Jim Lee is a boss. Complete boss. Dude can draw Super Hero books. When it comes to Super Hero stuff, the big giant super hero stuff, the people in capes fighting people in capes in space with meteors and firetrucks and space monsters stuff, I want Jim Lee to draw it.
So that part of the book is fine.
Now here is where we get into a brief discussion on criticism. Some people are under the impression that you should review everything in a vacuum. That’s dumb. People also say that you have to review what’s there, and not what’s not, and that also doesn’t work entirely. While it is true that you can’t review Justice League #1 and be mad it’s not an all ages slice of life comic, it’s not true that you can’t look at it and say ‘this that does not have certain elements of a Justice League book that I am looking for.” People are going to defend stuff. It’s true that there is stuff that for a lot of people. Someone just about likes everything. When I bring a criticism to anything it’s just to explain how I felt about a book. I am not saying that you can’t like what’s in it, or have to like what’s in it. All I want to do is explain why I like or don’t like something and what I like and don’t like about it. That’s it. Sometimes I have small critiques, those small critiques don’t mean I think a thing is the worst or best thing ever. Or maybe it does. Whatever. Reading is hard.
So first off, like I said, Jim Lee’s art is phenomenal. There’s not way to get around it. The colors in this issue are outstanding. This person/these people should get cover credits. The way Green Lantern pops off the page is incredible. Taking the story as it is, I guess it’s an interesting building block. I think the introduction of Superman has potential to be wonderful.
Alright I’m done with that. Where’s Wonder Woman? I understand that Johns is going to build up the Justice League and is trying to cram a lot of information into this story, but I think it could’ve been done much better. Justice League #1, the start of this new universe, doesn’t have a Justice League. It’s Hal Jordan and Batman having a dick measuring contest, Vic Stone being a bomb ass football player who’s Dad isn’t there for him, and then Superman showing up and hopefully knocking Hal Jordan all the way out. (If JL#2 turned into Superman kicking the poop out of Hal I’d have no objections even if it failed at everything I’m about to bring up next).
Yes, they sprinkled in some Darkseid stuff, neat. I just don’t feel like this is what I was kind of sold. The last page has a set up for issue two that says “Superman vs Batman”. If that’s a majority of the issue in the same way that Batman vs GL was the majority of issue one then I’ll be sorely disappointed. I’m not getting into monetary value judgments with this, but I don’t feel like issue one holds a lot of reader value to me. I can get excellent Jim Lee artwork elsewhere.
What I wanted out of this book was a Justice League, what I got was a Brave and the Bold. I wanted my big shit poppin right away. Don’t pretend like you went this direction for new readers like new readers are stupid. I wanted Wonder Woman and Cyborg. Yes Vic stone is in it, but all we’ve seen him do so far is mope about his pops and knock the shit out of some white kid on the football field. You will never convince me that you can’t have character development while ass kicking is going on. Especially since you’re playing that GL and Batman were developing their characters while being macho at each other.
I’m not stoked about the JL lineup as a whole, but that lineup being what it is I wanted to see them. All of them. So far we’ve seen two in action, one moping, and one in cameo. I understand playing at the mystery of Darkseid being a looming thread, but you could’ve shown this on a scale that got everyone into the game at once. It just bring a lot of stuff into question for me. I guess it’s the reason we don’t see Cyborg on any cover so far, outside the first one, is because he won’t show up until at least issue four. Wonder Woman won’t be here until issue three. I’m just not excited about this style of story telling. (edit: Also there’s no Aquaman or Flash. I neglected to mention them by name, but they’re included in the ‘all of them’ I wanted to see. They promised me a Justice League, I want a Justice League. I really am not worried about the amount of face time Aquaman and Flash are going to have later on in this run. They’re both Geoff Johns pet characters. He’s not going to do wrong by them.)
This isn’t me reviewing what isn’t here. I’m not looking at Justice League #1 and saying “man, I wish there were more faeries and werewolves.” That’s not it at all. I’m saying that this isn’t the universe starting Justice League book I want at all. This is cool for a classified. This is cool for something that’s going to be collected into a trade in a few months. This just isn’t the heat for me. I wanted super heroes kicking ass, and a bunch of them, kicking a lot of ass. What I got was white dudes dick waving and a sad Vic Stone.
It’s not the worst issue ever. I don’t like the dialogue in the issue that’s here. I wish there were a lady character in the issue (I think there’s one line of woman dialogue). I like that Vic had as many pages dedicated to him even if they weren’t what I wanted. Again, Jim Lee can just draw the shit out of about anything. Man it looks nice. So nice. The colors our outrageous. I thought the letter work on the “Darkseid” line was pretty solid. Overall, this just wasn’t what I wanted. Not at all.