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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Justice League of America #1


It was better than Justice League #1. Busier, more interesting, more detailed, less... stupid. Better art, too. 

But there was practically no difference between what happens in JLA #1 and in that issue of the old JLA series when Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman sat in the Batcave and picked who they wanted to be in the League with Magic: The Gathering cards. That book was great, right? No? No.

This time, it's Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor arguing over why there needs to be a government controlled Justice League team and who gets to be in it. The reasoning makes sense if you, you know, don't think about it and just go, "Whatever you say, yeah, uh huh." The Waller and Trevor dialogue goes like this:

Waller: "[This superhero] will be in it."
Trevor: "That's a terrible idea."
Waller: "Irrelevant. Also [this other superhero] will be in it."
Trevor: "I object."
Waller: "Makes no difference."

It is a pointless sham of a conversation or debate and its only purpose is to deliver the exposition of why each member of the Justice League of America was picked. Most of the new Leaguers, some of whom are unaware they are now Leaguers, get a vignette introducing their circumstances and why they are fit to be cajoled or blackmailed or bamboozled to be on this very special Justice League. It is unsavory, the opposite of 'superhero', but that's DC's M.O. with The New 52 - our heroes aren't meant to inspire. Be afraid of them. We are.

Speaking of such things, one of the stated reasons there "needs" to be a Justice League of America is because the people of the world "don't trust" the Justice League. Their public trust is at an all-time low. This. Makes. No. Sense. Because the Justice League - the one with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in it just saved Boston, Metropolis and the whole world from a watery invasion by the armies of Atlantis. Everyone saw it. It just happened. Somehow, this is a terrible thing for the League and people don't like them? What?

There's also The Kiss. Superman and Wonder Woman super liplocking wondrously. Something like that would be a public sensation. People would go nuts over it, in a good way. But not in this DCU. Everyone is terrified of what could happen. What if they break up? What if Wonder Woman gets Superman pussy whipped? What if they spawn Superbrats? These are the actual reasons given as to why this sexy Super coupling is a Very Bad Thing. (And to be fair, it's not an unreasonable fear, and it feeds into the rumor that Alan Moore's "Twilight of the Superheroes" story will eventually be done by DC.)

So anyway, now we have another Justice League. It's got scary aliens (Hawkman, Martian Manhunter), teen girls with braces(!) (Stargirl), assassins (Katana), criminals (Catwoman), suspected terrorists with alien powers (Green Lantern Simon Baz), neophytes (Vibe), and TV stars (Green Arrow, kidding.) Waller promises a P.R. campaign will cover up what a ridiculous team this is to the layman. Somehow this group of weirdos will be more publicly beloved than the Justice League with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman on it. Because, apparently, the public thinks they are jerks.

Then we get a couple of reveals: That there's a Secret Society of Super-Villains with Professor Ivo involved that also hates the Justice League. Presumably any and all Justice Leagues.

More importantly, we learn that Waller picked her League specifically to take out each member of the other Justice League. Her math goes like this:

Martian Manhunter > Superman
Katana > Wonder Woman
Catwoman > Batman
Stargirl > Cyborg
Hawkman > Aquaman
Vibe > Flash
Green Lantern Simon Baz > Green Lantern Hal Jordan

Clearly, Amanda Waller sucks at math. What about Green Arrow? Oh, well, he's got a different role in the League and the Society found him out and now he's dying. Right when his TV show got renewed for season 2, too.

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