This is the beginning of a whole new comic world. The perfect jumping on point. Both new readers and those familiar with the characters will be able to dive in and witness the beginning of a new era.
This is the start of it all. Justice League will now be the flagship title for the DC Universe, kicking off the relaunch of #1 issues across the board. It's an interesting time filled with excitement. It's almost as if we're reading these characters for the first time despite knowing all about them.
From the information we can gather from the first three months of solicitations for the new issues, we know that some titles (like Action Comics and Superboy) appear to be taking place in the past and telling us about the characters' early days. Other titles featuring those same characters, like Superman and Teen Titans appear to be taking place in the new present. We don't know if this will always be the case or just a way to start out the series.
With Justice League, things begin "five years ago." This is the early days of the Justice League. We know things are the same yet completely different as a result of Flashpoint. We have an idea of how things will end but the excitement is seeing how the team will form. Seeds are being planted. There will, as in previous beginnings, be a large and deadly threat that will require the formation of the team.
Besides a cover featuring the biggest heroes of the DC Universe, we have two of the biggest names in terms of creators at DC Comics. Geoff Johns has been cooking up a storm lately at DC. He practically has the keys to run the entire Universe. He has proven himself time and time again and we know we're in for a thrilling ride. This is the story of the Justice League but there's no way it's going to be the same old story we've seen many times.
Then there's Jim Lee. Man-oh-man how I've missed his art. I cannot express how thrilled I am to see Lee's art on the biggest title of the relaunch. I would pretty much read anything that has Jim Lee's art. Luckily he's drawing a Geoff Johns book. The entire team is not in this issue but Lee's new versions of the characters don't feel as radical as some may have feared. Honestly, there's very little change. If anything has changed, it's the mood of the Universe rather than the characters' look.
I completely dig both Geoff Johns and Jim Lee so I should totally love this book, right? Close, but not quite. Part of me is a little reluctant to see a new beginning. Because I have been reading these characters for so long, I feel I don't need to see how it all begin once again. There is enough of a difference without being too drastic but I can't help but look forward to when this beginning period is over. That being said, new readers should love seeing all this.
I also have to wonder why we have Cyborg instead of Martian Manhunter. I understand that J'onn is going to be in Stormwatch and we are to expect some changes. If this is the formation of the Justice League for the first time, I just expect Cyborg to be part of the formation of the Teen Titans and not the Justice League. I like the character but he just feels like a Titan, especially if we're talking about the beginning of his career.
The other downfall, for me, is the fact that this is a single issue. While I do buy collected arcs in hardcovers, I'm a big believer in the single/monthly format. Because this is the beginning, this will no doubt be great when collected. As a single issue, it feels like the action is abruptly cut off.
The "New 52" is off to a great start. As it's meant to be, this book kicks off the relaunch of everything in the DC Universe. Who are the characters? Where do they stand with each other and the world? What is the big threat that brings them together? These questions are answered or touched on in a subtle way that makes it easy for new and old readers to follow.
Everything about the new DCU is a mystery to readers. Now we're getting some answers and in the hands of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, we can be assured things are safe. Johns is known for updating the beginnings of characters. He pretty much has been given full creative control over the DCU lately (or that's how it seems). I have enjoyed his work in the past and I'm sure I will enjoy this. Jim Lee's art is phenomenal as always. As big of a fan of both, this wasn't a perfect issue. It's still early to determine what the new/old team will be like.
Cyborg is a questionable addition that will hopefully make perfect sense in upcoming issues. The main problem is because of the single issue format, the action and telling of the story has to be paused as we wait for the next issue. I do prefer single issues over collected trade paperbacks (even though I buy many of them) but this issues tells me it's going to read a lot better once it's collected. It's a good start and we can all relax a little as we look forward to all the rest of the issue #1s.