That’s more like it. After a rather disappointing debut tale in the first issue of the flagship DC relaunch title, this issue does a little more to elicit a “League” feel and look, even though no one has mentioned anything about this group being a team in any capacity. Sure, there’s the trite “first time superheroes meet, they fight then realize they have a common foe” plot hard at work here, but that story provides some nice little character moments for Flash — who is introduced in this issue — and Green Lantern, especially.
Geoff Johns does a good job mixing the personalities and action in this issue and gives each of the heroes a moment to shine, including Vic Stone, the young man destined to become Cyborg. Johns expands upon Vic’s football success and adds a new wrinkle to the gap between Vic and his dad. While doing that, Johns also throws in a wink and a nod to his own alma mater, proving that at his core, Johns is still a fan having fun writing these things that he enjoys so much.
Jim Lee’s art is still obsessively packed with details and new designs for things. Some of the designs work – – like the Mother boxes – – and some just fall flat, almost bordering on laughable – – like the S.T.A.R. Labs jumpsuit that Vic Stone’s dad is sporting in this issue. The key, I suppose is innovation and taking a chance with the designs. Luckily for Lee, his work can be successful even if some of the designs are not.
The slow burn to build up the Justice League picks up significantly more steam in this issue as the collection of heroes trends closer to what most readers deign worthy of the League. Last issue tried a little too hard to be introductory, while this issue pretty well lets the introductions speak for themselves, choosing to throw some action in the readers’ faces along the way. Not all of the action is hero fighting hero, as the baddies introduced in the first issue resurface, proclaiming their loyalty and causing some massive property damage. Those same bad guys and their cause also leave a nice little cliffhanger.
This issue is rounded out with some more collateral materials at the back of the book. There’s a four-page transcript of an interview between Steve Trevor and Amanda Waller that nicely sets the stage for the upcoming appearances of some more future Leaguers. Beyond that transcript, there are four pages of sketches that provide some design details for Batman and Superman. All in all, this is a much nicer, more complete introduction to what is eventually going to be lynchpin of the DCU.