Justice League of America #1: Rebirth or Abortion?

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Justice League of America Rebirth #1

This is it, folks. This is what those action-packed six issues of JUSTICE LEAGUE VS SUICIDE SQUAD were leading up to: an all new JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA book.

Right up front, I expect to like this book. It's pencilled by Ivan Reis, who has never done a book that has left me disappointed. And his linework in this issue is just as good as ever.

So, Mr. Reis, this is not your fault.

Let's look at the book from it's basic precept: Batman wants to form a new Justice League. I don't know yet if he's informed the actual Justice League of his plans, but let's assume he hasn't because (a) he's Batman, and (b) it sets things up (again) for another Justice League vs. Justice League confrontation. His justifications are simple. He wants a League that ordinary people can look up to and aspire to be like -- one comprised of "humans, not gods."

So naturally, he picks a team comprised of the likes of Killer Frost and Lobo. Because when I see Lobo fall off a building onto the concrete and get up unharmed, I feel like, "Hey! Maybe I could do that?" And when I see Killer Frost shoot ice from her hands, or Vixen fly, or Ray convert his body to light, or Atom shrink to a molecule, I don't see "a god," I just see some ordinary human being doing ordinary human being things that, maybe, if I try real hard, take my vitamins and say my prayers every night, I might get to do, too.

So let's take a look at the action.

Did you miss it?

That's because there isn't any. This issue is pure recruitment. The only confrontations are between the heroes themselves. We don't even close the book on the ominous hint of a bad guy who has chosen this most inopportune moment to begin his schemes because, dammit, there's a new Justice League here to shut him down. Oh, there's the final splash page that has snippets of "things to come." It worked well for Brad Meltzer's run with the team, but I just didn't get anywhere near the same level of excitement that I did out of that.

Here's the thing that DC editorial maybe just doesn't get. Reese's Peanut Butter cups work because you have chocolate and peanut butter together. Coca-Cola works because it has citric acid, caffeine, water, lime, vanilla, caramel and sugar.

The Justice League works because it has Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman. Putting Batman in the lead with a completely different team behind him is like having Diana Ross backed up by The Beastie Boys and marketing them as The Supremes. It wouldn't work.

It doesn't work.

I get it if you want to produce a team of villains trying to make good despite their pasts. That's an admirable project (even if THUNDERBOLTS already did it). I'd buy that book. Maybe market it as "Community Service" or "Doom Paroled" or even something clever. But don't market it as the Justice League.

2.0 / 5.0