Friday, January 17, 2014

I Reads You Review: Justice League of America's VIBE #1


WRITERS: Geoff Johns and Andrew Kreisberg
PENCILS: Peter Woods
INKS: Sean Parsons
COLORS: Brad Anderson
LETTERS: Carlos M. Mangual
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (April 2013)

Rated T (Teen)

Vibe created by Gerry Conway and Luke McDonnell

I recently reviewed the Justice League Annual #2 (October 1984).  It introduced a comic book character named Paco Ramone, a breakdancer and local hero who went by the name, “Vibe.”  Paco had shockwave-casting powers, and those powers earned him a spot in the Justice League.  Paco would appear in the last three years of the original Justice League of America comic book series (1960-1987); then, he would be killed-off as the series came to a close.

Vibe is back.  He is cleaned-up, politically correct (hate that term), and has his own comic book series, Justice League of America’s Vibe.  [This series had already been cancelled by the time I read the first issue.]  In DC Comics’ The New 52, even dead, scorned, and marginal characters can get another chance to shine.

Justice League of America’s Vibe #1 is set in Detroit, Michigan and opens five years prior to the main story.  It introduces Francisco “Cisco” Ramon.  He and his older brothers, Armando and Dante, have a front row seat to Darkseid’s invasion of earth, which was chronicled in The New 52 re-launch of Justice League (2011).  Five years later, Cisco is still grieving a loss, when a stranger offers him the opportunity to get payback against a certain Parademon.  A hero named Vibe is born.

I was surprised to discover that DC Comics was publishing an ongoing series starring Vibe, a minor and notorious, but apparently well-remembered character.  Diversity in the hi-souse – Yay! Yay!  Seriously, Vibe?  But it turns out that Justice League of America’s Vibe is actually a pretty good comic book – at least the first issue is.

Peter Woods is a more-than-competent comic book artist, and he gives every panel here – even the character drama panels – a bit of dynamism.  Wood’s style is unspectacular, but he’s good with figure drawing – a must for a superhero comic book artist.

The writing by Geoff Johns and Andrew Kreisberg is solid and even a little dazzling.  It is nothing distinctive or stand-out; this isn’t Alan Moore doing a Vibe makeover, after all.  There is enough intrigue and the characters are interesting.  I just may try to read the other nine issues of this now-cancelled series.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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