Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Modern, Refreshing & Beautiful, Though Slow
To kick-off the historical re-launch of one of the most successful and enduring comic book companies, DC has delivered their first new #1 in the form of Justice League. Written by Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns and illustrated by Co-Publisher, Jim Lee, this is definitely a book worth reading.
Set five years before the majority of the New 52 titles of DC’s new Universe (DCnU), the story arc follows Batman as he recruits the champions that will become the Justice League. In the first few pages, Green Lantern (Air Force pilot, Hal Jordan) comes to his aide and the two begin to clash, just like in the “old” DC. This world that they live in has just been introduced to super heroes, though the average Joe doesn’t trust them. This is made clear as the first panels feature Batman running across Gotham rooftops, pursued by several SWAT helicopters, all taking aim at the Caped Crusader. This merely lends an air of realism to the story, which something only a talent like Johns could pull off effectively.
As the avatars of light and darkness, they were always at odds. It is refreshing to see that dynamic alive in the first pages of the DCnU. Johns has a way of bringing fresh voices to iconic characters while staying true to their core spirit and values. They take verbal jabs back and forth for most of the 40-page issue to the point that you want to clock GL just to shut him up for any length of time. Once it does happen, you’re greeted by a gripping cliffhanger.
Now we proceed to the artwork of Jim Lee. Lee is the artist who first pulled me into the world of comics during his early run on WildC.A.T.s, which ended it’s 18-year run last year. He is also well known for his early 90’s work on X-Men, the mutant heroes of rival company, Marvel. In the minds of many fans, Jim Lee is one of the finest artists
That talent is made abundantly clear in the pages of Justice League. Every detail is clear and the whole of the images are stunning, as usual. Lee is one of the few artists out there who sees the forest despite the trees. He doesn’t get lost in details. His work shows the major focus of the image and visual storytelling. Over the years, his artwork has only gotten better. The issue also features inks by Scott Williams and incredible colors, courtesy of Alex Sinclair.
To put it in perspective, the last time I saw artwork and colors this rich and crisp was in the pages of Alex Ross’ graphic novel, Kingdom Come.
If we continue to see this level of creativity (and hopefully a bit more action) in the coming months, there may just be a new favorite for this fan. Hopefully we can see a bit more action and better pacing in the next issues. All things considered, I give this an 7.8* out of 10.
(After reviewing my article and a second look at Justice League, I scaled the score back from 8.8 to the 7.8 you see above.)