Sunday, November 17, 2013
Justice League of America, Volume 1: World's Most Dangerous
Before I actually begin to dissect this book, let me break down it's contents: The first five issues tell a complete story. In fact, DC would have done better to offer less content this time around, and collect only the first five issues. While they form a complete arc, it's basically a teaser for DC's FOREVER EVIL crossover. Then we have issues six and seven, which are chapters of DC's TRINITY WAR crossover, but still feature teaser elements for FOREVER EVIL. So this is a book that is dependent on reading JUSTICE LEAGUE, FOREVER EVIL, and TRINITY WAR, none of which are being collected until mid-2014. So basically, a huge chunk of this book is just unreadable.
The story itself revolves around Amanda Waller attempting to create a government-controlled Justice League of America, and populating it with people that would be able to match off against Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the real League, and take them down, if necessary. (By the way, I hate that Amanda Waller is now skinny and hot. That's absolutely sucks. This is DC pulling a "Nick Fury", and changing a character to match their movie look...does DC really think that Angela Bassett is going to play this character in another movie....?) The newly minted team are then thrown into the fire as they are sent to infiltrate the headquarters of "The Secret Society", who are gearing up for their big crossover, FOREVER EVIL. (That's not just the name of their crossover, but it's also their motto.....catchy, eh? Do evil people really think of themselves as evil? I'm sure Hitler and Pol Pot thought they were doing great things for great reasons. I would think that, if you actually had "EVIL!" as your groups motto, it would drastically cut down on recruitment.) The first arc is illustrated by David Finch, who brings his huge splash pages and giant breasts and unintelligible storytelling to bear, and it's a fairly entertaining arc. But then.....
We are thrown into the middle of TRINITY WAR, literally THE MIDDLE, with no explanation whatsoever. A text page recap would have been useful, but...why make things clear? This is DC we're talking about here. So we are dropped into the middle of a battle, with team members that weren't there a few pages ago, one of whom has, seemingly, just been murdered by Superman. Other people are missing. Pandora appears. (Who the fuck IS Pandora, and why does she look like Zealot? Why must DC now be overrun by Jim Lee's horrible characters and designs and concepts....?) The Phantom Stranger does some mystifying stuff. Justice league Dark (Worst, most ridiculous name ever.) appears. I am totally lost here.
THEN...we get Martian Manhunter back-up stories that are presented waaaaaay after the stories that they were backing up. And we also get the worst origin ever. Who is this "Thoth" character? Can you EXPLAIN SOMETHING, rather than just present it....? I guess not.
This could have been a very strong book, but DC's crossover mania ruined it. They have to be losing readers over all of these crossovers...I just can't imagine everyone quietly tolerating these ineptly compiled collections and suffering in silence. It can't just be ME, can it?
The members of the team also baffled me....Why bring back Vibe, of all characters? Why does Geoff Johns make a point of having the Simon Baz Green Lantern be on the team, and NOT HAVE HIM ACTUALLY IN THE BOOK for the whole first arc.....? Why is Hawkman such a dick?
I generally enjoy Geoff john's work, and the premise of FOREVER EVIL is intriguing, so I'll probably check that book out. I doubt I'll be back for JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, VOLUME 2, since Johns is out and Matt Kindt is in. I'm not a fan. So I'll probably never see how all of these events play out for this bizarre team, but that's OK. I'm really not that interested. I hope DC gets their act together at some point, because I really do love their characters, but this book just cements my decision to (mostly) drop out of "The New 52".
DC Comics provided a review copy.