While I’ve always been more of a Marvel fanboy, I couldn’t resist checking out a #1 issue of Justice League of America with Geoff Johns and Jim Lee attached. If any book in the DC reboot was going to be firing on all cylinders, this would be it... or so I told myself. It’s not that Justice League of America #1 is bad, but it’s not spectacular (insert Spidey joke), and that’s just disappointing. The issue does have a number of things going for it. The beginning is intense, as a swat team confronts a Batman who is still early enough in his career to be at odds with the authorities. Lee brings some awesome visuals that play well off John’s script, but then Green Lantern shows up and ruins everything, mainly because he’s a @#$%. No joke. He really just shows up and is a smart-ass without the Ryan Reynolds charm... which just leaves a smart-ass. Green Lantern, you’ve already ruined the summer. Don’t you think that’s enough? There are still some promising elements to the story, like the fact that the normal, everyday citizens seem to still fear and misunderstand superheroes, which will be cool to see the characters deal with, but they’re weighed down by clumsiness of other parts of the story. Do we really believe that the Justice League was formed because Green Lantern and Batman took a road trip and “gathered the band?” Because that’s where it looks like we’re heading. *sigh* To finish up, I’ll add that I really don’t give a hoot about the cliffhanger forecasting and upcoming smackfest between Batman and Superman at the start of the next book. The characters don’t know each other or have any history at this point. Does anyone above the age of seven really care if they trade some passionless punches? Despite this, I still have issue #2 on my pull list for next month. Geoff Johns must be doing something right... I’m just not sure what it is.
Well, I couldn’t resist borrowing Bryant’s copy of Justice League #1 and reading it, instead of actually dropping my own money on it. I’m glad I did, too; I found this to be a pretty great comic book. I think one of things I liked most about this comic is also the most jarring: we are in a world where Superman, Batman, and the Green Lantern have never met. It was off-putting the first time through, but subsequent reads had me drooling for more. What’s it going to be like when they meet Wonder Woman and The Flash? How are they going to meet Aquaman? We meet a football playing youth, Vic Stone, here, as well. How is he going to become Cyborg and hook up with the others? Another exciting bit is the introduction of Darkseid; though we don’t see him, we do know that he’s up to something as a creature shouts his name moments before it detonates a suicide bomb. Though the story moves along with the veneer of a plot, I agree with Bryant, it does feel a lot like we’re just racing to “get the band back together.” Would it kill Johns to slow it down a little? I mean, four characters - no, four major characters - introduced in 24 pages? Take a look at Marvel’s The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon. The team didn’t get together until something like the ninth episode. Until then they focused each show on a character or two and the Universe they inhabited, and so, when the team finally did join, it felt organic. Sorry, I just love that cartoon! Anyway, Lee’s art is pretty freaking fantastic. It’s definitely worth a read, Fanboys and Fangirls, and with more DCnU #1s dropping this morning, I’d say it’s a great day to visit your friendly, neighborhood comic retailer.