Let's continue on my reviews as I compare Justice League books this month. Geoff Johns is pretty much in control of this part of the DCU, so at least the lead-up to the Trinity War is in good hands.
I was really impressed by the wit of this book and how well all the characters were written. With Hal Jordan currently MIA and Aquaman still dealing with the aftermath of the Throne of Atlantis crossover, the JL is looking in this story for new members who can provide further assistance.
For the most part, it serves as an introduction to some new characters and sets up the prelude to the Trinity War. And it does a good job of it. If you're planning on reading the event, this book is clearly where the setup is coming from and this issue is probably where you'll want to start.
I liked both artists in this issue, and Gary Frank teaming up with Geoff Johns' writing for the SHAZAM! backup was a fun reminder of how much I love Batman: Earth One. These guys do great origin pieces, and it was easy enough to follow even though I haven't read JL consistently.
The introduction of the Black Adam and Billy Batson dealing with his own insecurities were nice plot points and executed well. I wasn't sure who most of the characters were, but they left an impression and made me want to see them more.
Overall, this is kind of a must-read for DC fans.
I liked this story, but I couldn't help but feel like it's still too reliant on other events happening in the DCU.
Simon Baz still hasn't shown up yet, and I'm anxiously awaiting Johns' continuation with that Green Lantern.
Catwoman is written better than at any other time in the New 52, and I like that she sees some of herself in Steve Trevor. That said, it's still odd that she's on this team and I want to see how that dynamic unfolds.
Honestly, Vibe and Stargirl are the characters I'm enjoying the most. They bring a fresh perspective to the whole team and give the story some energy (which is important because this gritty art style is utterly frustrating and is actively trying to take me out of the story).
Katana was ok for what she got, but I want to see more from her. Green Arrow is fighting to get himself on the team after helping Trevor discover... whatever the hell it is the JLA is fighting at the end of this book. He's OK, but given his solo title is doing so well, having him on the side like this is just a waste; either use him as a co-leader or take him out of the book from here.
Lastly, the Martian Manhunter, who gets his own backup. I have no real thoughts here. I didn't hate his stuff, didn't love it. It was just kind of there.
We see how he can change form and got himself into the president's office, which is badass and explains why the president would agree to Waller's "second Justice League idea," but it just feels kind of surreal and I'm really not being endeared to Waller as a character between this and those awful Suicide Squad issues I read.
Overall, it's a nice story with characters I REALLY like. I feel like I should be excited for this book, but strangely, I'm not. I don't know if it's the art or the excessively busy nature of the book or the fact that I didn't read the JL issues that could help me make sense of this villain.
But if I'm weighing my options as to which League to buy if I can only pick one, neither really stood out, and that's sad. I want to say JLA, but JL will be building to the upcoming Trinity War event, so if you see both these issues, JL may be your better option.
I really hate saying that, since Katana, Hawkman and Catwoman are being written better here than anywhere before in the New 52, and there are three characters who DESERVE to be purchased in here (Green Lantern Simon Baz, Stargirl and Vibe), but there's just too much going on and too much of it is Green Arrow, Waller and MM for my tastes.
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