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First Issue, Second Opinion: Justice League of America #1
Fred  |  February 20, 2013

Russel:

As much as I'm excited to be doing our first non-Marvel NOW 1st/2nd, I can't help but LOL at a few things on JLA #1.

The 52 state variants? Wow, never did I imagine so many superheroes to be so serious about Delaware.

Second, I know Geoff Johns wants to make his roster seem important, but it holds all the problems that are inherent with the New 52, with the vagueness of the “5 year” plan, and the rebooting of existing villains and heroes within a maybe it still exists/maybe it doesn’t continuity. It’s so strange. When they finally get to the pairings of the “who takes down who, if needed (but they’ll be totally needed because of the Trinity War event we’ve talked about),” some of the pairings make sense, but some are a bit shoe-horned, no?

To start off the issue, for some reason a map is important; not a treasure, but a map. Also for DC fanboys, Professor Ivo is here in stock blonde dude (with scar!) form, and I say stock because I thought it was Steve Trevor for a moment, and he’s building things so Amazo isn't far behind. I'm sorry, Fred, but there's something about the comics styling of both Geoff Johns and David Finch that brings out the angry nerd in me. These are two creators that don't seem to love the art form, but have been around long enough, and have obviously been good that they can create to sell, sans heart. Comic sans anything is the WORST, especially when it looks like work.

Vibe was the most likable part of the issue (you heard me), and even that had an editorial error at the end with swapped word balloons.

There really isn’t a lot that makes me excited about this issue, and nothing that really draw me into a second issue. Not a detriment of the New 52 or DC of course, just of the Justice League of America. Just thought I’d make note of that, since this is our first dog and pony show with the boys of DC. What say you, Fred? Did the long office conversation of skinny Waller and Steve Trevor impress you?


Fred:

Wow, harsh words there, Russel. I completely disagree with your opinion of Geoff Johns work in general and in regards to this book. He's been consistently nailing it on Green Lantern for several years and his run on Aquaman redefined a laughable character, turning him from the butt of every DC Universe joke into a force to be reckoned with. I don't know how you are able to find problems with the New 52 reboot when Marvel NOW suffered from even more confusion as to what would be rebooted and when. But I digress because slamming everything else a writer, artist or company has done isn't the point of a single issue review ;)

Though JLA #1 was set up in a very Thunderbolts-esque way, it explained why these people were coming together to become America's "solution" to the Justice League. It is an odd approach for the DC Universe, as there's not usually much gray area between their heroes and villains. If I were an American, I'd be a little insulted that the best Waller and Trevor could do would be to hire known murderers and thieves to be the country's heroes, even if their true purpose was to deal with the Justice League if things got out of control. I think the creation of this team makes sense based on who's wrangling them together, though I am a bit surprised to find Trevor on board with it. Of course it'll turn out he's been doing it for other reasons all along, but certain "heroes" are especially hard to swallow (e.g. Katana and Hawkman) for someone whose shown himself to be a really good person.

I think Johns gives each character a good moment in this issue for readers to get a feel of who they are, with the exception of one or two that will likely be focused on in the next issue. I particularly liked the depth he added to Stargirl and Vibe, two of the lesser known heroes. I see heart in this story, even if it's only overtly present in Trevor for now; these characters are in good hands. Overall I'm not a huge fan of Finch's art, but I think it suits the tone of the book well. Though this isn't the strongest #1 out there, it's an interesting enough premise that I'll still be reading.

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