The Justice League Backstory:
The Justice League of America was a superhero team originally created in March of 1960 that consisted of characters such as the Green Lantern, Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Flash. The team has been extremely popular for the 50 years it has been around. However, DC Comics writer Geoff Johns has decided to create a brand new Justice League. This new team's first issue was just released a few days ago and here's what I think about it.
When I first heard the news of the new Justice League being created, I had a few questions. Why would DC publish two Justice League series? How will they interact with each other? Why would Catwoman join it? Come to think of it, why would any of the members join this team? Thankfully, Geoff Johns answered my questions with one brilliant issue. Immediately, we get two brief glimpses of the story that is to come. After that, Colonel Trevor and Director Waller begin their discussion regarding the existence of the new Justice League. Colonel Trevor is highly reluctant but Waller slowly persuades him to hear her out using his past romantic life as an attention grabber. Trevor goes down the list of the members she has in mind, and questions every single one of them. Luckily, Waller -- or should I say Geoff Johns -- has an explanation for each of them, and we get a few panels showing what our heroes are doing at the moment.
The only grudge I have with this is that Green Lantern gets only scant attention with only one tiny panel explaining his legal position. However, we still get more than enough information on every one of these characters, and that's all I need for now. Halfway through the issue, we get another glimpse at the story, which is a good way to keep the reader wondering what's next. And finally, after more character introductions, Johns crosses his T's and dots the I's with a cliffhanger that will keep me coming back for more. But I still have one lingering complaint about the story: the Justice League members never actually meet each other. We are left with each of the characters off by themselves while a major problem arises, knowing that they will have to band together to solve this problem, which is fine, but I could have used a little more closure.
In a word, it's fantastic. David Finch uses thick shadows over large portions of the characters and scenes, and adds a very dark and gritty tone to the book. However, this is not entirely fitting for the story. Granted, when Hawkman is standing over a thug getting ready to beat him to death with a mace on a rooftop in the middle of the night, and Catwoman is creeping into a building doing her thing at midnight, it is appropriate. But for most of the issue, when Trevor and Waller are discussing the team, Finch tries to add a dark tone to the story, which is not entirely necessary. That being said, when the story does get dark, it will look great, but not for an introduction issue.
It has some minor flaws, but Geoff Johns and David Finch present a great first issue for a fresh new series -- thanks to engaging character introductions sandwiched between some mysterious and intriguing glimpses of a story that we see beginning to take shape.
+ Johns explains to us, in detail, why each of the members are part of the new Justice League
+ Captivating subplot in between the main story
+ Spot-on dialogue between Waller and Trevor
+ Appealing and sometimes gorgeous artwork by David Finch
- The team members never actually come together