After a really well done Rebirth issue, the team of Bryan Hitch and Tony S. Daniel take on DC’s premier superhero team book. When you factor in the recent Justice League run by Geoff John’s and Jason Fabok’s it’s quite an act to follow up on. Before the Rebirth issue I was worried that Hitch’s writing wasn’t going to be up to snuff for a title of this importance, those worries have since been quenched. Going forward it’ll be interesting to see what Hitch and Daniel do to separate themselves from Justice League runs of the past. Also, there will be spoilers so don’t read ahead unless you’ve read the comic. You’ve been warned.
I normally talk about the art of a given issue at the very end, but this is the best looking Tony Daniel art that I’ve ever seen. Stepping a bit outside his own style, Daniel mimics Hitch’s trademark style of amazingly detailed double page spreads of pure action. The opening three pages of Wonder Woman diving into battle, then crashing onto the scene of battle perfectly sums up the awesome power of the Amazon warrior herself. I’m not sure if Daniel or Hitch did they layouts, but the layout of the issues made me feel I reading a Bryan Hitch drawn comic, but with Tony Daniel on pencils instead. Tony Daniel this issue captured that sense of scale the Justice League needs to operate on, without sacrificing his storytelling or his own style when trying to match what Hitch has done in the past. If Daniel can keep this up going forward, this should be an amazing ride to look at.
When coming up for a reason for the Justice League to actually unite, the foe or disaster has to be a larger tasks that no hero could handle solo. Even though Hitch doesn’t divulge much of the plot, having the Justice League face up against natural disasters of various types and it allows for each member of the League to show off what makes them unique when put in a team setting. Older readers might see this as normal, but for new readers this delivers an exciting opening chapter featuring the biggest heroes in the DCU.
One aspect of Justice League that peeked my interest was the opening sequence of Wonder Woman attacking militants of some variety. While the villains Wonder Woman faces off against are not meant to be one particular group of militants over another, hearing Wonder Woman bring up the issues that we as readers hear about in our day to day lives. This is quickly dismissed once the action picks up, but I felt that including relevant problems that our society faces is a bold choice and hopefully Hitch doesn’t stop including these as the series continues on.
Since this is a Green Lantern related website, it’s only fitting that I write about how Hitch handled both Jessica Cruz’s and Simon Baz’s official debut as Justice League members. I did enjoy that Hitch was mindful to have Jessica doubt their ability to handle the current situation. It’s a nice nod to her characterization without compromising the intense action that a book like the Justice League needs to thrive on. Keeping in tone with that Hitch understands the voices of the Justice League, seeing both Batman and Cyborg bounce strategy off each other being a text book example.
Justice League #1 is the best possible start that any first chapter could have wanted, Tony Daniel is on his A game with his style and the layouts of a Bryan Hitch comic, and Hitch’s writing while not as deep as the Rebirth issue, still set the stage for a very exciting opening arc for the new Justice League.
Justice League #1 earns a 4/5