Comic Book Review: Justice League Of America: Rebirth #1
Batman, Black Canary, Killer Frost, the Ray, Vixen, the Atom, and Lobo? And here I was last week talking about how the Justice League book had stepped up in showing they can take risks. Now we have Justice League Of America which has the most obscure cast of characters, and of course I say characters because this is split between members who are heroes and villains. I mean what could go wrong? But now it makes sense as to what all these Justice League: Rebirth one-shots have been leading to.
I must say, the reason for Batman creating this team is exactly what I loved most about Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad as a crossover event. As great as the action was, it was the takeaways which mattered so much more. As I myself try to point out to many, there’s a difference between villain and monster which a lot of them walk a fine line. Enough so that you would have expected the way the Suicide Squad carried themselves to influence the way Batman is now looking to put this new team together. From the moment this story began the appeal was in how these characters were brought on board. If you didn’t read the crossover or those Rebirth issues then it was summed up enough for anyone new.That of course is key for these Rebirth #1s. Above all they have to be the issue that properly introduces you to the characters and story. To that extent this creative team succeeded because there was no telling how this would possibly turn out.
In terms of character dynamics and development there was a lot of potential set up for this team. I was quite impressed when it came to Lobo’s interactions. He above all is appealing for the fact that he’s a mercenary which makes him a wildcard. It feels like there will be room to test that while Steve Orlando uses this issue to establish that there is indeed more to Lobo than a killer if you aren’t well caught up on the type of person he is. As for the rest of the team, that human element was believable that Batman was looking for. If there’s one thing I enjoy about superheroes, it’s those who have a grounded perspective of the world. Black Canary, The Ray, The Atom, all of them have that one foot on reality which allows them to better connect with people than other powerful heroes.
Steve Orlando was an interesting choice of writer, but there was no denying what he brings to the table to make Justice League Of America worthy of your attention. He’s a writer who knows how to get personal. While just a bit vague on the bigger picture aspect of the story, one could guess that this of course has something to do with the Rebirth plot which involves the universe as a whole. So when you have this in mind again his approach to writing this story was perfect timing to make the statement that the DC Universe is growing past that god complex which has plagued them in the past.
If the story wasn’t enough to grab you, the interior artwork without a doubt did. This was a class A art team to bring together for a book like Justice League Of America. It was exciting enough just to see that the main artist was Ivan Reis. He produces beautiful pencils on every book he works on. If you were looking for highly rendered characters, scenery and actions he was the right guy for the job. Nothing compares to seeing work where the artist clearly takes their time with their pencils to visualize people who look real from head to toe. It’s a plus when the same can be said for the backgrounds as that fully engages the readers eyes from panel to panel. Joe Prado and Oclair Albert did great for the way they complimented Reis’ pencils. Not just for the depth and shadows they create, but the tone they capture as well which was tense in order to match the atmosphere of all these people who come from different worlds. I don’t think I’ve read anything with Marcelo Maiolo’s colors before, but he impressed regardless for the life b brings to the pencils and inks. This naturally felt like a superhero book because Maiolo put the effort into taking advantage of these characters and the bold colors their powers demand. This is not to forget the scenic colors which stand out so much more. The natural beauty of the background from the city to the sky definitely solidified the focus of this team being more human.
This certainly is the roughest, toughest Justice League I have ever seen. Justice League Of America: Rebirth #1 rings a bell you can’t unring with these heroes who are thrust into the most important task of their careers. Either their mission dooms them or it could be themselves, but you want to see them through it all when this team is unlike any on shelves right now.