Review Brew: Justice League of America #1
Writer & Artist: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Daniel Henriques with Wade Von Grawbadger and Andrew Currie
Colorist: Alex Sinclair with Jeromy Cox
DC is entering a post Convergence world, where it looks like the Multiverse may be back to the DCU, potentially to a pre crisis level. With this, we are getting the launch of many new series, from characters I never thought I’d see getting a title in Section Eight and Prez, to reimagining of characters we all know. The latter is exactly what we have in this Justice League of America. JLA was an odd amalgamation of eras, and I had a hard time getting a bearing on it.
I wanted to touch on the art first in this review, as that’s what Bryan Hitch made his name doing. The opening pages were classic Hitch, but it quickly became inconsistent. Whether it was due to various inkers or just the sheer length of the issue; page to page, panel to panel, it looked like different renderings and occasionally fairly stiff. That said, there were a lot of points where it looked like the Hitch we all fell in love with on books like The Ultimates. He does some of his best work on these large scale team books, as we saw with the previous JLA work he did with Mark Waid, and a lot of the big battles here felt cozy. The other caveat, and this isn’t a Hitch problem at all, but these costumes, specifically the Superman and Flash costume, just do not work. The piping and neck collar is just distracting. While I certainly am willing to give most things a chance and it may not hurt to try something new, it may be time to work in the old costumes a little.
The story was where I really lost my hold on it. To start, I kind of love the plot of this. It’s a blockbuster story idea with big battles and fun superhero moments that we all fell in love with comics from as kids. At points, it even felt slightly like an episode of the Justice League cartoon for the early 2000s. We have a corporation called “The Infinity Corporation” invite Superman to an important event, which turns out to be a scientist named Vincent who has been summoning these Supermen from time, all of which were dying. The other heroes were also summoned, but it turned out to be a trap and a meeting with a classic DC villain. As expected, Infinity may not be what it seems, and with a well known name coming up on the final page, this story looks really fun. All that said, the script here was fairly lacking. None of these characters sounded right. Superman became almost Highfather like when dealing with Infinity, and The Flash became a slight doofus. As we know Barry Allen is one of the smartest people in the DCU, and Superman is sympathetic to a fault, so this was incredibly jarring, and drew me right out of the story. As it went on, the dialogue didn’t really pick up either, which I would put up to Hitch not being the most experienced in scripting. That being as it is, the Lois and Clark interaction was actually fairly spot on, bringing hope for the future of this series.
I guess when summing this up, the word I would use is inconsistent. It had some highs and lows, but never stayed long enough in one to push it either direction. With issue 2, I’m hoping to get a more solid grasp, but for now, I’ll just enjoy the high points.
3 Supermen out of 5