Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review - Justice League #1

by JasonNewcomb

It’s 5 years ago. The world considers superheros much like UFOs. There are sightings and rumors but no concrete evidence. Even the superheros don’t know each other very well.

In Gotham Batman is chasing down what we later learn is an alien but the police are making that task difficult by trying to apprehend the vigilante. Green Lantern swoops in to help and with much drama. He smashes the alien with a luminous emerald firetruck. Bats isn’t impressed. The interplay between the two massive arrogant egos here is fun! Green Lantern thinks he’s all that and Batman thinks he doesn’t need help. There is obvious friction and it’s quite amusing to read. Cut to Green Lantern imposing his tack onto Batman. He flies Batman to go talk with “that guy in Metropolis. They say he’s an Alien”. Batman’s reluctance to do so is dismissed by Lantern: “Won’t be a problem for me.”

Here we have an unexpected interlude involving Vic Stone. I’m quite surprised they chose to dwell on this character in the first issue. Considering they omitted much bigger players such as Flash, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Not to mention that the connection made between Vic and the plot are tenuous – so far.

The book ends with Superman assertively introducing himself. He pretty much says hi to Green Lantern via uppercut. Visually it’s a cool moment but are we supposed to interpret this as a challenge to combat? My guess is that this scene was there to follow through in the premise that these characters all suffer from a superiority complex and are unwilling to work with one another. It’s a bit of head scratcher but not necessarily in a bad way.

So is it good? Mostly it is. I honestly expected to be disappointed in this. Certainly not because the creators have a bad reputation. But rather, I figured the hype was intense that this could not help but fall short of expectations. Johns subverts all of that by simply not trying too hard. He just tells a fun story, with a simple plot. It’s a good first issue.

Jim Lee’s pencils are what you would expect from an artist of his stature. The storytelling is smooth, the action is slick. It his typical controlled gestural style at its strongest. The guy has gads of talent and he is not considered one of the best for no reason.

Though I might have wanted to be more impressed – because of what this book represents for DC and the industry in general right now – ultimately, there is a healthy measure of playfulness contained within this book that won me over. There is a spark of youthfulness and enthusiasm that seemed sincere to me. While reading this, I forgot about the hype. I forgot this was the first issue of DC’s monumental relaunch. I forgot about everything. I just had fun.

Script: 7/10
Art: 8/10
This review originally appeared at the blog. is a free, no catch, no gimmick collection cataloging software. Click here to register an account (no download) and start collecting points right away to buy tickets in our many giveaways!


  1. More or less my thoughts exactly! Fun read that didn't try to be anything more than a fun read!

  2. I think that the first issue was okay but not as the launch title for what DC was trying to accomplish. It's called Justice League not Brave and Bold: there should have been more than just Bats and GL in this (despite the little Supes cameo). The Victor stuff hardly qualifies. If I am a new comic reader and got this I would not be compelled to come back. The story offers no plot other than the meet and greet and what powers do you have? game. As a long time reader, I can accept this but not as an intro to the new reader. I think they should have started with a complete league together arc in the present and then gone back in the second arc for the "how did we get together" story.

  3. Actually, it appears the comic community was a bit harder on this than the uninitiated. If you glean the reviews on line, you'll notice that "civilians" tend to give higher ratings to this than the core fans.

    I think we may be mistaken as to what new readers really want.

    Thanks for reading!

  4. Christian, I actually have to agree with Jason. Although in the store, most people seemed to be enjoying it, the only people I've heard negative from, or read negative from, were the most hardcore fans. New readers are all loving it!

  5. My friend Clint is a lapsed reader. I lent him my copy and he liked it! Where I criticized the usage of Vic Stone, he was intrigued. Where I might have wanted a bigger cast, he was thoroughly satisfied.

    Looks like DC marketing did their research.

  6. By the way, Clint says he's gonna start reading comics again. :)