The Beginning of Something Brilliant
This is by far a late review but I didn’t get my comics till a couple of days ago. As such, I can now properly review the birth of the new DC Universe with the ceremonial title, Justice League #1 as my first review of the new DCU.
After confronting an alien attempting to plant a bomb in Gotham City with some ‘assistance’, Batman teams up with Green Lantern to find the reason for this bizarre attack.
· A good place to start this review is with the fact that superheroes in the new DCU are treated with fear and contempt now more than ever. It’s more reflective of what would happen if people in mysterious costumes and strange powers started popping up around the country. DC doesn’t normally take this route but as a fresh start for a new reader, it’s more appealing and interesting to see events play out if the heroes are treated nearly the same as the villains they fight.
· The new costumes for the characters look good so far. The neckpiece and collar editions are kinda strange but Bats looks cool in his teched up Dark Knight suit and Hal is shining brightly in his practically un-tweaked threads. And Supes has never looked better IMO, a brilliant update for a classic character.
· Johns nails snappy dialogue and characterisation as well. The characters in the issue sound young, brash and used to handling situations themselves on their own turf, “Gotham’s mine, Coast City’s yours” as opposed to having to come together to fight threats no single hero could withstand. Oh wait that’s the Avengers lol. Anyway, this newfound hotheadedness amongst the members of the future League reminds of JLA: Year One which is a great thing since that book was awesome which makes this book a great place to start reading about this new Justice League.
· Following on from this, the relationship between Batman and Green Lantern in the issue was fantastic. Batman’s lone gunslinger shadowy attitude plays off brilliantly against the cocky, arrogant bright light style Hal and makes him seem like even more of a douchebag than he usually is (Credit goes to vine user DoomDoom for this last point) which works well for humorous reading. This new relationship between Bats and GL makes for some great moments like Batman stealing Hal’s ring and a conversation just before the end of the issue that’s pretty funny.
· Another success of this issue is that it successfully restores the Justice League back to its glory as DC’s flagship title. James Robinson’s dreary run on the pre-Flashpoint DCU is a thing of the past and instead we have a title worthy of being DC’s premier title. There’s action galore with many a splash page of fighting featuring DC’s greatest heroes as opposed to a homosexual alien and a giant talking golden gorilla (No offense to any Congorilla/Starman fans btw). As well as action and great characters, there’s snappy dialogue, an interesting plot, a threat worthy of the World’s greatest superheroes and a reimagining of how the Justice League came into being. This issue brings the League back to the glory that only Gardner Fox and Grant Morrison could equal when they introduced and revitalized the Justice League respectively.
· The highlight of the issue for me was Superman’s entrance in the last two pages. It was epic, badass and awesome rolled into one. I mean kicking Green Lantern’s ass along with squaring off against Batman makes for one hell of an ending.
· The artwork is legendary. Jim Lee and Scott Williams are an unequalled art team. The pencils are divinely realistic and the colours are amazing for a comic book. Very few artists can rival Jim Lee and that is why he is one of my favourite artists and one of the best comic book artists ever.
· The cover is everything a Justice League cover needs to be. Dynamic, all the members on the front and great art as well. No qualms from me.
· Having said that, there are a few flaws. For example, I’m confused and not sure why Victor Stone aka Cyborg is appearing as a founding member of the League. Johns is tampering with Marv Wolfman’s run on New Teen Titans and that was one of the best comic book runs ever. Plus Victor doesn’t really fit in story wise as of yet. He’s just a football star linked to superheroics through his father who studies superhumans. Cyborg feels like a Titan so that’s why it feels wrong for him to be a part of the Justice League.
· As well as this, whilst Darkseid is a great first villain for the League to fight, it feels too soon. Darkseid is a threat the whole DCU should beware of. Still it’s nice to see him back after Final Crisis.
The verdict? This is an exceptional start for the new DCU. They’ve won over a former sceptic (me) and delivered a fantastic read that has America talking about comics again. Haven’t heard anything in Britain though. Just an article in a paper I read a while back. Anyway, get this if you haven’t... oh wait this is October of course you guys will have it. Ah well, time for the final scores!