Geek Reads

Geek Reads

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Justice League #1 - The New 52

When I first got wind of the Retcon that DC comics was going to do and it consisted of 52 titles, I had to admit that I shook my head both in disbelief and in bewilderment. Everything was doing well for me, for both as an outsider and a reader, so what was the change in the DC Universe for. But then again we’re not Geoff Johns or part of the DC management and no amount of internet protests would swing vote in my favour and also for those who felt the same way as I did.

But nonetheless, I was still excited and anxious of the surprises that the stories would have for me. I know my favorite, Green Lantern was not exactly a major casualty of the reset-storyline but more of re-numbering wherein the issue once more goes back to #1 and continues the flow of events following their most recent crisis of which I love, and that was War of the Green Lanterns.

So I only most recently decided to catch up with our favorite Justice League over the Holidays, having heard good things about it. Plus I also got curious after seeing the official picture of the newly re-formed and re-drawn Justice League. What stood out was obviously the absence of Superman’s Red Underwear and he was wearing an all-blue “tights” with more detail and a mechanical chiselled look. Like Green Lantern and Batman’s boots, the drawings were more contoured and had a modern look to them. No doubt this was part of the re-marketing of the DC Universe to the newer generation. And with that I forged on ahead.

Issue #1 of which I was able to get the variant cover instead by David Finch and not the Jim Lee original as my source ran out of stock, began with a narration that began 5 years ago when Superheroes were not called as such and they were viewed as a threat by the public and equally hunted down by the government, in spite of the heroes’ best intention to help and curtail crime. Such was the scene we witness at the beginning of the issue and set in Gotham City with our Batman in one of the building rooftops and in pursuit of a mysteriously cloaked figure. In the chase that ensued the figure turns out to be a humanoid of some kind that later was dispatched easily by an arriving Hal Jordan, aka. Green Lantern who like the populace viewed Batman’s existence as a myth and got the “surprise” that the Batman was real and flesh and blood.

They team up and chase the figure down the sewers which had already changed and developed mechanical wings and legs to which Hal quips and referenced the creature as a “Transformer.” See, what I mean? Definitely a ploy to bring new and younger audiences into the DC fold. What I liked was the antagonistic attitude between Hal and Bruce and the development of that dynamic playing out when Hal freaked out after finding out that Batman can’t fly, has no super strength and merely was a guy in a Bat costume. LOL! That reaction was priceless! 2 more “priceless” interactions for me between Hal and Bats were when Bruce casually slips off Hal’s ring and examines it and deduces that the ring doesn’t have any buttons and most probably works on concentration. Puzzled, Hal asks how was Batman able to do that to which our Caped Crusader smirks under his cowl and smartly replies, “You weren’t concentrating”. LOL! (Yes!)

And some things never change in spite of the resetting of the DC Universe, Hal is still as cocky, Batman is still thorough in his research. After the creature blows itself up and attaches a mechanical box to the wall, Bruce says that the box is indeed alien tech to which Hal references Superman and that all of this is somehow connected to that “Alien in Metropolis”. With that said the pair fly off to Metropolis in a bright green jet amidst Batman’s mild protest afterwards because of the lack of anonymity flying into the city. Hal effortlessly quips, “You can’t fly. So how else were we going to get there? Talk in a Deep Voice?” LOL! (again)

Now Hal’s cockiness doesn’t stop there as he safely encloses Batman into a green box while he goes into a Lexcorp building as his ring is a “magnet for extraterrestrials”. But the search finds him instead as Supes comes rushing out of the building in a haze of red and blue for he “doesn’t do easy”. In this last panel we see the new Superman minus the red underwear with the same semi high collar and with the cape sewn into the costume. Like Hal and Bats his boots are more chiselled with equally the same recessed detail drawn into it and with raised piping at the center of the boots and with equal red piping at the edge of his sleeves. This is obviously a new Superman greeting new and old readers and sets up the next event billed in Issue #2 as Batman Vs. Superman.

And with these dynamics to play on, add into the mix the development and history of Vic Stone as his journey to being Cyborg comes into play and the Justice League members slowly come to meet one hero after another and find that their goals are not at all disimilar and perhaps unlikely as it is in their line of work, working together may just be the breakthrough they need to find out the meaning of this new threat or slogan as the robot creatures cry out just before detonating oneself. What was the battle cry? It was....For Darkseid!

 So whatcha waiting for? Get Issue #2! Now!

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