So, I bought my first digital comic and my first comic in about four years.
JL # 1 by Jeff Johns and Jim Lee. It kicks off the new DC Universe that folks have been both dreading and anticipating.
The story begins “five years” ago, with Johns and Lee telling use the story of the Justice League’s formation. It is apparently set towards the beginning of everyone’s careers (Green Lantern is surprised to discover that Batman is, in fact, real). Batman is chasing some creature across rooftops, when Green Lantern shows up. On their trail is the Gothan police force who fire indiscrimently on monster and super herpes alike. See, people do not yet know if they trust super-heroes in this time.
Batman and Green Lantern spend their time chasing the monster into the sewers. They come upon the monster installing something on the wall. He yells “For Darkseid!” (this leads to the one moment of genuine amusement I had when Green Lantern asks “Darkseid? What is that? A band?” ).
The two go searching for more information after investigating the item left on the sewer wall. It appears to be alien technology that GL’s ring does not recognize. So they decide to locate this new super guy who Hal Jordan believes to be an alien.
We get a brief interlude of a pre-cybernetic parts Vic Stone (Cyborg) and then it is back to Bats and GL. They get to a location and we get the worst intoduction to Superman I have seen in years. Seriously…the worst.
I wish I could say this issue filled me with excitement. But what we have is a comic called the Justice League that features no Justice League. Instead it is “When Batman Met the Green Lantern.” We get two characters for over 90% of the issue. The big pitch of the new 52 was the fresh storytelling opportunities. Yet, we have a story that seems rather dull and lifeless.
The art is Jim Lee art, so it looks nice and is competant storytelling. But the story just doesn’t make me care about where this is going…and the fact that a team book featured barely any members of said team makes it all the more annoying.
So, much like the 90’s, we are left with solid art [ropping i[ a lesser story. I also agree that Batman’s smirk as Green Lantern puts together his lack of powers and them promptly has solen Hal’s ring? Entertaining. But we should have gotten better introductions, rather than a team-up book. As the flagship title of the new DCU, I cannot help but feel underwhelmed. It feels like it should have been… a bigger event. But it felt fairly routine.
And man…that introduction of Superman. Those two single sentences he speaks scream volumes of the fact that the creators seem to not “get” the character. One of the worst Superman intros I have ever seen.