Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Justice League #1 Review

Gotta make this one a little quick because my schedule is tight and yeah. Life. It's great. Just like DC's "Rebirth." But for some reason some people don't think this book is great? Okay, they're right. It's not great. The "Rebirth" was pretty good and had interesting beats with the new Superman--the original Superman--meeting up with the League to bust some heads and fight off an alien the size of Manhattan, and that was it. It got average reviews all around but I thought it was a ton of fun. It's basically a summer blockbuster...and wouldn't you know it, it's summertime! A lot of people were hoping for the book to get better and, did it?
To be honest, I don't think this book was a marked improvement from the previous issue. If you disliked the "Rebirth" you'll dislike this one. If you thought it was average, you'll think the same. I thought it improved on giving each character something to do and making it relevant. Where this book succeeds is in keeping everything in context.

Regardless of whether you really like this book or not, you have to admit that Bryan Hitch is doing a pretty decent job of keeping some continuity in check. Jessica and Simon, the two Green Lanterns, are still worried about the Red Lantern attacks, and Superman isn't just on the team. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are on their own, but the League still feels connected. 

It mostly feels connected through the sheer destruction going around. The book starts, and continues with, earthquakes ravaging the Earth. Somehow the tectonic plates have become active and cities along the fault lines are collapsing. We're immediately thrown into the action as Wonder Woman fights off terrorists trying to take advantage of the situation. Needless to say, I was sold on this image alone: 

Yeah, that'll just about do it. 

What's great about this book is that every member of the League has a moment to shine. Wonder Woman uses Dark Souls III Lightning Miracles to stop terrorists, Cyborg plays football with a train, and Aquaman, as a good noble of his kingdom, tries his best to save everyone he can. Even Jessica, who has been shown to have anxiety problems within the Justice League books already, is shown with her character growing and trying her best to help Simon build constructs that she can't. 

The book also continues on with the idea that Batman is distrusting of the new Superman, something that was a bit annoying but still makes sense. I don't think it's a "I don't trust him" so much as it's an emotional bond that was ripped and Batman doesn't want to just replace the old Clark. Regardless of whether their friendship was poorly written or not, the two clearly cared about one another as dear friends and Batman isn't just going to disrespect the memory of his old friend but having him suddenly replaced. He does, however, acknowledge the fact that this Superman is pretty rad and lets him help rather than letting him out. Because Batman is not stupid. 

This book does through a bit of a curve ball at us that had me tilting my head until I realized that I was wrong. Basically the plot doesn't really go anywhere in the book--which, really, is fine, this issue was all about a display of power rather than plot advancement--until people start rising from the dead. I'm not sure if this is a lettering thing or not, but their word bubbles are in red, just like a Red Lantern's would be. So, since I know about the events of Green Lanterns, I was a little confused that there could be Red Lantern zombies. But it's not. 

Just godlike deities trying to steal back the powers that the Justice League "stole!" 

My worry for this story moving forward is that it'll succumb to the same problems as JLA: Act of God, wherein all super-powered beings, and some robots, lost their powers and were forced to adapt to the new environment. The same might be happening here, particularly with the two Green Lanterns and the Flash. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are, seemingly, just fine. Superman only appears for a page so it's tough to tell. 

I can see where some people are disappointed. There's little plot and nothing really makes sense right now. It's all just a bunch of set-up for later stories, though. Some complaints I've seen are that it doesn't match the scope of "Darkseid War." 

Well no freaking duh it doesn't match that scope. "Darkseid War"  was an event. You don't see everyone Spider-Man story trying to be as HUGE as "Spider-Verse." In fact, this event might just have a bigger scope than "Darkseid War" if the initial solicitations about who the Kindred are can be believed. "Darkseid War" was great, yes, but that was also being built up for forty issues by Geoff freaking Johns. I'm not saying Bryan Hitch is bad, but I'm saying that people need to lighten up and remember that the first arc for Justice League in the New 52 was only okay anyway. This already seems like a more desperate situation than a few Parademons in Gotham, since cities are being destroyed and the League is spread thin. 

The artwork is done by Tony S. Daniel and it's of course great. I'm not sure I need to comment on it much more than that. I was hyped as heck when I heard he was going to be on board for Justice League when they announced this team at WonderCon and I'm still excited now. Dude draws great actions and great characters, capturing the environments surrounding the characters so well and even doing close-up shots well. There's desperation where it needs to be as well as ferocity, though that's mostly taken up by Wonder Woman, who is might pissed-off throughout the issue. 

Still, this is just an action series. I'm sure people want more, but for that I say: go read their solo series. They're all good are taking major steps in advancing each character. Justice League is where they'll go to play and for us to just have fun. The League is about to fight aliens that can take away their powers and command ships the size of Manhattan. This could be awesome! And it already looks awesome, so lighten up and just enjoy the roller coaster, folks! 

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