The honeymoon phase of DC Rebirth is over and much of this world is firmly established. That doesn’t mean everything has been revealed, however, and there are still plenty of characters yet to appear (where is Shazam?). Following the successful and entertaining Justice League VS Suicide Squad, Batman puts together the Justice League of America Rebirth team — a team without gods.
Killer Frost has turned over a new leaf, redeeming herself enough to gain Batman’s trust. She wasn’t the only JL VS SS participant to find a new purpose; old school fan-favorite Lobo also finds himself in the “good” graces of the Bat. He also enlists Vixen, Atom, The Ray, and Black Canary. Needless to say, it’s an interesting team composition and first issue is all about getting the band together.
What’s the best thing about Ocean’s Eleven and D2: The Mighty Ducks? Assembling the team. Steve Orlando delivers a fun and well-paced starting point for DC’s new godless JLA. It’s also a perfect starting point for any new readers as any Rebirth #1 issue should be, just a tiny introduction for each character without slowing the narrative down or using those tired Suicide Squad dossier pages. This isn’t going to be the easiest group of people to manage, and Orlando makes it clear how full Batman’s hands are going to be.
With his Bat-Family team seemingly losing a member every other week in Detective Comics, Batman himself in need of a fresh start. And it’s pretty funny that Batman is opposed to enlisting a “kid” Atom considering how many Robins there have been. Making the sexist space-biker scumbag Lobo work with a couple of strong female heroes is also worth exploring in the stories to come. Who would’ve thought so many good things could come out of such a silly looking event like Justice League VS Suicide Squad?
Justice League of America Rebirth #1 reads and looks like a DC Comic of old — no sleek polish or new shade, this book feels like the JLA as it should be. Ivan Reis and Joe Prado provides compelling visual introductions for each character, with old characters feeling familiar and new characters made to look interesting. The Ray specifically has a design I particularly enjoy, like Sunspot meets a Kree soldier from Marvel. The final page of this issue fully showcases the team and it’s potential for maximum fun.
Getting the gang together is always how team books begin. Steve Orlando and company make it feel fresh and definitely earn the trust of readers who pick up JLA Rebirth #1. Batman certainly has a full plate so far in this Rebirth universe, and I wonder how that will affect his relationship with this newly formed team? A team that could seemingly blow itself apart at any moment!