In the second issue of DC's flagship title, Justice League, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair continue on the strong path that they set up in the first issue.
The thing that I liked the most about Justice League #1 was that I felt that writer Geoff Johns did a good job of injecting humor into a character-driven story that still managed to be fast-paced and filled with action ("really cool stuff happening" should always be a requirement of a comic if you're having Jim Lee draw your comic). Johns continues that in this issue, and really, I think the balancing act between all the various approaches worked even better in this issue than the previous one, as Johns works the Flash into the mix (as well as advancing Cyborg's origin a good deal).
One of the ideas introduced in the first issue is that this is a world where superheroes are feared (as they do not yet HAVE a Justice League to look up to as the shiny example of superhero goodness). Johns continues this idea in the second issue, only he gives it a different spin by showing the effect that this has on the life of the Flash. Obviously, in the middle of a fast-paced story, there's not a ton of room for any one character to be developed extensively, and yet with just a page here and some dialogue later on in the issue, we see how the dichotomy of Barry Allen's existence is tearing him apart inside. No one, it seems, wants superheroes accepted by the public more than Barry Allen, who is seeing first hand the effect that the distrust of superheroes is having on the world...
Now I know there were some folks who were worried about the notion that the whole "Superman fights Batman" plot often results in Superman looking bad. Not so in this issue, as Johns plays Superman as someone who the other heroes rightfully fear (well, if he is mad at them, that is)...
So far, it seems like Johns prepares at least one awesome double-page splash where he just lets Jim Lee cut loose, and while there are actually two double-page splashes in the issue, the one that follows the above page is really Jim Lee at his dynamic best. The force and energy from his work is palatable. Williams and Sinclair do a bang-up job embellishing Lee's pencils.
I mentioned last time that I liked the direction Johns seemed to be going in with regards to mixing in Darkseid into the origin of Cyborg, as boom tube technology really fits well as a twist on Cyborg's original origin. Young Victor Stone gets a lot more face time in this issue, as we see how obsessive his father is - it makes what happens to Victor feel that much more dramatic when you know just how jerky his father is before his son is torn apart.
I referenced the humor aspect, and as with the first issue, Hal Jordan is at the center of the funny scenes in the story - this time it is in the interaction between he and the Flash, who we discover have had a Brave and Bold team-up already. The scene with them discussing their secret identities was quite funny.
I enjoyed the continued slow burn towards the Apokolips invasion. I like how formidable and spooky these invaders are being depicted. When they show up at the end of the story, they carried with them a strong sense of foreboding.
The back-up feature of Amanda Waller's interview with Steve Trevor was a good read. I really liked how the pages flowed together well (since they are intended to be snippets of a longer interview). Ending with the lasso discussion, for instance, was hilarious.
I think #2 actually ended up improving on what I felt was a strong #1.