Sunday, September 4, 2011

The New 52 Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #1


WRITER: Geoff Johns
INKS: Scott Williams
COLORS: Alex Sinclair
LETTERS: Patrick Brosseau
COVER: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair
VARIANT COVER: David Finch, Richard Friend, and Peter Steigerwald
40pp, Color, $3.99

DC Comics’ premiere superhero team, the Justice League of America, first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #28 (cover dated February/March 1960). The League’s original lineup of superheroes was Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter. The League got its own title, Justice League of America in 1960. Over time, that series was re-launched as Justice League (1987), JLA (1996-cover dated 1997), and Justice League of America (Vol. 2, 2006), among various other miniseries, specials, alternate versions, etc.

Now, DC Comics is re-launching its superhero comic book line with 52 #1 issues – “The New 52,” and the first new #1 is Justice League, written by Geoff Johns, penciled by Jim Lee, and inked by Scott Williams. This new League has a starting lineup: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Aquaman, and Cyborg (originally of The New Teen Titans). Additional members will include The Atom, Hawkman, and Deadman, among others.

Justice League #1 opens five years prior to whatever is the current time in the DC Universe. Batman is caught between a vicious alien creature that he is chasing across the rooftops of Gotham City and helicopter-borne members of the Gotham City Police Department that want to put a cap in his ass. Just when it seems that Batman is in trouble, Green Lantern arrives. Now, Batman has an unwanted partner as he tries to unravel a mystery that seems to originate from outer space.

I didn’t expect much of Justice League #1, but I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s not great, but it is a very good read. The art by Jim Lee and his longtime collaborator, Scott Williams, features some impressive compositions and designs… of course, though Lee’s figure drawing is below his recent work. Between the coated paper stock used to print this book and Alex Sinclair’s succulent and gleaming coloring, there was a glare off this comic that tried to blind me.

Seriously though, I like this. Batman is Batman. With Green Lantern, Geoff Johns seems to be channeling Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark and Kanye West. I haven’t read a Justice League comic book in the last five or six years, and this is a great issue to welcome me back.



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