Justice League of America #1 review

Clark Kent is invited to an event by the Infinity Corporation in New York, a group he's never heard of but one which evidently knows he's Superman. There, scientist Vincent and colleague Alexis present him with a horrific sight - multiple versions of himself, all dead. Vincent is frustratingly obtuse with the information he gives out - I think he's pretending to be on the autism spectrum - but his basic point is that if our Superman is killed, multiversal destruction follows. 

Meanwhile, Aquaman is called back to Atlantis from a UN address to meet the herald of a 'true god'. 
And in Metropolis, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Green Lantern, Flash and Batman wind up fighting the Parasite in what proves to be a set-up. Superman also gets involved, before a rather large cliffhanger. 

And ... wow. 

Bryan Hitch kicks off his run as writer/artist of a new Justice League of America book with a nicely paced blockbuster that engages from beginning to end. The elements are familiar: a parallel reality crisis, a mysterious organisation, a classic DC villain and plenty of teamwork. It's how Hitch knits things together that really impresses, though. The opening gives us 'big screen' action of the kind with which Hitch made his name in US comics, as a parallel Superman's world ends. As he floats towards a mysterious doorway in space, we hear an exchange between a Superman and someone else that doesn't get contextualised until a few pages later, when 'our' Superman meets Vincent and Alexis. It's clever stuff, typical of a book that shows Hitch has learned a thing or two in his many years of working with some of comics' biggest writers.  
Or it could be that he's simply smart. He's certainly adept at capturing the voices of individual characters, as he gives us page after page of huge action featuring probably the most amped-up Parasite ever. And there's plenty of incidental humour to keep things from seeming too doomy, such as a GL ring that talks like a London Tube announcement. Other little moments show Hitch is thinking about how the DCU might function. 
Things such as Vincent's perspective on time, or a UN delegate's question to Aquaman as to why he works with the JLA - it's added value that entertains. 

Power and Glory is simply a fine, well-worked script, and one which surprised me by giving us a wonderful scene between Clark and Lois. 
Hitch the writer's sparky dialogue is complemented by Hitch the penciller's skill with body language. Just one scene and I'm dying to see him handle a Daily Planet-focused Superman story. And is it possible to read this and not see that Lois knows Clark's secret and he knows she knows and they're just having fun with it?

The art is excellent throughout - the talking heads look as good as the action heroes, while the massive, lunging Parasite is a threat large enough for a JLA team. And Hitch does that rare thing, he shows us a newspaper office that actually looks like one; cramped, busy, exciting. 
Even more exciting is the demonstration by Hal Jordan of just what he can do with a Green Lantern ring, I can't remember the last time anyone had me cheering for him. 
Credit, too, to inkers Daniel Henriques, Wade Von Grawbadger and Andrew Currie for adding sharpness, while colourist Alex Sinclair deserves a special nod for such things as the aforementioned GL scene, and Aquaman's golden glow. Chris Eliopoulos, in a rare DC appearance, gives us his typically sharp lettering, while editors Amedeo Turturro and Brian Cunningham have done some fine talent wrangling. 
And how splendid that they fixed the invitation to match the issue's on sale date. And I love Hitch's 'Please dress appropriately'. 

A couple of things I didn't like: Vincent's moment of sweariness, bleeped out as it is, doesn't belong in a JLA comic; and the scientist keeps telling us about his 'Stones of Forever' but we don't actually see them. Oh, and the cover logo is terrible, that poor little 'A' at the end...

Just little things, nothing that prevents me recommending this 48pp extravaganza to anyone who likes classic Justice League - action, personality, mystery, humour - this one really does have it all. 


  1. Hitch's Clark Kent was great, but his Superman was off - between threatening to beat up nerds and snapping at women to get to the point, he doesn't half come off like a prick. Apart from that, a solid start for the book even if it does have the awful Hal Jordan in it. Say what you like about Guy Gardner, at least he has a personality.

  2. I did wonder about Superman's threats but decided he was simply suggesting he'd damage some property. No one would believe he'd hurt them if they'd not been violent to him first.

  3. Is this book out of continuity Martin?
    Given that we have a new Batman in his book, Clarke has been ousted as Superman in his and Hal is a fugitive in his.

  4. You got it, Rob - this is indeed the official 'don't try and fit it into continuity' book. So it's New 52 universe generally, but not at any specific point.

  5. Ok, I will give it a try as I enjoy JLA books with traditional Batman & Superman in them, I just got a little confused which isn't a hard thing for me these days.


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