Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bullet Review: Justice League #10

When the DCnU was announced, I had high hopes for Justice League, written by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee. Surely this would be a sort of tent pole title propping up the rest of the universe.

I have to say I have felt a little let down. The first arc fighting Darkseid was 'big' and 'loud'. But it lacked strong characterization. Some of it felt outright wrong (Batman removes his cowl??). And it ended with deus ex machina solution, Cyborg unknowingly sending everything away.

I thought this next arc might be better with the League now more established. But Graves complaint about the JLA not saving him makes as much sense as the woman at the beginning of Grounded blaming Superman for not performing brain surgery on her husband.

Maybe I could look past some of my problems with the plot if the characterization was better. But so far I have yet to see these characters gel. And some things still feel outright wrong.

So I don't exactly know what DC wants Superman to be in this new universe.

For me (and many others I presume), Superman is the guiding light for the heroes, their inspiration, their role model. And he should be that not only for the heroes but for plain old people too. We all should strive to do what's right for others.

Unfortunately, in this darker DCnU, so far he seems to be distrusted, an Ubermensch that people expect to try to overrun them. That is simply not Superman.

And panels like this simply drive home this wrong point. A shadowy Superman, only his eyes visible, talks about how people should trust him. Superman should always be in the light.

As if that panel wasn't bad enough, we get this one. Green Lantern comes right out and says he doesn't trust Superman. Maybe I could chalk that up to Hal being Hal. But he talks about Superman 'floating behind' all the time. Again, this conjures up that overseeing overlord image.

And worse, Superman actually IS floating!

Superman shouldn't float like this. He'd have his feet on the ground. He would consider himself just a regular person who happened to be blessed with powers. He wouldn't laud it over people. He wouldn't want to float. He would want to walk next to the person next to him. No one is above the other when everyone is working to benefit the whole.

This characterization - both people responding to Superman and of Superman himself - is so wrong, it makes me wonder if I even want to continue reading this book. And it seems so off coming from Johns who shined in his time on the Superman books.


Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

your analysis of the rebooted JLA is pretty dead on. i'm also really displeased with what DC has done with the rebooted Suicide Squad it is massively inferior to the John Ostrander series. so far the new DCU pretty much sucks.

valerie21601 said...

The way Superman and many of the super heroes are treated in the DCnU makes me wonder if DC is trying to cash in on the "Mutant Menace" like Marvel does with their Xenophobia in their universe.

DC is ruining their own mythology of their own characters. Example: Wonder Woman.

I will never again read Wonder Woman issue as long as this DCnU version exists. It was the Amazons now shown as rapists, murdering, child slavers. I won't deal with this taint to the DC Amazons.

I am a victim of sexual assault I admit I am having anger issues with this new version of the DC Amazons.

This alone makes (in my eyes) the Woman Woman series totally unfit for girls and young women and deserves series cancellation.

BTW Anj have you read about the new details George Perez said about DC letting the movie end and the board room now dictate how the DCnU is run?

Dave Mullen said...

"I have to say I have felt a little let down"

For me myself that is an understatement. The way the book is written compared to the deep multilevel subplots and ongoing characterisation arcs of Green Lantern and Aquaman has me convinced this Justice League book isn't wholly Geoff Johns work and/or vision. It can't be. He simply isn't this bad a writer... unless this is him making some point?

It would take too long and require too much energy to tell you how many problems I had with this issue, but I did a review here if interested:

It's now got me curious, I would like to know how this book is being recieved in Blogger-land and the review sites. I can't believe the consensus would find it a great book....

Martin Gray said...

Nice one Anj, you're spot on with your comments about Superman. This is such a disappointing series.

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments.

I think the DCnU has had a lot of growing pains after the initial novelty wore off.

I just don't know if the vision for this universe makes any sense. And the re-imaginings of some of these heroes seems so off.

I can't imagine Johns getting much input from editors. He is the Chief Creative Officer for the company. But maybe there are bigger issues here ... like aligning these things with other upcoming media.

Anonymous said...

Everything that you've described on what Superman should be is spot on - sadly, DC doesn't know what to do with a character who's supposed to be a guiding light, an inspiration and a role model. And sadly, in a time where Wolverine, Punisher and other "badass" heroes are popular, a bright and positive character is perceived as "boring."

Saranga said...

AS others have said, I think you're bang on the money.

The first few issues of this Justice League had me thinking thsi book would be a fun action series, with the characters boiled down to their absolute essential traits, to make it a superhero romp. it wouldn't be about soulsearching, or angst, or in depth history, or crossovers, just a standalone, fun read.

If this is Superman's basic characterisation I give up. I am gettign more na dmroe disullusioned with this new dcu.

valerie21601 said...

Something tells me Warner and DC Comics is desperate to have a BILLION dollar movie on their resume, on the level of the Avengers movie.

Problem is now, the Avengers set a new standard in great quality script, acting and action for the super hero movie genre. Every Marvel and DC comic based movie will be compared to it from now on.