Thursday, August 27, 2015

Justice League of America #3

   There's a lot to love about this new series (and a few things to not be so crazy about).

   Under writer / artist Bryan Hitch, we're seeing the "real" Justice League of America - which is to say, a team that, like the original version of the team, is absolutely unencumbered by continuity concerns.

   The original "New 52" cast is in place - who cares if Batman is now someone else in an exoskeleton? Or if Green Lantern is off world? Or Superman is back to wearing jeans and a T-shirt?

   None of that impacts this series, which apparently operates away from day-to-day continuity. Good for them!

   The art is very impressive, as Hitch (with inker Daniel Henriques) manages to create amazing panoramas, loaded with a cast of (literal) hundreds. The character designs are spot on, and the environments are incredible. Dramatic layouts, stunning actions sequences - there's a lot going on here.

   The only stumbling block is the story, and the only real problem there is the decompressed storytelling. We have the Earth being visited by a godlike being who seems to be curing the world's ills - but there's an undercurrent that leads the reader to believe that all is not well.

   This issue kicks off with the Flash and Green Lantern being hurled through a wormhole / Boom Tube / whatever into another world - and I have to admit I don't remember why that's happening. (Though I love seeing those two team up again, if just briefly - it's like old times!)

   But then Flash disappears, and Batman is doing... something, and Wonder Woman is stranded... and it's difficult to see how it all fits together.

   It's all playing out on a big stage, and it's pretty compelling - but we're going to have to be patient to see how it all fits together.

   Still, I'm enjoying this stand-alone series. I just hope the story catches up to the level of the art.

Grade: A-



Anonymous said...

Chuck - I disagree with you on this one. The art looks rushed and unfinished, especially when compared to Hitch's other work. Might be the inker, but the final product does not meet the expectation. As to the story, I'm still in a "Meh" phase. I agree that avoiding/ignoring all the current DC Whatever upheaval is smart, but the "bad guy" in this one seems a bit obvious and (Boy, I hope I'm wrong) will play out like a familiar plot. It's all too reminiscent of Morrison's initial run on JLA, which is one of my favorites, about "helpful" White Martians. Again, I hope I'm wrong, but the rushed art is killing me on this one. It's a C+/B- at best....

Chuck said...

I agree about the art not being up to Hitch's usual standards - but like most great artists, even his average work is better than most. One of the difficult things about reviewing a section of a story is: how it all works depends so much on the ending. A strong ending can save an average tale, or even elevate it - so I sometimes try to give a comic the benefit of the doubt until they give me reason to think otherwise.