*Editors Note: Comic-book aficionado and friend to Nerd Bastards, Jeremy Hudson has volunteered to read and review every first issue of DC’s New 52. Jeremy is a funny bastard and knows his shit. His reviews will inform and entertain. Enjoy.
I have just finished reading Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1. The NEW DC UNIVERSE IS UPON US!
Funny… I half expected a thunder clap after that.
So let’s begin. It seems like only yesterday that the powers that be at DC Comics decided that the weight of years and years of convoluted continuity, self-conflicting story lines and just sheer entropy had finally impacted sales enough that it was time to hit the reset button and give the DC Universe a clean slate to work from. Grab the two biggest names in the industry and have them helm it. Take recently acquired properties from now defunct comic lines and work them into continuity. Give new readers a chance to jump in at the starting point of characters that had their start decades ago.
By the way, I am talking about 1986, when Jenette Kahn told Marv Wolfman and George Pérez to fix 50 years of confusion and clean everything up with a little event called “Crisis on Infinite Earths” ripped the comics’ world a new one and birthed the modern age.
Now, before you role your eyes and groan ‘cause grandpa is obviously about to go into a long winded tale about the good ol’days, you have to admit, it does sound familiar though, doesn’t it? Swap the names to Dido, Johns and, Lee, call it “Flashpoint” trade Charlton for Wildstorm… Welcome to a whole new day… again.
I was one of the new readers back then, and I am apparently set up to be one of the returning readers now. I turned my back on comics in the 90’s when they turned into ‘Veiny Mr. Muscle person screaming and Chesty McBoobs’ with foil hologram limited edition buy 15 of these covers and ignore the insides. Now, over the past few years I have gradually eased back in and as of today my pull list at my local comic shop jumped from a couple to a full 52.
For the month of September I will read and review each and every comic that DC publishes and pass it on to you, you lucky little internet person you!
Alright, so let’s get down to business with the starting point of this new DC Universe. The flagship title,Justice League #1!
First, the spoiler free review: Meh… but the art was pretty!
Now, let me explain. While I stood in line at the only comic shop in my area that was hosting a midnight launch, Amazing Stories (plug plug plug give me free stuff) I had to admit… I felt that tingle, I felt a surge, I felt the month of hype that Dido and co. had been pumping was going to make this comic the defining read of a generation, nae… a genre. After 2 and a half hours of gripping my newly but long sought after “Booster Gold Fan Club” t-shirt, when issue #1 finally went on sale… What comic book could live up to the hype this one had behind it? Honestly, when you break it down, this one almost does. Sorta.
I just stopped and re-read it a 2nd time. Again, trying to remain as spoiler free as I can, I get the set up. I get that this is the start of something totally new. I want to also mention that my copy DOES clearly state on the cover that I have a digital copy inside, it doesn’t state that only four of the characters on the cover appear in the issue and 50% of that 4 only kinda cameo. (Never in my life, have I yearned for Aquaman than I have today) The whole issue reads like a rather solid “Brave and the Bold” story. We don’t see anything that says ‘this is why the Justice League must be’, what we get is two characters repeatedly establishing that they have never met before with some good dialogue (not great, but good) and a small hint at a plot that might maybe sorta be kinda big but then BAM punch out ending.
I was left with a feeling of that’s it? But also one of wanting more.
I give it a 4 out of 5.
What? Seems kinda high for my lackluster start to the review?
The Answers to that are deep in the heart of spoiler country, so if you haven’t read it yet, do so now. We’ll wait.
Did I mention the art was pretty? It’s Jim Lee, since my first exposure to him waaaaaaay back on Punisher: War Journal in the late 80’s he has been flawless and perfect. The art is all about action. The first few pages alone should increase your pulse rate a little.
Now the writing? I know that most of comicdom seems to have a love/hate relationship with Geoff Johns, but for me personally, he has never written a comic I didn’t enjoy. If you want to know why I deep down inside love Justice League #1 and look forward to this whole new universe we have to explore? It can be summed up in this one panel.
Hal Jordan saying that to the god damn Batman makes me feel alright with everything starting at square one again and I am not sure why.
All and all it is a very good comic and while it did not live up to the massive hype, honestly I don’t blame it or its creative team because what comic could. It was a solid start and I look forward to number 2.
I am curious about the small touch to a new origin for Cyborg, and frankly I really enjoyed Hal being overly cocky and getting clocked by Superman in the no pun intended punch out ending.
I just wish Supes would have remembered to put on his red outer undies, but more on that later.
Speaking of later, next week we kick into high gear with the release of the new number ones for Action Comics , Animal Man, Batgirl, Batwing, Detective Comics , Green Arrow, Hawk and Dove, Men of War, O.M.A.C., Static Shock, Stormwatch, Swamp Thing, and Justice League International !