Going into this issue I was extremely excited. I’ve been ready for this ever since last year’s free comic book day Justice League issue and we were given the first teaser to Trinity War. Well Justice League of America #1 is the first true step toward DC’s first big event since the start of the New 52.
All that being said, while I have been waiting eagerly, I was also skeptical that this series would not live up to expectation. This is THE Justice League of America and it’s comprised of more underdogs than one could hope for, but therein lies the strength of this first issue. The appeal to this issue is how these superhero misfits come together to stand tall against the likes of Batman and Superman.
The dread I felt going into this issue was quelled on page one as we were reintroduced to a scene we saw in the final pages of Justice League #6. This scene not only integrates itself into JLA but also the ending of Justice League #17, and it’s this interweaving of plot threads that makes it seem like the JLA has been present long before this issue.
Geoff Johns is here doing what he does best and makes you care about these minor characters who are no doubt deemed to be big time players in the DCU. This issue moves in a way that reminded me of The Replacements, as crazy as that may seem. We see Trevor and Waller discussing the team roster and as each character is mentioned we see them in action. This is a nice and quick way to get fast origins for characters some readers have never heard of or characters that haven’t been interesting enough before to pick up. The great thing here is that not everyone is joining the team team for the same reasons the heroes in Justice League did. Some are here because they’re running from something, some needed a favor, and some have ulterior motives.
One of the things I commend Johns most for in this issue is matching the tone of Green Arrow to that of the character we saw in Green Arrow #17. No longer do the two writers seem to be handling the same character in different ways. While a lot of ground is covered in this issue with origins and explanations, the man focused most in this issue still feels incredibly lacking in characterization. What do we know about Steve Trevor? He was/is in love with Wonder Woman… and this fact has been used as a club to beat readers over the head, and sadly, that is still the case here.
David Finch is here as the artist and while he does deliver some truly incredible work on covers, his interior work is a mixed back of detailed bodies and emotionless faces. The action that Finch delivers is more often than not, incredible. I only saw one sequence of panels in a fight scene where I found it hard to follow the fluidity of movement. But a large part of this issue is conversational pieces, and here we see emotionless face and stone cold stares. The lack of emotion from characters isn’t enough to ruin the issue, but it is very noticeable.
Justice League of America #1 was better than I hoped it would be. It gives you enough to have a grasp on the characters involved, but leaves you with enough mystery and intrigue to never know what to expect. This book just jumped to the top of my pull list and I can honestly say I’m more interested to see how this series plays out more-so than Justice League.