DC 52: Justice League Review

Super heroes band together to fight menacing threats. But for DC’s rebooted universe’s Justice League, they come together to fight bad economy – the steady decline of comic book sales. In order to curb this downtrend, DC rebooted the continuity for the nth time to attract new readers. 52 comic books were reset so that new readers can catch up. The banner title of the set, Justice League, was the first to come hot off the press.

The book boasts of Green Lantern master storyteller, Geoff Johns and 90’s wonder talent, Jim Lee. The team of creators in itself is an intriguing entry point for avid fans. Johns brings to the table an evolved comic book story telling style while Jim Lee harkens to the awesomeness of bursting muscles and bust lines of the 90s.

The way Justice League book 1 rolls out is an intriguing choice for launching the entire DC Universe Reboot. It features a flashback that shows some of the League’s major characters and one, Cyborg, seemingly coming out of the woodworks. And immediately, you’ll get a feel that this Justice League is not the team of the yesteryears. The heroes are not fully embraced as shown in how Batman and Green Lantern got acquainted. Their mini-adventure leads to the duo in Metropolis and encounters the inevitable – Superman.

Justice League book 1 is a topsy-turvy ride. It had its moments and then some. It’s written in an open way that it can divide readers. Some might find it intriguing that there are a lot of openings for future opportunities. Some might find it lacking for not having that sense of purpose in the plot. Despite it being only the first book, one might find it hard to grasp why is there a need for a collage of super powered beings. The threat of Dark Seid is an instant hook for old readers. But it’s hardly any cause of concern for new ones. It still doesn’t have the singular message that Marvel’s Avengers hold on to – When one hero cannot defeat a greater menace, they assemble. Geoff Johns missed out on the opportunity to seed a Justice League credo. Here’s to thinking that there is a greater purpose to that but this is your first book, open with a bang.

A good point of the book is the inclusion of Cyborg. He’s never been on a Justice League team before. And in a poetic way, he represents the new readers. Perhaps he is part of the team to help give readers the affinity to keep them hooked.

The first book is a fun start. But it needs to show seeds of piquing the human interest to bring in the new readers. This is what Marvel does best. Using their movies, they strike a chord in the people’s emotion. Thus bringing the characters closer to heart and making them relevant. Just look back at the loveable renegade in Thor, the pure hearted man-out-of-his-element Captain America, and the flawed Tony Stark. They are humans first, then beings with above human capabilities next.

The artwork is a blast from the past. Jim Lee’s art never held back on details. And that is quite obvious in Justice League. To a fault sometimes. The awkward paneling and excessive lines is like Chris Bachalo’s Steam Punk days. Impressive. But it doesn’t aid the storytelling.

Birthing pains are as constant as reboots. DC knows this the best. The first book has its flaws but it doesn’t mean it’s not a fun read. And if there’s one writer who can turn things around, it’s Geoff Johns. Justice League might have taken off with a shaky start but never discount its true worth – the first book of a potentially good series.

DC’s fight for relevance has just begun and it’s going to be a long battle. That in itself is a worthy plot to follow.


Comic book review is also posted on azraelsmerryland.blogspot.com and toycon.ph


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