REVIEW: Justice League #6

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Justice League was the title that kicked off the New 52. With superstar DC executives Geoff Johns and Jim Lee behind the series, it was guaranteed to be a sales phenomenon. Amazingly, the series has shipped relatively on time. At least it shipped more consistently than we would have expected, though I believe it was the only series that was part of the New 52 to ship any late issues. Now six issues later, we’ve reached the end of the first arc detailing the origin of the New 52 Justice League and it’s time to assess whether the series delivered on the promise of its superstar creative team.

Spoilers for Justice League #6 will follow.

PTB: For the final chapter of a six-issue arc to open a series, I’m surprised I don’t have more to say about Justice League #6. It’s decent, but didn’t get much of a reaction for me.

KevinMLD: That just shows how ultimately hollow this series has been. It was supposed to be that great origin for the Justice League that the team had never had according to Jim Lee, but it just falls short. I basically think Jim Lee is one of the top two or three artists in comics, but I don’t know if I’ve ever read a great comic that he drew. Certainly not in the last decade with the possible exception of that Robin vs. Green Lantern issue of All Star Batman and Robin. Though I know not everyone agrees with me on that.

PTB: All Star Batman and Robin is a polarizing subject for fans. I agree with you about Jim Lee’s art and certainly thought his X-Men work was amazing. We’re probably going to have very different opinions on what constitutes a “great comic” though.

As expected, Cyborg was critical to holding off Darkseid. I won’t say “defeating” since that’s not really what happened here.

KevinMLD: So basically it was clear several issues ago that Cyborg would be the one to save the day and that’s exactly what happened without any swerve. And it never even really made any sense why he was on the battlefield to begin with.

PTB: His inexperience was at least a factor in the final battle, but everything worked out just fine.

As we see what happened to Superman after he was captured, we’re introduced to Steppenwolf and Desaad. These aren’t run of the mill parademons, right?

KevinMLD: These are classic Darkseid minions. They appear to have been redesigned though we never get a clear glimpse of them.

PTB: We also hear mention of the “Daughter of Darkseid?”

KevinMLD: I’m assuming this is Pandora, but who knows. I’m not aware of a well-established, famous daughter of Darkseid.

PTB: The fight with Darkseid consumes most of the book, which you’d expect. I certainly didn’t expect Wonder Woman’s bracelets to deflect Darkseid’s eye beams. Nor did I realize she could stab him… and Aquaman can to… Are their weapons enchanted or anything?

KevinMLD: Eyes are always the weakness, though Darkseid’s seem completely healed by the time Superman makes it back. I think I remember Wonder Woman’s bracelets being a gift from a god and basically invincible.

PTB: With some of the things we discussed about Jim Lee’s schedule last month, I expected this book to look a lot worse than it did.

KevinMLD: There are a couple panels I wish looked better. Especially the first panel of Superman and Darkseid basically wrestling. I’d love to know where Batman’s chest insignia disappeared to or where his mask reappeared from.

PTB: After the attention paid to Batman taking off most of his costume last issue, this really stood out as odd.

KevinMLD: I have to say the entire scene at the end with the President of the United States made me cringe. I hate that Batman was there even if he thought it would keep the Gotham police off his back. Batman doesn’t accept awards… especially while the sun is out.

PTB: It was an awkward scene, and Hal’s reaction during the whole thing made it even more awkward.

KevinMLD: Why is Green Lantern so irrationally angry when insisting they are not a team? Is that really even the right moment to be having that discussion? I don’t see how any new reader would like Green Lantern if this series was their only exposure to him.

PTB: Perhaps overshadowing the main story is a back-up feature starring the mysterious Pandora. She was a key figure at the end of Flashpoint, but the Phantom Stranger is new to me.

KevinMLD: He’s a classic DC magical character vaguely comparable to Marvel’s Watcher though more mystical than cosmic.

PTB: Who is this “Third Sinner” they mention in regard to their shared history?

KevinMLD: No idea.

PTB: There’s no mention of Darkseid in the backup and no obvious suggestion that Pandora is Darkseid’s daughter. From what I recall of Greek mythology, she was created in part by all of the gods so he could have some part in her backstory.

KevinMLD: As I mentioned above, that’s definitely what I expect to be the case, though I hope it turns out Johns has something more creative planned.

PTB: We’ll be talking a bit more about Pandora and the New 52 in our State of the DC Universe post later today, but is this the first time they’ve acknowledged the reboot on panel?

KevinMLD: As far as I’ve seen yes.

PTB:  does that give you any added reason to think it will all change again?

KevinMLD: I don’t see how it wouldn’t. If they’re serious about the New 52 being permanent, then this whole Pandora concept is a bad idea. But if they’re just lying to us about it being permanent because admitting this is temporary would be stupid, then I guess we have to see where DC takes us. I like many of the New 52 books, but I don’t believe any of the major character revamps have been an improvement. Teen Titans and Superboy – I’m looking directly at you.

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 #5 / Justice League #7 (coming in February)

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