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The New DC 52: Justice League #1

by on September 1, 2011

For those of you who haven’t heard, DC decided to relaunch their entire superhero comic book line. So every comic book is starting with a brand new #1 issue in the month of September. In addition, each comic book is going to be available online on the same day it is released to comic book stores.

About eight years ago, I gave up monthly comic books for basic reasons. They cost too much. They were taking up to much room in my house. I wanted to spend more time/money with my girlfriend (now wife). And I really preferred trade paperbacks.

But, I miss the weekly comic books. I miss the thrill of experiencing the comic books with the rest of the world. When I heard that DC was launching the New 52 online, I was sure that I would be a part of it, in some way.

The real kick-off is in one week, when 13 new DC Universe comics are released. The plan is to read one per day, review it, and rate whether I would read it again.

Let’s start with the teaser, the flagship, the main event, the headliner: Justice League #1

DC Comics: Justice League #1
by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

I’ll do a quick, spoiler free, synopsis. The story begins 5 years ago. Batman is chasing a creature through Gotham City, and both are being tracked by the Gotham City Police Department in helicopters. It is a world where the very idea of superheroes is brand new. The creature fights back and Batman is saved by another new superhero, The Green Lantern.

Green Lantern is definitely an arrogant show-off at this stage of his career. Batman puts up with the arrogance as he recognizes Lantern’s potential as a powerful ally. Batman shows Lantern, that even without powers, he is a powerful being in his own right.

We learn who the major villain is going to be for the initial story arc. (It’s already been spoiled online, but I’ll refrain). And the two decide to go to Metropolis to scout out another superhero there.

Green Lantern and Batman fly over a football field, where a very human Victor Stone is playing football (for the Ford Titans, nonetheless). Victor is a top football prospect, but is upset that his father is not there to see him play. Obviously some father-son issues.

Both of them confront the Metropolis super-hero, as we wait issue #2.


The story is pretty good. It felt like the first episode of a television show. One that has some promise, but certainly isn’t there yet. On one hand, this is good, as there is plenty of potential still there, and it makes you eager to see it get better in future episodes. It’s a good starting point for a non –comic book reader. It goes nice and slow.

However, for a comic book audience that already knows these characters, this probably wasn’t enough. More like watching a remake of a show you like, waiting for it to hit the marks you know too well already, like waiting for The Peach Pit to show up on the new version of 90210. You know it’s coming, so there’s no surprise when it does.

Batman is Batman, no real surprises there. Geoff Johns doesn’t write a great Batman, but he is perfectly serviceable. I was a little surprised at how much of a jerk Green Lantern is.

The return to the DC Universe (even the new one) of the major villain is a nice touch. Only been 2 years since he’s been gone, but it’s a welcome return. And can’t wait to see how he is drawn by Jim Lee.

The art is really well done, the pencils and inks really blend quite nicely. It will be more of a challenge to see whether the new costumes pop as nicely as these more recognizable ones.


I enjoy Geoff Johns writing and plotting. Perhaps the only thing that drew me to the universe was that Geoff Johns was one of the key architects in its creation. Jim Lee does great pencils, so the story and art should be solid.

As the flagship of the new DC Universe, I am curious enough about this title, even without favorite creators. This series will give the clearest indication of where the new 52 are headed.

Grade: B- (Underwhelmed, but sold on the potential of the series enough to continue)

So Justice League, I will read again next month.


From → Comic Books, DCnU

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