With the release of “Justice League #1” last week DC Comics rebooted their entire fictional universe. The relaunch, known as “New 52” hit stores, including the one in Oswego on Wednesday.
When DC announced that they were relaunching their entire universe many fans expressed concern because it cancelled entire comic series, some of which were fan favorites. This isn’t the first time DC has done this; they have reestablished their continuity three times, first in 1985 with “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” then in 1994 with “Zero Hour: Crisis in Time,” again in 2005 with “Infinite Crisis” and now in 2011 with “Flashpoint,” which started this relaunch.
This issue alone had pre-orders for more than 200,000 print copies which makes it the best selling title of 2011. So it shows that both new and old fans alike are interested in this. But another reason for the high sales is probably because of the creative team most importantly the writer, Geoff Johns and one of the artists, Jim Lee. Geoff Johns is one of the most critically and fan acclaimed writers in the industry and has written for many of DC’s top books including Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Blackest Night and Brightest Day. Jim Lee is also another powerhouse in the comic book industry and one of my favorite artists. His work includes Uncanny X-Men and the critically acclaimed series, Batman: Hush.
(Warning Contains Spoilers)
As for this issue specifically, despite the cover the focus is mainly on two characters, Batman and Green Lantern. It is not especially surprising that Green Lantern has a big part in this since the writer is Johns. The issue begins at an interesting point, when the world doesn’t know about super-heroes. Gotham City Police chase Batman who is chasing a hooded figure on the rooftops. Both escape the police but Batman catches the figure.
The opening uniquely shows the heroes in the early stages of their careers. They don’t know much about each other. Green Lantern thought Batman was an urban legend. Batman heard only rumors of Green Lantern and his conflicts on the West Coast.
The super-duo relationship builds to play an integral part in the comic. Green Lantern’s laid back and light attitude constantly comes to clash with Batman’s more elusive and private personality, which makes for some friction and funny moments.
The duo is excellent but I would have liked to see more characters in this issue. Besides those two we get only four pages of Victor Stone who hasn’t become Cyborg yet and an appearance by Superman at the end. I would have liked to see more of the main roster like Flash and Wonder Woman.
This issue affords the reader a unique look at the character’s untamed egos from their newfound powers. The best example is near the end when Green Lantern and Batman visit Metropolis to see Superman. Green Lantern goes in arrogantly saying he can handle it and Superman knocks him out quickly. Superman also has an ego, he knows he is powerful and is looking for a worthy fight. This is a slightly different side of Superman that we haven’t seen in a while.
Overall I thought it was an interesting issue and seeds are being planted for more issues to come.