REVIEW: Justice League #2

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Yesterday saw the highly anticipated release of DC Comics’ Justice League #2 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. This was the title that ushered in DC’s line-wide relaunch, The New 52, when it debuted back in August and is helmed by the company’s top two creators/executives. A lot of eyes are on this series that tells the story of the first adventure of the Justice League, and there’s are lot for readers to enjoy here as the cast expands, the threat emerges and the marquee heroes of the DC Universe come together.

Spoilers for Justice League #2 will follow.

PTB: I really felt this was a vast improvement over issue one. It still focused on a establishing relationships among characters that have been in print together for a long time, but seemed much fresher somehow.

KevinMLD: It seems like Johns is going to great lengths to give each character their own voice and personality. It’s a really admirable effort that I think will read very well in trades. I’m not sure Green Lantern being such an annoying doofus is consistent with how we see him act elsewhere, but I’m willing to go with it for now.

PTB: Bringing Flash and Victor Stone (who will become Cyborg) into the mix was fairly organic and thankfully none of the meetings in this origin story has come across as too contrived. My fear is that the introduction of Wonder Woman next issue and the eventual appearance of Aquaman may not be as smooth.

KevinMLD: I am genuinely weirded out by Vic Stone being shoehorned into the origin of the Justice League, but Johns seems really determined to elevate him as a character. We’ll see how that turns out.

I’m not that worried about how Wonder Woman and Aquaman will join the team. I’m sure it will make sense on some level. Johns is too good of a writer to completely drop the ball like that.

PTB: We also get more of the plot involving Darkseid here and that was welcome. I felt like there was really only one meaningful panel regarding this last issue and it was just one of his minions shouting his name before exploding. At the very least we know whatever they’re up to is global and involves the heroes of the DC Universe.

KevinMLD: I suspect that at the end of the first storyline Darkseid will have barely appeared. I’m thinking we’ll see him just long enough to prove there are threats to the Earth great enough to justify the Justice League’s existence. I’m not expecting a definitive win for the JLA in their first major battle or for us to even know his entire plan.

PTB: Jim Lee’s artwork is stellar. The level of detail on some pages is simply amazing. I really hope Lee is able to contribute to this title long term and on time. I can’t really find fault with anything here, but there are a lot of digital effects in play and I know you’re not always a fan of this approach. I’m curious to hear if you thought it was too much.

KevinMLD: Jim Lee’s work is fantastic here. I just wish he was drawing the characters in their classic outfits. There are signs that this series may be his best work since joining DC Comics. I think hoping for more than 12 issues from Lee might be asking too much though. It just seems like he’s constantly pulled in ten directions as an artist AND he’s the publisher of DC Comics. But if he pulls off 12 relatively timely issues, I’ll be thrilled.

As for the digital effects, they don’t bother me at all in this issue. I don’t have a problem with digital effects, I have a problem with bad digital effects. And I don’t know how to describe bad digital effects, but I know them when I see them.

PTB: Regarding the USAF dossier in the back, Steve Trevor was a name that came up during Flashpoint, but I don’t really know the character. Does he have some history in the emergence of the meta-humans of the DCU?

KevinMLD: He’s traditionally Wonder Woman’s Lois Lane. As I recall, Diana came to “man’s world” with him or followed him here or something similar. It’s interesting that Paradise Island sounds like its going to be more like the Lost island in the new DC Universe – far more difficult to reach than it was in the old DCU. I wonder if Diana will be cut off from the island entirely.

PTB: I got that impression from Trevor’s comments. Any significance to this Waller that’s interviewing him? And can we expect this to be tied to Lex Luthor who’s name appears in this issue and is tied to the military?

KevinMLD: Amanda Waller is a government official who oversees Taskforce X (The Suicide Squad). Traditionally she’s almost like a sinister Nick Fury. She’s definitely bigger than the law. As for Lex Luthor, we know very little about him in the new DCU. In Action Comics, he’s very much working for the military, but I don’t know how strong those bonds are… Yet.

Read more about DC Comics’ “New 52″ on MyLatestDistraction
and keep up with all of our commentaries on Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League:

Justice League #1

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