Writer: Scott Snyder / Artists: Cheung, Morales / Colorist: Morey / Letters: Napolitano / DC Comics
Snyder is here! His first issue reintroduces us to the League, while giving us a brief look at how things work with J’onn as the new team leader. Yes, you read that right. M-Squared is out here linkin’ the league up on that MindSkype, and the team is all the better for it. But this wouldn’t be a first issue without an introduction to the conflict. It’s all fun and games until a seemingly sentient space-time warping comet comes hurtling toward the Earth with purpose.
Snyder narrates this book with an omniscient third-person narrator. Doing this makes the story feel more like a tale, as you don’t really know who the narrator is, and since they seem to know everything, they hold so much of the power of the story itself. So as the reader, we put a lot of trust in the narration because they steer us in the right direction. I wonder if this trust will be tested at some point…
J’onn was such a pleasure for me. It makes me happy to see him with some agency, but it’s conveyed in a way where it makes complete sense. You end up sitting there scratching your head wondering how this hasn’t been done before. If Superman is Michael Jordan, Martian Manhunter is Phil Jackson. That’s how important his role is to this iteration of the League.
The key to a book like this is balance. There are so many characters it’s easy for some of them to slip through the cracks, but Snyder does a good job of giving everyone shining moments that make their presence felt.
Jim Cheung is on the art, and honestly, I’m on board simply for the fact that Hawkgirl has comic-book eyes. Shiera looks like she walked right out of your television from 2003 and onto the pages of this comic. Other than that, I think Cheung’s style can carry the weight of the conflict while remaining fun when the moment calls for it. The penciled linework stands out as the foundation of the art and adds to the level of weight that this book holds that wouldn’t be as prevalent if it was done digitally.
Honestly, my only gripe about this first issue is that J’onn isn’t front and center on the cover. I understand why, and I get that that also isn’t exactly the creative team’s decision, but that doesn’t make it sit right with me. If this is his team, embrace it. The Trinity sells, we get it, but I don’t think it would really hurt if they weren’t in the middle of every cover.
Justice League sets out to be Snyder’s most ambitious comic to date. After one issue, it’s holding up to its promise. Snyder and his team are focused and full of purpose, all while having a bit of fun.
9.7 How Many Jokers Are There Out Of 10
Reading Justice League? Find BNP’s other reviews here.