Review: Justice League of America #1

jla001The DC Comics Universe is in a bit of flux at the moment.  Superman has been depowered to a degree and Batman is presumed dead and Jim Gordon has replaced him.  With DC’s two most popular character out of commission, it makes the present continuity a little challenging, especially as a few of the other major characters are undergoing some changes as well.  Some simply don’t recognize these changes, as the Darkseid War in Justice League attests to, but other series are trying to stay current with the changes elsewhere.  This newest series of the Justice League acts as a bit of middle-of-the-road approach to giving fans the heroes that they are used to.  Superman is still Clark Kent in his secret identity at the Daily Planet, Batman is still alive, and Wonder Woman’s costume hasn’t changed.  In short this story is based sometime in since the founding of the Justice League and the beginning of the new 52, a period which is said to be five years but which has not been explored in great detail thus far since the DC relaunch.

This oversized issue has two basic plot points that are presumably somewhat linked together.  In the first Superman is dealing with a mysterious organization led by a mysterious scientist who is somehow pulling a dead or dying Superman out of the timestream, but on numerous occasions, and appeals to the present Superman to find answers.  Meanwhile the remainder of the Justice League has been drawn to a power plant in Metropolis as a supervillain unknowingly lies in ambush for them.  While the first half of the story adds a bit of intrigue, it is soon taken over by the second half and this quickly turns into an all out brawl that the League is best known for.  A relatively significant developments occur and the characters are left at the end to deal with a new threat.

The approach here is an interesting one.  While there is change underway with the heroes elsewhere at DC, this is evidently a case of “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.”  By throwing the heroes back to an earlier time the die hard DC fan can get their dose of their favorite heroes while DC also tries to appeal to some new fans with the different versions of Batman and Superman in other places across its universe.  As it stands this works pretty well, a relatively common story for the Justice League, but also one which pulls out all the stops and goes for a big show as opposed to a slower approach.  It is big and brash but also a lot of fun, and worth a look for those that miss their usual heroes.

Story: Bryan Hitch Art: Wade Von Grawbadger and Bryan Hitch
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read