Unilaterally Sarcastic, Dangerously Cheesy

COMIC BOOK REVIEW – JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (2013) # 1

PictureJUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1
Geoff Johns (w) • David Finch (a)
The march toward TRINITY WAR begins with part one of “WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS”! Green Lantern! Green Arrow! Catwoman! Katana! Vibe! Hawkman! Stargirl! They aren’t the world’s greatest super heroes—they’re the most dangerous! But why does a team like the JLA need to exist? What is their ultimate mission? And who is pulling the strings? Plus: Find out why Martian Manhunter is the most dangerous of them all. Period. 40 pages • $3.99

I gave up on Johns’ nu52 version of the Justice League after the first arc. I think it did a lot of things right but unfortunately I just needed to cull something off my list and aside from the Avengers and X-Men I’m not much of a team book sort of person anymore and my interest in team books on the DC side of the equation has always been spotty. I’ll fade in an out with the Titans, the League, Birds of Prey, the Suicide Squad, and others based on lineups or writers.

The new JLA got me because of the lineup more than the writer. Johns’ name doesn’t mean guaranteed gold anymore than any other writer so it came down to an interesting grouping of characters. Green Arrow and Catwoman sold me on this book. That’s what it really comes down to. I’m not a huge Hawkman or Martian Manhunter fan, though they can be an interesting element in a good book and I know nothing about this new GL and only have a passing familiarity with Vibe or Katana. I’m essentially going into this as blind as I can. I figure that helps give me a clean slate when I say that I still don’t have much of a feeling about the book following the first issue.
Why am I still not sold? Because very little actually happens in the first issue. It’s a framed narrative with Steve Trevor, apparently this League’s handler, talking with Amanda Waller, who I still can’t get over being so damn thin, about what shape the League should take and why. Waller wants a response to the high and mighty Trinity-led League, who she thinks have lost perspective while lording over us in the satellite. Trevor wants…I’m still not entirely sure. Mostly he just doesn’t want it to be totally in Waller’s hands.
We are introduced to the characters who will be in this new League and it ends on a major cliffhanger. The last page kickstarts the real story and by proxy makes the rest of the issue seem like preamble. I really wish they could have condensed the setup somehow because it doesn’t feel like I got $3.99 worth of story. I think this is a problem with most modern comics, not just JLA, but many comics get around the price point issue and really deliver some bang for my buck. (Quick aside; best value of story for your money? Probably Jason Aaron’s THOR)
Could this eventually be a good series? I think the elements are there. Now that the setup is out of the way I’m sure it’ll grow with the next issue, but if you’re looking to be blown away by a debut issue, this isn’t the one to look at.

Rating: 2 & 3/4 Stars of 5 

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2 responses

  1. Well let’s see. I read Batgirl and loved it, until it was cancelled and she went evil and crazy. I read Robin for the brief time Stephanie Brown filled those tights, but then she was fired and totured and died. I would actually love to pick up Supergirl if I could get past my gag reflex half the time from looking at the art (though, yes, Garza is rocking the current issues and I’m actually thinking about picking it up). I was planning on picking up Amazons Attack because the art was pure love, until I saw that in the first few page the Amazons killed random civilias cuz they had penises. I plan on picking up Wonder Woman when Simone jumps on. I read X-Men, Runaways, Ex Machina, The Spirit, Shazam and the Monster Society of Evil, Gargoyles, Nextwave, Birds of Prey, and a random selection of non-superhero comics. What do they all have it common? The women in them don’t suck. I don’t require women with amazing superpowers that supercede everyone else in the book. I don’t require that everyone dress in loose baggy clothes to hide their figure. I don’t require that women be flat chasted, plump and 5’2″. All I want is characters that I can relate too. Characters that are strong on a personal level and are there to further the story or be a hero (rather than only there for eye candy) That is all I want in a superhero comic. Well.. that and explosions, you can never have too many explosions… or dinosaurs in purple pants… seriously, Fing, Fang, Foom, Best. Villain. Ever.

    August 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm

  2. Fantastic issue. This was my favorite of the Trinity War books so far. Leading up to this war we’ve all been wondering which one of the three trinities will be at war and this issue finally reveals that it’s all three. The lines have finally been drawn and the trinity of heroes, trinity of sin, and trinity of leagues are all at war with each other simultaneously. Personally I’m more interested in The Question’s side of things but that’s just because he hasn’t been in enough DC books since the New 52. I’m not sure who made the outline for this event but Jeff Lemire’s writing is brilliant. He proves once again why he’s currently one of the best DC writers. Can not wait to see more.

    August 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm

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