Thursday, December 27, 2012

Graphic novel review

santa(s) was(were) good to me and i received several graphic novels for christmas. every few weeks i will be posting a review on these books. luckily the flight to and from indianapolis to visit my fiance's family gave me plenty of reading time so i'm ready to begin.

Justice League: Origin, by geoff johns and jim lee

reintroducing the justice league to new and old generations of comic book fans is no easy task, but johns and lee do so in a fun and exciting tale that occurs five years prior to current continuity. from the start, it's apparent that these 'new' heroes are inexperienced, especially when it comes to teamwork. the general populace is terrified of superheroes, many outlawed, and batman, green lantern, the flash, and wonder woman are under suspicion of local and national authorities. on top of it all, personalities clash between the heroes as a galactic despot comes to earth unleashing his demonic army on earth!

each hero has his/her moment to shine, but none more so than batman and green lantern. the dark and emerald knights seem to get more panel time than any other leaguer, with the exception of cyborg whose origin coincides with the formation of the team. batman and green lantern may be the most 'human' of superheroes of the justice league and why johns chose to use these two in particular to further the story. that's not to say johns doesn't take care introducing each character as the battle between the forces of good and evil continues to escalate. besides the over the top intense action, it's these calmer moments between characters, like government agent steve trevor and wonder woman, that really make this book shine. i especially like the humor that comes through, even when the odds seem insurmountable against earth's protectors. there's also a chapters worth of extras that provides back stories on the members of the justice league, adding to the price of admission!

unfortunately, there are a few glaring flaws with this novel. my biggest complaint would be the lack of explanation towards darkseid's motivation of his attack of our planet. i also would have appreciated finding out more about this villain, besides his powers, technology, and horde of creatures, where does he come from? instead we're left with more questions.

also, being a huge long-time fan of wonder woman, i was frankly disgusted that the amazing amazon was treated as a xena, warrior princess, copycat, eager to do battle no matter what the cost. this portrayal seems degrading to a character known for making friends out of her foes, battling only as a last resort. 

Justice League: Origin is a fast paced adventure of seven strangers and ultimately creates the most famous team in comic book history in classic style with good storytelling and illustrations. there's plenty of action, thrills, laughs, and even a little romance thrown in. this graphic novel not only proves to be a great introduction to the justice league, but to the entire dc comics universe.

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