Someone Old, Someone New: Justice League #1
Someone borrowed, someone blue? Nice guess, but no: what we’re doing here is hopefully something you’ll find new and interesting and unique. We’re taking on DC’s New 52, from both the perspective of a veteran reader of comics and that of a new-comer to the super-hero genre. Jon will be taking on the task of providing that all-important new reader opinion – all-important because it is precisely that demographic that DC has bet the house on. One of the rest of us (or maybe all of us, if we want to gang up on the new guy at some point) will give the old hand’s opinion of the reboot. Third will be providing that perspective to start. We have decided to kick this off with the first issue of the New 52, Justice League #1, so without further ado…
Third: The intro to this issue lets us know that the New DCU is already 5 years into the era when Superheroes are a known entity, and this whole issue is a flashback to the debut of the super-humans onto the scene. Based on the gear and weaponry that the GCPD is aiming right at Batman, it’s a contemporary universe (at least as much as the DCU can be contemporary). Jim Lee’s Batman looks pretty amazing, by the way. The other star of the issue, Green Lantern, gets to show off his trademark “I can make anything” ring, and Lee handles that with style and imagination as well.
The mysterious villain they are chasing is mysterious right up until his final moment in the issue, in which it becomes very clear just who it is the Justice League will be fighting. It’s brief enough of a reveal that it doesn’t hit you over the head, and it’s a big enough villain to at least get you excited to read the next few issues. The main draw for me, in this issue, was the heroes themselves, though; and it was a bit of a mixed bag. There were a lot of moments where I found myself thinking, “Yup, I know these characters.” But, especially towards the end, and ESPECIALLY with a certain man comparable to a hard substance, I found myself surprised by how uncharacteristically they were acting. Maybe this really is a new universe. Of course, it will take the rest of the story arc for me to make a definitive judgment, but as of right now I have at least some hope that this isn’t just a gimmick.
Jon: Justice League #1 stars Batman and Green Lantern, with the introduction of Superman at the very end. Even though I am brand new to comics, I still have a very general understanding of who these characters are, thanks to Hollywood’s film adaptations. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see this issue fully introduce Batman and Green Lantern as characters; their powers (or lack thereof), their personalities, and their origins. And this was all done through witty, one-upping banter between the two.
Yes, some of the dialogue felt forced, and yes, the storyline lacked some depth. But as a reader, I really began to feel the different personalities of Batman and Lantern, which were complimented by well-illustrated gestures, overall demeanors, and facial expressions. I also enjoyed when the scene switched to an amazing young football player (whom I assume will become a major player later on) and fans at the game who see Green Lantern’s green jet fly over the scene. This provided an outsider’s view of these heroes – and this view was not necessarily favorable. Overall, as the first issue of the New 52, I thought it was well constructed and well illustrated, and I am looking forward to reading #2.
Third: And we’re off! I have to say, the way that some of the characters were clearly different from their previous incarnations in small ways (Batman’s slight lack of confidence, Green Lantern’s even-more-egotistical behavior, and most especially Supe’s one-liner at the end) tickled my fan-boy fancy quite a bit.
Jon: See, I knew that Superman is supposed to be noble, but for me, I wasn’t even aware that that line was not strictly typical of his character.
Third: And that’s awesome – that, for you, will just be his character now. Out of curiosity, did you recognize who the villain was?
Jon: Nope. I have no idea.
Third: And you haven’t definitively been scared away from the weekly superhero comic yet?
Jon: I’ve read a few graphic novels (seriously, I’ve only read 4), but this is different. It doesn’t seem as good as the few novels I’ve read, but that’s only because they were all amazing. I am definitely excited to get thrown into this new universe. And I must say, while Wednesdays used to just be ‘Hump Day,’ they have all of sudden gained much more significance to me…