When the reboot was announced I was excited. As each new creative team, title and cover was teased out over the month of June I grew more and more impressed and anxious for the titles to come. I wanted my Animal Man now. I wanted my Snyder Swamp Thing now. I wanted my Batwoman five months ago…
Then a funny thing happened. About three weeks ago I found myself still anxious, but not for the new, but scared of it. All of a sudden I wasn’t looking forward to this. I didn’t want to let go of the DCU I learned to love over the past 15 years.
But you can’t stop change so here I am with my new digital copy of Justice League #1.
The new status quo of the DCU is more realistic in some ways than the past. The fantastic is still here—Green Lantern still makes constructs out of thin air, but the world isn’t exactly welcoming of the metahumans. They fear what is different, which is likely how it would play out today. And it makes sense—many of these beings are super powerful, and as Green Lantern shows, they aren’t scared to flaunt it.
The story is pretty typical—quick introduction, fight, subplot, cliffhanger. The art by Jim Lee is not his best (see his Flinch story, or his B&W work), but it’s better than it has been in a long time. With the DCU being set five years in the past, this book is a tease of the new DCU. The real premier will be over the next weeks when the rest of the titles come out.
Did I like this? I want to, but I’m not sure if I did. It felt light, but as a taste of the new DCU and what to expect it was merely just all right. I feel that this, and the whole relaunch is going to be unfairly (as the stakes are a lot bigger for DC) compared to the Ultimate line. Ultimate Spider-man started slow and now its one of the consistently best books on the market, so I am optimistic that this might become something special.
I’m also not sure if I’m the attended audience for this book. If I was 13 and given this, I’d be all over it. If the new DC goal is to get new, younger, readers than this book coupled with some other key books new DCU may do just that. If the goal is to make the old guard excited and happy, then they need to seriously look at the price of this book ($3.99 for 24 pages?) and in general be prepared for a backlash.
My final thought on the book is this— this issue while important isn’t what we should be judging. We should be judging the first complete story. It’s just a shame they gave us less than a taste of what is to come, when instead (for this price) they should have given a complete oversized done-in-one story with sub-plots to keep us interested for issue 2.
It’s true, you can’t stop change, but they sure can make it easier to embrace it.
A modified version of the above appeared on Geekscape