Justice League #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
Meet the Extremists-self-proclaimed saviors from another Earth, they thirst for peace, prosperity and total submission to the will of their leader, Lord Havok! How can the newly assembled JLA stop this group of misguided maniacs before the Extremists unleash their own unique-not to mention dangerous!-brand of law and order on our chaotic world?
Why does this book matter?
I personally enjoyed three of the four Rebirth intro issues mostly because this team is quite eclectic. They have varying backstories, be it culture or upbringing (one is an ex-villain) which makes for compelling dynamics. Add Batman into this mix to whip them into shape–and Lobo to create a bit of chaos–and that’s a winning formula.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The glowing eyes aren’t going to get you any friends Bats.
If you’re a fan of Killer Frost and Atom you’ll dig this issue immensely. They get the most character work and their interaction in an an early scene shows writer Steven Orlando has a handle on both characters. They both have very unique perspectives (Atom has only been at this hero thing for a month!) which should be interesting to track as the series progresses.
Team-wise the book opens with a ton of action and shows us how much good they’re already doing. Lobo is even kicking ass over the Pacific Ocean (thank god for his space motorcycle) and the introduction of a group of villains make a very big splash indeed. Their perspective is compelling, they think they’re saving Earth, and we all know Batman will have none of it. Team wise Batman plays things fast and loose which is a surprise for his character and speaks to the trust he has in this team.
Ivan Reis’ pencils are sharp, especially in the opening pages and the full page splash pages. Lobo’s healing factor is put to use and looks cool and his swagger is unmistakable. The design of the villains–especially their leader–is pretty darn cool too (though it’s rather silly they think humanity would see them as good guys dressed as they are). There’s a neat twinkle-in-the-eye look Reis uses on Batman and another character in this issue that gives him an almost inhuman look that works well.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This isn’t feeling like a team book aside from a bunch of characters fighting alongside each other. As I said above, Killer Frost and Atom get the most attention which leaves you wanting more from the rest of the cast. That includes Batman who is sort of just there in most scenes.
There’s also the issue we’ve seen a thousand times which is: why isn’t anyone calling Superman or the other heavy hitters?! The powers of this team don’t seem to be even close to the villains, yet Batman storms in to punch a dude with an electric axe sporting a Darkseid look if I ever saw one. The cliffhanger’s impact is affected by this too.
My only gripe with Ivan Reis’ art is the same issue I had with Darkseid War and that’s how he frames the action. It’s hard to follow where characters are spatially, which makes the brawling confusing and unclear.
Burn baby burn!
Is It Good?
This is a decent first issue that should have folks worried if they want a true team book. There’s some interesting dynamics in play, but for the most part this is mostly action with some jarring issues that reduce the entertainment.