Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review the DCnU: Justice League #1

Here we are, the dawn of a new age for DC comics.  The new DC Universe kicks off here with Justice League #1.  While not without some minor faults its a great beginning to the new DCU. 

by Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Scott Williams.

The Justice League comic is set five years in the past telling the story of when the Justice League first met and formed.  This is a time when costume heroes are still relatively new and they all know next to nothing about each other.  

The story starts off with plenty of action. Batman is chasing an unknown criminal on the rooftops all while being chased by the Gotham Police Department in helicopters.  The city still does not trust Batman, which can be quickly picked up through their conversations with each other. Deciding its best to just take down both Batman and the man he is chasing.  Jim Lee provides some great art here, putting so much detail into every single panel. 

Batman is quickly joined by the Green Lantern, a very young and cocky Hal Jordan.  As the two quickly get over the shock that each other actually exists they get down to business of chasing down the bad guy.  One of the most amusing lines in the comic comes from Hal Jordan as he realizes that Batman does not actually have super powers and is nothing more then a man in a batsuit.

Batman gives out little information about himself, but Jordan is more then happy to inform Batman that Gotham is just part of his jurisdiction within the Green Lantern Corps.  Batman doesn't seem to quite believe him when he says that he belongs to an intergalactic police force.  Another amusing scene during this conversations has Batman quickly disarming the Green Lantern.

Soon enough the duo find their culprit who yells out, "For Darkseid!" before setting off a bomb and killing himself.  The two have no idea what Darkseid is confusing his wording for Dark Side.  Jordan and Batman decide to pay a visit to the mysterious hero of Metropolis, who rumor has it is an alien, to see what he might know. 

As the two arrive they are quickly taken out by a young Superman who had overheard them talking.  After dispatching Jordan quickly, Superman confronts Batman asking him what kind of powers he has.

This was a good start to the new DCU.  The dialogue seemed rather easy to follow and non-complex. The set up for the second issue looks great. While the issue consisted mainly of Batman and Green Lantern we saw two small cameos, Superman at the end and a brief scene with Victor Stone who is not yet Cyborg.

Some of the faults though are easy to point out.  The first being that a new reader may be turned off by the fact that the cover features the entire Justice League but within the pages its nothing more then just a Brave and the Bold comic with Hal Jordan and Batman.  The story again looks to be something that will be easier to follow when it is collected in trades.  The idea that this is set in the past leaves one to wonder if it will continue that way beyond the first story arch or then just dive back into the current timeline.  I can see what they could do with a storyline set in the past, but one has to say eventually they need to get to storytelling of the Justice League in the current timeline.

Some of the good of the comic is the fun banter that goes on between Batman and the Green Lantern.  Jim Lee is superb in his artwork throughout the issue. While the storytelling does seem like they are taking it slow but I think sometimes people have become to accustomed to Jim Lee’s work. But when looked at through the eyes of a new reader his work simply looks glorious. Geoff Johns is mirroring the tack many recent television shows have taken of teasing without revealing too much. I think it may be a lot more new reader friendly than a lot of people may take it for.

This is a great start but it remains to be seen if it can keep up the pace and continue the great storytelling it appears to be leading to.  I am looking forward to the next issue with the fight between Hal Jordan/Batman and Superman.

GRADE OF NEW TITLE: It gets a strong A

WILL IT SUCCEED: Most definately, besides the all star creative team backing it up, its one of DC's flagship titles.

OUTLOOK:  Look at this book to continue of for a long while. 

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