Okay, I don’t think I can say this enough whenever I talk about anything dealing with DC, so I’ll state it again.
My exposure to DC has been limited. I’ve read plenty of their momentous storylines and have always had friends who kept me updated on the happenings in the DC universe. Admittedly, I am a Marvel fanatic and always felt like Marvel did a better job of making their characters seem human. DC was like that one cute boy that I hung out with when I wanted to make Marvel jealous, but knew I’d always go back after a round of telling DC: “It’s not you… it’s me.”
However, it looks like in recent years that DC has done much to try to make people relate to their characters more by featuring more stories that focus on them as a characters. Of course, this has been hit-or-miss as most things are, but I had to appreciate them for trying. Right when I was really getting into the apex of reading more of these character-driven stories, they decided they wanted to start with a clean slate.
I know that depressed many fans, especially considering some of the ill plans to do away with many things that they loved such as Barbara Gordon’s return to being Batgirl when so many people—myself included—felt that she was more formidable as Oracle and represented another minority in the oft whitewashed, male world of comics. And I can understand those feelings tempering how they view the New 52.
I enjoy opinions on the matter, especially those from longtime fans, and I enjoy discussing these things. But in the end, I try to gauge my feelings on something based on my own perception of what I’m reading and give an honest assessment of what I’ve read—straight with no chaser. And maybe this is all easy for me to say because I have no real attachment to DC. Up until a few months ago, I still only dipped my toes in the water every now and again. Then, on recommendations from friends, I picked up more comics in the DC world.
I haven’t read any reviews on this aside from one friend’s at this point. I wanted to read and think about this first before engaging in any serious talk about it, entering this new DC with a fresh mind and attempt to try very hard at not comparing it to its former self. Sure, I may make a couple of points about things from the comics before the reboot, but I’ll mostly try to keep it relevant to the reboot.
WARNING: There be spoilers beyond this point. Read at your own risk.
There was a time when the world didn’t call them its greatest heroes. There was a time when the world didn’t now what a super-hero was.
Opening lines to Justice League #1. Opening lines for me always seem to set the tone for what I’m about to read, and I liked these opening lines. The story opened right where you’d expect it to by throwing you straight into the deep end without any floaties.
We meet Batman first. He’s chasing something over the rooftops of Gotham, and the Gotham PD is chasing him and it. There’s a little commentary here between the cops about just taking both of them out. Their relationship with heroes are precarious at this point, and this is the type of rational response you’d think the cops would have to this rather than just standing around like a bunch of fools. Shoot to kill. Can’t blame them.
Batman is still pretty much true true to himself. Not much has really changed as far has his character goes in this new 52. I noticed as I was reading some of the later arcs about Batman before the reboot that he still seemed a myth to many people while readers would believe that everyone knew who Batman was thanks to earlier comics and the television shows and movies. I liked that they decided to keep that mythical route, to make him almost a fairytale, like the Loup Garou (prounouned “loo garoo,” French for werewolf basically, and a name used in my area many times in place of werewolf) that parents tell their kids to keep them in line.
Batman is already showing that his detective skills and sheer willpower will probably beat your super powers. And at this point, it appears that they plan to keep the same brooding, intelligent, non-powered hero that everyone has come to know and love.
Anyhow, enter Green Lantern from the West Coast doing intergalactic cop things. He runs this sector, y’know. He doesn’t want you to forget that.
“I got this, Batman,” is a mantra that is heard often with Hal and usually ends up with him being shown that he doesn’t really have this. And nothing shows that better than when Batman took Hal’s ring right off his finger. Batman reminded me of that guy from Kung-Fu Hustle that took a gun that was pointed at him right out the minions hand like, “Oh, what’s this?”
Hal is doing many helpful things with his rings, but he’s flashy. Batman doesn’t like bright and shiny. That’s not his style. Hal doesn’t seem to get it, and I can almost see Batman wanting to do a Picardian double face palm. But it would mean having to take his eyes off Simple Sam, and that’s not a good idea.
|Insert Batman here.|
So, after hearing one of the aliens scream out an obvious suicide cry—that Hal didn’t get—about Darkseid (my fingers hate typing that) before trying to kill both Green Lantern and Batman along with itself, they decide, “Oh hey! That Superman guy is an alien. Let’s go bother him about this.” Aliens all know one another apparently, and Hal’s ring is unable to read the “computer” the alien left behind.
Cut to Victor Stone who will become Cyborg. (Did anyone else noticed that one of his teammates’ last name was Didio? It’s really the only name you can read on one of the jerseys.) I really like that Vic is a talented football player who doesn’t care about what they say about his superior sports skill. He’s just a kid who wants to show off for his dad and make him proud. I think so few people really know what Vic’s (and so many of these characters aside from like Batman and Superman) origins are.
It’s nice that they’re trying to start off on the right foot with where these unfamiliar characters came from rather than just throwing them at us. And Vic’s story is shaping to be a sad one.
At this point, I’m going to assume that he’s going to be some kid who’s given these powers—maybe even somehow doing this to himself or being injured to the point that his dad sees to it that he’s made “better”—who’s going to have to come to terms with the implication of these new abilities. And right now, readers are left open to speculation about how he becomes Cyborg and what affect will his age have on him as a superhero, especially when you line him up against the seasoned Batman and the intergalactic cop, Green Lantern.
Batman and Green Lantern don’t come into direct contact with him yet, but they do fly brightly over the football field he played on while everyone looks up at them and starts speculating on “them.” Superman only shows up in the last few pages, but there’s a little beforehand talk about him. Batman warns Green Lantern that Superman is very power. But Hal’s got this (LOL) and ends up being cannonballed by Superman who almost arrogantly asks, “What can you do?”
I can’t really make a comment on Superman’s new self just yet, but he’s not wearing any underwear.
|I haven't edited this to say, "So... I'm not wearing any underwear," but I'm gonna.|
I won’t say I was bowled over by this story, but it did seem that they tried to temper it a little bit by not introducing everyone at one time or giving away the whole story in the first comic. I liked that we see them from a meeting up for the first time perspective, and how their personalities are already starting to meld and clash rather, than to have everyone already sitting around the round table like, “Best friends forever, let’s do this.”
I’d give this maybe a 2.5. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. It’s enough to keep me interested, but it’s far from the big bang that it could’ve been.