Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Justice League of America #1

Comic Review: Justice League of America #1

JLA Justice League of America #1 roster David Finch New 52

With its fresh cast, down-to-earth tone and succinct storytelling, Justice League of America #1 by Geoff Johns and David Finch feels tailor-made for the New 52.

Johns uses the now-famous Superman/Wonder Woman kiss from Justice League as the impetus to create a government-sanctioned team of heroes capable of taking down the better-known international Justice League, and he uses Wonder Woman’s soldier ex-boyfriend Steve Trevor as the anchor point. It’s a clever seed to start a team, and while we don’t get to see the new JLA assembled, Johns does a superb job at introducing each one through a briefing scene between Trevor and Amanda Waller.

Justice League Superman Wonder Woman kiss New 52

The kiss that launched the JLA.

The JLA is assembled from a New 52-driven cast of heroes that readers may not know so well, but Johns’ greatest accomplishment here is in how aptly he portrays each character. Katana and Vibe are the freshest faces, but Johns clearly has a good grasp of how they work and how he will use them. Old secondary Justice League members Hawkman, Green Arrow, Star Girl and Martian Manhunter get their due narrative attention before signing on, and sometime-villain Catwoman is even justified as a necessary counter for Batman. Only Green Lantern Simon Baz feels a little left out, but he’ll be just fine going forward in the hands of his creator.

In fact, Justice League of America will soon be the only place for Geoff Johns to write Baz, as the longtime Green Lantern scribe has abdicated that title to focus on his JL and JLA stories.

Artist David Finch is also looking at a new chapter in his career with Justice League of America after leaving Batman: The Dark Knight, and so far, things are looking bright. Relatively bright, at least, because Finch brings a scratchy darkness to this comic that is well-suited to its quieter, grittier take on the Justice League model. Finch adds a welcome air of menace to characters like Hawkman, J’onn J’onzz and even Steve Trevor. This team is meant to menace the Justice League, after all; if they’re meant to bring down the bright and shiny A-listers, they’d better be pretty damn tough.

Justice League of America #1 is a perfect introduction to a team of new and long-absent heroes. The going is going to be tough for this disparate bunch, especially if – or when – they go up against their more powerful counterparts.

Justice League of America looks like it will be a hard-nosed title that’s absolutely worth reading – though probably not worth buying all 52 variant covers.

9 out of 10

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