Monday, September 12, 2011

Comic Book Review: Justice League #1

If you're a comic book reader, your well aware of the details of the relaunch of DC Comics.  They're starting with a clean slate (almost) by aiming for new readers via shedding the baggage of the current line (that is, decades-long continuity) and utilizing a more convenient way for readers to purchase comics via digital platforms instead of comic specialty stores that sell print copies (which the general public can't always find).  The first title released in this new era is Justice League, the flagship title of the entire line.  What do I think of it?  Find out now!

I will assume that anyone reading this review has read the issue already, but just in case, I will be spoiling at least some of the issue, so if you want to read the issue but haven't yet, hold off on reading my review until you've picked up the issue.

Those wanting to see the entire Justice League in full action will be disappointed here, as the League has not been created yet.  The story, written by DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, is set "five years ago," when superheroes were just becoming known to the world, and the future members of the League have not yet met.  We only see Batman and Green Lantern in this issue, meeting for the first time, plus a last-page cameo of another Leaguer at the end.  Many readers have a problem with this story structure, but as I expected the story to be this way based on the free preview made available earlier this summer, I have no problem with it. And I'm intruged as to who they have chosen to be the villian, as it's been a couple of years since this villian has appeared.

The dialogue seemed awkward and unnatural, and, for lack of a better term, "dumbed down" to me.  I suspect that writers on these new titles wrote this way intentionally to be more "accessible" to a wider audience, but I think the dialogue just comes off as clumsy, and could potentially turn off a customer.

The artwork, however, is beautiful.  I've only been exposed to Jim Lee's artwork (who is now co-publisher of DC Comics) in the last year, and it is as stunning as I've always heard, so no complaints from me on the art.

In short, the dialogue could have been better, but the artwork is great and the story, while more decompressed than I would prefer, still has my interest.  I'm still curious to see the direction in which the title, and the DC Universe in general, is going.

To purchase a print copy of the issue (now going into its third printing in just two weeks of release), you can find your local comic shop at The Comic Shop Locator. To purchase a digital copy, go to Comixology (note that comics downloaded from Comixology have DRM software attached).



Caffeinated Joe said...

I bought this issue, even thought it is one of the ones I preordered and will be expecting in a bulk shipment at the end of September.

And I liked it. I was expecting it to be a 'square one' type deal, and while I would have liked to see more heroes (Aquaman especially), I am okay with it going slow.

Wanted a restart of the DCU for a long time now. Would have preferred a totally clean slate of the continuity, however. This holding on to bits and pieces, I don't know. This could lead to problems down the line. But I am optimistic and excited for this new DC!

Phillyradiogeek said...

Thanks Joe. A case can be made for requiring all the members in the first issue, but this method can work as well. It all depends on the execution.

I don't know if this relaunch was the best direction at this time, but the digital day-and-date is a no-brainer, and even detractors of the relaunch have to admit it's a ballsy move on DC's part. If it succeeds, they'll look like geniuses. If it fails, they'll look like imbeciles. You've go to give them credit for the effort.


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