|Cover to Justice League # 1|
At the beginning of September, DC threw away over 70 years of established backstory and relaunched their entire line starting with Justice League #1. The characters, places, and teams are all pretty much the same but with little tweaks here and there. These new books have revitalized DC by allowing new readers to easily jump in without having to worry about not knowing who any of the players are. While the new books are interesting for the most part, these three in particular have proven to be must buys every month.
|Justice League # 5 Variant Cover|
DC’s answer to the Avengers has taken an interesting route by showing the origin of the Justice League and how they came together, instead of starting with the team already established. Previous books and animated series’ have shown the team to be a cohesive unit, that puts the mission above all else. This incarnation is a bunch of solo heroes who don’t know and don’t fully trust each other. Most of the first arc has shown each of them insisting that they should be in charge and butting heads more often than not.
Jim Lee, the penciler, has put a lot of pressure on himself by having to draw not one or two, but six of the most iconic characters in DC lore. He seems to be more than up to the task. Superman and Batman finally got rid of the ridiculous briefs above the pants look. Green Lantern and the Flash have costumes that look more combat oriented. Wonder Woman and Aquaman haven’t gotten anything new but their redesigns pop off the page. The book has recently finished its’ first arc and revealed the group’s first real challenge, Darkseid. If the creative team can stick together (The writer, Geoff Johns, also writes Aquaman, The Flash, and Green Lantern) and continue to show the readers a fresh take on the formation of the group, there’s no reason Justice League can’t continue to sell like crazy.
|Aquaman # 1|
Arguably the most ridiculed superhero in the game, Aquaman has been a walking punchline for decades. The first issue even had S.W.A.T. officers, bank robbers, and random pedestrians poke fun at him to his face. Penciler Ivan Reis is trying to make sure that the jokes stop. The comic is amazingly drawn, from Aquaman himself, to the surprising choice of bad guys, to the visceral fight scenes.
The writing by Geoff Johns is working equally hard to take Aquaman in a slightly more serious tone while not afraid to inject some humor into it. A scene in a seafood restaurant and whether or not it’s morally right for him to eat fish comes to mind. This Aquaman is aware of the jokes about him but has decided to prove himself to the public. This is the most surprising success of the entire reboot. Maybe we were all just waiting for a creative team to take him a bit more serious before we could too.
|Deathstroke # 1|
I had never really heard about Deathstroke before this picking this one up. After reading the first one, I plan on getting it every month. As you can tell by the number of guns, knives, and bodies on the cover this is an extremely violent books. There are numerous deaths in every issue, some of which are a little over the top, but none of which look bad. Each issue is drawn very gritty by penciler Joe Bennett, to highlight the world of Deathstroke the assassin. Shadows and darkness are in every panel and you rarely see a panel where everything is fully lit up.
The writing is just as gritty as the art. Kyle Higgins writes Deathstroke as an aging legend who isn’t quite ready to be put out to pasture. He is constantly put into situations against multiple younger enemies and the occasional double cross or two. Spoiler: He’s the only one who comes out alive. Between Higgins and Bennett, Deathstroke doesn’t seem like he’ll be retiring anytime soon.
The first arcs of all the New DC 52 books have finished and while some were only so-so and cancelled, most were top notch. Comic readers owe it to themselves to give the new books a try. I wasn’t a huge DC fan before this reboot, now I have to grab most of them.