A month and a half after starting the new 52, Justice League returns with Johns and Lee still at the reins. This issue gives a lot of action and continues to set up for the big bad that will bring the league together. Although the art is appealing and the story is interesting, I can’t help but want this flashback arc to be over so we can get to the League’s adventures in the present.
Johns continues the great banter between the heroes in this issue, with Batman going toe-to-toe with Superman for a little while. This Superman does seem to be more aggressive and it’s interesting to see the Man of Steel succumb to his anger against fellow heroes (or vigilantes at least at this time). Batman stays true to his character and is already placing himself as one of the leaders of the League by keeping the other heroes on track. Green Lantern continues to be a smart-ass who thinks that he can do everything by himself.
During Superman’s berserker rage, the Flash is brought into the picture and, as another one of John’s previous projects (The Flash: Rebirth, The Flash and Flashpoint), it’s easy to see that Johns enjoys the character. From the few pages Flash is featured in, we see that he is still the quick thinking forensic officer he was before. Johns gives us a look into each of the character’s personalities this issue and it’s great to see that they all have their unique outlook on the team dynamic.
As Johns sets up for the big bad, we’re also given more backstory between Victor Stone, Cyborg’s civilian identity, and his father. We get a look at the troubled relationship between Stone and his father. If you’ve ever had a parent put work or a project of theirs before you or the family itself, this scene will hit close to home. Their relationship troubles may need to be resolved or at least put to the side soon as the big bad comes closer to appearing.
Lee’s art fits the tone of the book very well and, dare I say, the costume changes to the League have grown on me. Sure, they all have collars now, but I like the idea of them fortifying themselves with armor. The designs look great and, although it won’t occur in this book (I believe it’s going to be in Morrison’s Action Comics), I’m very interested in seeing the story behind Superman’s Kryptonian armor.
Lee captures the movement and body language of the characters well, the Flash is constantly moving and Superman’s stances are always powerful, as if he’s going to overpower someone at any moment. The fights that go on in the book exude power, as if the sonic boom from the Flash or Superman is going to go off and clear the room I’m currently in. The last few pages of the book are filled to the brim and Lee doesn’t neglect any of the details on the characters in the pages.
Justice League has gained speed and over the next few months lets hope it doesn’t lose its impetus. Once we have the full team gathered it’ll be much more engrossing as we’ll deal with more of the team dynamic then we have so far.
WRITING: 4 / ART: 4 / OVERALL: 4