There is no argument to me when it comes to superhero teams. I have nothing but respect for Marvel and the work they’ve done with the Avengers. The MCU has made its mark on superhero film without question. But when I was a kid, I always associated the Avengers with two important characters. Wolverine and Spider-Man. I loved the episodes of the animated series when Spidey or the X-Men would become Avengers for like three or four episodes. Still, there’s just something special about the Justice League. Gods among us is a phrase we hear a lot now. Just take a look at the Justice League for a second. If they wanted to, they could take over all of humanity within a day. A well-developed missile could kill Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. Thor and Hulk pose a different problem, but everyone in the League is god-like. Whether it’s Batman as a strategist, Wonder Woman as the ultimate warrior, or Superman as the force of nature we’ve known him to be, the Justice League is unstoppable. Yet, they are selfless. Selfless almost isn’t even the word. Certain members of the League may not have the same code or mentality, but when they are together, we see them abide by that Captain America code of ethics. It’s a powerful thing because they don’t have to save everyone all the time. They could just split up all the time, let their egos drive them. Not the League. Time and time again, we see them conquer world’s greatest threats. This Justice League Rebirth was my most anticipated comic this week. I was beyond excited to see what DC Comics had in store for us since Rebirth has been great so far. All the characters feel real again, especially Superman. He’s the centerpiece for DC and with good reason. The man is a walking example of hope. He embodies good and truth in every meaning of those two words. I figured Justice League Rebirth would send us into a new era of the League, and it did not disappoint.
This issue starts off with beautiful narration by Superman (his dialogue and inner character development have been the best thing about Rebirth to me.) He’s basically asking the question why. Why us? Why here? Why now? He’s questioning what is it about Earth that makes evil forces want to destroy it. Are there places like Earth that don’t get destroyed? Why does humanity continue to thrive? This is a brilliant observation by Superman. I love Superman’s internal thoughts here since this Superman is going through so much (New 52 Superman died and this Superman is the one who originally died at the hands of Doomsday.) We then go to Clark’s home with Lois and their son Jon. She’s talking to him about maybe reaching out to help the Justice League. He’s hesitant because they don’t know him. He is Clark Kent, but he isn’t their Clark Kent. We then go to a scene we’ve all seen numerous times before. An alien of some kind is threatening to destroy Earth. The entire team is there, except Superman. The rest of them however, can’t figure out a way to hurt this thing. We get a little introduction to each character. My main complaint here is there is one panel where Wonder Woman and Aquaman are fighting. The art here to me is horrible. Mainly Wonder Woman’s face. The overall quality of the art in this issue isn’t great but that stood out to me the second I saw it. The character they nail completely from panel to panel though is Batman.
A powerful scene follows after we see the battle. Clark is convinced the League can handle the mess they’re in right now. Lois isn’t so sure. She’s confident that they need a Superman. She then says a powerful quote where she talks about New 52 Superman dying. She says that Superman dying showed people that you aren’t gods. It made you look human in a way. Clark then gets closer to Lois. He tells her that there isn’t any going back. Lois acknowledges there never really was. She says to him, “You asked ‘Why here? Why now?’” She then says, “Because you’re Superman—and that makes a difference.” The line is cheesy but this is what Superman is all about. Being that symbol of hope above all else. This scene is the best to me from the issue. Lois’ kisses Clark and the happiness shown on his face feels real. New 52 and Batman v. Superman tried to give us a “realistic” view of the Man of Steel. Zack Snyder said in an interview once that Man of Steel was an attempt at taking the character of Superman and making him grow up. Superman doesn’t need to grow up. He doesn’t need to conform to this dark, cold world, no matter what people may think.
My main problem with this issue comes when we are introduced the Green Lanterns. They are in China and decide to help the Justice League with their problem in New York. Jessica Cruz looks terrible this entire issue. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if I hadn’t seen her in the past two Green Lantern issues. They made her too dark and for some reason her hair is extremely short. She’s also very unattractive here to me. Now I’m writing this before I read Green Lanterns #2 so maybe she cuts her hair, but I still don’t like it. She’s a beautiful girl and it is not shown in this issue. Still, I am liking her growing relationship with Simon Baz. It will no doubt continue to grow as their run continues.
The issue continues and the Justice League is inside the alien. They notice the alien brain. We then get a flashback here to when New 52 Superman died. The team is upset. They don’t know if they believe this new Superman saying he is in fact Superman. Batman looks awesome in these panels. He tells them they should trust him for now, but keep a close eye on him. Fast forward back to now and Aquaman is having a moment. The alien is thinking and he can hear its thoughts. All of a sudden, the Green Lanterns come through along with Superman! They hurt the alien pretty bad. The alien is still talking to Aquaman. It says this is only the beginning. The League isn’t having it. Each one of them has a cool line to say until Wonder Woman utters the words, “We’re the Justice League. Run.” The only members who didn’t speak here were the Green Lanterns and Cyborg. I have no problem not having the two new members speak here, but for goodness sake can Cyborg get a line? He’s a founding member now right? Still doesn’t feel like it. I would much rather Cyborg still be a Titan, since he is still considerably young. I just wish he did more than shoot sonic blasts and boom tubes. It’s a losing battle though because he isn’t too interesting once you get past the “I’m more machine than man” story arc. Jessica Cruz again, looks horrid here.
The issue ends with them parting ways. Flash might have a crush on Jessica, Batman is starting to trust Superman more, and another day is saved by the Justice League! The last page is a cool single shot of the team. The colors here are very cool.
They’re back! Well, I actually enjoyed the Justice League New 52 so they never really left to me. But this is the start of something cool. They’re going to learn to trust Superman more which is good (Hopefully he doesn’t need to die to get the message across. I’m looking at you New 52 and BvS!!) I’m excited to see how they handle whatever threat is coming their way. I just hope Cyborg gets a turn to be the unquestioned hero or the rookies get their chance to shine. Like I said before, other than those spots I noticed, the art was fine. Putting more of the focus on Superman is a perfect storytelling move. I just hope DC has more plans for him after the League accepts him. I’ll be reading every issue of this run, you know unless the kill of Batman or something, so I’m excited for this new era. New, but somehow feels old. They’re the greatest superhero team ever. They are…The Justice League!
Hope you enjoyed the review! Remember to follow me on Twitter @Hero_Review for news tweets and updates on future reviews. Tomorrow, I conclude my Throwback Thursday series by reviewing the controversial, polarizing Spider-Man 3. I liked the movie but didn’t love it. Tune in tomorrow for my full thoughts on Raimi’s last entry with Spider-Man. Until next time!!