9/06/2011

New 52 Justice League: Thoughts Of A Non-Fan

I guess that title is a little misleading: I have nothing against DC Comics, the characters, or even the reboots. What I intended that to mean is that I lean toward Marvel. Always have. Marvel began my love for comics so their characters hold a special place for me that DC just never captured. I've always liked Batman and Green Lantern, but never enough to spend thousands of dollars looking into the history of the characters, just to catch up on a future that DC would ret-conn eventually anyway.

But now, with DC rebooting their entire line and all of their characters, a "non-fan" like me has the chance to start at the beginning without needing to get a second mortgage (which would be impossible for me since I don't even have a house). I've been behind the idea since it was announced, and with the release of Justice League #1 this past Wednesday, my feelings have been pretty much cemented.

I did say "pretty much".

Let's just lay this out: I loved the hell out of Justice League #1. Geoff Johns has a way of writing comics that just fills his readers with wonderment. He tells such a fantastic story; his pacing is spot-on and his dialogue is so natural. Pairing that with the famous art of Jim Lee and there's almost no way that the issue could be bad.

While I felt that the introductions of the "new" characters was done well, I really think that releasing the entire line in a single month is just the wrong way to go about it.

Be warned. Spoilers may start here:

Green Lantern meets Batman face-to-face in the very first issue. They banter, each one admitting that they had heard of the other. They both have heard rumors of an alien in Metropolis (do I need to explain who they're referring to?), who shows up at the end of the issue. Oh, and Cyborg shows up, too. But not as Cyborg. As a high school football star. All of the characters come together so quickly and, while the Justice League doesn't get formed by the first issue, it damn near seems like it does. Everything happens so quickly that it almost made me shake my head in disbelief.

I would have preferred things to roll out more slowly, with Justice League being the last title to hit the stands, instead of the first. Slowly building up to the Justice League launch, say over the course of three or four months, would have allowed the writers to introduce many elements of the individual relationships of the characters, their trust and mistrust, and begin the gelling process before these heroes decide to join up and form a super-team.

In the end, I'm not a comic publisher; I don't know anything about the industry and don't claim to. But I am a fan who loves comic stories. I've read enough of them throughout my years to see what works well and what doesn't. I also know my buying habits. If a book doesn't wow me by issue 3, I tend to drop in, either saving the four bucks or putting it toward something that can hold my interest longer. In the end, if their goal was to gain more readership, DC took some amazingly drastic measures that, for their sake, I hope pay off. Of course, given the responsibilities that I have, like rent, food, and other necessities, I won't be able to jump into their relaunch headlong and hang on for the ride. I'll need to carefully pick and choose my purchases. But by that token, they have gained something of a new reader in me, who is willing to pick up even three or four new titles than I did last month. So, in a way, their gamble paid off, and they did gain a new reader.

But can they retain the new readers they gain? That is the true question...

1 comment:

  1. Okay, since you are a Marvel guy (and, for the most part, I historically have been one too), I will let your review slide because you probably haven't read the million times this story has been told: Batman meets Green Lantern, they dislike each other, Batman is grumpily, Green Lantern's an arrogant prick, they find Superman, everyone fights!

    For you, this is probably new. For people just starting to read comics because of the relaunch (reboot, whatever the hell its called), this story is new. But for the rest of us, this is carcass that's been beaten to death! Johns did not bring anything new to the game. His dialogue seems ripped right out of All Star Batman and Robin #9 except he left out all the "Goddamns" and the lemonage. by the way, Jim Lee drew AS B&R #9... so the whole thing feels like deja vue.

    Ranting aside, I will be back to see what you thought of Action Comics 1 and Batman 1 (Scott Snyder rules)!

    ReplyDelete

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