Friday, March 13, 2015

Reader's Diary #1129- Geoff Johns (Writer), Jim Lee (Penciller): Justice League, Volume 1 Origin

It was just last year that I read Geoff John's Flashpoint but I can already tell that I am becoming a fan of his work. I'm not a fully converted DC Comics guy yet, but they struck gold when they hired him for sure.

As the entire DC Comics universe got rebooted with the New 52 line, Justice League #1 is a new origin story of how the unlikely (not really) team up of the Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Batman, and Cyborg came to be. This may or may not have been a problem for long time fans but being new to it all, this origin story is all I've known, therefore I have nothing to compare it to. That said, I was familiar with most of the characters and I enjoyed how Johns wittily played with their stereotypes. I loved for instance how none of the other 6 could quite get that Batman had no super powers. At one point the Green Lantern says to him, "You can't fly, how else were we going to get here? Talk in a deep voice?"

Unlike Flashpoint, however, I think Justice League #1 is friendlier to newcomers. For one, 7 is much more manageable of a number than the superhero stew that was Flashpoint (and keep in mind, I enjoyed that book as well, even as a relative newcomer). While the fast-paced, often funny storyline (involving the villain Darkseid) is not lost, the goal seems to be establishing unique personalities while making it plausible (comic book plausible) that they would find a way and purpose to work together.

As for Jim Lee's artwork, I enjoyed it well enough. It didn't stray too far from classic, moderately realistic superhero fare, but I did quite like what I took to be very subtle manga influences. The thin, sharp penciling reminded me of Akira, as did the action sequences in which the characters stayed stationary while the background seemed to rush by.

What I find interesting about comics in this day and age, and this goes for Marvel as well, is how many storylines involve a mistrusting and skeptical non-superhero human populace. For all the trouble superheroes fight, how much of it, the people wonder, did they invite in the first place? And how much damage did they cause in the process? It's fascinating to consider all of this as social commentary. In the wake of 9/11 it seems like more and more have questioned the United States in this very manner...

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I like the idea of comic book as social commentary on the disruption/damage caused by superheroes. Who's gonna pay to clean up those messes?