In this, the penultimate OFF THE RACK of 2011, I am pleased to be reviewing possibly the best book to date in DC Comics’ New 52 Reboot. And yes, it surpasses the overly boob-shot filled Catwoman issue one.
Justice League issue four is eye catching right from the off. The cover depicts Aquaman standing over the laid-out, beaten and broken-looking Green Lantern with Batman on the ground behind him looking the same. Beyond that view is a massive wave coming to crush them all. In short, Aquaman looks like a badass. This is what drew me in to the book and genuinely what pushed me to purchase it above all other titles this week.
Jim Lee and Scott Williams deliver on what the cover promised with striking visuals and dramatic, vibrant colors. This, possibly more than anything else visually in the book, is significant because the story of the events unfolding is dark, mysterious and intense.
If you all think back to the first villain the JLA ever fought during their first appearance, a sad villain (even for the age) Starro, it was very important for this rebooted version to hit with a bang.
And boy did it ever.
The first three issues of the series have introduced the readers to each member of the as-yet-unformed team in one way or another. Now, for the first time, all seven known members are seen together. They are each drawn to Metropolis by the power of a villain so terrible that the fate of the world will rest on these heroes’ ability to defeat him and his armies.
I am, of course, speaking of DARKSEID!
Mixed in with the truly serious events unfolding around them, the nature of the characters is not lost. Wonder Woman is still vigilant and spoiling for a fight. The new Superman is quiet, but not reserved as he pummels Parademons. Batman is an enigma who speaks from a position of power and strength despite his present company. Green Lantern is uncontrollably egotistical. The Flash is a do-gooder trying to keep the peace amongst all the members. Aquaman is regal and gallant and Cyborg is newly made, not in control of his powers, a youth and nearly dead.
Geoff Johns gets these characters. He understands how they should be. I say this as someone whose been reading his comics for a long time and reading these characters for even longer.
I was impressed by this issue, that doesn’t happen very often where a comic
Justice League issue four gets an A+ grade from this reviewer. Run out and buy it immediately if you have not already done so!
Now that the end of 2011 is near I reflect on OFF THE RACK and I am pleased with how it has grown and how it will continue to evolve as it transitions into 2012. The weekly review of what’s new in comics will become a monthly discussion on a broader range of topics. More to come next week!