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Mild Mannered Reviews - Justice League Comics

Justice League #2 Justice League #2

Justice League #2

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 19, 2011

Cover date: December 2011

"Justice League - Part Two"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams

Reviewed by: Ralph Silver

Click to enlarge



Justice League #2 Justice League #2 At the Central City Crime Lab, Barry Allen is working on a murder case, when he is told to wrap it up and switch to the "Flash case" instead. The Flash case is a coordinated effort by the Central City Police Department to bring Flash in for questioning, and to determine his secret identity. Barry resists the command to drop his murder case, and gets a tongue lashing from his boss.

As you recall, Batman and Superman are confronting each other for the first time. Batman has been using the full arsenal of weapons in his utility belt to attempt to slow Superman down. Nothing has worked. Superman continues to advance toward Batman.

Spotting the small box device that Batman is holding, Superman grabs Batman aggressively and tells him that somebody holding a similar device attacked Superman earlier, just before that somebody blew himself up and nearly took the building down. This matches exactly what Batman and Green Lantern witnessed last issue. Since Superman does not recognize Batman, he asks for an introduction and an explanation about the box. Superman draws the erroneous conclusion that Batman is involved in the attacks; making the same mistake that Batman and GL made about him in issue #1.

Green Lantern, recovering from Superman's attack, prepares for round two. His ring constructs green chains and heavy weights which he hurls at Superman, who bleeds from the mouth momentarily, but otherwise resists the attack. Batman, realizing there may be more to this encounter than meets the eye, tries to call the two combatants off. But Superman and Green Lantern are both so angry that they completely ignore Batman's suggestion. Superman bursts through the green chains, causing GL's protective shield to break apart. Green Lantern is amazed that Superman was able to shatter his construct. Batman points out that Superman was whipped into a frenzy by whoever attacked earlier, and insists they need to try communication instead of further confrontation, due to Superman's overwhelming power advantage.

Again ignoring Batman's plea for a diplomatic approach, GL calls in his friend Flash to help with his Superman problem. Flash initially resists his friend's request, fearing things will only get worse, and complaining about his heavy workload at the lab. But GL sounds urgent, so Flash shows up and tries to distract Superman. This draws Superman's ire, and now Flash has his hands full. Pretty soon, Flash, like Batman, has figured out that this whole mess might be a serious misunderstanding. Flash brags that he is too fast for Superman to touch him, but Superman proves otherwise. As Superman hits Flash with the one-finger-flick, Flash is sent hurtling. Flash is astonished that Superman could hurt him, just as Green Lantern was earlier.

Batman intervenes, more assertively this time, and pleads with Superman to stop.

Batman explains that none of them are working with the fire-breathing monsters that attacked earlier.

Since the fight is now over, Flash attempts to clean up when the police helicopters arrive. Flash is concerned that his public image will be tarnished further.

Batman urges Superman to join them as the heroes decide to make a fast exit. Batman expresses the concern that there may be more of these boxes floating around in the world.

The scene switches to S.T.A.R. Labs in Detroit. Dr. Silas Stone and others are examining and discussing the box that came from Superman's fight with the alien. They think that the super-humans from around the country are involved. They confirm that the box emits some kind of broadcast signal, and that similar signals are being transmitted from other parts of the country.

Vic Stone arrives and insists that he see his dad. Silas says he is very busy with important work; but Vic tells him about the college football scouts who have been wooing him. Vic's dad discourages him from seeking a football scholarship, or from playing football at all. Silas argues that in a world where new people have arrived who can far exceed ordinary human capabilities, football is obsolete and unimportant. Vic wants his dad to come watch a game, but his dad refuses.

Superman, Batman, Flash, and Green Lantern regroup at the site of an abandoned printing press. They continue to explore and discuss the box.

Green Lantern wants to leave and work on this mystery†with Flash but not with the others. GL says that Batman is a "pain in the ass," and that Superman has no helpful information to share. Superman is unable to see through the box, and Flash is unwilling to disassemble the box for a closer look, due to perceived risk. Barry offers to take it to the lab to check for fingerprints or traces of DNA.

Suddenly, both boxes (the one with the Justice League, and the one in Detroit) begin to ping loudly, followed by a violent explosion. More monsters appear in front of the superheroes. One of them says "For Darkseid", just like last time.

Vic Stone is caught directly in the blast at S.T.A.R. Labs in Detroit, as his father watches on in horror.

5Story - 5: I loved this issue!

It should be no secret that I am a huge fan of the reboot. Sure, there will be hits and misses. But Justice League is definitely one of the big successes, IMO. I am really excited every month when I go to my local comic book shop to pick up the next installment of Justice League. It sort of reminds me of the thrill I felt as a young boy, going to pick up new comic books off the rack at my local drug store (long before comic books were sold in specialty stores or the Internet was around to give you an advance peek at the cover). I remember the "Wow factor" when I would get my first glimpse of the cover for the latest issue of Superman, Action, World's Finest, or Justice League! These new books are inspiring feelings slightly reminiscent of those cherished boyhood memories.

I love that everything is new again. New but familiar. DC has implemented this giant "do-over". We are treated to new interpretations of familiar characters and concepts. We know more about the heroes than they know about each other. It is as if we have this "secret knowledge," this inside information; which makes it fun to watch them interact and learn about each other. For example, when Green Lantern mentions that he and Flash saved Central City from a "talking gorilla," we know that their adversary is Gorilla Grodd, even if the heroes don't know that yet. I know that at some point, the scene will shift five years ahead, and we will see the characters in a current setting. But in the meantime, I am really enjoying this early phase.

And I love that the classic heroes are once again the star of this book. For a year and a half, we were entertained by Congorilla, Starman, Donna Troy, and the other members of an eclectic roster. And while that team did have a certain charm, we now have the distinct pleasure of returning to a Justice League that is what it should really be: the World's Greatest Heroes; DC's finest; the Best of the Best!

Geoff Johns once again shows his talent for dialogue that is believable, in character, and occasionally quite amusing. I loved the scene on page 9 where Green Lantern has called his friend Flash for help. I got a chuckle when GL says he is there with Batman, and Flash says, "Batman's real?" which was Hal's reaction last issue. Funny stuff! And when GL reveals that he is in a fight with Superman, Barry questions his judgment, in fact his sanity.

The dialogue is also excellent in the scene at the warehouse with the abandoned printing press. After Superman reveals he can see through things, Flash asks Batman "What can you do", and Batman says "I can keep us on point"; which is a great way of telling Flash to mind his business and focus on the matter at hand.

I did have one minor concern, and it is about Superman. Superman is way more aggressive than we are used to seeing. When he first gets his hands on Batman, Superman grabs him by the throat and says, "Talk, Batman, before I won't let you". This is a far cry from the "big blue Boy Scout" we are accustomed to. I presume that Superman will mellow out as he becomes more experienced and more familiar with his colleagues.

Next issue Wonder Woman joins the team. I cannot wait!

5Art - 5: Jim Lee's artwork is superb throughout! I loved the two-page splash on pages two and three showing Batman attempting to slow Superman down; and again on pages six and seven as Superman bursts through Green Lantern's ring-generated chains.

5Cover Art - 5: This is a great cover! We have a close-up of Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern in battle. You can feel the action as Green Lantern generates those chains in an attempt to pull Superman off Batman. This is a far cry from the crowded covers we have been used to seeing on Justice League prior to "Flashpoint".

3Cover Art (Variant Edition) - 3: All seven heroes appear on the cover, even though Wonder Woman and Aquaman have not arrived yet. This is a very ordinary cover, and just cannot compete with Jim Lee's spectacular artwork on the original cover, IMO.


Mild Mannered Reviews

2011

Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2011

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