Justice League: Origin
I have read a lot of poor word-of-mouth reviews of the DC Comics New 52, and I just don’t get it. I think most of the stories I have read from it are very entertaining. Sometimes I just wonder if people are complaining because they hate change. I am old enough to have lived during the first major reboot of DC Comics after Crisis on Infinite Earths where they did the EXACT same thing they are doing now, cleaning things up and making it easier for people to jump aboard the comics.
With that said, I will start a four part review of the Justice League series, with the first book being their origin and the second starting in present day and moving on.
The first issue of the new Justice League comic in the New DC 52 begins with Batman chasing a villain while the police shoot at him. See, at this time there really is no clear idea of what a superhero is, only that there are super-powered vigilantes that the police feels are getting in the way. This first book in the Justice League series changes that.
First of all, let’s look at the lineup. The team we have here is the basic Justice League team, although there is one change from the original group. Instead of Martian Manhunter, we get Cyborg, who in the old DC Universe was a member of the Teen Titans. The other members are the regular standbys – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman.
The first thing to take out of these original issues is that Batman already knows about all the other superheroes and has information about them all. However, most of the individual superheroes actually think the others might be legends. There is also a background between Flash and Green Lantern and the two are friends, the only members of the team with any kind of relationship.
It is interesting to see the relationship between Batman and Superman here because Batman doesn’t trust Superman and Superman doesn’t trust anyone thanks to the government hunting him for so long before the events of this comic happens.
If I have one problem, it is the cocky attitude of Green Lantern. I know Hal Jordan was always cocky, but I have been so used to him being a space cop for so long that it was hard to get used to him playing the showboating jerk throughout this book. On the other hand, Geoff Johns has done a spectacular job of reinventing Aquaman who is no longer the brunt of jokes and is just as strong a leader as Batman is.
Cyborg was perfectly done. He wasn’t a hero, but was just a neglected kid who wanted to play football. When he almost died, his dad made him into Cyborg, which he hates. It also gave the Justice League a nice modern day character with modern day powers, something the old God-like team missed.
The bad guy in this book was Darkseid, and the battle was tremendous. It was a great villain to set up the team to face in their first adventure because the villain has to be strong enough for a team to make sense when the characters are this strong. I also liked how they stopped him but couldn’t beat him.
In the end, the book had just the right amount of tension, the heroes remained individualistic but worked perfectly together and there was just enough humor to keep the tense action light. I have no complaints at all about this book and think it is a perfect start for the Justice League in the New DC 52.
Next Week’s Preview
Next week, we look at the second book in the Justice League New DC 52 series with The Villain’s Journey. The time flashes forward to present day DC and the man who helped make the Justice League heroes tries to bring them down for ruining his life.
As always, if you have any ideas for books you want to see reviewed in the Renegade Rack or you are an independent comic book creator with a book you would like considered, feel free to get in touch with me either in the comments or drop me an email.
Until next week, keep reading.