After months of bitching in anticipation, DC's big gamble finally became a real book in my hands. How's it stack up? How am I going to differentiate myself from 95% of the rest of the blogosphere? Join me after the graphic and let's find out.
The Big Story:
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jim Lee
"Are these books always four dollars," the FutureWife asked as I forced her to read the issue in question. After I nodded in the affirmative, she retorted, "seems pretty light for four bucks..."
To me, that about sums up what I expect a new fan to think about this book. It looks nice and it reads okay, but the price is a bit high and the page count seemingly lacking (In reality it's fine, I'm just pointing out what a new reader would thing). That's not a good combination when you're trying to win over new fans.
The substance of the book is less 'Justice League' as it is 'Brave and the Bold'. Instead of trotting out new or lapsed storytelling techniques for this introductory issue of 'The New 52', the powers that be opted instead to rely on that tired old decompressed method that's been the rage for the past few years. So instead of seeing the team come together in this issue, we saw Green Lantern and Batman meeting for the first time and chasing down a lead. It wasn't a bad story, it just wasn't a special one.
Justice League #1 didn't feel like something that needed the entire universe to be reset for and that's a major problem. Where it should have been fresh and new, it instead felt like well-worn territory with a fancy new coat of paint. Sure, the attitudes of the heroes changed a bit - Hal, for better or worse, sounds a lot more like Ryan Reynolds now, for instance - but for the most part it felt like something that could have been told in the pre-Flashpoint Universe with some minor tweaks.
For all my bitching, I really wanted to be blown away by this book. I wanted to totally eat crow while writing this review, feeling embarrassed by over-reaction to the snippets of details I had. Alas, that's not the case. But instead of feeling vindicated, I feel sad for DC's big shakeup and what I see as a big missed opportunity.
That said, I did witness two non-fans coming into my comic store to buy all the new number ones. So regardless of what I - or the rest of the blogosphere, for that matter - thinks, the big relaunch achieved it's goal of getting new faces in the stores. I just hope they're forgiving enough to stick around for next month...