The first/zero issue of Justice League United showed a lot of promise and was a highly enjoyable time primarily due to its fun and upbeat nature (something of which we don’t get enough of from DC). Where can the second/first issue of the comic go from there? Is it good?
Justice League United #1 (DC Comics)
After the aliens escaped, they left behind a creature that can shapeshift its composition into anything (earth, fire, wind, water, hair, etc.), which has proven to be very difficult for our ragtag team of heroes. However, Adam Strange gets his hands on something that could possibly help. Meanwhile, in a galaxy far far away, Hawkman fights with Lobo to let the prisoners, including Alana Lewis, get a chance to escape.
Yeah, Seattle was just more normal than this.
Like with last issue, I’m still confused by the numbering on this series. This feels like issue #2, not #1; just like last week’s #0 felt like #1. I just don’t get numbering in comic books. But either way, this was still a great issue that remains a ton of fun. It’s mostly just a big superhero fight against a Silver Age-styled monster, but it’s still enjoyable, nostalgic and strangely feels different than most of the superhero books out there now. Every other series is either so gigantic or epic in scale, super serious and or dark, or spinning very personal and indie feeling books nowadays so we rarely see a straight up traditional superhero comic and one that is done so well; Justice League Unlimited is a big breath of fresh air and something we should get more of to balance out all the seriousness in the industry.
Besides the desire to see more stories like this, how is Jeff Lemire’s writing on the book? It’s pretty enjoyable overall just like last issue. The characters’ unique personalities are all on display; the friendship between Stargirl and Martian Manhunter is done especially well. (The rest of the cast is very likable and enjoyable to read as well.) The dialogue is solid and punctuated with humor to keep things in a lighthearted mood throughout. The pacing and structure is good as also. There are only two problems I have and minor ones at that: Supergirl has yet to appear in the actual book (where is she?) and for some reason, Miiyahbin appears out of nowhere in this issue after last being seen in her home that was five kilometers away and living on an island. Not big problems, but things that should be pointed out.
I’m not sure if that’s how electric eels work.
The artwork by Mike McKone still looks very good in the issue. The characters are appealing and feature a variety of facial expressions; the layouts are dynamic, along with the very well-drawn fight scene against the shapeshifter (the way McKone depicts it shifting forms from one to another is impressive). Also of note is the coloring on the issue done by Marcelo Maiolo, whose work you may recognize more from current Green Arrow run; similarities you might notice like entire panels using only a single color to emphasis the distress and pain alongside bright colors and tones for the rest of the book help give the book its more upbeat and fun feel. Good looking book overall.
Is It Good?
Justice League United #1 remains a traditional, but very fun and enjoyable superhero comic that you don’t get to see enough of in this day and age. The characters are all likeable and distinct from each other, the action is fun to look at, the humor livens things up more, and the artwork is very appealing. This is the kind of book that if you are desiring a more lively superhero experience, that you’ll get a lot out of.