After a weak debut issue, it’s a relief to see “Justice League” coming together a bit more each issue, and by that I don’t just mean the cast of characters all meeting. With this issue the most of all, I’m starting to feel like Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams have found their groove for “Justice League.”
This issue features the “Justice League” debut of Wonder Woman, and unlike her present-day title, this flashback story presents a slightly naÃ¯ve character who still takes in all of the wonder around her (no pun intended). Her moving about Washington D.C. (at near warp-speeds, considering she seems to hop from the Pentagon to Georgetown to the Old Executive Building) is one of the high points of the comic, reminding me a great deal of George Perez and William Messner-Loebs’ runs on “Wonder Woman.” With a mixture of sarcasm and sniping among the boys, her voice is a refreshing addition to the overall balance.
As for the rest of the characters, we’re still in the “getting to know one another” phase, but there’s promise in these greater numbers that was notably absent when reading “Justice League” #1 and it was confined to just Batman and Green Lantern. While poor Cyborg’s story is still separate (but running parallel) to the rest of the comic — the big events here are the core of his new origin — the rest are forming a solid core to the League. Even Aquaman’s brief appearance works well, doubly so if you imagine the Aquaman from the “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” animated cartoon delivering his dialogue.
The story itself is little more than “act and react.” We’re getting punches thrown but there isn’t a lot of ingenuity or forward movement among the characters. It’s why Wonder Woman’s sequence stands out, letting the boys fade into the background so she can get the proper spotlight. Now that just about all of them are together, though, we’ll need a bit more robustness in the future issues.
Lee and Williams are drawing exactly what you’d expect from the pair. They’re still packing a lot of detail into their pages, although three issues in they’re also not afraid to drop the backgrounds out in moments where all your attention should be drawn to the single character in the panel. Strange geography aside, it’s nice to see them get so much of the look of D.C.’s streets correct, or for a mixture of ages, genders, and races in the crowd shots. Occasionally the high amount of detail means that it’s hard to pick out the important focuses in the art, though. When Parademons are flying out of the printing press in Metropolis, they almost blend into the buildings behind them; moments like that either need to shift the background out of focus, or to add more emphasis to the central figures (through line thickness or perhaps sharper colors). There’s no denying, though, that Lee and Williams can turn out some dramatic pages (like Wonder Woman’s “Back to Hades!” moment), and that little grin on Wonder Woman’s face when she says, “I know” is just golden.
It’s nice to see “Justice League” solidifying as the series progresses. The creative team is looking much stronger than their first effort, and I’m starting to feel like “Justice League” is in the right hands. This is a promising latest installment, and I’m starting to look forward to new issues. It looks like there is Justice in this world, after all.