Saturday, November 19, 2011

Justice League #3

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jim Lee
Company: DC Comics

While a few DC books have been floundering, Geoff Johns' foray into the land of the Justice League continues to be one of the most entertaining titles of the relaunch. Why? Because every single issue that's come out is packed to the gills with so much stuff that it has a re-readability quality that many other books don't. It's also that cool combination of stage magic where it has both flash and substance that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This third issue is no different. Right off the bat it is our introduction to Wonder Woman's character and then once that has been established, goes right into the chaos as Parademons begin their attack for Darkseid on various cities all around the world.

Now, a person can probably complain about the pacing of the story or make some comment that really, by issue three, the team should have already been constructed and more meat should be on these bones. There is a nugget of truth to that, as the pace of the story is a mite slow, but it's not to the book's detriment. In fact, I like that Johns is taking the time to really allow the reader to get a good handle on each individual character and their motivations. If they had rushed it and hurried into the formation of the team and attacking Darkseid, I don't think it would have been as enjoyable as these issues have been.

His take on Wonder Woman is actually refreshing, with its upbeat adventurer bravado and with her always on the hunt for the next great challenge. It gives Diana a fun edge and something that is a bit more relatable to rather than a stuffy diplomat or a character that is so mired in convoluted mythology. The dialogue that Johns provides is cute and engaging as Diana fumbles a bit at the new things that she's never encountered, you know, like ice cream. And while Wonder Woman is the main focus, the story doesn't disregard the rest of the team. They each get their own moment. The fact that Superman continues to get to do cool things page after page is great. Normally, he's the straight laced boyscout, the guy who is typically boring, but in this world he gets to cut loose and use cars as baseball bats on his enemies and be quite the badass instead of having Batman stealing that particular calling card every issue.

Jim Lee's art, thankfully, does not seem rushed. It's just as detailed in this issue that it was in the first, and while there are a few moments in this one where his storytelling takes a dip (a scene that seemed to tease a link between Victor Stone and Darkseid), the work overall stills hits the awesome button with regular frequency. The splash pages pop, the characters are very expressive, and everything feels like its moving with rigorous movement.

So yes, Justice League proves again and again how good it is. Through character development, action, and in this specific issue, a cool text feature that is made to look like an excerpt from a book about the secret history of Atlantis, there is always something surprising in its pages.

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