DC Comics New 52 got its start a week early with Justice League #1, launching the brand new DC Universe, which spins out of the events in Flashpoint #5.
Written by DC Comics Creative Director Geoff Johns and DC Comics Co-Publisher (and the man in charge of DC’s digital initiative) Jim Lee, Justice League #1 (buy it now at All New Comics) was billed as a prequel story, telling the tale the birth of the DCU. It’s set in the formative days of the superhero universe, with Batman still an urban legend, and none of the other heroes having come out to the general public.
As the story starts off, there’s an incredibly antagonistic relationship between Batman and the Gotham City Police Department, which by all indications, is completely corrupt (after demanding that two heroes raise their hands in the air, the police immediately open fire).
In Gotham Batman meets a very cocky, very brash Green Lantern – Hal Jordan, who apparently has been through a run-in or two with the military on the west coast.
Batman and Green Lantern chase down a foe who I guessed right off was a newly revamped parademon, and indeed this footsoldier of Apocalypse declares “For Darkside” before blowing himself up in an attempt to destroy the two costumed heroes.
Before the end of the issue we’re introduced to athlete Victor Stone, and a surprise guest from another planet to close the issue out.
The story is over all too quickly, but it left me anxiously awaiting not only the next issue, but also the entire arc which will tell us how the group got together. As an added bonus, I’m now much more interested in how the entire universe will play out than I was before I read the issue!
Johns’ has the ability to take old concepts and make them fresh, and has managed to get me to care about both Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, two characters who to me were always cyphers (and frankly were never as fully realized as their replacements Kyle Rayner and Wally West). If anyone can take this new DCU in a new direction, it’s him.
Lee’s art is spectacular as always. The quality of his work is never a question, it’s whether he can maintain a regular schedule, especially with so many things conspiring to keep his attention divided.
This is a great jump on point, not only for the new Justice League, but also for the new DCU, I’m extremely excited about where this story can go, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
All New Comics has partnered up with Don MacPherson’s Eye on Comics this month as Don sets out to review all 52 new #1’s. Be sure to check out Don’s website where he has reviews of both Flashpoint #5, and Justice League #1.