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New 52 Pickup | And so it begins!

Well, it’s finally here. Flashpoint #5 has hit shelves, heralding the arrival of 52 new No. 1 issues from DC Comics over the next month. But 52 titles added to anyone’s pull list is an overwhelming amount, even when you consider that most replace series that existed before Flashpoint. What’s a fan to do?

Like many of you, I’ve loved the heroes and villains that have graced the pages of DC comics for years. My favorite character has always been Barbara Gordon, I’m a huge fan of the JSA, and I think Morrison and Quitely’s All-Star Superman is a work of art. Frankly, I couldn’t be more excited about the relaunch and its potential for telling new stories and bringing new readers into the fold. However, I’m also curious as to how many of the New 52 I’ll still be reading by the third or fourth issue.

Much like the Cylons of Battlestar Galactica, I have a plan. Throughout the next month, I’ll check out all 52 No. 1 issues, focusing on what works, what doesn’t, and what were the standout moments — in short, which books were exciting enough to lead me to pick up the next issue. After taking a close look at each of the titles, it’ll be decision time: Which books am I going to keep on my pull list for the next month?

In battle-royale, last-man-standing tradition, I plan to cut half the books from my pull list at the end of the month, and continue cutting by about half each month after that until I’m reading what I consider the best of the New 52.

“New 52 Pickup” kicks off today with the debut of Justice League. Considering its status as DC’s flagship title, and that it’s the only new series dropping this week, I’ll be devoting more space than usual to a single comic, so let’s get started!

Oh, and … warning: spoilers ahead!

Justice League #1
Written by Geoff Johns, with art by Jim Lee

As a quick overview, this is very much an origin story of the Justice League. Comic Book Resources’ own Greg McElhatton already wrote an excellent review, touching upon some of the aspects longtime fans might find lacking, and I agree with many of his points. But I think there’s still enough here to merit sticking with this one for at least another issue.

It did read like an issue of The Brave and the Bold featuring Batman and Green Lantern, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The dialogue was snappy, it painted a clear view of who these characters are, and offered a somewhat reasonable explanation as to why they’re together in the first place. From the standpoint of a longtime fan, it’s almost a recap. However, from a new reader’s view, the issue has a lot of potential to draw people in.

Batman, Green Lantern and Superman are, at the moment, the most recognizable superhero movie properties DC has. Putting them together in the first issue gives new readers easily identifiable entry-point characters. If you picked up a book where Aquaman and Cyborg were on the first page, it might be a little confusing. Batman, Green Lantern and Superman, however, help readers transition into the lesser-known characters like Cyborg, which I think is a good move.

Speaking of Cyborg, Vic Stone’s retold origin produces a modern context for the character and gives us something to look forward to in subsequent issues beyond a fistfight between Batman and Superman. The new introduction is intriguing – almost enough on its own for me to stick around to see what happens.

That said, it felt like very little happened. Readers might feel cheated in picking up a book that promised the Justice League but gave them mostly Batman and Green Lantern, with one page of Superman.

However, it doesn’t seem like Geoff Johns wants to tell a rushed story. He’s playing the long game here and it shows. Justice League is attempting to be a gateway title, one that takes what new readers might already know and hopefully gives them a desire to find out more. I’m hoping by Issue 3 we’re going to see a real threat that the League has to come together to prevent and everything will tie together in a confluence of awesome. I’m also a fan of Johns’ plots and dialogue and of Jim Lee’s gorgeous line work, but that really only goes so far if we don’t start to see some of the other heavy hitters in Issue 2.

But, man, do I want to read more.

I can’t help but be curious as to how the League will come together. How does Vic Stone become Cyborg? Why is Superman so angry? Is Green Lantern still allergic to yellow here?

Until the rest of the New 52 hits stores in September, it’s difficult to tell how Justice League stacks up. However, the book is the flagship of the New 52 for a reason, and I think that the loyal will be rewarded. At this point, my plan is to keep the book on the pull list … but anything can happen in a month.

Status: Safe … for now.

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Comments

56 Comments

Cole Moore Odell

August 31, 2011 at 4:56 pm

My question: if this title takes place 5 years prior to most of the other comics in the relaunch, is there an operating Justice League that’s contemporaneous with the rest of the titles? Will this 5-years-earlier flashback give way to the current adventures of the team at some point? Or did they break for some reason between then and now?

I think columns like this will be great for me to find things i may miss as i cant afford to pick up all of the 52s.

@Cole Moore Odell

Only the first arc takes place in the past. After that, the book will be all in the present.

In the meantime, JLI and JLD will be in the present from the get-go.

I don’t mean for this to sound snarky, but isn’t Vic Stone’s origin already pretty obvious? His body has to be destroyed somehow for him to become Cyborg. It seems pretty clear that something connected to Darkseid will handle that, and then Cyborg will make his triumphant premiere to save the day or save the team or something along those lines.
I just thought it was incredibly telegraphed — and I liked the issue.

Cole Moore Odell

August 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Thanks for the clarification, PK. Of course, this may mean there will be “five years” of untold JLA stories–unless the team took a five year break between their first case and the present day. Guess we’ll all find out soon enough.

I’ll state my bias right off the top. I am more of a Marvel guy so the reboot has actually led me to try out several DC titles, but my criticism has nothing to do with ‘Marvel rules, DC drools’ garbage and that I hope DC does find success with this gamble.

Having said that, I found Justice League #1 to be…Average.

I know they want to ‘build slowly’ but for the ‘flagship’ book and the amount of press, I felt it didn’t have the “omph” it should have had. Issue #1 should have knocked our socks off or at least come closer to it than it did and I just don’t think the hook was there for the casual reader or someone who bought it out of curiousity to come back. I worry the non-comic person will think ‘that’s it?” and never come back. Heck, I think many comic readers are thinking that.

Again, I hate to be a downer but Jim Lee’s art did not seem as polished as it did with Batman Hush storyline. It was good, just not his A-game. At least, that is how I see it.

The story had some nice beats to it but even as a casual DC reader, it didn’t even feel that ‘fresh’ to me. The issue was perfectly serviceable (and that is also its greatest flaw, a victim of over-hype perhaps?) and I am intrigued enough to stick around for issue #2, particularly to see how this take on Superman plays out. So, despite the ‘wow factor’, for me, its safe…For now.

Oh yes, another thing that may cause ‘confusion’ is the reboot with characters in different times – Look at Green Lantern, he’s in the Justice League as Green Lantern but when GL launches, it will be Sinestro? Huh? Maybe I don’t know enough, but again, shouldn’t the GL in Justice League be the GL in his own book? Guess I’ll find out what that is all about in the next few weeks…

One other nitpick – I know the WW costume debate has gone, well, forever, but as I was explaining the book, my wife asked “is that supposed to be Wonder Woman???” I said yes. All she said was “looks like her boobs are going to pop out of her top”. Also she was not a fan of the choker collar. I agree.

The Jim Lee drawings have her top going down way too low. I see her about to fight Darkseid and then have to stop and hike her top up like a sloppy bridesmaid wearing a strapless dress on the dance floor. All they needed to do with her original costume was give her some pants (sans stars) and just provide a bit more coverage up top.

Anyway, I know I sound like a hater, but I am checking out ALL of DC’s big gun books plus books like Swamp Thing and Animal Man, so I remain optimistic.

Meh at best. I assumed that was what it was gonna be but was hoping it would be good.

I enjoy it even if I have been reading for over five years DC comics. So like the writer of the article said I’ll be willing to toss issue two for a go. This book really warm me to the idea of the relaunch. Now the ball is in Morrison’s court with Action. I have heard other writers say that it reads like nothing they have ever read before in a Superman comic which I feel it comes off as too much hyperbole but I’ll see next week. Big Superman fan but not contend with the changes on his mythos when I see across the yard Batman and Green Lantern are just the way their fans left them last week but I am willing to give DC a chance to whoa me. It damn be spectacular for me to keep on picking them after that.

I liked Justice League #1 but I must admit, I was hoping for something more jaw dropping.

I was surprised because IMHO, Johns usually comes up with good story arc hooks. (it’s his endings that have been inconsistent for me.)

It just felt like there was too little going on for such a blockbuster foray.

I’m still onboard but it left me underwhelmed. As I said, I liked it. Not loved it. But I’m a long time fan who is very excited about the DCNU/52- and the first shot didn’t quite meet up my expectations but it wasn’t a let-down either. Here’s hoping the next issue picks up the pace.

By the way, agree. Jim Lee’s work is good but it doesn’t look like his A-game.

i Really think they should have released Batman #1 and Action Comics #1 today as well to balance the focus put on This One Book that could not have lived up to the Hype unless Grant M. had written it. based on this issue, I’m waiting for the trade.

@CapCanuck

Don’t worry, I thought the exact same things as you. JL1 wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good either. Firmly entrenched in the “meh” and “that’s it?” territory. And for the opening salvo to the new 52, you don’t want your first shot to be ‘meh’. I’m glad someone saw something exciting with this issue, but if this is what passes for exciting, I’m afraid for the next issues down the line.

I thought it had all the substance of a Hostess Twinkee. I won’t be back for a second bite.

Steve, I too, will enjoy following your critiques of the new 52 — of which I’m only buying two, unless something else strikes my fancy. Please go into detail in your critiques, and feel free to include spoilers.

One of the things I enjoyed most about reading JLA as a kid (this would be back in the mid-70s, and I had lots of 60s-era comics at the time, too, thanks to garage sales!) was that these were the adventures so big that it took a bunch of the most powerful DC heroes working together to fight a common foe. It was the same reason I enjoyed The Avengers as well.

But even though the birth of the JLA well-preceded my own birth, I knew enough about comics to know that the various heroes who were JLA members had all been heroes before the fact. The JLA was DC’s all-star book, which was fantastic – lots of heroes for one low price!

With this relaunched/rebooted JLA, at least with issue 1, all of that is gone. It’s not a team book, it’s a “we’re a bunch of individuals with our own attitudes and egos and we’re gonna butt heads for awhile until we’re finally confronted with the greater evil” book. And that SUCKS.

Hey, DC – I’m not a fan of Ultimate JLA. But if you were going this route, you should’ve taken a page from Bendis’ playbook and dumped us into a serious all-the-Leaguers-going-balls-to-the-wall fight, and filled in the gaps through flashback. Clearly whatever was going on with the DS bots is important to the story, but all I’ve walked away from the issue with is a bunch of cranky-pants “heroes” where Batman, GL and Superman are supposed to be.

We’ve tread this ground already with New Frontier, if you want to be DC-specific. I hope the other books fare better, but this was a been-there, done-that snoozefest.

This whole “first arc is set years before the rest” is completely ridiculous to me. Why do something like that when one of the main things they’re trying to do with this relaunch is bring new readers in and not have them confused?

For the first issue flagship title it needed to be longer, as in double sized. They wouldn’t have had to do it for all the number ones, just this one so they could have ended with Superman in the group, and maybe encountering Wonder Woman or Aquaman.
Its ironic that they have talked about pulling away from the write-for-trades thing, but this may only make sense collected. Maybe it wold have been better to release a ’0′ style 80 pager along with FP 5 and started JL at 1 in the present.
Green Lantern sucked, and its annoying that they have written it with him as pov with Batman as the foil. Maybe it was written months ago with an expectation of greater success of the movie, but bringing us into the superhero world via Batman would always be smarter. I think the smart ass version of Hal Jordan that has come over from the sucky portrayal in the movie was a mistake. Hal is supposed to be an airforce man aware of the seriousness of duty, so while he can be full of himself and a little arrogant it doesn’t make sense that he is a galactic policeman with no sense of tactics or method for dealing with a situation. Further, you would expect that he would already know everything about Superman being a Kryptonian given the link he has to the Guardians of Oa. Its like:
“Here I am, space cop, patrolling my galactic beat,with no real recognition or representation of the expanded awareness of reality that such a role would bring to bear on a human being, and I’ve encountered evidence of alien activity on my home planet but rather than investigate it as is my perogative as the local space cop. Rather than using my demonstrated access to all the wisdom of Oa (and ignoring that the Guardians probably should have alerted me to the possibility that this alien is a remanent of the lost race of Kryptonians an therefore a person of interest simply by that fact) I’ll just read about it on Wikipedia where it speculates he may be alien and leave it at that… until I’m chatting with the mysterious Batman who I’ve also read about on Wikipedia but have never had enough curiosity to bother investigating either.”

I think Stormwatch will rock tho!!!

Here’s something I want answered: did any YOUNGER people get the comic when it came out? Have any younger readers gotten this and read it? If anyone who went to the midnight releases is here, can you answer me that?

I bought JL1, haven’t read it yet, and almost every comment that I’ve seen about it makes me not want to. I really want this to work for DC, but my god, it seems that they’ve dropped the ball at EVERY step. From breaking the news of the relaunch/reboot, to having to backtrack to state that SOME of the events of the old timeline still happened, to now this.

If this is supposed to be accessible to new readers, tell me how it’s accessible to still have an extensive history, when your public message has been that this is all brand-new? Also, there are THREE titles featuring Superman, all of which have their first arcs taking place years apart. How is that NOT confusing to someone who doesn’t keep up with this?

I believe in Steve Sunu.

I had no plans of buying this comic unless it was second-hand and cheap, so I just got it off a torrent site and read it. There is so much here to criticize that I’m only going to hit the high points.

First and foremost: there was nothing in it resembling a story or plot. Who are these characters? Why should we care? What are they doing that matters to anyone? This is three scenes’ worth of physical motion by characters the audience has no reason to like and no way to relate to. We wouldn’t know these were heroes at all unless we brought in the baggage of past exposure to these characters; so much for a fresh start.

This is a trio of vignettes, narrative sketches that lack the most basic defining characteristics of a story. There’s nothing here that could be interpreted as rising tension, climax, or resolution, no matter how loosely you define those things. Welcome new reader, you just made your first down-payment on a satisfying reading experience, please make six more identical purchases and we promise you’ll feel entertained at some point, or more likely, you’ll just forget that was ever your goal to begin with.

Jim Lee still makes all his faces look angry or blank or frozen in garish caricatures of emotion; his bodies still strike poses foreign to human anatomy. Most of all, he still adds lots of lines everywhere to suggest detail and complexity where none belongs, knowing that people who don’t know better think those lines must mean something impressive.

The only hooks here, the only features of interest, are obscure references that only long-time fanboys would even get; we are supposed to feel special and warm when we recognize the sound that a Mother Box makes and then connect the dots to identify the villain (which does nothing villainous in this comic, btw). Green Lantern’s stilted, freakish use of the third person in referring to himself allows readers to learn his name; is there any other justification for it?

Finally, in your wildest imagination, can you picture anyone happily reading this comic more than once or treasuring its contents in any way? Does this reading experience resemble any truly good ones you’ve had before?

Speak with your wallet. Spend your money on something good and let the New 52 die sooner rather than later. Maybe DC will get the message, do a 180, dump their entire current creative direction, and reward us all with some good comics.

Well I don’t want to age myself but JL # 1 really felt like an early (real early) X-Men book. Green Lantern’s naivete was a la young Bobby Drake, Batman reminds me of an early Scott Summers. Not sure what everyone was expecting but I for one do not want a rushed storyline just to move things along, a slow get to know the characters is fine, with this new start, I think it’s really important we do get to know them.

The critics out there want some sort of instant gratification. I am going to put aside all that has gone on in the DC past…I want to get to know this “new” super-heroes and hopefully enjoy comics again, pick ‘em up read and put them down, just enjoy without wondering what jump on point I missed…these are comics by the way and I really believe a lot of you cynics out there forget that, anyway I am looking forward to # 2, very much enjoyed number # 1.

That is a lot of crap talking for someone who didn’t even pay for the comic. Seriously Rick. What the eff?! Props for screwing your local comic shop buddy.

I honestly didn’t mind Justice League art and story wise, I think it was fairly solid. It just wasn’t solid enough for something as hyped as it has been. No actual Justice League was a huge kick in the nuts, as was the price to page ratio, but mostly the lack of Justice League. When you have read things like the first issue of Busiek and Perez’ Avengers, this first issue doesn’t cut it. It needed the whole team, a villain, something big considering the caliber of creative team and the title involved.

It wasn’t bad, best Justice League I’ve read since Waid and Kelly’s JLA runs to be honest. Just not a great start, for long term readers anyway. Hopefully reads better for those with fresh younger comic book eyes though. I imagine it would.

I enjoyed the issue. I was amused by Hal and Bruce rubbing each other the wrong way, I liked that Hal put his jurisdiction as GL of Sector 2814 over Batman’s “this is my city” schtick. I also liked that Bruce was able to slip hal’s ring off his finger without his noticing. I’m looking forward to seeing the continuation of Cyborg’s new origin, and the new, more alien Superman intrigues me. I’m really hoping that Darkseid will be bringing the rest of the 4th World with him.

That said, I agree with many of you that this is a failure as far as the stated goals go. I can’t see this being less confusing for a new reader. It seems to be trying too hard to keep current fans, and it seems to be failing there as well. It’s definitely not great for being the kickoff flagship title of the new 52.

I think they really should have done an issue of the JL in the modern day, then gone to the flashback with #2.

I found it bland and instantly forgettable. Johns can do so much better than this. (Flashpoint 5, by comparison, was really quite good.) I am not sure what I will do next month. Depends on what else I end up buying. Odds are I might try this online to save a buck.

I agree with Bryan about the length of the comic. If it’s the only issue of the new 52 coming out this week and will be the flagship DCnU title, make it a double-sized issue. Touch on all the major characters (little meanwhile shots of WW, Aquaman, Flash, etc.) and INCLUDE the Batman/Superman standoff. That’s what people want to see, new and old readers alike.

I did like the attitudes Johns set up for Batman and Green Lantern this early on in their careers. Batman is…pretty much the same (how could he not be?). And Hal is an incredibly cocky dick and gets humbled quite well by Superman. I for one think that Batman won’t even try to fight Superman, because that would be a very bad idea on his part, and we all know Batman isn’t that stupid. And this Superman seems a little less forgiving of people at this time.

Lee’s art was superb, that much is true. I thought the coloring was also fantastic. And all the characters, especially Superman because you can see his face, look younger. But i’m afraid this sets a high bar that most of the other 52 will not be able to attain. However i guess you want the best for the flagship title.

I’m looking forward to issue #2, but if it goes how i think it might, had they combined 1 and 2, it might have been a perfect comic.

I’m not happy with JL1 but I see what they are trying to do. All the characters should be in it. They all should be in the JL right now and friends. I still want to see how this is going to turn out.

They could have teased some much better for an origin like this.

Page 1. full panel.
5 Years Ago.
Batman’s face bloody and some one saying ” I should kill you”

Page 2. full panel
Batman lying on the ground with Superman’s standing over him and his foot on Batman’s neck and Superman saying “.. but I don’t know if I will?”

Page 3. full panel
5 years ago
Aquaman has Wonder woman in a choke hold saying. ” I’ve never killed a woman but in your case I might make an exception”

Page 4. full Panel
5 years ago.
Flash, GL and Cyborg in a Mexican standoff.
Cyborg says “I think I’ve seen this in a movie”.
GL replies . “Ya, me too and I think you’re the Ugly”
Fals adds ” Draw.”

Page 5 . full panel
Now.
Supeman is pulling Batman out of some rubble.

Page 6. full panel
Now
Aquaman is carrying Wonder Woman in his arms.

Page 7.
Now
Flash, GL and Cyborg all rushing towards something at the same time.

…and continue the story from there.

Has DC forgotten how to tease? They could do the origin as tie-ins.

Hoping for better.

Cole Moore Odell

September 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

Looks like I’ll have to wait awhile for a print copy. My retailer in Keene, NH only got half of its 18-issue order from Diamond, and the other, newer shop across town sold out of its 25 copies before I got over there this afternoon. That guy said it was his fastest moving DC comic ever, and second only to the Obama Spider-Man issue. Nevertheless, I heard grumbling about the reboot on both sides of the counter. I’m willing to give it a shot.

Can the mod please delete ‘Rick’s’ post?

I paid for 3 copies of JL (the combo pack, the standard ed and the David Finch variant).

PEOPLE WHO DON’T PAY FOR THEIR COMICS OR LEECH THEM OFF TORRENT SITES DON’T DESERVE TO HAVE THEIR OPINIONS POSTED ON THIS OR ANY FORUM.

This is not about Free Speech or anything of the sort. What ‘Rick’ did is STEALING, plain and simple; he admits it himself.

The industry is already suffering from poor sales, having someone steal the books and then go on to rag about it is just too much.

I mean, the nerve of this bloke! You didn’t pay for who you read, ‘Rick.’ Please go hide under a rock and come out after the apocalypse. You won’t have to pay for anything then.

So now, CBR lets thieves on their site. Great going, CBR!! Seriously, what the??!! Can someone please extract the fellow’s IP and send the cops after him? The world will be a better place without people like him.

@jpbl1976

Apart from the present instance, I’m not a big downloader of comics personally … although I have heard that there are a great many out there, and some of them spend a lot of their leisure budget on comics (as I do). Nonetheless, if I were in your position — among the devoted few who have singlehandedly kept the comics industry afloat for many years — I imagine I would feel even stronger resentment towards freeloaders than was expressed in your post.

Anyway, your remarks and certain others here gave me things to think about, and I thank you for that. Whether the mods see fit to delete my comments is entirely up to them, but FWIW, I think your points only gain force if the comments you responded to remain publicly visible.

This whole relaunch idea will ultimately go over like a fart in a whirlwind.

I was definitely happy with this being the first issue, although maybe make it a little longer. I was happy with the dialogue and the scenes between Hal and Batman but I wanted to see more of the big guy even though the little we saw of Superman still made a good impact. I find Vic’s story interesting and am going to enjoy reading more about it if they can keep him interesting because I was never the biggest fan of Cyborg. This is definitely going to be in the pile of comic books I will keep on enjoying. This is called the flagship comic of the DC universe and for good reason because this first issue proved it.

Here’s my question. JLA’s first arc takes place 5 years ago. Action comics takes place 5 years ago. Ain’t Supes supposed to be the first DCnU hero that ushers in the new age or whatever? So does Superman have his debut and then the JL formed like six months weeks later? I’m confused there. Perhaps all will be answered. I doubt it, but I’ll read these two anyways.

@ jpbl1976 dude u are tripping. DC knew the risks of same day digital and obviously they thought it was a risk that they were willing to take. JL1 isn’t a 300 page novel, it’s a 22 page book that can be copied and posted in a matter of hours. Rick opinion isn’t less valid because he read it for free. His opinion is just as valid as anyone else. Should he have downloaded the comic of course not! But it is what it is.

Anyway despite all of the negative comments about JL1, I’m still hopeful for DC. They have spent an extraordinary amount of money on this reboot and I hope it works for them. I hope that they at least break even when it’s all said and done. Hopefully a majority of the other books hit the ground running so they can keep the momentum going.

This looks like more Meltzer then Morrison if you are comparing Justice League’s first issues. Meltzer’s heavy on character development where as Morrison gave us spectacle from the get go. I’m basing this on reviews and previews since I’m waiting for the digital price drop (which should be cheaper from the get go if you ask me) for most DC titles.

As far as team books though Paul Cornel’s two books has me biting my nails in anticipation. Stormwatch and Demon Knights are certainly getting good buzz.

Jazzy Jerome Peters

September 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

It felt like an episode of the justice league cartoon to me. Not a total bad thing cause I love that show, but it seems that was the tone they were going for….younger all ages approach.

The whole issue seemed like a joke. But then Morrisson trying to be funny in Action and missing.

“I’m the g-d Superman!”

At least Johns accomplished that in 20+ pages.

Seems like D.C’s version of the Ultimate universe to me. But hey, it’s only the first issue. I just want the Justice League. I wish they would have started the book with them together and do the team origin later as a flashback or something. All those characters on the cover and only Batman and Green Lantern make a noteworthy appearance.

I really enjoyed the artwork but I think the big thing is that 3.99 is too much for what little you get in the way of story.

An OK and fun book, but just fun OK. Not BIG and GRAND. It doesn’t blow your mind. If Darkseid is the reason for a global threat that causes the heroes to come together, then we should have seen an open and obvious global threat. Not a single parademon trying to plant a bomb in downtown Gotham and another parademon (if not the same one) planting a Mother Box in a Metropolis sewer. They are also putting way too much emphasis on Batman, using him as the one who brings the Justice League together. A street crime fighter. That’s just not big and grand. It should have been Green Lantern coming to earth to warn its heroes of an oncoming threat. Compare this Justice League # 1 issue to the Kurt Busiek and George Perez Avengers # 1. It’s not even close. Yeah DC can say something like, “Well they’re the Justice League and not the Avengers and we’re not Marvel”, or something. But you know that comic fans are going to compare the two and if you want us continue to spend our money on every issue …

You see, DC Comics should have established the characters for us first before bringing them together as a team. The Justice League # 1 should have been the last book on the stands for us to buy. Not the first. I don’t know these characters. To have Superman hit Green Lantern as hard as he did, and not knowing Green Lantern’s power because they never met? This is a clear indication that this is not the Superman that we know. It read more like a cross between the Brave and the Bold and the Teen Titans. The Justice League # 1 should have been big and grand. It should have been amazing. Maybe it should have been Justice League # 0 as an introduction rather then the actual first issue.

Well let’s see what happens in the second issue. They’ve already started the infighting again. But don’t worry, we all know what’s going to happen again. I’m sure that Batman is going to again find a way to defeat Superman again. Again.

Am I nit-picking here? Probably but it’s because I want to book to continue with top sales …

I have to say that with the DCnU reboot, I find myself no longer able to suppress the DC-fan inside of me despite years of reading mainly Marvel books, with the odd couple of Vertigo titles in between. I was really looking forward to this 2nd chance to (re)discover these iconic heroes. Since the big announcement I have been secretly willing it to be good so that I can say to Marvel- THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING!!!!. With this flagship relaunch, my reaction is more..”Huh? That’s all?” Would have been more of a “Yay!! You go galfren!” if :

- it was a double sized issue
- we got a small taste of the true extent of the threat to come (the ‘mystery threat’ was just not impressive enough….so far)
- I get a look in to what other future members were up to, not necessarily in action but sort of ‘where were they when…’. kind of thing
- Vic Stone’s background is more 3-dimensional than the archetypal son-needs-father’s-attention jock…something I wouldn’t have thought just from the look of him
- that the pacing of the story is of a more frantic edge-of-seat-can’t-wait-another-month speed

Basically, it didn’t tease me silly. Kind of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get stuff. I wanted to be intrigued. I wanted to be teased. I wanted to get excited. And yes, I have a rabbit but that’s not the kind of excitement I’m talking about.

Verdict: meh. I hope Batwoman, Teen Titans and Legions do better.

It’s funny , to see the mixed reviews. Our store sold out of order (200 copies) in a day.
3 people dropped the title from their reserve , and 42 added the title to their reserve.
It is only one issue , but it seemed to generate mostly good will here.

I think people are being way, way too hard on the first issue. I agree that it should have been a double sized issue and that maybe they should have released other books concurrently so as to take some of the pressure and scrutiny off JL, but how much were you really expecting from a first issue? Typically this is where you’re setting the stage for things to come and I personally don’t want a rush job data dump done right up front. I thought that starting off with Batman (a non-metahuman) was a good move and transitioning that into GL, DS, and Superman easily took it up another notch from Gotham/Earth drama to universe drama. The dialogue and interaction between Batman and GL was great and really nailed the characters despite them having just met. Even the little glimpse of Superman at the end has me hoping that they give him a little more of an edge and tone down the Big Blue Boy Scout routine.

Could it have been longer? Sure. Would I have liked more for my money? Absolutely, but when wouldn’t I? Honestly, no matter what they did (even a double sized issue) people would have been disappointed because of all the hype surrounding this relaunch, but it wasn’t the piece of garbage some people are acting like. Give it a couple of issues and if things aren’t looking up drop it – I’ll probably give it three or four myself.

This is the first positive review I’ve read. Every one else seems to think it was average/mediocre at best.

I’m not much of a super-hero comic reader anymore but I picked up JLA #1 and really liked it. The art was great, the dialogue was funny, the action was good. It’s shocking to me why some comic fans can’t seem to understand that introducing all seven members at once is not only cluttered but possibly confusing to new, non-JLA savvy readers. And that’s what DC is trying to attract, new readers. They already have you, the super-hero comic fan who’s JLA savvy, but they don’t have me, who would rather pick up The Walking Dead or Locke & Key. Did it work? Well, I’ll be buying #2.

Its a satisfying enough read,worthy of a second issue look. I`m not expecting eveyone to show up all at once. I understand why some are disappointed. I compared it to Ultimates#1 which had everyone on the cover but only featured Capt. America`s story. It turned me off for the next issue,which led to a great story i`ve missed.

Hi,

My first post here – I felt compelled to say that I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this first issue!

Having said that… before I read it (digitally) – I had read an initial somewhat negative review that seemed mostly upset with the fact that this first issue had only Batman & Green Lantern (and a bit of Superman)… and since the cover showed the whole new league – that reviewer was upset.

I could understand that concern and so I went in kind of expecting to be disappointed.

(I loved JLA as a kid but got away from it because i felt very rushed and formulaic – I never cared for team books that felt rushed because if you don’t spend enough time developing ALL that characters in that story arc – it really shows when you get to the actrion scenes…)

Anyway, I think this issue achieved what DC set out to achieve. It gave a great starting on point to new readers and a new introduction to regular readers. I think that both Greeen Lantern and Superman emphasizing to Batman – so what are your powers – firmly implants them into a younger mindset – when comparing yourself to others is so ridiculously important. Batman came off amazing – already showing teh skills that will make him one of THE great superheroes – without a need for super powers. It reminds people why Batman remains the most accessible superhero (and explains why they’ve started the new Superman off not nearly as invinsible as he was).

Without a doubt, on several levels – I greatly enjoyed this book and as I said – I went in because of the other reviewers review – almost predisposed to dislike it because of his preconceived ideas of what it was or what he thought it shold be.

In all honesty., it just makes sense to have every member of the team on the cover of issue #1 – they didn’r decieve the readers by acting as though the cover was a scene from story and then wasn’t. By just having Batman, GL and Superman on the cover – while it would have been more in sync with the “cast” of that issue – I do understand why for issue #1 – you really would want everyone on the cover.

All in all, when I read it with fresh eyes – as if I had never read a JL comic before – it was very satisfying. Batman snatching GL’s ring without his knowing it was brilliant.

As for the art – I am really liking the new Superman costume – a LOT – and for me, that is really saying something because I haven’t read a Superman comic DECADES because I have him to be too predictable. Now, he oozes vitality and the color used on his boots when he first appears is amazing – the full image of Superman was awesome as well. I think Superman became more of a synbol than a character and lost a lot of his “humanity” (even if he is Krytptonian).

I never got into GL much. For me, he suffered from Type A personality – military/cop mindset predictablity. Almost smug, and a little of that goes a long way with me. Here, there is some of that – but it comes off more as youthful bluster and besides, Batman kept him in line just fine – so he was acrually more interesting to me.

Overall, I think it was fantastic!

“However, it doesn’t seem like Geoff Johns wants to tell a rushed story. He’s playing the long game here and it shows”

Um, isn’t that like purchasing x rated porn, only to find it contains exactly no nudity or sex, but instead contains an hour long frank discussion of retirment planning… We all know why we are here, lets not beat around the bush (um, metaphoricaly speaking). I payed for the Justice League, this contained no Justice League. Johns, you can fuck around to your hearts content once you’ve given me a story, fucking around does not come before the story & it most certainly doesn’t happen in the first issue.

I think it`s more like purchasing an x-rated porn labeled as orgy party on the cover,only to find it contains a softcore couple with a threesome tease at the end.

It was OK. It was like reading one of Lee’s Image titles from the 90′s. It wasn’t great, but it was pretty much what I expected. Maybe I’m a little tired of the “We’ve never met before, let’s see how we work together, we’re the odd couple, let’s fight and then realise we’re allies” angle, but that’s my fault for collecting/ reading comics for the last 35 yrs. The issue and relaunch is clearly aimed at newcomers who will likely view this as a fresh approach etc. But I’ve seen it before.

I’ll continue to purchase the title because I think it’ll be a slow burn however.

One question I did have is “If this is set five years ago, does that mean all these heroes have been wearing exactly the same uniforms for the last five years?” Seems a little far fetched to think they’ve only been wearing the one outfit, especially Batman, in light of how much they’ve altered them over the years. Little nitpick.

Have to agree JL #1 was something of a let-down. I just got back into reading comics full time recently, and while I’ve been a DC fan in the past, the constant mucking with timestream and their continuity with no clear motive for it than “let’s keep trying, one of these variations will stick and resonate” got to be too much. This relaunch was pretty much perfect timing for me, and I’m giving about ten of the books a shot.

This was my first exposure to Johns’ work and I’m not terribly impressed. I do have to admit some slight bias, though: while it may indeed be fantastic in execution, the whole idea of mutilple colors of lanterns seemed like a “we’re totally out of ideas” gambit. Never been a huge GL fan to start with, but to me, it’s always been a concept that was on the slightly shaky creative side to start with, by making the Lanterns a rainbow you’re pretty much drawing attention to the zipper in the back of the suit and the wires holding the flying man aloft.

Granted, this wouldn’t be an easy story to write, period, but I’m not sure how wise it was to start with an origin story set five years prior to almost all of the other titles. The exact story of the League’s formation might have benefitted from a little build-up and allusion to events we haven’t yet seen. I think a story that had the simple take of these are the world’s greatest superheroes, banded together to fight threats too big for any of them to tackle alone, and then had a threat that illustrated that, with hints that things weren’t always as smooth as they seemed between the members as they are now would’ve left room to explore the early days of the new continuity better – maybe even some hints that their initial mission together didn’t go well at all, and they’re now facing the fallout from some bad decisions. Then show us what those bad decisions were. And I agree with everyone who said the issue should’ve been extra-sized, to get more story in what should’ve been a really strong opening shot to the whole ‘revolution’.

There just wasn’t enough story in JL #1, and several pages of Hal Jordan being an emerald douchebag wasn’t all that thrilling. You can call that writing for the long game or just poor pacing, I’m not familiar enough with Johns to make that call. I understand that one of the ideas behind the revamp is to provide the opportunity to show iconic characters in a new light, as younger and less wise and experienced, but having Hal act like a smarmy prick seemed a bit heavy-handed. As a test pilot, he should have balls of steel and as a military man, discipline to temper that. Instead he comes off like Generic Cocky Superhero #284, the sort everyone, including the much-touted non-comics readers, have seen enough of before. And yes, for the umpteenth time, we see Batman doesn’t play well with others. Stay out of Gotham, etc. Yawn. Having Bruce take Hal’s ring from him seemed forced — what would’ve been far more in-character would be for Batman to casually reference he knows a little more about Green Lantern that a ‘guy in a friggin bat-suit’ should. That’s Batman, prepared for any contingency. If he was ‘monitoring’ Superman, Bruce could’ve been keeping tabs on Green Lantern, as well, reading official intel reports that he shouldn’t have had access to. For all Bruce really knew, the ring could’ve been booby trapped and had automatic defenses, and that was a huge risk to take in the circumstances where he clearly could use the help in dealing with a threat to ‘his’ city. All that logic and opportunity went out the window in order to play up trite ‘cool’ moments and adolescent banter with attitude between our two lead protagonists. That’s a bit disappointing.

At least Lee’s art was solid. Not stellar, it did seem a little rushed in places, but it’ll be enough to keep me hanging in for a few more issues to see how things pan out.

Finally read this tonight , i agree with the majority of my customers , it was a good start. It was fun to read a JLA book with a totally clean slate. It is going to be a fun month reading all of the 1st issues. We had more people sign up for all of the #1 issues in the last 3 days , then we did in the previous 3 months. So in that regard the book did what is was suppose to do, set the table , for the next 51 #1 issues. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that Diamond can handle the re-orders , our sales rep stated the re-orders have been through the roof. The one problem this may cause is the negative impact Marvel comics , many of the people that signed up for the #1′s in the last 3 days , did so at Marvels expense. We may have to do something creative with the Marvel comics , that we may be stuck with in the coming month. People only have X amount of dollars to spend on comics. The other positive thing with the relauch is the number of people in the store that we have not seen in 5 , 10 , 15 , even 20 years. There were people that came in that have not purchased comic books since Knightfall. The USA Today articles were mentioned most in how they found out about relaunch. USA Today is huge locally , has our area does not have a local newspaper. We are very lucky in the regard that our customer base does not surf the net , like people do in most areas , the majority have horrible internet access for the most part (if they have any at all)

So I guess we’re all supposed to act like Ed Benes didn’t pencil the Cyborg pages? K.

I am a long time off and on DC fan and I enjoyed JL#1. However the whole 5 years ago thing brings up some questions. Someone asked DC if this was full reboot and they said no it wasn’t. The events of the past couple of years by and large occured with few exceptions for example Dick Grayson is back to being NIghtwing and Bruce is Batman. That means that there is some form of continuity from the DCU old to DCnU.

JL#1 begins with superheros being brand new and not being accepted and even being hunted. This means that an awful lot occurs in those five years. For example we see Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damien all in the solicits with Damien as the current Robin. That possibly means that there were four different Robins in a five year period. Question: So did each of the other guys each spend a one year or so internship with Batman as Robin before going solo?

Just wondering.

The five year thing seems to be a bit of a bugger to wrap your head around.

OK so JLA is set five years ago and Superman is an angry spaceman, Action Comics is set five years ago… but Superman is wearing a towel around his neck and jeans?

We also know that Hal isn’t GL in the ‘present’ so when the JLA story catches up to the now, are the JLA going to ask Sinestro to join?

Anyone else get the feeling the Vic’s going to be all borged up by the villain of the piece?

I get that these questions may well have explanations that might even make sense (waits for laughter to stop…) but so far nothing is that clear.

If Hal isn’t GL in the present, why is Guy Gardner mad he’s “in the majors” (Justice League) in the Justice League International preview?

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I just like to point out to many that say they should already be a unit. The original was not a unit it was an idea that was fueled by many super hero team ups. So the fact that they are starting before they are a team is forcing nature to work faster.

I believe the book shouldn’t exist…yet. In a natural evolution you would need to have the series of the characters build up to show strengths weaknesses so on and so forth and then the need for them to team up arises. Then they join together to become the . But unlike original DC or for that fact original Marvel it is starting out as a closed field. They exist in the same rules everyone is there they will eventually interact one way or another from the get go. But at the same time there is a pseudo history that fans expect, QED teen titans. They haven’t introduced side kicks yet since they are just starting so how could a book exist about side kicks growing to full fledged heroes? So having it under the title of JL is what the issue is. You open expecting a team book. But with changes they are making doing that would be problematic and more confusing. There will be more flash backs later on explaining stuff and then they have to edit to deal with other current events from other books. If you start the story earlier then batman coming up with this gadget, or the green lanterns ally with this group, etc etc then the series will have more to draw from and not limit others so severely in the closed system.

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