Dollar Comics: Justice League #1
DC Comics (2000, original cover date: May, 1987)
This edition was released to promote the trade for the first…I guess story arc, collected as Justice League International: Born Again.
PLOT/BREAKDOWNS: Keith Giffen
SCRIPT: Keith Giffen & J.M. Dematteis
PENCILER: Kevin Maguire
INKER: Terry Austin
COLORIST: Gene D’angelo
LETTERER: Bob Lappan
EDITOR: Andrew Helfer
ROLL CALL: Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Black Canary, Mister Miracle, Oberon, Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter, Blue Beetle Ted Kord, Dr. Fate, Batman, and though she doesn’t make it in costume, Dr. Light Kimiyo Hoshi.
Apparently this is the new version of the Justice League, though Guy’s attitude seems to be getting on everyone’s nerves, especially when he attacks everyone trying to be leader. Batman puts a stop to that but it could be one of the reasons he says the team should keep low profile for now until they get their act together. Events have other ideas when the UN, where Hoshi is currently in attendance, is taken over by terrorists, the leader of which claims the bomb grafted to him will explode if he dies. The new Justice League manage (barely in Guy’s case and Dr. Fate takes off for reasons unexplained) to defeat the terrorists, but the bomb isn’t rigged properly to explode, even after the terrorist commits suicide. That’s because Maxwell Lord didn’t install the firing pin…and he has plans for this new Justice League.
What they got right: You get a good sense of the team’s dynamic going into this. They’re not a tested team and some of them weren’t even on the previous incarnation, so while they work okay together there’s clearly some stuff that needs work, with everyone questioning Batman’s orders and Guy being…Guy.
What they got wrong: Are we sure Maxwell Lord wasn’t intended to be a villain from the start? People could have gotten hurt before the League intervened. Hoshi manages to get a call for help out to the League but not before one of the terrorists practically threatens to rape her. Giffen’s choice (unless it was editorial mandate) of team members is also strange. Maybe he was trying to give lesser known heroes a boost or these were personal favorites, but I don’t like this era of Guy Gardner, Dr. Light doesn’t even get to be in superhero mode for this outside of one trick on the bad guys, Dr. Fate seems to be an unnecessary conclusion unless “Batman will understand” has something to do with an upcoming story, and Black Canary’s outfit is just silly. Yes, you can do worse than fishnet stockings and a swimsuit. These are not the “A” heroes and that’s what the Justice League should be unless it’s all of DC’s heroes.
What I think overall: While I have a few minor quibbles overall it wasn’t a bad story, but only when it comes to setting up the new team. Introductory issues are rarely the best issue of the series (at least you hope it isn’t) but we do get a good showing of everyone’s talents and personalities (except for Dr. Fate) so it works for what it is.
This also does it for new acquisitions. Next time in this slot it’s back to old comics I already owned rather than picking up to support Free Comic Book Day for my local comic store.