Comics/Graphic Novels

The Brave and the Bold (and the Best); My pick of the New 52 Review One; Justice League Volume One: Origin

As outlined previously, I thought it was about time that I gave an insight into some of the better offerings from the New 52 Universe. To begin with, I’m looking at a number of titles that featured in the first wave (and onward). As always, ladies and gents, these opinions are my own, though do feel free to agree or disagree in the comments bar below.

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For my first review I’ve decided on Geoff Johns’ and Jim Lee’s ‘Justice League Volume One: Origin’. This volume focuses on the formation and the characters that make up the Justice League. Now, as you should all know by now, the DC Universe underwent a reboot and, therefore, so have the characters. In this world Superheroes are a new breed and have only recently come to the fore, though this arc is set 5 years in the past. They are feared and therefore stick to the shadows and, at this point, they haven’t even reached out to each other.

In this reincarnation the members almost mirror those chosen in the original team, first appearing in ‘The Brave and the Bold’ (issue 28). However, in these new origins, Cyborg replaces Martian Manhunter (although Manhunter does appear in other Leagues). Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman make up the rest of the League, although it does take them a while to even consider themselves a unit, let alone like each other.

As the title suggests, this volume focuses on the Origins and formation of the Justice League. I have already alluded to the fact that these heroes are yet to meet and it becomes evident, quite early on, that they are very wary of each other, though that is understandable, given the powers they possess. Now, where there is power there is also ego, and it is these bouts of posturing that bring about some of the best moments in the arc.

“With great power comes great responsibility” (#Marvel nod) and thus, at one point in the story, these egos are put aside in light of a more pressing matter. This diversion comes in the form of what appears to be an alien invasion. It is in light of this that these Super-beings put aside their differences and strive to save the human race, though it goes without saying that it isn’t all plain sailing. Major bouts of posturing still ensue as each hero demonstrates their abilities and also their rightful claim to the leadership of the group, though I will point out that Wonder Woman is more interested in hacking and slashing, making her one of the more likable characters in this tale.

Up there with Wonder Woman is (of course) Batman. Like Wonder Woman he is more interested in the alien invasion at hand than the ongoing chauvinistic posturing and quibbling within the group. He instead takes on the role of unifying the group, as he realises that this is the key to their success.

Geoff Johns has breathed new life into both these characters and the League as a whole. He manages to maintain a level of darkness (prolific of the DC Universe) whilst also injecting just the right level of comedy, including a very timely ‘dibs’. Coupled with Jim Lee’s, now iconic, detailed art work, this tale manages to outshine (in my opinion) its original origins, and instead offers up a take more reflective of this modern era.

It goes without saying that I recommend you all give this a read, given that this has made it onto my list of recommended titles. I will however, offer it up as a special recommendation for those who have yet to delve in the New 52. It encompasses a number of characters and also offers up an origin tale for one of its leading members, thus making it a must for anyone interested in the new, New 52 origins. So yes, in all, ladies and gents, if this epic tale does not currently adorn your shelf, then I suggest that you make like The Flash and run, cause it’s sure to be a classic!

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