Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: Batman, DCNew52, GeoffJohns, GreenLantern, JimLee, JusticeLeague, RedHotComics, Superman
So the new 52 has finally arrived! Justice League #1 has hit the shops, and sold out almost instantaneously! To kick off our new blog, here’s some reviews from each member of the team… some minor spoilers:
Ok – so the hype for this book (and the DC New 52!) must have got to me. Watching my Twitter feed go mental over Tue/Wed as America partied towards the midnight launch, I couldn’t help but race to my Comic Book shop (Red Hot Comics) on Wednesday after work. Thank the New Gods that Ivor (the owner) is such a nice guy that he let me in 5 mins after closing time to pick up my stack which included the final Flashpoint and Justice League #1.
Although this isn’t the book I was most looking forward to out of the 52, I was looking forward to finally jumping on board a team based comic – and they don’t come any bigger than this one. I’ve read many of the League members’ own books several times over, but have never managed to find the time to settle down with the whole League before.
I have to admit I have mixed opinions on the book – part of me is slightly annoyed that we didn’t get to see the whole gang in issue #1. But then the other half of me is pleased that they are taking their time with it and not just forming the League at the very start. Starting with Batman and Green Lantern is a good choice though – in fact starting with Batman and anyone is a good idea. What’s going to be most interesting is the point where Batman actually agrees to forming the group – I doubt he’ll be very keen!
The pair work well together, a true contrast of black and white, light and dark – and Jim Lee manages to bring Green Lanterns light to life so wonderfully! His work is so beautifully detailed it worries me that he won’t be able to keep up the pace to make sure this remains a monthly series. From what I’ve read, All Star Batman and Robin (which he also drew) was a nightmare, with months between each issue – however if his Twitter feed is anything to go by, it doesn’t sound like he sleeps much and does most of his work at night.
So far the story has done well to keep a balance that appeals to New and Old readers – giving us my favourite line when teasing us fans with the mention of Darkseid –
GREEN LANTERN: “Dark Side? What is that? A Band?”
Geoff Johns has proven himself a great story teller when it comes to big books, giving us the likes of Blackest Night and Flashpoint, so I’m confident that he’s well suited to this book. In a way DC shouldn’t need to have its annual BIG STORY EVENT when you have books like this that will run for 12 months of the year.
In short – I’m excited about reading more!
So DC’s New 52 hit the comic book shops across the globe in a sea of midnight shop openings and hype – the 1st title to hit us with their “new” take on the DC universe was Justice League #1. A first glimpse at a fresh new DC world, a world that’s viewed through the eyes of comic book fans with a mixed approach and, for me, JL#1 doesn’t help the disbelievers.
Having dabbled in probably every comic publisher titles at some time, DC is not a completely new area for me but the promise of a fresh start had my interest fired up. Unfortunately, I think DC have chosen the wrong title to start the ball rolling, while Lee’s artwork is gritty where it needs to be, bright & bold where it needs to be and up to his usual high standard, I can’t help but feel that DC have chickened out with their attempts on this one. A few big set pieces from Johns/Lee are good show grabbers, but bigger risks could have been taken for a REAL new start to the DC line.
What we’ve ended up with here could easily have slotted into the regular Justice League numbers with a flashback approach to a world first receiving superheroes into their midst. While the characters themselves have been changed with a Gok Wan makeover… I’m inclined to think that’s all we’ve got from DC on this one. While I understand that DC have to hold true to at least the elements of what the Justice League stands for, the type of story we’d expect to see and the characters involved, there’s not enough of a change here to class this as a bold step by DC. I’d have preferred to see this appear during a later week of the releases and give the individual characters to be released ahead of a team-up issue. Opportunity missed by DC but I’ll hold off for the #2 and see if having read the other 51 titles will help me embrace the changes DC are claiming to make.
DC pulled out the big guns for JL#1. Whatever Johns writes is good to read and the detail in Lee’s art is second to none. Some humour, some intrigue and a bunch of fight scenes littered with cool sound effects… RRRWWEEE!!
Quite a lot of change in the DCU it would seem, but the necessary constants remain and that in itself affords some comfort: we now know Batman’s still a bad ass and Journeys is still selling his shoes. All in all I’m pleased. Well worth £2-odds. Maybe my opinions would be stronger if I were a Batman/Lantern devotee. I’ll be back for more and, while I’m looking forward to Flash joining the new gang, I’ll have to wait to see how I feel when the boss men start to tinker with my favourite crime-fighters. Superman’s brief appearance, sans the red briefs, along with the armour on all the new costumes signals a grown-up (finally!) army ready for battle, without as much obvious help from their dear mammies in the sewing dept. Lastly, I’m a sucker for the letters page, so have high hopes for its return next month.
Would you believe me if I told you I took 5 buses and a 4.5hr round trip to get this book? Well I did. Thats how excited I was about it. Ridiculously so. In fact, this book, the relaunch of DC Comics and the furore around it is pretty much the reason my friends and I set up Comics Anon.
I’ve read the book a good few times now as I really wanted to take it all in and make sure I formed my opinion properly, but I found it really hard to get over my initial disappointment in the book as a whole. Now, don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a ‘beat on the book’, there are some bits I hugely enjoyed but I can’t help but think DC might have been smarter if they’d left the ‘origin’ until we were a few issues in.
The first few pages are dynamite. We begin in Gotham, which is looking as dark and menacing as ever, with Bats being pursued by heavy metal cops, whilst he is in pursuit of some cloaked and hooded looking weirdo. Its our first glimpse of the New DC Universe and already its turned on its head. Next up to appear is Hal Jordan. I’ll be honest and admit I’ve never read a lot of GL but I do not remember Hal being this big of a dick. He refers to himself throughout the rest of the book and acts like so much of a tosser that he actually detracts from my enjoyment of the book.
There is however an excellent little detour as we get into Vic Stone, pre Cyborg which showcases Johns’ excellent management of multiple character storylines and histories. This is the part of the book that has gotten me excited about what is to come. When I look into my tea leaves I am seeing little parallels of Millar’s Civil War and this is no bad thing.
Finally, there is a big punch in the face to everyone who deliberated over Supe’s costume. His 1st appearance in this book is like watching your partner/ mother/ personal chef whip up the best looking rib eye bernaise and then go eat it themselves in the spare room. Kal looks great! He’s lost his red y’s and made do with blue. I can’t wait to see more of him. Issue 2 now please?
Overall this book is very short on the story and the art is very mainstream. It looks good in the way you’d expect DC’s flagship title to look but it doesn’t overly wow me. If you read my other posts here you’ll find out what kind of art does.
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