Monday, September 5, 2011

[September 5th] Thoughts on JLA Issue 1

In the wake of The New 52 here is what I think about the 1st issue of the new Justice League series. Statler and Waldorf summarize the rollercoaster I entered, when I opened my issue:

Jim Lee’s art kept me attention. Although I’m not partial to how he draws Batman’s chin [I’m guilty of watching too much The Brave and The Bold], Lee commands the panel. I wish that Geoff Johns could do the same in the writing department. While it’s true that he captures the emblematic douche-ness of Green Lantern Hal Jordon [a character I dislike and the more I’m exposed to his dialogue, the more I dislike the comic]; I feel as though half of what he says is unnecessary.

I’m unaware what the general opinion for infodumping is for comic books, because I’ve read older series, where a speech bubble took two thirds of a one-third-page panel, but Geoff is in details, which I don’t care for. Do I really need to know how Batman got the tip for the alien thing that did something at the docks? Do I really want to know Hal’s life story, considering both heroes are on the run from the police?

After the initial introductions between Batman and Green Lantern, the issue follows a very repetitive pattern. Batman says something, Jordan acts on impulse rather than any reasoning, something unexpected happens and then Batman swoops in to fix things. Check the ending, which foreshadows Batman vs. Superman fight*. I’m also not at all pleased with Batman’s new need to prove himself superior or more accurately the writer’s goal to have him be superior. The easy peasy way how he figured how the power ring worked and guessed what the robot planted in the sewer, when the power ring failed too.

Another issue I had stems from Cyborg’s pre-hero arc. While I do care, who Victor Stone was before becoming Cyborg, I don’t believe starting as far away from his origin is justified. First, his appearance is disconnected from the main plot [though plot is an overstatement right now] and then this first issue has to establish the readers’ interest in a staccato pace. Maybe Stone’s accident as a cliff-hanger would have boosted the appeal.

Is this a bad comic book? In on itself, no. Considering how many months went into The New 52 in terms of promotion and promises how everything would be altered, yes. I’ve read worse, but I can’t deny that this issue suffers from inefficient storytelling.

* Also who else thinks a Batman vs. Superman brawl is as cliché as ideas come.