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.