Justice League #1 Review

We’re skipping our normal weekly comic rundown this week as not only is it a relatively light week for comics, this week’s releases mark the first salvo in the September relaunch of DC comics with the New 52. That means the only DC comics being released on August 31st are Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1.

Written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee, it teams up DC’s two biggest superstars to relaunch the entire line. Is this first issue of Justice League successful? As a JLA story? Not so much. As a hyped tent pole to draw people into comic shops because they need to have the book they’re talking about on the news? I guess so. People who have never stepped foot in a comic shop were coming into my local comic store today asking about the issue, so I guess the hype is having the desired effect.

If you’re expecting to get the entire Justice League in this issue, prepare to be disappointed. It’s basically a Hal Jordan and Batman story that show how the two meet in Gotham before heading to Metropolis to track down the extraterrestrial Superman.

Through the dialog between Hal and Bruce, you get the feeling that Batman is the “urban legend” that DC has referred to in recent convention panels. DC has said that Superman is the first public superhero, although Batman has existed as an urban legend in Gotham for many years, Hal’s reaction upon meeting him alludes to that. The story is set five years before the current time in the DCU, so through these first issues we’ll see how the JLA comes together but in this issue we only get Green Lantern and Batman with only a very quick tease of Superman.

The big problem with the book is that it’s really over too soon. For such an important issue that will be relaunching DC’s entire line; they should have really gone for a double-sized issue. As it stands, you get roughly twenty-six pages of story for $3.99 (or $4.99 if you buy the polybagged issue with the digital copy). Your level of devotion to all things DC will determine if you feel like that’s worth it.

I did find the issue a pretty decent introduction to the relaunch and the new, younger, JLA and I’m looking forward to see exactly how the team comes together. I’ve been a fan of Jim Lee since his earliest work, and he doesn’t disappoint with his pencils on this issue. I’ve also liked what Geoff Johns has done with both Green Lantern and Flash over the last few years, so this issue and Aquaman are two of the books on the top of my saver list.

We’ll have to wait until later in the month to see how the DC relaunch plays out, but as of right now; it’s a very fun time to be a DC fan.