Batman has had it with a League that merely watches from above like elder deities. Now, it’s time to go street level and get their hands dirty… Your Major Spoilers review of Justice League Of America #1 awaits!
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1
Writer: Steve Orlando
Penciler: Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado, Oclair Albert & Julio Ferreira
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Justice League Of America: There’s a new League in town, and this one has a lot in common with the CW/DC/TV universe, not that that’s a bad thing!
THEY CAN’T STAND EACH OTHER
Things start out awkward for our new League, as Lobo doesn’t seem to want to play on a team,
Killer Frost is still trying to live down her villain rep, The Ray and The Atom are entirely new, and (as Vixen points out) there has never been an incarnation of the Justice League that Batman didn’t end up fighting one way or the other. Still, with the strong hand of veteran heroes (Black Canary and Vixen, as well as the Bat himself) they have the potential to be a new fighting force for good…
…and then, The Extremists attack. Lord Havok’s influence of the Marvel Universe as an ersatz Doctor Doom has never been more prominent, and the JLA gets quickly smacked down by his forces, leading to a show of force as he prepares to execute The Atom, only to have Batman volunteer to take Atom’s place as Havok’s prisoner.
LORD HAVOK AND THE EXTREMISTS
There are two major portions of this story: Speechifying by Lord Havok and awkward interplay by the new League. As always, Orlando uses his knowledge of DCU lore to add spice to the story (there is a reference to Lia Nelson’s acting career, the Heroes of Angar and some lovely dialogue from Lobo that hearkens back to the days of the 90s) and while not a lot happens in these pages, we’re poised to have the team pull together and come back from the edge of defeat. Ivan Reis delivers strong pencils as well, making fight sequences and conversations equally dynamic, and making the final page splash of Batman surrendering one of the strongest single-image pages in recent memory. Honestly, I think this comic’s greatest battle is going to be getting past the jokes about JL Detroit and The Outsiders long enough for people to realize that the writing is good. For my money, the idea of a group of lesser-known heroes holding up the banner of the JLA in the face of little to no respect makes for good stories, and this issue sets up enough plot points and character moments that I want to see where it’s all going to go.
THE BOTTOM LINE: IT HAS POTENTIAL
As a fan of the Berlanti Productions CW shows, I have no problem with the TV synergy (Caitlin Snow as a hero, The Atom as armored powerhouse, among other changes) and I especially like the idea that Black Canary is the team’s grizzled tough guy veteran, with Batman taking on the role as leader. There’s a lot to like here, meaning that Justice League Of America #1, while doing a lot of setup, still hooks me as a reader and makes me want to see these heroes triumph, with solid art and just enough Lobo to keep me happy, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. If you’re not a cynical sort who believes that League without all of the Big Seven isn’t a League, you should definitely give this book a chance…