Though they’ve lost a Superman and a Green Lantern, the League is back and bigger than ever.
Which is good, since the world seems to be ending… Your Major Spoilers review of Justice League #1 awaits!
JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
Writer: Bryan Hitch
Penciler: Tony S. Daniel
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Justice League: In the great hall of the Justice League, there are assembled the most powerful heroes ever assembled: Wonder Woman! Aquaman! The Flash! Cyborg! Green Lantern! Another Green Lantern! Superman! Batman!
And now, things get explodey…
AN ANGRY WONDER WOMAN
We open in an unidentified location, as local militia-types find themselves faced with something bigger than their usual small-time conflict, as Wonder Woman arrives. She not only fights the bajeezus out of their tanks and guns and such (and looks really good under Tony Daniel’s pen, even if she’s the only Leaguer who does, this issue) she explains why their philosophies are small-minded and wrong. Sadly, her dialogue is one of the big misses of the issue, a series of random generalizations ending with a declaration that she’s become very angry. Before she can show them what that means, a massive earthquake levels the whole city, leaving Wonder Woman concerned. All around the world, the heroes of the League spring into action, dealing with the fallout of a massive world-shaking catastrophe, having something to do with something called ‘The Kindred.’
AN EXTINCTION-LEVEL EVENT
I get that the Justice League is the team of the biggest and the baddest heroes, and that it’s hard to create a menace that feels worthy of their combined might, but this issue’s massive-threat-with-vague-undefined-magic-source is really overdone with the Justice League, especially the post-Flashpoint League. This issue has some truly impressive moments (the use of Superman is nice, with the League not really knowing or trusting the pre-Flashpoint Man Of Steel, but being aware of his activities thanks to cell phone video from around the world; Aquaman protecting Atlantis is impressive as well) but there are a lot of distracting narrative moments. Cyborg spends his part of the issue talking to himself, while Baz & Cruz, the Green Lantern duo, feel like shadows of their characterization in their own book. Tony Daniel’s art is a mixed bag as well, delivering a strong Wonder Woman, a regal Aquaman, but weirdly sketchy backgrounds and characters throughout. Most problematic, both the dialogue and the art have a tendency to fall into clichés, which works against the story being told…
THE BOTTOM LINE: ONLY SORT OF OKAY
Hitch’s previous “Justice League Of America” series featured a similar issue for me, the expectation that the world has to end for the League to assemble, an effect which lends itself to his signature “wide-screen” storytelling, but without any valleys, the peaks don’t carry the dramatic heft that they should. In short, Justice League #1 has some good bits, but doesn’t quite establish the threat before throwing us headlong into chaos, with some team members very impressive, and others not, earning a better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. As this arc progresses, it’ll be interesting to see if the breakneck pacing continues through the entire arc…