are new to the world
Originally, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc all were established heroes. They had fought evil before banding together to form the League. They knew about each other, they just never really worked together.
When Green Lantern and Batman meet, they don't seem to know much about each other. Green Lantern was surprised to find that Batman wasn't an urban myth. Batman didn't really know anything about Green Lantern or the Corps. He knew his name and he had problems with the Air Force in Coast City but that was it.
Because the concept of superheroes is new to the world. In other words, there hasn't been any heroes before this story takes place. That means no Justice Society of America (which we now know will get their own series taking place on Earth-2).
The idea of heroes may be new but that doesn't mean they're all popping up right now. Clearly both Batman and Green Lantern have been active. They just haven't been widely seen by the public.
Batman and Superman are wearing armor
Superman wearing Kryptonian armor could make sense. We will see his early days in Smallville wearing a simple t-shirt, jeans and work boots. The covers to issues 2 and 3 show that the world isn't necessarily accepting the idea of Superman. He may have had some rough times and wearing some armor might make him a little more comfortable.
Batman's costume might not necessarily be armor but it definitely is pretty high tech. Batman is in pursuit of a foe when the police attempt to take care of both. The mention of Batman and his enemy leaping twenty feet suggests that Batman's suit is giving him some assistance. We see him use some advanced gauntlets that really don't fit in with what he wore early in his career. Because of the five year time frame, these events have to be happening after Year One. Again, it's not clear how long Batman's been active, maybe another five years in the shadows? If Batman is wearing an advanced suit, what does that say about Robin? We haven't seen whether or not Dick Grayson wore the traditional Robin suit before he became Nightwing.
First villain is Darkseid instead of Starro
There may be some debate over what enemy originally brought the Justice League together. In Brave and the Bold #28, we saw that it was Starro's attack on Earth. Later in Justice League of America #9, the actual origin was revealed. Aliens from the planet Appellax were attacking Earth in different locations and this brought the original seven heroes together.
The foe that Batman is chasing has some advance weaponry. Later when Batman and Green Lantern face another one, Darkseid's name is mentioned. Darkseid is obviously a bigger threat than Starro. The stakes are bigger here.
They all are cocky with big egos
Batman isn't the friendliest person. We don't know how long Batman has been fighting crime but he feels he knows what he's doing. Despite Green Lantern's display of power and ease in dealing with their enemy, Batman doesn't want his help. He figures he can handle it all alone.
Green Lantern also has a bit of arrogance. In fact, he actually refers to himself in the third person. Hal also believes because he is part of the Green Lantern Corps and is in charge of an entire space sector, dealing with a danger on Earth is something he can easily handle.
Superman's always been seen as a big boy scout. He is one of the nicer heroes. This Superman is a punch first, ask questions later. He knows he is powerful. He gives the impression that fighting a new foe would be something like a game. He's curious if it will even be a challenge.
It's almost hard to believe these guys will get along enough to actually form the Justice League. The stage has been set. The end of Flashpoint #5 gave the impression that things were the same. Justice League #1 clearly shows that this isn't the DC Universe we knew before. Issue two is bound to show us even more differences as we see the rest of the team for the first time.