Anyone questioning the patriotic fervor behind superhero teams should be satisfied with DC Comics’ new comic series, Justice League of America. Considering how many team books Marvel Comics churn out, it’s no surprise to see DC adding a new Justice League to their lineup. As long as both can coexist it should all work out…but what’s the lineup like, is there a dynamic worth reading about and how will it relate to the Justice League? Not all of those answers are in this first issue, but at the very least we can answer the question, is it good?
Justice League of America #1 (DC Comics)
If you’ve been reading Justice League you know Colonel Trevor, aka Wonder Woman’s ex boyfriend, was in charge of reining in these super gods to ensure humanities safety. That didn’t work out so well, so a new Justice League America is being formed by A.R.G.U.S to “inspire” heroes and basically have a contingency plan in case the JL goes rogue. This issue is one long conversation between Trevor and Director Waller, director of A.R.G.U.S. about who will be recruited and why. If that sounds boring, well…you’re absolutely right. It’s pretty boring. But anyone interested in the JLA lineup should check this book out nonetheless.
Meanwhile, in London: Villains with canes.
These bad guys look familiar.
Let’s start with the good. Artist David Finch is the perfect choice for a book like this. Think of this book as the DC analogue to Secret Avengers and you’ll have some idea of what’s going on. His dark and moody shadows and lines convey that this is a darker edgier JL team. The lineup says as much too, but Finch adds a sense of brooding moroseness to the characters while at the same time and seedy things are afoot.
I love her reasons for why a Superman/Wonder Woman love affair is bad for America.
Frankly it’s hard not to think of Secret Avengers or the Thunderbolts when reading this book. Hell, A.R.G.U.S. is is a lot like S.H.I.E.L.D., although so far we haven’t seen many leather clad operatives. Yet. A positive note is this lineup of heroes is pretty eclectic, with most of them coming in with a dark but heroic angle. None of them are pure evil like many of the Thunderbolts have been in the past, but most of them have shady ways of dealing with villains.
Note how the lineup matches the current JL power levels.
Here’s hoping the addition of Hawkman will rectify this character’s inability to break out. Given, Rob Liefeld was in charge of this characters New 52 debut, but DC has basically allowed him to go on and on with bad writing for too long.
A cool concept of a character.
The main issue this comic has is how it tells its story. There’s an underlying story taking place as Trevor and Waller discuss the recruits, but it’s handled in such a way you don’t care or know what is going on. Essentially this underlying story is a setup for a twist at the end. That means the meat of this issue is Trevor and Waller discussing who should be hired and why they may not be great choices. The fact that nearly every single recruit is questionable as far as heroics goes should be a red flag, but Trevor is so easily swayed it’s laughable. Trevor comes off as having very little backbone or control of the situation, to the point where you’ll wonder why he’s being put in charge at all.
Now with more side boob!
This book deviates from the norm for most team books, which usually start with a mission of some kind. So it’s at least nice to see a different angle being taken for a #1 issue. Unfortunately it’s a slog to get through and any entertainment hinges on your excitement for who is on this team. One of the main reasons team books work at all is due to the dynamics between the teammates. Since this issue takes place before any of them join up it’s really a waiting game until the next issue and nothing more. Considering why each recruit has nothing to do with anything outside of Waller saying so makes the conversation between her and Trevor all the more pointless.
And front boob!
- Great moody art
- Interesting lineup
- Boring story
The most frustrating thing entertainment of any kind can do is hang a carrot in front of your face. You want that damn carrot, but you gotta wait until you can reach it. In some cases you never reach the carrot, but in this case I know for a fact that carrot will be reached and it’ll taste great. The heroes on this team, especially Hawkman and Martian Manhunter, are dark, interesting and so far in the New 52, highly underused. The dynamics of this team should be incredibly entertaining. Unfortunately for this issue you don’t even get a taste of it.
Is It Good?
Nope. Stop wasting our time and get this this team together already!