SPOILERS AHOY! The DC Reboot is upon us with the arrival of Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. It’s been touted as the introduction to the new DC Universe and it’s pretty obvious that this is mainly targeted at people who are unfamiliar with comics. It’s not a coincidence that the first two members of the Justice League we see (Batman and Green Lantern) are the most recognizable ones, thanks to recent films.
The first problem I see here is that Batman talks too much. It’s the first time he meets Green Lantern and they immediately act like they’re in some buddy cop movie. He’s an urban legend so shouldn’t he be all mysterious or something? I guess that’s just how Geoff Johns rolls when it comes to the Bat. At least we get some pretty nifty action scenes like the part where Green Lantern punches an alien with a firetruck construct.
I imagine Jim Lee’s vibrant art would be met with wonder and awe by new readers but as pretty as it is, it’s a little too 90’s for me. I’ve outgrown his sharp and clean lines and I’m looking for something new now. Aside from the costume redesigns, Lee’s art feels outdated and just… good. Which is a shame because I was expecting the opening salvo of DC’s New 52 to have great art. As for the story, there really isn’t much of a story here, is there? It feels exactly what they say it is: an introduction. At least they nailed how the world sees Batman in one panel.
That’s pretty much how we all reacted when we first learned about Batman, right? He’s just some dude in a bat costume. We all know that he’s more than that so this is where things get interesting. It would be pretty amusing to see the reaction of other superheroes and even supervillains when they first meet the Bat. But these initial reactions obviously will not last so you’ve got to wonder if this sense of freshness will stick after the initial arc. Speaking of freshness…
When this seemingly generic alien creature shouted “FOR DARKSEID!” before blowing himself up, I realized that he’s actually a Parademon. For the uninitiated, Parademons are the shock troops of Apokolips. They’ve never looked this monstrous before and I kind of like it. And let’s not forget about Darkseid. Batman, Green Lantern and the new readers don’t realize it yet but shit is gon’ get real and someone’s gon’ get got! Some of my favorite Justice League stories involve alien invasions and I hope that’s where this initial arc is heading. It could just be a straight up invasion by Apokolips and I wouldn’t mind. Or maybe it has something to do with that creepy chick from that awesome Flashpoint #5 double-page spread.
But I doubt it. I’m guessing she’ll somehow be tied to the first event of the new DCU. Let’s not fool ourselves. We’re going to get one in the next year or so. Anyway, she looks like she’s spying or just observing Cyborg who isn’t really Cyborg yet. I guess this first arc is also his origin story? His subplot provides some quiet time in this issue and I hate it. I expected loud explosions, big moments and epic reveals, DC. I didn’t expect a decompressed tease. I love the introduction of Superman, though.
He lays the smack down on Green Lantern out of nowhere and immediately proceeds to talk smack with Batman. This is pretty much the biggest moment of the issue for me. That’s not saying a lot, though. Geoff Johns did manage to slowly introduce the concepts of the Green Lantern Corps and the urban legend that is the Batman, but only the new readers would find that fascinating. For me — a long time comics reader — it’s just another flat introduction to a team origin story.
Jim Lee still draws some pretty neat action scenes and poses, but again, it feels like we’ve all seen it before. It’s not a horrible start for the new DCU. I imagine it’s actually an exciting read for n00bs, but for the rest of us, I think it’s just OK at best. This is the way the new DCU begins; not with a bang but a whimper.
And now, a juvenile parting shot.