Justice League #1

Justice League 1

For an event as monumental as the launch of DC’s new flagship title, we at Nerdy Nothings thought we should bring you more than a regular review. So it is that Spaceman Spiff and Rebel Rikki will both chime in with their thoughts on this book, the highest-selling comic in years.

Rebel Rikki: Judging by the lackluster preview from a few weeks back, as well as my general impression of this reboot, I was totally prepared to hate this book. Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed it! Writer Geoff Johns plays to his strengths here, delivering a straightforward superhero tale full of energy and intrigue. Though at first I was surprised at his reveal of this book’s first major villain, I definitely welcome it — this antagonist should prove a much better threat to force the League together than Starro or even White Martians have in the past. Meanwhile, Jim Lee’s art is terrific; he hasn’t lost any of his sense of action, character or kinetic use of perspectives that made him so popular decades ago. If I have one real complaint — and it’s one I’ve voiced before — I’m still not totally sold on the aesthetic behind this relaunch. As I read more and more of the issue, I began to care less about Batman’s weird metallic costume or Green Lantern’s crazy neckline, but that final shot of Superman is just horrendous. His costume is straight-up awful. I suspect that’s something that may grow on me, especially in a Lee book (where characters are too busy moving around for that stuff to really matter), but at this point some of the designs are still a hard sell.  B

Spaceman Spiff: I also thought this book was a lot of fun, and I approached this series as someone whose only real knowledge of DC comics comes from reading Batman, so I didn’t have too much baggage to carry around. My only complaint is that we only really get a handful of Justice Leaguers in this book — one of whom isn’t even in costume — but that’s a minor quibble. I think when all is said and done that this story arc will read much better as a trade than in single monthly issues. I loved the dynamic between Green Lantern and Batman, with Batman playing the role of seasoned veteran. I disagree with Rikki quite a bit on the costumes though; I didn’t mind them at all — in fact, every time we had a shot of Batman’s gauntlets, my would jaw hurt imagining what it’d be like to get socked in the face by that armored fist. And that last shot of Superman? C’mon! It’s badass as all get-out. Sure the costume is a little different, but change is good… I mean, have you ever gone back to see what Superman was wearing in the original Action Comics #1? Jim Lee really shines in this issue and his art was what I was looking forward to the most. Can’t wait for issue #2. A-

Rebel Rikki: Okay, I take your point about change, I just really don’t care for that Superman costume. But for some more common ground: yes, I agree that it’s weird we only get 3.5 Leaguers here, but you’re right — clearly they’ll be introduced throughout the arc, and when it’s collected in trade form it’ll seem more like a complete origin story. It’s kind of cool that it starts with Batman and Green Lantern, though — they’re the two best-selling characters at DC right now, and the two least affected by this reboot, so it’s nice that they give us our in to this new universe. I enjoyed their dialog, too; I think Johns did a good job of making Batman cautious and a little standoffish without being a total dick like in All-Star Batman & Robin. Did you notice that Green Lantern’s dialog — specifically the way he keeps referring to himself in the third person — seems like it’s designed to be read in a Ryan Reynolds voice?

Spaceman Spiff: I can see what you’re saying with Ryan Reynolds… mind you, I didn’t see the movie, but Geoff Johns defnitely portrayed Green Lantern as more carefree and maybe even a little undisciplined. But, then again, anyone is going to come off as undisciplined when they’re paired up with the version of Batman we get in this issue. And the scene where Batman gets the upper-hand — and ring — on Hal Jordan was definitely one of the high points of the issue. You briefly mentioned the antagonist of this first issue, do you think this will at all tie back into what we’ve seen recently in Grant Morrison’s various Batman series?

Rebel Rikki: I do think so, because Grant was really the last author to do anything with that character, and I know Geoff respects him. That said, this is a new universe, right? But I can imagine an argument (and sorry for the giveaway here) that these particular set of characters exist outside of time… which I think makes their inclusion all the cooler. And yes, the ring scene in this issue was great; I think that was the part that totally won me over with this book. I’m glad we mostly agree, and that the New 52 is getting off on solid footing. I think that if we were to give this book a Pull-List Verdict it would be: KEEP IT.


tags: geoff johns, jim lee, justice league, the new 52

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