In Review: Justice League of America #1

The cover: Re-enacting the timely image from Iwo Jima, Vibe, Catwoman, Green Arrow and Green Lantern (Simon Baz) plant a flag. Watching is Colonel Trevor, Katana, Star Girl, the Martian Manhunter, and Hawkman. Nice image by interior artist David Finch, but I wish he’d pulled in closer on the heroes, and had less of the flag. Overall grade: B

The story: The first page is a tease from five years earlier in London as Professor Ivo has a conversation with an unseen man. Ivo has “things to build.” Then we go to the present where someone is being chased by the Justice League. This masked individual believes he will die. We then go to a conversation between Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor. She wants him to be in charge of the JLA. The team’s roster is given to him and each character gets their moment to establish themselves in the book. The ultimate reasons for the team’s formation and Steve’s acceptance as its leader will either work for you or not. It didn’t for me. This wasn’t a reason to read a team book, let alone an iconic one like the JLA. I’ll give writer Geoff Johns credit, this is a plausible story in the “New 52″, but it’s too realistic for me. I’d like to think the heroes I enjoy would join together for altrustic reasons. Overall grade: B

The art: Following the story faithfully, artist David Finch makes this a dark book. Vibe and Star Girl are the only two positive members on the team, yet their surroundings and events are dark. Does it look good? Yes, but I picture the JLA fighting evil in the light; not so in this book. Pages 26 and 27′s double-paged spread neatly sums up this group’s purpose, and is the brightest part of this book, but story-wise is the darkest. Overall grade: B

The colors: Dark story, dark art, and–you guessed it–dark colors. Again, it looks good, Sonia Oback with Jeromy Cox fall right in line, but I”m getting depressed reading this. Overall grade: B

The letters: Able dialogue and narration and sounds from Rob Leigh, though Page 4 is strangely silent. Overall grade: B

The final line: This is the Marvel-ization of a DC book. It’s expertly done in every panel, but too dark, too depressing, and too expensive for me to follow. I’m “drawing the line” this time with this book. Overall grade: B

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