This is a very different Jeff Lemire we're reading here, and in the best way possible. Lemire is a fantastic writer that can easily captivate his readers with his stories and characters, but all-in-all, his books at DC have been a little depressing. There's a sadness and a feeling of loneliness within his work. JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED, however, is 100% fun. It's filled with action and intrigue and takes the heroes into space without one singular member of the Green Lantern Corps showing up.
Justice League books haven't been too much fun. They're a bit too serious and involved in long-form storytelling that dredges on until the reader drops the book. JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED dares to make a fun and entertaining Justice League book featuring not-so-A-list characters and it accomplishes that goal almost immediately. The book opens up flip-flopping between two fights: Hawkman and Lobo on the moon of Thalsalla and the JLU vs a giant, structure-changing monster in northern Ontario.
It's great to see this new team working like a team. Many recent team books just have everyone jumping right into battle, but in JLU these characters are communicating with each other and strategically working together, which is very reminiscent of battles during the silver age, except these characters aren't describing their powers every 3 panels.
Animal Man has turned into the comic relief of the team, but it's not overdone by any means and it's refreshing that the comic relief isn't sarcastic or rude. He's just happy-go-lucky fun without coming off as over-the-top nutty.
Artist Mike McKone does some stellar work on this book. He has a no-nonsense approach to this book. His art is beautiful and clear to read. Nothing is over-complicated, yet his work is detailed. On top of that, he has Marcelo Maiolo doing the colorwork, and Maiolo's style is a bit different here and fits McKone's style a bit more. This book is bright and the art and color add to the sense of fun that Lemire is already building on.
The reader is left with a fantastic final page, bringing back a DC character from the vaults that is going to be a nice addition to this series. Plus, fans will enjoy the amount of Lobo in this book. Sure, he's not the cigar chomping, Lorenzo Lamas look-alike, but this revamp of the character is pretty awesome on his own.
Getting nit-picky here, but why isn't this issue #2? Issue #0 reads more like a #1 than this issue does, since readers are not only thrown right into the action, but issue #0 is actually part 1 of this story.
On paper, the idea of this book had a few fans scratching their head. However, the execution of this book is one heck of a fun ride. It is so refreshing to have a Justice League book that is actually fun to read but isn't trying to be a humor book. Lemire takes a step away from his normal story tone and gives readers something incredibly entertaining that they will not want to put down. This is a well-written and well-drawn book and JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #1 is a book you need to pick up this week, even if you missed the #0 issue.