Monday, August 19, 2013

Justice League of America #1

"World's Most Dangerous Chapter One"

Writer Geoff Johns
Artist David Finch
Colorist Sonia Oback with Jeromy Cox
Letterer Rob Leigh
Associate Editor Katie Kubert
Senior Editor Brian Cunningham

The cover is by David Finch, re-creating the iconic Iwo Jima image. But the big news with this issue (that DC would not shut up about) was that they had a different version of this cover for every state flag. I wasn't going to buy into the hype, but when I saw my home state flag of Utah, I couldn't resist. (I'm living in Idaho now, so I wasn't expecting my local comic book shop to have Utah.) So that was that. DC pulled another gimmick, advertised the heck out of it, and it worked. Guess I can't blame them.

The story actually begins right where Justice League #6 ended five years ago. A couple of mysterious people are meeting in London, discussing the rise of superheroes, and they believe they'll be called super-villains now. We only learn one new thing from this interaction: one of these men was Professor Ivo, who used to work with Cyborg's dad at STAR labs.

We then jump ahead to today, where a masked man is being chased through the forest by three figures who look an awful lot like Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman.

But we don't stay in the forest long, as we quickly jump to Amanda Waller's office, where she is having an argument with Steve Trevor. She's putting together the Justice League of America, which he feels is unnecessary, but she explains that they need a team to take down the Justice League in case anything bad happens. Trevor reluctantly agrees to lead the team after he learns that Booster Gold vanished upon seeing Superman and Wonder Woman kiss.

Waller's first recruit is Hawkman, who claims to be a police officer from the planet Thanagar hunting aliens fugitives. Up next is Katana, an assassin that rivals Deathstroke and apparently believes her sword is her dead husband. With the next recruit, Vibe, Trevor realizes that Waller is more interested in powers than people. Perhaps the only member of this team with a positive public perception is Stargirl, who wields the super-powered cosmic staff. Rounding out the team is Martian Manhunter, the new Green Lantern Simon Baz, and Green Arrow. Trevor admits this team could work, but says it's incomplete, so he recruits Catwoman.

Trevor and Waller then put together a chart illustrating who could take out who in case worst comes to worst. Martian Manhunter would fight Superman, Catwoman for Batman, Katana for Wonder Woman, Simon Baz for Hal Jordan, Vibe for Flash, Stargirl for Cyborg, and Hawkman for Aquaman.

The issue ends with the injured masked man from the beginning returning to ARGUS headquarters. We find out he was actually Green Arrow in disguise, investigating the Secret Society. They then try to make us believe that Green Arrow could have died, but we all know he won't (he has his own title, after all).

The Verdict:

There is nothing good or bad about this issue. It's just ... there. In Justice League, Geoff Johns had six issues to slowly and organically put the team together and introduce each character one at a time. But here, he decided or was forced to clump the whole team together in one issue. And the most efficient way to do that was to literally have two people sit down at a desk and discuss each member of the team. And that's all this issue was — two people sitting around and talking. The quick little "action" scenes they threw in didn't help that much. It also doesn't help that I don't much care for any of these characters, nor do I see any of them actually taking down their Justice League counterparts. However, I did find it interesting that Vibe was set to fight the Flash, which I think could theoretically be feasible, although extremely unlikely. But this is the reason that I am reviewing and recommending the first three issues of Vibe. If this kid is supposed to take down my favorite hero, then I want to know who he is. So actually, Justice League of America #1 did succeed in inspiring me to read more comics, just not any more JLA comics.

Final score: 5 out of 10

Next time: Justice League of America's Vibe #2

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