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Justice League of America #1
These super-sized team books are a hard thing to master in the comic book realm, but if there's anyone at DC you should trust to do it again then it's Geoff Johns. After successfully rebooting the regular Justice League way back in 2011 he's now back with full reign over DC's latest offering of a team in Justice League of America.
You might be wondering what the difference is in this team and the regular Justice League. The regular Justice League answers to no one, they're a sovereign entity. The Justice League of America was created by the United States Government for their own uses. The regular Justice League features Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, while the Justice League of America features the Martian Manhunter, Catwoman, and Hawkman (among others).
The structure of this comic might seem like an over-used device to some readers, but it certainly works for this new team considering the method of their assemblage. Johns' book ends a proper introduction of each character with the always pleasant Amanda Waller discussing the new recruits with Steve Trevor. While each character may only get a few pages (some only panels) to themselves, this debut issue covers a lot of info for the story so they won't have to show it all again in the next issue. Consider this the “building the team” and “Getting to know you” issue in one - after this Johns can focus on the characters and their missions.
What is really exciting about this comic is the places it will be going. Johns lays the groundwork pretty heavily about what the future holds for this team and it's nothing short of attention grabbing. While some comics use these teases to keep you reading during an otherwise mediocre story, Justice League of America plants enough seeds for a garden's worth of stories that you know will be awesome due to Johns' strength as a writer.
Artist David Finch really shows his strength in this title. The strengths of his artwork are highlighted here as there is a need for his highly detailed style. What is so remarkable about his work here is that you could almost fully understand the issue form his artwork alone, which is something that has fallen to the wayside in many comics these days. While the overall darkness in the inks and colors might leave some feeling like it's subpar work, the layers added to it by the ink further establishes the tone being set for this story by Johns' work. This is a perfect example of the words and the pictures working together in perfect harmony.
Justice League of America has quickly jumped to the top of my read pile every week. Johns' signature writing style will keep it interesting for as long as he remains on it and he's setting up enough potential stories for the future that the well won't be going dry anytime soon. Plus, he's at his best when he's writing ensembles of characters and the cast here doesn't get as much love as they should.
Rating: 9.5 / 10