I’m not going to lie: I’ve been steering clear of the New 52’s Justice League book after being underwhelmed with the writing of the whole thing; during the first few issues, the writing seemed bland, and Jim Lee’s art doesn’t seem to inspire the same things it did with his more “classic” titles.
But then came the cover with Wonder Woman and Superman kissing. It’s like a car crash; you can’t help but stare and wonder, “What’s up with that?”
So let’s dive into the car crash with the jaws of life, shall we?
Things I liked:
- There’s a couple cross-book references, which I can always get behind. These make for a stronger and more cohesive universe, which is what the New 52 needs: reasons to check out other books and a way to reward readers who’ve been picking up titles aside from the flagship.
- Sowing seeds for the next arc seems well intentioned, but if the trend continues (see below), I don’t know if I’ll care.
Things I didnt:
- The Superman/Wonder Woman romance is, as I expected, pretty dumb. I can’t say too much without spoiling the last half of the book, but man, even the conversations seem like something we’ve heard a million times, going back to when people started to analyze the repercussions of superheroes and the romances they might have.
- What irks me so much is that they saw this moment and said “you know what? Let’s put this on the cover!” The kiss only lasts a panel, ends on a cliffhanger, and adds nothing to the story. DC’s marketing deparment knew that this would irk fanboys and grab a few national headlines - just like they knew it would when they announced that Lois and Clark weren’t going to be together in the first place. It feels cheap.
- That cheapness just kind of… envelops the rest of the story, from conversations to events. Twelve issues in seems like an absurdly long time to set the general focus of the book, and that focus isn’t even anything new or exciting; it’s Geoff Johns writing a capes book the same way any other generic author would.
Justice League #12
The Verdict: I am giving this the lowest possible three eye-beams out of five I can, because this book isn’t garbage, but very formulaic; it doesn’t change or challenge any of the established League tropes, and seems like a long recap for people who’re just jumping in. I am hoping and praying that Johns will take the “new reader” training wheels off for the next arc, and actually explores what makes DC’s greatest great.