Friday, September 09, 2011

Justice League #1 Review

And now that I have a digital stack of new comics in my iPad, I can no longer delay my review of Justice League #1. In short… I liked it, and encourage you to read it.

There are so many panicked, pitchfork-wielding fanboys choking the streets lately , crying “The Continuity is falling, the Continuinty is falling!” To which I say, again… “eh”. The character I'm seeing are recognizable in a good way; that's all the "continuity" I really need

I open Justice League and I see Hal Jordan being an overconfident bozo and see Batman being, well… Batman. The two very different styles are highlighted and contrasted in the course of the story, resulting in yer basic “And Together They Fight Crime!” scenario.

You may not be a fan of Geoff Johns, in fact, you may be a Pantha Loyalist, and think he’s a bloodthirsty gore-hound who eats Rob Zombie films for breakfast (and possibly Rob Zombie himself). Be that as it may, ya gotta give him this: he’s no dummy. Of DC’s best known icons, the two with recent films under their utility belts and a steady and familiar characterization accompanied by surrounding elements are Green Lantern and Batman. So making them –the characters being ‘rebooted’ the least – the center of the first issue of Justice League is a smart move. Anyone who likes, or even knows, those characters will see something they are familiar with as the starting point for the New DCU.

The plot has some amusing naivety about it that almost reminded of those famous clue-sparked free associations sessions Adam West and Burt Ward used to have in the Batcave. “It happened at SEA! See? ‘C’ … for Catwoman!” If I were to discover a Mother Box in a Gotham sewer, my first thoughts would not be, “It’s alien! And so is that caped nut in Metropolis! LET’S GO, ROBIN—er, I mean, LANTERN!” But, hey, it’s young Bruce and Hal; they don’t have the perspective to say (as I did), “Kirby’s crackle! A frikkin’ Mother Box?! I, mean, STILL with the Fourth World crap? For THIS we REBOOTED…?!?!” Very little could please me less than DC’s unwillingness/inability to let sleeping Kirby Dots lie, but even I have to admit Darkseid makes a more appropriate threat for bringing together the Justice League than the Ersatzians, er, I mean, the Appellaxians.

It was interesting to see Batman and Green Lantern paired together with such dynamic contrast. Traditionally, that treatment has been reserved for Batman and Superman. In fact, the Superman/Batman comic did so with such relentless lack of subtlety that it nearly made me put my head and hand in a hydraulic press and beg Helene to throw the switch. Granted Superman and Batman do exemplify the Apollonian/Dionysian heroic disjunction rather neatly; but Batman and Green Lantern do so much more interestingly and amusingly.

Speaking of Superman… it’s good to see him back. I’m disappointed (but not really surprised) at all the fans-in-law (the pop culture hipsters who comment on comics even though they don’t actually read them) who are raising their eyebrows (with either approval, disapproval, or mere supercilious detachment) about Superman’s “new edgy” attitude (“Hey, kids! The new Superman’s a dick!”). Newsflash, hipsters: Superman’s always been a dick. As I’m sure you’ve read elsewhere, this “new edgy” Superman is, in essence, the character that actually debuted in the late 1930s, when people were poor and fed up with government’s inability or unwillingness to tackle the kinds of social justices brought on by untrammeled capitalism. Grant Morrison has decided to give us that Superman back and I agree with him 100%. Yeah… you heard me: Grant Morrison is 100% correct in this and I agree with him completely. The Golden Age Superman kicked butt and didn’t care what you, the police, or anyone else thought about it. He was, like every Golden Age hero, a smack-talking wise-ass vigilante.

Silver Age Superman (“Why is my face not on the quarter?”) was legendarily conceited, and the Bronze Age Superman was no slouch in the “sometimes it’s a drag to be infallible” department. Where DID all these youngsters get the idea that Superman was a “big blue Boy Scout”? Oh, of course…from Frank Miller and Richard Donner. “I never lie, Lois”; great Caesar’s ghost, Clark, you lie EVERY SINGLE FRICKKIN’ DAY. Your entire LIFE is a LIE. I’m fine with that, but Richard Donner kind of overlooked it. And since none of these youngsters have ever read a pre-Crisis in-continuity comic in their lives they bought this pabulum about Superman being super-nice. Yeah, tell that to the miniature rainbow Superman that he jealously sent to his death In Superman #125.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011