We’re almost a year into DC’s Rebirth initiative and this month they’re rolling out the much awaited Justice League of America series by Steve Orlando (Midnighter, Midnighter and Apollo) and Ivan Reis (Aquaman, Cyborg) starting with the Rebirth oneshot. In reality, this isn't the first issue to come out to introduce the characters in this book. tThe JLA series has been hyped up through individual oneshots that introduced or focused on several new JLA team members. If you’re like me and you missed those then have no fear because this issue reintroduces the whole team as Batman walks us through the recruitment process.
In the aftermath of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Killer Frost (AKA Dr. Caitlin Snwow) is looking for a shot at redemption aand Batman is willing to give it to her. This issue opens with her recruitment and I thought this was an interesting choice. Batman’s preparing for something big and the fact that he chose both Lobo and Killer Frost to be a part of his Justice League team means that whatever is on the horizon is serious. The team line up is Black Canary, Vixen, Killer Frost, The Atom (Ryan Choi), the Ray, and Lobo, and based on this team alone, I’m super excited to see how they work and don’t work together. These are all characters that have barely interacted with each other and I really respect writer Steve Orlando for taking this risk by forging his own team. As exciting as this issue is for introducing or reintroducing these characters, the Rebirth oneshots for team book have proven a little exhausting because they’re all framed with the step-by-step recruitment scenes.
Ivan Reis’ art is sometimes hit or miss for me, mostly because although he is very good, he still has a very traditional superhero style when it comes to panelling. It’s not a necessarily a bad thing especially for a Justice League comic and because Reis is very versed in the DC house style for interior art, it’s familiar and consistent. I’m addressing the panelling because I think the angles that Reis chooses to frame the shots and scenes are important. The house style for doing this in DC usually means that the angles chosen are meant to make scenes, especially fight scenes, much more dynamic. Like I said, it works for a Justice League book. My problem lies when Reis tries to tackle quieter scenes. Some angles are awkward and feel less intimate. Joe Prado and Oclair Albert are the inkers for this issue which might be why the actual interior lines feel less consistent. In terms of interior art, It’s Marcelo Mailo’s colours that I enjoyed the most in this issue. The way he plays with light and shadows to make each character entrance distinctive really captured me.
Justice League of America Rebirth #1 doesn’t really accomplish anything mind-blowing or completely different in terms of story and art but it does use very familiar tropes in fun ways. You can tell that Orlando and Reis are having fun with this book and if that’s something that interests you, you should check it out!