I’ve been writing about my favourite comics every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve narrowed it down to five picks each year, it’s interesting how three of the five titles on this list were here on last year’s list – My Favourite Comics of 2014, and two of them are brand new titles.
Grant Morrison and Ivan Reis bring us the first iinstalment in the culmination of Morrison’s involvement in the mainstream DC Universe with The Multiversity. Morrison is bringing all of his chickens home to roost with this one, and with this issue he deftly ties in threads from his runs on JLA, Final Crisis and Action Comics among others.
Morrison is a massive DC Comics fanboy, he’s been a fan his entire life, and loves to pay homage to tradition, while taking things in entirely new and unique directions. One of my favourite Morrison concepts, the “Super Young Team”, a Japanese super hero group, was his take on Jack Kirby’s “Forever People”, which is amazing because the two couldn’t be more different.
His run on Batman is among my very favourites, and he wrote what I consider the definitive “Dick Grayson as Batman” story in Batman and Robin.
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.