Thursday, August 24, 2006

Justice League of America #1

Justice League of America #1
So sue me. I actually liked this. A lot. The fact that it's being written by Brad (unecessary rape and murder as plot devices) Meltzer gives me pause, however. I just hope he doesn't feel the need to make it dark. Wasn't the whole point of the Infinite Crisis to lighten up the DCU and put some of the fun back into it? I hope this series continues on point. Hell, as far as single issues go, this one is EXCELLENT.

What do we have here?

Pictured on the cover are the big three, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman (Diana), along with Michael Holt - Mr. Terrific II, Jaime Reyes - Blue Beetle III, Carter Hall - Hawkman, Jefferson Pierce - Black Lightning, Big Barda, Mari Jiwe Macabe - Vixen, Kendra Saunders - Hawkgirl, Bart Allen - Flash III, Jason Rusch - Firestorm, Pieter Cross - Doctor Midnite, J'onn J'onzz - Martian Manhunter, Oliver Queen - Green Arrow, Kimiyo Hoshi - Doctor Light II, Donna Troy - Troia, Zatanna Zatara, a Guardian, and a Dr. Fate.
It's unclear as to which Guardian it is, - but he looks black, so probably The Manhattan Guardian - and who knows who's supposed to be inside the Dr. Fate getup? Maybe it's Jared Stevens! Implications? Obviously Donna Troy will not be Wonder Woman for much longer and Carter Hall is coming back.

(Interestingly enough, on the DC website, the cover is pictured with the additions of Green Lantern John Stewart, Tempest, Karate Kid (?!), Booster Gold, The Question (male), Ralph Dibny, The Atom (so tiny you can't tell which one), and an android Red Tornado. Excluded are Green Arrow, Troia, J'onn J'onzz, Flash, Blue Beetle, Black Lightning, and Mr. Terrific.
Implications? Apparently, Ralph wouldn't stay crazy and powerless, Booster would come back, Vic Sage wouldn't die, and Reddy eventually would get his android body back. They may have been excised from the cover for those reasons - or their opposites, whatever.)

In this issue, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman meet in the Batcave to decide who belongs in the newly reconstituted Justice League. The candidates mentioned are as follows, along with each of the big three's votes, if known:
Captain Marvel: Bruce+, Diana-, Clark+
Hal Jordan/Green Lantern: Bruce+,Diana+,Clark+
Kara Zor-El/Supergirl: Bruce-,Diana+,Clark-
Bart Allen/Flash III: Bruce+,Diana+,Clark-
Karen Starr/Power Girl: Bruce+,Diana+,Clark+
Michael Holt/Mr. Terrific: Bruce+,Diana+,Clark~
Ray Palmer/The Atom: Bruce+
Mari Macabe/Vixen: Bruce-,Diana-,Clark+
Carter Hall/Hawkman: Bruce-,Diana+,Clark+
John Smith/Red Tornado: Bruce+,Diana-,Clark~
Victor Stone/Cyborg: Bruce+
Arthur Curry/Aquaman: Bruce+
Nathaniel Adam/Captain Atom: Clark-
Dinah Lance/Black Canary and Roy Harper/Arsenal make it in as well.

Some questions that are answered:
Post 52, Will Magnus is still around, Reddy's body gets rebuilt, Tina has a cute new look, and so does Gold. Boston Brand is still Deadman, but is he in league with Felix Faust? Or is that someone else? Did Faust magically manipulate Brand? Apparently The Question is still around.

Also, Reddy has apparently been destroyed seven times (according to Batman)

Quibble: Isn't Traya considerably older than she is portrayed here? Didn't she used to room with Arrowette?

The issue is very straightforward, but there's a lot of meat in it. The story flips back and forth from the Batcave to incidents involving Black Lightning, Vixen, Roy Harper, and Red Tornado. Throughout the main part of the issue, we only see the pictures of JLA candidates the big three are looking at with their comments as to the possibilities for each one.
The subplot in this issue, which will soon become the focus of the next three issues, is the recorporealization of the Red Tornado. Boston Brand helps Reddy find an actual human body to inhabit, so that he can really be with his family as they deserve. But apparently the situation has been manipulated by Felix Faust on behalf of a new villain who wants the Tornado's android body for himself. Simple.
Other subplots include Vixen's search for a hot date with the Question, only to be ambushed in a bar in Hub City. Also, Jefferson Pierce meets with minor supervillains in order to identify upcoming threats.

Like I said, it's a good issue, and there's a hell of a lot of content, which is always good. It doesn't feel too full either, which is even better. And the art is beautiful, unlike so much of issue #0.

An EXCELLENT and auspicious start to the new series. After reading #0, I was very apprehensive about this issue, but I can say that I have been happily surprised. I can't wait to see where it goes from here. Let's just hope that Brad doesn't pull a Meltzer on us.

A more in-depth review can be found at The (soon to be deceased) Fourth Rail.
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