The road to team building is a long, hard one, and Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are taking their sweet time.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #2
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Patrick Brosseau
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover: Lee, Williams, Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Justice League: Strange monster aliens are trying to blow up buildings around the world, but Batman and Green Lantern – teaming together for the first time, put a stop to one of the attacks. With the alien gone, the only clue left behind is a strange box that continues to emit pinging sounds. When confronted with an alien device, why not go to the closest alien they know? With the military hot on their tale, the duo come face to face with Superman.

AND MAYHEM ENSUES

The thing that is probably the most troubling for fans is how long it is taking Johns to get this team of heroes together. This issue features a lot of punchy-punching, and fighty-fighting which seems to the method of interaction anytime heroes meet for the first time. That being said, every effort is made to bring the fighting to an end as quickly as possible, even if it means getting The Flash in on the act.

What I really like about this issue is not the big fight scenes, but those moments involving Barry and Hal. While this may be the first time these heroes have assembled for the greater good, there is a clear indication that The Flash and Green Lantern have teamed up previously to stop Gorilla Grodd – with disastrous results, which has caused the entire police force of Central City to target The Flash for investigation. Yes, the superhero paranoia is running high during this time period in the DC Universe, which is an interesting angle to explore in this world.

When the duo finally becomes a quartet and visit Superman’s Fortress of Print Media (presumably one of The Daily Planet’s print shops) all hell breaks loose when the boxes are revealed to be Mother Boxes ejecting a slew of Parademons on the unsuspecting heroes. And for those wondering how Victor Stone gets turned into Cyborg, let’s just say Star Labs and Victor’s dad get an unpleasant surprise when the Motherbox opens full force with Vic caught in the crossfire.

From the story perspective, Johns hits on all the tropes one expects in the formation of a superhero team, and makes it work. Ever since Frank Miller pitted Superman and Batman against one another, fans have wanted more and more realistic fisticuffs between the big two of the DCU, and Johns is certainly giving a lot of fan service in this second installment.

LOTS OF LINES

Say what you will about Jim Lee, but his art is jaw dropping in its execution. Lee understands the human figure, he understands architecture, he understands that you can’t simply fill a panel with a character and nothing else, and expect it to sell. Every page and every panel is filled with detail, and it sucks you into this make believe world and makes it seem more realistic.

On the downside, Lee does tend to favor the big splash pages and extra large panels, which does two things; first, it means Lee can deliver pages on time, and second, it tends to slow down the pace of the storytelling and draws the story out longer than I think the traditional reader wants.

BOTTOM LINE: PICK IT UP

I’m sold on the New DCU. I like this story as an alternate to the ones we’ve read before, and though a great deal of the plot points have been done before, this creative team makes it seem fresh. Those who jumped on board the first issue aren’t going to be disappointed in the next chapter to the mystery that is served up, though many might be frustrated by the pace it is being presented. Overall, Justice League #2 is worth picking up, and earns 4 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

Previous post

REVIEW: Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #2

Next post

REVIEW: Batman #2

12 Comments

  1. Brian Dieter
    October 25, 2011 at 12:21 am — Reply

    I enjoyed this much better than the first issue. With four heroes this time, I think the Justice League title is justified now. I am looking forward to Wonder Woman’s appearance next issue. I’ve always been a fan of the Justice League and am anticipating future issues.

    • dante marx
      October 25, 2011 at 9:48 am — Reply

      I agree Brian, I dug this issue where the previous one was losing me. The first issue struck me as too confrontational, whereas this issue seemed to get them working on solving issues as a group, though certainly not a team. I am excited to see both WW and Aquaman arrive on the scene, but do not hate these 4 as a subset, either.

      My major concern lies in cyborg. I am a little disappointed to see that Vic’s origin matches so poorly to the others in the timeline. With his initial injury on panel, it seems like he should be out of this story-line, or at the least, fumbling and inept when he arrives. If he is somehow combat ready during this arc, I would be a little put out by the fact that the character did not get a chance to grow into his power. I like the idea that training is required to be a super-hero, and it is clear Batman, Superman, Flash, and GL are entering this story at a significantly more advanced stage of training. It would be nice to get to see Cyborg flex his muscles, but it would feel off-putting if he jumped in.

      Also, the story is a little arduous right now. Could probably go a tad faster without any problems.

  2. BallsMonkey
    October 25, 2011 at 12:55 am — Reply

    This one was as bad as the last one. In fact, cut out all the full, put #1 and #2 together, and well…you’re still left with an underwhelming comic, but it would still be better than what we got, which was more bickering heroes and nothing happening.

  3. Krypt0nian
    October 25, 2011 at 3:55 am — Reply

    Fantastic follow up. For once I’m glad they are moving slowly and allowing the characters to interact.

    New DCU is running full steam.

  4. October 25, 2011 at 5:04 am — Reply

    WTH is superman looking at?

    • Dan Hunter
      October 26, 2011 at 12:39 am — Reply

      on the cover? He’s reverted to Superstalker mode (as seen in Superman Returns) as is looking at YOU!

    • Kent Nelson
      October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm — Reply

      I kept wondering that as well! Was it bad illustration? Doubtful, given that it’s Jim Lee. Was he looking at us? What sense would that make? I kept turning the book in different directions to try and figure it out. LOL! It doesn’t matter though, it was great from cover to cover!

  5. eric
    October 25, 2011 at 8:49 am — Reply

    I will just follow the DCnU here because they are not getting my money. They lost me.

  6. October 25, 2011 at 10:36 am — Reply

    Ever since Frank Miller pitted Superman and Batman against one another, fans have wanted more and more realistic fisticuffs between the big two of the DCU, and Johns is certainly giving a lot of fan service in this second installment.

    I don’t remember Batman and Superman ever really fighting each other in this issue, despite both the synopsis for the issue and the cover; it was basically Batman staying out of the way and letting the big guns go at it. I am also disappointed that DC is pricing these issues at $3.99 and not actually giving us any additional story content; the breakdowns of character design and stuff is kind of interesting, but it’s not worth the extra dollar in my mind. This issue of Justice League wasn’t bad, but it’s probably the first or second issue on the chopping block for my pull list right now. The main reason it will likely stay is due to the upcoming Johns/Frank Shazam backup story, which I’m really excited for.

  7. ikdks
    October 25, 2011 at 11:43 am — Reply

    I like how Superman won this round against Batman. Batman always looses the first fight with metahumans, managing to save himself and come away with that one scrap of evidence that will allow him to win the next fight. I expect another fight with a different outcome.

    The Flash fight was awesome. The finger flick ruled. I know it’s trite, but I love the bit where you’re talking on the phone to Flash long distance and then he’s suddenly right next to you.

    The argument between Michael and his father was interesting, inverting the standard father trying to force his nerd son into sports, story.

    I love how Batman hangs in there. In future incarnations Batman is so scary nobody screws with him, but in this one he has to actually prove himself rather than rest on his rep.

    I haven’t followed Justice League in ages. Something about the most powerful people in a club lording over the human race rubbed me the wrong way. But I’ll follow this story.

  8. TaZ
    October 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm — Reply

    I’m a bit peeved that the origin of Vic Stone is being redone so that he’s a product of the even that leads to the formation of the JLA, which muddles the story of the Titans even more considering Roy Harper and Starfire talk about the “older” titan group by first name in “Red Hood and the Outlaws #1”. This was an area that didn’t need to be redone but I do understand the intent to tie this “version” of the DCU’s apparent anti-meta stance into his raison de existence (damn, hope I spelled that right…my second language is spanish, not french).

    What I did like to see was the epilogue with the transcript of Amanda “I’m the Gyrich of DCU, bitch!!” Waller interrogating Colonel Steve Trevor in regards to our favorite Amazon Princess. I’m glad to see him back in the DCU as Diana’s connection to “Man’s World” as the old-school WW would have said. It also references the “Shazam abductions”!!! YEEESSSSSS!

    • ikdks
      October 27, 2011 at 10:30 am — Reply

      Raison d’être

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section