This review contains some spoilers.
Normally, you’d expect for Justice League to be DC’s flagship book, but more often than not, it’s merely a cool team-up title headlined by the publisher’s most popular characters. To be honest, that’s how it’s pretty much been since Geoff Johns vacated the driver’s seat before the launch of Rebirth, though it appears Scott Snyder is restoring the series to such prominence. I mean, it remains to be seen if he’ll match what Johns or Grant Morrison have accomplished – or even what he himself achieved during his Batman days, for that matter – but I’ve got a positive feeling about what lies ahead.
Right now, I’m guessing you may be wondering if having the “#1” on the cover truly makes this issue feel like a fresh start. In short, it does, and I say that because while both Dark Nights: Metal and Justice League: No Justice served as precursors and could be termed as required reading, I’m confident anybody can pick up this book and have fun. Plus, Snyder has reunited the crew from the beloved animated series – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, the Flash, Green Lantern John Stewart and Hawkgirl – in addition to throwing in recent mainstays Aquaman and Cyborg, so various sides of fandom should be quite pleased with what’s offered.
Much like Metal and No Justice, the first part in this arc is rather high concept and spins directly out of those two miniseries, but it feels more accessible and straightforward. My hope is that Snyder continue on this path because it’s highly possible to tell a compelling, intelligent story in a way that can be enjoyed by all without compromising the grandiosity of whatever’s swirling around in the writer’s brain. In other words, it’s my belief that Justice League must be equal parts monumental and popcorn.
So far, the maiden voyage manages to hit those bullet points, as our favorite heroes are joined by several others as they battle Vandal Savage’s “Neoanderthals” at various locations across the globe. In a way, it’s similar to a sequence opening up a James Bond movie, as it smoothly segues into what’s to come with a cosmic happening that I won’t spoil, and sees Lex Luthor further cement his return to the side of villainy – though I’m certain he remains a hero in his own mind.
Make no mistake, there are several occurrences you’ll read about that simply will incite much conversation on social media and in comic shops, so don’t say that I didn’t warn you. Granted, we’ll have to wait a couple weeks to see the full ramifications, but this marks a turning point for the DC Universe as a whole, which I’ll touch on momentarily.
Before I get out of here, I’d be sorely remiss if I don’t mention the contributions made by artist Jim Cheung, who vaguely made me recall the work of John Romita Jr. throughout my reading experience. I do believe that several other talents will swap duties going forward, but Cheung proves he can craft a blockbuster that isn’t bereft of emotion, so be sure to savor his time spent with Martian Manhunter.
As I was saying, Justice League #1 not only lays the foundation for what’ll likely be another awe-inspiring Snyder epic, but, I sense, the first step in the road toward DC’s next pivotal event…dare I say a CRISIS?
My first impression is that Scott Snyder's Justice League has all the urgency and importance of something like, say, Blackest Night or Final Crisis, so don't miss out.