cover image Justice League, Vol. One: Origin

Justice League, Vol. One: Origin

Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams. DC, $24.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4012-3461-4

As a part of DC’s global reboot program, the New 52, these first six issues of Justice League serve as a fast-paced if dramatically inert origin story. Writer Johns resets the time line to “five years ago,” when the world at large fears and mistrusts Batman, the Green Lantern, and Superman. Beset by infighting, these three are joined by Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg to battle ever-multiplying emissaries sent by Darkseid to collect and recycle human beings. The plotting and character dynamics are mechanical and cautious: our heroes haven’t really changed, but their costumes have. Cocky quips (the Green Lantern to Batman: “You’re not just some guy in a bat costume, are you?”) abound, but do little to change or develop readers’ decades-old familiarity with these characters. The artwork by Lee and Williams reflects the industry standard for superhero tales: dynamic action is masterfully staged, while bodies suffer from anatomical hysteria. These first issues’ major objective is persuading readers to again recalibrate their imaginations so that future stories are less burdened by continuity concerns. It’s entertaining, but has the staying power of a stick of Juicy Fruit. (May)