Comic Book Reviews - JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 Review

Created on September 3, 2011 and written by
Category: Comic Book Reviews


Rating: 1/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website:

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Jim Lee
Inks: Scott Williams
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Number of Pages: 24
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes!

Reviewer’s Comments:
I would not be surprised to learn that Justice League was written “Marvel Style”, wherein Geoff Johns scribbled out all his best Batman-Hal Jordan quips on the back of a cocktail napkin and made Jim Lee turn it into an actual comic. That seems to be the amount of work that went into actually scripting this thing.

The best description I read for Justice League #1 was that it reads like a giveaway comic that came with an action figure (a sentiment coming from Curt Franklin of Comics Alliance.) Continuing that train of thought, it started to remind me of that Subway ad comic that DC was including in all their books recently. Of course, Jim Lee can draw circles around the Subway comic guy but I bet the writer of that gem could give Geoff Johns a run for his money. Now, I’ll admit to not being terribly familiar with Mr. Johns’ work (because I don’t care about Hal Jordan and thought that bringing back Barry Allen was an awful idea) so maybe he’s always this bad; that being said, Justice League #1 and all five issues of Flashpoint had about 2 or 3 pages of actual story between them. The rest was filler interspersed with “funny” and “clever” “dialogue”.

That’s especially disheartening when you consider this comic was supposed to be DC’s big, ballsy lead in to their reboot. Instead, it’s a completely forgettable story that takes about 3 minutes to read. In it, Batman is running from the cops while fighting what turned out to be a Parademon (at first I thought it was supposed to be Killer Croc) and then Green Lantern shows up. They banter back and forth a bit and then Superman punches one of them (don’t want to spoil that bit of plot revelation; you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out who!) Oh yeah, and Vic Stone is sad because his dad won’t come to his football games. Much has been made of the fact that half the characters on the cover don’t show up at all, but I’d be okay with that if we got, you know, a story.

As far as the art, Jim Lee is in fine form, as usual. The action set pieces are all clear and dynamic and the chase scene between Batman, Green Lantern and the Parademon is certainly well rendered and easy to follow (sadly this chase scene takes up most of the plot.) Beyond his well documented ability to draw people hitting each other, Lee is also adept at penciling in the perfect expressions to fill out the conversations. Batman scowls, smirks and broods perfectly and at the perfect moment and the framing of the ring stealing scene is also quite well done. Alex Sinclair’s colors stand out as well, with the striking green contrasting with Batman’s blacks and greys and all the pretty orange explosions.

Overall, this thing is a waste of 3 dollars and 99 cents. It makes me sad to think that there might be people coming to comic stores and grabbing this book to see what the big reboot fuss is about. Those people are going to read it once, throw it on their coffee table and never have the desire to read a comic book again. And that’s a shame. Some of the other reboot titles actually look and sound really interesting, so it puzzles me that DC decided to lead with this one. Oh well. I’ll still pick up Action Comics #1 which, by all accounts, is actually worth reading.


Justice League 1 Cover   
9 Responses to “JUSTICE LEAGUE #1”

  1. nothing


    09-03-2011 7:34 pm

    While I agree this wasn’t any where near a four star comic, this is a pretty harsh review. Jim Lee’s pencils were incredible, especially his depiction of the Green Lantern constructs, and as you point out John’s wrote in some pretty worthwhile moments.

    Not sure how I feel about the big bad out of the gate being Darkseid though, I guess took it as a statement of how far they are going in ignoring previous continuity and I am sure G-Moz is used to his plot points being thrown out.

    Hit first and ask questions later Relate able Bratty Boy Supes might take some getting used to and the Cyborg b-plot was a little mundane for the big #1 issue.

    I agree with others that this first issue should have started a full JL roster in full on action w/ the origins to be filled in after the first mini-arc.

    But it was a solid 3/5 book despite it’s flaws and mostly suffers from hype-steria.


  2. nothing


    09-04-2011 2:56 am

    Good review..but tell us how you really feel. lol


  3. nothing


    09-04-2011 3:28 am

    Yea… I gotta say.. Ruff

    And I wasn’t that bad… Hyped to the max but worth more then 1/5 :(


  4. nothing


    09-04-2011 9:32 pm

    Matt “Cynical” says, “- JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 wasn’t, in fact, the worst thing in the world, only the biggest disappointment.”

    Which I think about sums it up.


  5. nothing

    Dustin Riccio:

    09-05-2011 11:47 pm

    My initial impression after a first read through was 2/5 or 3/5. But after reading it a few times the complete lack of anything resembling a story got on my nerves. If this was Justice League #136 or 282 it would have been easier to overlook, perhaps, but when DC reboots their entire line and then offers this as the opening salvo it’s hard to get around the fact that they really shit the bed with this thing.

    It makes me sad that Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair did such nice work in service of such a worthless script. There are certainly some beautiful visuals to be found here, no argument there, I just wish Johns had put half as much work into the script as Lee & Co put into the art.


  6. nothing


    09-15-2011 11:23 pm

    I agree with the reviews presented here. The writing was amateurish and did not create enough of the atmosphere that Jim Lee’s art was depicting. In some areas the color scheme was vastly too bright to give the ominous feel of the moment. For example, in the sewer, the color was too rich and bright to give the impression of forewarned danger around the corner.
    Color issues aside, the meeting of the superheroes seemed more like an awkward, geek gathering for a Dungeons & Dragons Live Action game rather than what you would expect from a meeting of these heroes.
    And not to throw stones at Jim Lee’s incredible artwork, but if the characters are meant to be younger, then their bodies are way to defined and large for their youth. In all fairness, the last panel Superman shot did make him appear more youthful, but the Bat and the Lantern looked too mature for the dialogue.
    I think my overall feeling regarding this issue is disappointment.


  7. nothing


    09-16-2011 4:58 am

    I actually joked that this review was too harsh..but then I read the issue. I would give it two stars max. The writing just seemed way off. When did Hal b/c such a dick? And since when could the ring just be pulled off? Batman also would not have stood for Hal’s arrogance. Also, probly too early for Darkseid to appear. I think that that may have been the first comic someone has ever read and cringe.


  8. nothing


    09-20-2011 5:35 pm

    My biggest issue with all of the DC issues right now is the random continuity. I’m going to say that I usually don’t care that much about continuity in comics; however, they’ve gone and made me care. When I’m reading “old DC” mixed in with “New DC” its confusing as heck.


  9. nothing

    Scott Williams:

    09-25-2011 4:39 am

    I really didn’t think it was THAT bad. I did like the art and the little tweaks to the costumes. I think for a #1 you can’t expect too much story, it’s too busy setting up the story to be able to tell any of it yet.

    What I didn’t like was the digital price point. That pissed me off. $3.99 for a digital comic??? Ridiculous. I also had issues with Hal losing his ring so easily to Batman. Superman seemed out of character but like I’ve said before if they’re rebooting the universe I suppose now would be the time to make any changes to personality traits if they’re going to make them.


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