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Mild Mannered Reviews - Justice League Comics

Justice League: Rebirth #1 Justice League: Rebirth #1

Justice League: Rebirth #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 6, 2016

Cover date: September 2016

"Fear the Reaper"

Writer: Bryan Hitch
Penciller: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Daniel Henriques with Scott Hanna
Cover: Tony S. Daniel & Tomeu Morey

Reviewed by: T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao)

Click to enlarge

A new threat endangers Earth and the Justice League seek to stop it. Identified as a "Reaper" through Aquaman, the Reaper proceeds to harvest the people of Earth, saying it is the planet's time. The Justice League struggles against the Reaper, until Superman arrives and provides direction and assistance. The Reaper is repulsed and the world reminded that in times of jeopardy, the Justice League will rise to the challenge and the defense of the world.

5Story - 5: Superman being a member of the Justice League of America is not something that works for this critic. Superman is a League onto himself, and when he's placed on the JLA, he's usually lessened to allow him a place on the team, and so as not to show up the other members. The satellite era and Grant Morrison's JLA run are exceptions, but it's not easy to manage a character fast as the Flash, more powerful than Wonder Woman and Aquaman combined, and with a power set that makes having a Lantern ring irrelevant. Batman hasn't been forgotten, he is, however, a non-factor, as he receives the opposite treatment: he is aggrandized to make up for his lack of abilities, becoming the de facto leader of the team, using the others as tools in his utility belt. It's not an easy balance to strike, if such a thing is possible. Hitch's opening to his run on Justice League (if you ignore his abandoned Justice League of America series) does strike the right equilibrium, at least in this issue, as he borrows from Morrison's rule book, and also seems genuinely interested in telling big stories, another Morrison rule, using the powerhouse team he has assembled before him. What Hitch does get right from the jump, is the need for the League to need each other. They can only go so far without the Lanterns, and without Superman, the League might have been consumed altogether this outing. Most of the rating comes from what seems to be Hitch's zeal for playing with these characters. The Flash is constantly moving, the Lanterns are rookies, even Aquaman is played to a rare and unused strength, but most of all, Superman seems to be in good hands... for the nonce.

Hitch liberally steals the idea for this story, if you're familiar with Mass Effect, the Reapers and Hibernation, however, I'm willing to give him a soft pass, and I really liked the portrayal of Superman. While discordant with what's occurring in other books, Superman doesn't want to get involved with the affairs of this world in a public manner. He wants to be a family man, which, ironically, is the greatest legacy he can render onto Krypton and his deceased world. However, while he may question his involvement, and for a wee too long, it's never in doubt that he'll do what's needed. When the job is done, almost in Golden Age or Lone Ranger fashion, Superman leaves and we know he'll be back when needed, not before. It's not a status that can remain, but it works and is right for now.

3Art - 3: Hitch's work is hit or miss for these eyes. There are strong, vibrant lines, and those that seem unfinished and transparent. He's not afraid of mixing it up, providing nice ensemble, tableau shots, but there is still something not definitive about his depictions of the characters. Noses change to often, Batman's mask seems to want to consume his face, and Wonder Woman looks more masculine than she should. Stay tuned.

3Cover Art - 3: Boilerplate and staid. When is the last time we had a dynamic cover for the World's Greatest Heroes?

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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