What They Say:
What happens when the World’s Greatest Detective takes on the world’s most powerful alien? Batman and Superman throw down for the first time! Batman will need all his intellect, cunning and physical prowess to take on The Man of Steel–arguably the most powerful superbeing on Earth!
The opening issue of Justice League was certainly a tough sell for a lot of people since it was the first full on book of the New 52 and it seemed to convey the idea of more decompressed storytelling. What I found with the book was that it made sense for this particular style as it wants to introduce just a few characters at a time while building up the opening salvo of what will become the Justice League. Keeping it focused on just Batman and Green Lantern while sliding in Superman at the end and the subplot with Vic Stone worked very well. With the second issue, it works through a similar kind of situation while adding a few more voices to the mix, including the initial big bad that they have to face, at least in name. And while the old time readers may know it, there’s a lot of fun to it when it comes to the newer readers.
With the addition of Superman, we saw him go right into fight mode considering what he was dealing with before and thinking he was getting more of the same from Green Lantern and Batman. It’s kind of silly in its own way, but it’s easy to see that he was caught up in things and definitely excitable when it comes to the way he reacts to others. What’s amusing is that since we’ve got a younger, aggressive and quasi-punk kind of Hal here as Green Lantern, he’s ready to rumble just as quickly as Superman. Of course, it gets bad pretty quickly and his attempts to get a little help from his pal the Flash only leads to more chaotic situations. It’s actually a decent introduction for Barry Allen, where it may actually make me interested to read his book down the line a little bit. He’s not keen on getting involved or being seen with others and we get an idea of the kinds of problems he’s facing back at his work over his superhero alter ego.
While there’s a good bit of action here as the good guys duke it out a bit while Batman is the one trying to calm everyone down, we do get some male bonding time going on as well when they back out of a very public mess and go into hiding. With the reason for all the problems revolving around the weird alien box that they’ve had their hands on, they do start to actually talk and we see some progress on it. When it all goes wrong, it does tie into the Vic Stone subplot, which has felt kind of forced so far but is made clearer with where it’s going to go. His time at STAR Labs has us seeing the frosty relationship with his father, but also a clear line of thought about the way the world is changing because of these overpowered people showing up. With Vic keen to be a sports star, how can it mean anything when anything he could achieve is easily accomplished by someone like Superman. It’s a welcome angle to see played as it brings in the views of those without powers, that will be fearful and uncertain about what the world will be like. And considering the big bad that makes its first naming here, which only makes me want to see it play out all the more.
This Comixology edition of Justice League contains all four variant covers that are also in print; We get the Jim Lee cover, the Ivan Reis alternate cover, the pencil version of the Jim Lee cover again as well as a look at what the combo print/digital version looks like. Unlike the first issue, the book doesn’t have any extra pages so it doesn’t feel as if its worth the higher price.
The coming together of the Justice League in this newly created timeline is one that isn’t exactly taking its time, but it is moving at a specific pace. While it may be moving that way, I’m definitely enjoying watching it unfold as we see some of the first meetings of these characters. We’re getting a very clear view of their personalities at this time and while they’re not what many of us are familiar with after the last few years, either through the comics or the various film and animated incarnations, there’s plenty to like here and some very distinct personalities. It’s serving as a book that definitely is making me want to check out the individual books after some time as well. While I’ve enjoyed various Justice League stories over the years, and the concept itself, it’s been a book that I don’t think has been done well and right in a very long time. This story taking place five years in the past isn’t giving us a real Justice League story in a sense, but it’s giving me hope that we might see them back on the right track again.