Review: Justice League #1

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Jim Cheung, Mark Morales

 

Summary

“THE TOTALITY” part one! A brand-new era begins here! Comics legends Scott Snyder and Jim Cheung launch the Justice League into a cosmos-shaking mystery that will draw out their most terrible foes…in ways our heroes couldn’t possibly imagine! In this debut issue, Martian Manhunter struggles to protect the team from an incoming threat that will shatter the world as they know it, while a familiar face strikes out on a dark path…

 

Positives

Once again, the Justice League titles are being relaunched. This time, the core title seems to putting the League’s adventures on a cosmic scale. In Dark Nights: Metal, the Source Wall was broken, and now it seems that something has been hatched out of the Wall and it headed for Earth.

I like that this version of the League takes a lot from various animated versions of the Justice League. The new core team is essentially the “Diniverse” League lineup with the addition of Cyborg. However, as the issue opens, we see a crisis being dealt with by the full ranks of the League, which contain several of Earth’s heroes, similar to Justice League Unlimited’s lineup.

And then there’s the multitude of Super Friends references. The Hall of Justice has apparently been rebuilt since it’s destruction during the New 52 era. Also, we are introduced to the Legion of Doom, with the cartoon lineup (minus Toyman, Bizarro, and Solomon Grundy). Fittingly, the Legion makes its home in the Hall of Doom.

And it seems that Snyder isn’t holding back with making huge changes to the DCU status quo. The Justice League blows up the moon? Lex Luthor executes the immortal Vandal Savage? Well, these can and probably will be undone before long, but it’s still something of a shock to see them happen in the first place.

Martian Manhunter’s return to the League is welcome, and it seems that something of his pre-Flashpoint history has been restored. In the New 52, it seemed that J’Onn had a short-lived tenure with the League and he left on bad terms. However, it seems that his teammates are genuinely happy to have him back in the group. Although DC has tried him out in other groups, it seems that the Justice League is where fits best.

And I loved the banter amongst the Leaguers in this issue, especially as some of the members shared their best Batman impersonations with the team, much to Bruce’s chagrin.

 

Negatives

Cyborg still seems to be a rough fit in the League. It’s not that he isn’t deserving of a spot on DC’s premier team, or that he doesn’t fulfill a necessary function on the team, but that I’d rather see him return to his proper home as a member of the Titans/Teen Titans family. I had been hoping that the first roster shakeup of the Justice League since the Rebirth relaunch might do so. However, I am sure that he will continue to be a valuable member of the Justice League.

Also, I am a bit disappointed that Priest’s run on Justice League was so short. His plotlines were all resolved, but they seemed to be done so a bit hurriedly. It would have been nice to where Priest might have taken the title if he had been given longer, but Snyder’s take appears to be equally as intriguing as well, so I won’t bemoan the change in direction too much.

 

Verdict

Snyder gets off to a great start with this issue, pointing the League in an exciting new direction for the future, but also showing plenty of respect for the League’s past. If Snyder maintains the level of quality evident in this debut issue, then DC’s foremost team is in good hands.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.