Monday, February 27, 2017

Comic Book Review: Justice League of America #1

By: Jerry Montgomery
February 22, 2016

Justice League of America  #1
“The Extremists, Part 1”

Written by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Ivan Reis

Batman has been in many versions of The Justice League and seems, has always been at odds with them and more often than not,  has led to his departure from the League…or Leagues? Anyway, Batman has never seemed to stick around but this time may be different. For Batman, the stakes this time will be different. You see, he’s forming the JLA, hand picking its members to form a new kind of team. A team more grounded and more inspirational to the people they have sworn to protect. Its all about new beginnings and new futures.

Batman, believing that this new Justice League of America should no longer consist of “gods” looking down at  the powerless, wishes to recruit a team of “mortals” instead. Heroes that could inspire people to rise up and become heroes themselves.  In the previous issue, Justice League of America #1, Batman assembled the team, recruiting each member for their specific talents or attributes. Some, he’s even had to play on their egos. In the end, a new team is ready to follow Batman. Killer Frost or just Frost now, the ex-villain, now reformed and given a chance at redemption. Black Canary, one time lover and often ally to Green Arrow, agrees to join to be the team's conscience. There’s also the main man himself, Lobo, the intergalactic biker bounty hunter, homage to the likes of the Punisher and Wolverine and favorite DC character of Stan Lee. Rounding out the team is The Ray, the new Atom and Vixen, the model turned superhero, once meant to be the first female African American to have her own title. It seems like an unlikely group but Batman thinks these heroes  are the ones best to embody this new Justice League of his.

Issue #1 opens up with just another day for the JLA as all the members are off battling threats or fixing up the new headquarters known as the Sanctuary. Each member can answer a call without being far away from the rest of the group as each holds a “teleportation” tablet to assemble quickly if needed. That’s  something they can all use when a new threat emerges in Saratoga, NY in the form of a group of super powered interdimensional aliens known as The Extremists that teleports to this world. Their intentions? To save the Earth from a destruction that claimed their own world. And how do they plan to do this? Why rule over us, of course! Thus ensues a battle for the planet when Batman and his fledgling JLA turn up to challenge them. Can Batman and his team of “mortal” heroes hope to defeat these gods from afar? You’ll have to read this one to find out!

The Verdict: If you’re a fan of the JLA or just team books, now’s the time to get on board with issue 1 with this one. Though technically, this is the second issue in this new Rebirth since each Rebirth title has two number 1 issues with the first serving as an introduction. JLA is written by longtime DC writer, Steve Orlando, so the story is entertaining though the plot may be harkening back too soon to similar tales such as the Forever Evil crossover series from a few years back about invading super beings bent on taking over the world. Artist, Ivan Reis does a good job on the penciling by providing good detail in his panels from facial expressions and all the way to the soles of character’s boots. All in all, a nice looking book with plenty of Batman present to draw a good fanbase to offset most of these lesser known characters that always seem to show up in these sort of team books. On the upside however, writers can be a bit more daring in writing and shaping these less used heroes.

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