A Perfect First Issue: Justice League #1 By Snyder, Cheung And Morales

by Oliver MacNamee

Having survived the escapades of both Dark Night: Metal and Justice League: No Justice, the more extensive new roster of heroes that make up the different facets of the all-new globally – and galaxy – spanning superhero team have their work cut out for them. But, they’ve only got themselves to blame really. I mean, they did break the Source Wall and now the universe is on a countdown to its demise, with a huge, blazing ball of power heading through time and space and to Earth in the here and now.

And that’s not to mention all the once-bottled worlds that Brainiac collected like some super-powered Comic Book Guy, that have now come back to life. Oh, and the Dark Multiverse too. Don’t forget that! Is that enough of a multiple threat for you? I can’t remember a time when the Justice League had it so bad. Talk about looking down the barrel of a gun! Seems like Luthor may have been onto something when he decided to prepare for entropy over justice as the whole of the DC multiverse balances precariously on the edge of extinction. Just don’t tell him I said so. He’s an egotistical ass as it is.

This series feels like it has been a long time in coming, but now it’s here it’s an explosive debut and a great romp, too. I mean, you’ve just read the threats Snyder is willing to take onboard, may of them his own creation. But then as witnessed in his own classic run on Batman (52 issues!) Snyder has shown that he can not only plan ahead, but he’s one of the best plate spinners in the business. I’m so glad this is bi-monthly. I don’t think I could honestly wait a month for the next issue.

Offering up the suggestion –  in this new, as yet incompletely formed Rebirth universe –  that all the histories of the Justice League we knew and loved and loathed (yep, The Detroit Justice League gets a visual shout out with the various costumes of previous members exhibited in the brand spanking new Hall of Justice) are now rolled up and into this Justice League’s history that, rightfully so, gives a nod to all that has come before. And, from the first page too; what will come as well. Like the earlier issues of Metal, this is an enjoyable mish-mash of Justice League lore, from various media and eras. After all, alongside the Hall of Justice, we see Luthor acquire and access the shady HQ of Vandal Savage and easily overthrow this immortal man with intellect and good old fashioned capitalism. A HQ many will recognise from the Super Friends cartoon we never got over here in the UK, but were more than aware of. We are talking about the Legion of Doom here!

Snyder has done his homework. Or rather, he has a lifetime of reading and collecting to delve through to create a new Justice League that will appeal to the nostalgic middle age readers, like Snyder and myself, as well as offer up something new, fresh and expansive, for newer readers. There is so much mentioned – often in passing – that you just know could be picked up on later on and developed. It’s a comic that offers the promise of greatness in both storytelling and art, with Jim Cheung and Mark Morales giving a great performance in the amount they have to visualise and the layout on the page. In one double page spread, for example, Cheung and Morales give us a who’s who of the new JL, as well as the implication that there are now many divisions to this superhero showboat; spawned as they have from the varied teams Brainiac concocted in the No Justice mini series.

 

Meanwhile, thanks to Snyder’s skills at the aforementioned plate spinning (and making it look so effortless), we also have time for the close-ups too. We witness J’onn J’onzz’z self-doubt as the new chairperson of this JL, as well as some great moments of humour too. No more so than the harder hitters of the League mimicking Batman as they battle through a battalion of varied bad guys and bad situations. All this and the briefest of hints at what is to come for these bravest and boldest of the DCU. It also allows Snyder to not complete turn his back on Batman of The Joker either. Which should be fun in the months to come.

I sense big things for this title and it’s only the first issue. I can’t wait to see what Jorge Jimenez does with these icons now.

For me, this is a perfect first issue. Enough clever exposition to invite in new readers, as well as pleasing the fans, while forging a new chapter (that’s what they say, right?) in the lives, loves and legend that is the Justice League. Welcome back to greatness, guys. It’s been a while.

If you ain’t buying this one. there’s still time to scoop up the first issue as well as add it to your pull list too. I did.

Justice League #1 is currently available from DC Comics.