Justice League is an important comic book to me. I’m a Marvel kid through and through, but I still remember Grant Morrison’s run sparking my interest and giving me a new appreciation for DC’s pantheonic Big Six. (It was seven in the books, but Martian Manhunter has sadly proved to be the sub-in spot, post New 52) This book, however, proves to have more in common with the B-team DeMatteis/Giffen run of the early nineties (complete with curmudgeonly Bat-dad as disciplinarian). It’s a rookie team learning the ropes, and a creative team I’m unfamiliar with, so I’m excited to jump in.
I’m struck Ivan Reis’ cover. It gives me an instant “who is this badass?” vibe. This is also my favorite Ray design.
I hate to nitpick, but I’m gonna. Christopher’s mustache in the prologue disappears for the splash page. This is on the colorist. Points deducted. Another issue I have is that, while I am enjoying the intro story, I can’t help but think of Jason Aaron’s God Butcher introduced over in Marvel’s Thor not too long ago.
Okay, I much prefer this to what Justice League has been since the New 52. I found the relaunch serviceable, but decidedly unexceptional, and lost interest after the first year and a half. This band of misfit stuff is much more interesting to me. Drill sergeant Batman is my favorite and I’m surprisingly in love with Lobo in the teen badboy role.
While unimpressed at first, I’m halfway in and struck with how good MacDonald’s work is. It isn’t fancy, but it’s solid and consistent.
There’s a fantastic moral conflict at the center of this issue. It feels real and relevant. I like that The Ray sees he might be wrong, but still holds objections. The complexities of the central conflict are handled well and give the reader a lot to chew on, and Lobo provides a perfect foil for the heart-on-his-sleeve earnestness of The Ray.
I dig the Lobo narrated flashback sequence, but it was a bit jarring and out of place.
A few minor complaints don’t add up to much in the face of great art, and Steve Orlando delivering some of the best Justice League I’ve read in a while. I came away extremely impressed and plan on picking up the next issue; four out of five stars.