The Justice League of America (not to be confused with the Justice League) has come to an end. That’s fine, the U.S. already has enough Leagues. What better place to send a new one than our peaceful neighbors to the North, Canada! Major Spoilers reviews Justice League United #0 and promises to keep the jokes about Canada to a minimum.
Previously in Justice League United: Due to events this reviewer is unaware of, the Justice League of America is no more. Plus this story takes place after the unfinished Forever Evil, so who knows what exactly has happened.
THIS COULD BE THE BEST LEAGUE EVER
Upon hearing about the Canadian Justice League, a million jokes came to mind and I’ve heard them all (I work in a comic store). It sounded ridiculous but the ridiculous has always intrigued me and Jeff Lemire is writing, so I decided to grab it. Plus, the characters this title promises to bring together get little love and I’m a sucker for those as well. Also, this is the introduction of Adam Strange to the New 52!
Lemire does a great job of taking the idea and running with it while not turning the whole thing into a complete joke, which probably has much to do with his own Canadian origins. The issue starts with a bang, showing the completed League working together, fighting aliens. Flashback to Animal Man and Stargirl making an appearance at what appears to be a comic book convention. Adam Strange approaches the two asking for help to find his girlfriend and the three set off to Canada where they run into aliens and get some help from Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter. Equinox gets a brief introduction as well though her deal isn’t fleshed out much. While the jabs at Canadians are minimal (the requisite “aboot” joke is there), there’s still fun humor throughout. Green Arrow’s jabs at Animal Man earn a chuckle and it’s clear Lemire is enjoying himself. There is a natural flow in how the characters come together and I’m interested to see how Supergirl and Equinox are thrown into the mix. I’m extremely excited to see Adam Strange evolve into the spaceman we know and love.
Problems do still arise. There are so many different alien races and it’s hard to tell whose working with whom and just what their motives are. Lemire also seems tied to the DC editorial rule that heroes are not to be married. Adam Strange and Alanna are no longer married which is odd considering Buddy’s marriage made it through the mandate fairly intact. Animal Man’s family life is what makes him unique, thus proving DC’s thinking completely false. It’s the fault of DC and not Lemire but still bothered me as I’m sure it has others. I found Equinox’s scene too brief with little to leave me involved and her powers too vague. The ending didn’t give me the excitement I believe it was supposed to either. Overall though, Lemire has made me want to pick up a Canadian Justice League book, bringing together characters that more than deserve their chance to shine in a story that has started strong.
A LITTLE TOO ALIEN FOR MY TASTE
Mike McKone is certainly talented and handles most of the issue well. The action is fast, fluid, with great touches such as the way Green Arrow’s arrows strike. His layouts work well and he manages to make conversation scenes fun to look at. There is lots of movement in his style, which is both good and bad. While the heroes fight, their movements look natural but during scenes of rest things look like they’re moving when they shouldn’t. Evidently, Animal Man has his own wind tunnel as his hair never stops flowing. McKone’s alien designs are also difficult to discern, making it frustrating to tell just what it is they’re doing. Some of it comes off as too cartoony, for lack of a better term, and I wish Animal Man’s powers were displayed with the uniqueness that the other heroes get. Still, I enjoyed it all quite a bit and I can’t wait to see what he does with Adam Strange.
BOTTOM LINE: PROBABLY THE BEST JUSTICE LEAGUE TITLE
I was surprised by this book and had more fun than I was expecting. Jeff Lemire is bringing together unique characters in a cool story that is coming together naturally. Mike McKone does a great job with the art and the action is the standout of the issue. With the unique group and lighthearted tone, this is the best Justice League out. Even if they are Canadian. Sorry, couldn’t resist.