Thursday, July 09, 2015

Reader's Diary #1174- Jeff Lemire (writer), Mike McKone (art): Justice League United, Vol. 1

Justice League United made Canadian headlines last year when Jeff Lemire announced he would be using the series to introduce the first Cree superhero to the DC roster, Equinox. Given that importance, and coming from Jeff Lemire, of whom I'm clearly a fan, I was very much looking forward to this one. Sadly, I have to say that for the first time ever, a Lemire book has left be disappointed. It had to happen sometime, I suppose.

Starting with Equinox, she's an okay character I suppose, but her story (involving being chased by a monster in the woods near Moosonee) seems almost insignificant to the story involving the newly forming Justice League United: Animal Man, Hawkman, Supergirl, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Adam and Alanna Strange, and Stargirl.

That said, if Equinox is underdeveloped the rest are but cardboard caricatures. Most of them I hadn't even heard of before, but was hoping to learn something, maybe even connect enough to explore them more fully. That didn't happen. But perhaps saddest of all was Animal Man, who Lemire had previously developed with so much depth in his own titular series. Here he's reduced to trading snide quips with Green Arrow.

The plot itself? Seems like a cross between Brian K. Vaughan's Saga series and Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira. A multi-race baby has been bred, with genes that including the fighting factions amongst many more, in the hopes that it will unite the opposing sides. But the baby has potential superpowers, dangerous powers if it should fall into the wrong hands. Of course the wrong hands appear and there are also those that want the baby destroyed. Justice League United, mostly under the leadership of Martian Manhunter who has bonded with the child, wants to protect it.

McKone's art is non-threatening, not innovative. But if I was complaining that it was too generic, I perhaps shouldn't have complained too loudly. There's a final story in this collected volume that is not drawn by McKone, but by Timothy Green. His certainly has a more distinct style, but I can't say it's one I appreciate. The females in particular have long, stretched out legs and tiny feet, and would look like Barbies except for hair that seems to float around them as if they're submerged underwater. All of which do nothing for the story. Style for the sake of style.

Would have I have felt as harsh had this not been Lemire and I didn't have such high expectations? Probably not, but then I'd probably not have read it either.

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It would almost be worth reading to see if the Barbie superheroes can run with their tiny little tippy-toed feet. But probably not.