Why You Should Read JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1

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Posted by gmanfromheck (42524 posts) - - Show Bio

There's a new JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA book on sale. For many, that alone is all the reason they need to buy the issue. The book is also written and drawn by Bryan Hitch. That added to it being the Justice League could be more than enough of a reason.

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Of course some may question whether or not we need another Justice League title with the same exact cast. We'll get to that in a moment. The other question is the price. $5.99 for a single comic seems like a lot. There is 48-pages of story and art. If you do the Math (I totally did), it comes out to about twelve and a half cents per page. If you compare that to the slightly oversized JUSTICE LEAGUE #41, it comes out to the exact same amount per page. If you further compare both of these to the 22-page comic for $3.99, that comes out to 18.1 cents per page. In other words, you're getting more comic for your money.

What really stands out for me in this book is the implementation of DC's going for looser continuity in some cases. You know what I want? I want a really great kick-ass Justice League story. If you look at some of the characters here and what's going on in their own books (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, etc), we couldn't have this team the way it is. Telling a great story shouldn't be hampered by having every single title match up on the same exact page. They will at some point. And despite what some may feel, there are actually many that aren't too concerned about tight continuity. Especially those that pick up trades.

This book does offer some other things as well.

Lois Lane and Other Characters

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This issue takes advantage of the large number of pages. We actually get to see some of the characters in moments outside the team. Seeing Clark and Lois' banter at the Daily Planet reminds us how much bigger the DCU is. It could be that this issue can spare a page or two to allow the characters to be fleshed out more with this sort of personal interaction in their non-superhero lives but it's a nice little touch. We want to know that the members of the team are more than just their super-identities.

A Big and Strange Mystery

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What the heck is going on here? This is what we want to see. We're looking for a big and crazy threat or problem for the League to handle. While they do fight an amped up version of a previously existing threat, what's introduced here is likely the cause of the bigger picture in this first arc. Superman visits a strange organization and we're introduced to some new characters. Hitch has mentioned he wants to create new villains for the League as well. This gives you a sense that something really big and bad is headed their way.

Aquaman Getting His Own Subplot

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We have seen Aquaman get a major story arc in the New 52 withThrone of Atlantis. What's interesting here is while the issue feels like it's focusing on Superman in the beginning, we see there's stuff going on with Aquaman and Atlantis as well. This is a reminder that these characters are about more than just sitting around the Watchtower waiting for a big threat.

I am fascinated with the idea of Aquaman talking to the United Nations. It's a reminder, again, that this is a bigger world. Of course the "surface dwellers" would be freaking out over the idea of an extremely powerful and potentially dangerous nation operating on their own with no accountabilities or communications with the rest of the world.

Huge Action for the League

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Fleshing out characters, building backgrounds for their worlds, and showing what's going on is all important but with a book focusing on the Justice League, we want to see big and crazy action scenes with the League going all out. This is the DCU's biggest and mightiest heroes. They should be facing huge threats. That's what we get here. We see the League face a really big (literally) villain.

The trick with writing the Justice League is giving them big problems to deal with. They should be able to mop up the floor with pretty much anyone considering their combined might. We need to believe and be tempted to get out of our seats and cheer for them.

Cyborg in the Action too!

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Often Cyborg is delegated to monitor duty in the Watchtower. A good portion of his other time is spent transporting the League around via a Boom Tube accessed through his armor. This is something that's also changing in the regular JUSTICE LEAGUE series but here, it's great seeing him dive into the action, firing away. Like the other members, he gets to do quite a bit.

A Crazy Cliffhanger

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If you have a big story building up with a lot of characters and new threats, how about a big cliffhanger that makes you say, "Whaaaaaaat???"

Again, due to the page count, we get to see what happens after the big fight. The story isn't over. The League isn't even fully aware they're getting deep into a big scheme against them. Seeing them try to further investigate what's going on followed by a bizarre ending, it's definitely enough to make you commit to buying the next issue as well.

Summary

We do currently have a great Justice League series spearheaded by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok. In some ways, that series is also taking on a looser continuity in order to bring us the epic Darkseid War arc. You may ask then, "Do I really need two Justice League books?" The answer is, yes. If I can get a comic with an intriguing storyline while including many of my favorite characters, having multiple books is fantastic. I wouldn't want to have to wait until Darkseid War ends to see this story. Bryan Hitch clearly has a big story to tell. We're all lucky to be able to get a big series we can read at any time and not have to worry about what's going on elsewhere.

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#1 Posted by theMightyMODOK (439 posts) - - Show Bio

I've always really liked his art - so that was reason enough for me to want get it, but I am very glad to see the good reviews it's gotten.

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#2 Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

I actual feel that Cyborg has been the most active member in the regular JL book.

Anyways, I already have the two reasons necessary to buy this book 1: Bryan, 2: Hitch

He's one of my all time favorite artists, and one of very very few artists I actually trust to write.

To be frank this and Cyborg are probably the two books I've been most looking forward to. I really dig the main JL book, but since it's at the center of the DC universe it's often more about what's currently happening in the DCU, and it's less focused on the team just doing missions. Having a nice side book like this to see them have more standard adventures is a very welcome addition to my pull list. So in short, I can't wait to buy it.

Nice article by the way.

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#3 Posted by SOG7dc (11368 posts) - - Show Bio

It's like I want to like the art but Hitch doesn't want me to like it...

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#4 Posted by lxlGiftedlxl (2443 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved this issue!

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#5 Posted by chaos911 (4166 posts) - - Show Bio

Can someone explain why this comic is "wide screen"? Every ad I see for it says that

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#6 Posted by roaris87 (404 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm already reading two Batman titles and two Superman titles, I guess one more JL title can't hurt, right? Curse you DC for giving me too much of a good thing!

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#7 Posted by SOG7dc (11368 posts) - - Show Bio

@chaos911:

It basically means panels that run the width of the page and no inner monologues.

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#8 Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@chaos911: That's a trademark of Hitch's art style

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#9 Posted by chaos911 (4166 posts) - - Show Bio
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#10 Posted by infernopig (42 posts) - - Show Bio

i didnt like the art much awkard poses and ugly faces. Guy cant dry a decent looking women to save his life. Story is very intriguing thou.

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#11 Posted by the_stegman (40312 posts) - - Show Bio

DC has been hitting it out of the park with these number 1s. I hope people read them.

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#12 Posted by ScouterV (7764 posts) - - Show Bio

You lost me at $5.99.

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#13 Posted by gmanfromheck (42524 posts) - - Show Bio

@scouterv: It's a better deal than what you get with a 22-page comic for $3.99. I mentioned it in the post but it's understandable that much for a single comic might be a turn off. Next issue is $3.99.

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#14 Posted by dondave (41760 posts) - - Show Bio

DC has been hitting it out of the park with these number 1s. I hope people read them.

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#15 Edited by MaxSavage (186 posts) - - Show Bio

I cant get over the art, I really need to stop comparing other artist work to great artist like Fabok, Daniels, Syaf and even Lee. The story is off to solid start though, I feel new52 JL has been a little lackluster in focusing on the team, alot of times people like Flash, Cyborg, and even Aquaman get backgrounded, its almost always Supes, Bats and WW in the forefront of the story, a balance is nice.

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#16 Posted by Romthelegionaire (135 posts) - - Show Bio

Read this today and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Really interested to see where this goes.

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#17 Posted by derf_jenkins (757 posts) - - Show Bio

Color me slightly interested in continuing the series. I'll check out the next issue for sure and go from there.

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#18 Edited by MadeinBangladesh (12493 posts) - - Show Bio

Good stuff but I would rather would have liked to see "Why you should read ......" article on a book that probably doesn't get talked about much or won't sell very well like Martian Manhunter, Prez, or Dr. Fate.

~MiB

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#19 Posted by Dstick88 (138 posts) - - Show Bio

extra 2 dollars for double+ the comic, why people make sucha big deal outa 2 dollars

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#20 Edited by gmanfromheck (42524 posts) - - Show Bio

@madeinbangladesh: we had a PREZ feature up bright and early. Did you miss it? Some might wonder if they need a second JL book or feel the price is too high. There's an article for one of the others you mentioned coming Thursday.

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#21 Posted by lxlGiftedlxl (2443 posts) - - Show Bio

@scouterv said:

You lost me at $5.99.

Its worth it bro!

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#22 Posted by The_Kidd (12329 posts) - - Show Bio

@sog7dc said:

It's like I want to like the art but Hitch doesn't want me to like it...

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#23 Posted by UltimateSMfan (2377 posts) - - Show Bio

@sog7dc said:

It's like I want to like the art but Hitch doesn't want me to like it...

Yup..

I enjoyed this issue, thought the story was good.I would give it a perfect score but the art really took me out of it at times making this a solid 4 for me.

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#24 Posted by Synack1138 (219 posts) - - Show Bio

Fun book. Hitch likes to have the leaguers with there legs kicked in the air, which I find unintentionally funny, to me.

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#25 Posted by KnightofSteel (369 posts) - - Show Bio

Promising start, even though we don't know yet know exactly what's going on -- that left me slightly frustrated. But like most #1's there's a lot of set-up. Art was awesome, aside from Aquaman looking a little strange and that weird body angle on Cyborg.

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#26 Posted by longbowhunter (9425 posts) - - Show Bio

This was good.

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#27 Posted by superior_prime_maybe (1360 posts) - - Show Bio

This was great! And worth the price. Especially since I wasnt planning on buying many comics

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#28 Posted by Titanbreaker (1304 posts) - - Show Bio

EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!

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#29 Posted by SCOLTON97 (234 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll be reading this. Gonna wait til the first volume is collected though.

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#30 Posted by illmatic4177 (429 posts) - - Show Bio

Justice League is one of my favorite titles, but may have to pass on this. Not really feeling Hitch's art.

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#31 Posted by Veshark (10499 posts) - - Show Bio

Wasn't too impressed, but I'm willing to give it a shot (maybe in trade).

Hitch's work has taken a constant downturn in recent years; I've always felt that he reached his artistic peak in The Ultimates 2. Captain America Reborn was decent, but everything after that has been really hit-or-miss. It's a shame because the man was my favorite artist bar none in his prime. Anyone who thinks that Hitch can't draw here should look at his 90s JLA work with Mark Waid. To read comments about folks having reservations regarding his art is a little depressing - there was a time when seeing his name on a book meant you would get unquestionably great pencils (and missed deadlines, but it was worth it).

I'm also a little iffy on the writing. Hitch has never really impressed me with his writing abilities (that Real Heroes book comes to mind). And on the whole it seems functional and perfunctory, but it didn't really grab me. I'm willing to give him at least an arc to develop the story though, who knows, there might be a good payoff. Though there were a few character touches in this issue alone that I felt were a little awkward (Superman grabbing that scientist by his lapel - I understand Clark's a little shaken with the dead corpses, but physical intimidation seemed a tad much. Also Flash almost cussing?).

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#32 Edited by thecowwasdelirious (1585 posts) - - Show Bio
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#33 Posted by Jasoninthewoods (380 posts) - - Show Bio

This is really the Justice League book I want ,just focused on the A listers.

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#34 Edited by EarthsMightiest (2765 posts) - - Show Bio

Story was fine, good art. I'll let the $6 price tag pass this once, but if this is a start to a trend I will drop.

Now that I think about it the one thing that bothered me during the Parasite v. JL fight is after Parasite absorbed the speedforce from Barry and energy from Hal's ring he just stood there doing his best Godzilla impression. Dude should have been taking down rest of league at supersonic speed.

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#35 Posted by sasquatch888 (716 posts) - - Show Bio

hitch was one of my favorite artists in the days he drew the ultimates....I've read every book he drew but I have to say he has not evolved and has actually gotten worse ...its sad ...this issue was better than the stuff he did at image but still worse than his old stuff ,,,,his body poses are very repetitious if you look at his books you'll notice he uses the same poses in different issues

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#36 Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k (5769 posts) - - Show Bio

I definitely do not need to and wont.

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#37 Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k (5769 posts) - - Show Bio
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#38 Posted by justice teen (893 posts) - - Show Bio

So is this apart of the mainstream or a different universe?

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#39 Posted by Koays (11566 posts) - - Show Bio

Idk, the fight scene kind of had me getting annoyed by Batman/incompetence and it coincided with some of the other scenes beginning to weaken from where the book started.

It's obviously a good addition to the new line up, but the decline about half way through kind of made me just not wanna keep up with the story.

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#40 Posted by RexWing (163 posts) - - Show Bio

I wanted to like this, but I just could not enjoy it. Story didn't grab me for some reason and I just can't get into Hitch's art. I'm going to stick with John's run over this.

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#41 Posted by LeaderVladimir (205 posts) - - Show Bio

Let's see:

  • Superman having an acceptable suit, his powers at full strength and his secret identity intact.
  • Bruce Wayne is Batman.
  • Green Lantern is not a renegade with a long coat.

Now, THIS is a book I want to read.

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#42 Posted by storm-is-life (854 posts) - - Show Bio

Are these New Earth versions of the Justice League or still New52 versions?

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#43 Posted by SpitfirePanda (2573 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't have any DC books on my pull list atm, so I might pick this up.

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#44 Posted by wbr17 (3516 posts) - - Show Bio

Aquaman talking to UN had happened before.

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#45 Edited by Mark_Stephen (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

I got it because it was already on my pull list and I didn't want to stick my lcs with the cost, but man I'm not happy about a 5.99 gouge. Because of that I had to skip Secret Six this week and I really wish the guys running the comic book companies realized that these things are getting way to expensive.

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#46 Posted by HolySerpent (13762 posts) - - Show Bio

@koays said:

Idk, the fight scene kind of had me getting annoyed by Batman/incompetence and it coincided with some of the other scenes beginning to weaken from where the book started.

It's obviously a good addition to the new line up, but the decline about half way through kind of made me just not wanna keep up with the story.

Why were you mad at Batman. flash was the reason Justice league nearly got there but kick

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#47 Posted by HolySerpent (13762 posts) - - Show Bio

Let's see:

  • Superman having an acceptable suit, his powers at full strength and his secret identity intact.
  • Bruce Wayne is Batman.
  • Green Lantern is not a renegade with a long coat.

Now, THIS is a book I want to read.

agreeed

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#48 Posted by Deathstroke52 (7006 posts) - - Show Bio

I want to buy this, but I don't want to spend 5.99.

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#49 Posted by tensor (8577 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the book.You do not know how long I want to see that character in Action.It made sense in the end. Cannot wait to see the outcome.

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#50 Posted by Farkam (12057 posts) - - Show Bio

@sog7dc said:

It's like I want to like the art but Hitch doesn't want me to like it...

It stopped me from enjoying the issue. :s

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