Monday, February 29, 2016

Justice League United, Volume 1:Justice League Canada (New 52!)

    Former members of the Justice League find themselves pitted together against an alien invasion in the Canadian wilderness in this opening chapter of Justice League United. Also known as Justice League Canada, this short-lived series didn't get very much love, lasting only about 16 issues, along with an annual and a Futures End tie-in one-shot. But I don't know why- I liked it! (Okay- that reason alone is probably why JLU was canned.)

   The events of this volume take place after Forever Evil with the government sanction disbandment of the Justice League. Now I've read Forever Evil, but I don't remember the group splitting up. In fact, I thought the League carried on having Lex Luthor as a member! So, when and where this happens is something I've not come across. But that lack of knowledge didn't keep me from enjoying this book.

   The way these heroes come together is reminiscent of how the Justice League first came together way back in 1960. A would-be alien conqueror (Starro) sends forth creatures based on the elements to subjugate mankind. In the New 52! reboot, a rogue Thanagarian scientist is kidnapping humans in the Great White North in order to create a being that would be so undefeatable that whoever possessed it would literally being the ruler of the universe. His mission is carried out while under the protection of a heavy that can change from fire to stone, and then wood much like in the first appearance of the Justice League of America in Brave and the Bold #28

   Another twist is the role of Adam Strange and the love of his life Alanna. Here, Alanna is a human but due to a zeta beam malfunction, the two must switch places on earth and Rann or the two will die thanks to close proximity. This twist with Adam most often stuck on Rann gives Alanna a chance to be the hero for once.

   One more thing surprised me about Justice League United that I think was grossly underreported. This series introduces the new character of Equinox. Equinox is a female member of the Cree nation whose powers change with the seasons. Being how the media has gotten so excited over diversity in comics, such as a black Spider-Man, a female Thor, and a lesbian Batwoman, the addition of Equinox got swept under the rug. What, is it only news if an established character becomes more diverse? Hypocrisy, I cry!!!

    Justice League United was quite good. Writer Jeff Lemire paired up a great mix of wisdom (J'onn J'onnz), youth (Stargirl), muscle (Supergirl and Hawkman), and the much needed comic relief (with the roles of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold going to Animal Man and Green Arrow.) Mike Mckone has a deft touch with just about all of these characters as series artist though his Martian Manhunter seems to be artistically fluid as the alien team leader looks strikingly different in every issue. 

   I managed to snag volume 2 which I'll be tackling very soon. This issue made me excited for Justice League titles again and not since Giffen and DeMatteis were the League this much fun.

   Worth Consuming

   Rating: 9 out of 10 stars.

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