Hello again, fellow comic readers!
When DC Comics canceled almost every book it published last August and relaunched with a few dozen new titles or reworked classics – the so-called “New 52” - it was the biggest story to hit the world of comics in quite some time. (Like CNN, DC Comics is owned by Time Warner.)
The New 52 roll-out offered consumers same-day digital distribution, gave a lot of relatively unknown writers and artists a chance to play for the majors, took some real chances on some lesser-known books and even rolled the dice on some creators who once strode the comics landscape like kings but had since fallen out of public favor.
The first book I recommended in this column was “Justice League #1,” the flagship title of the effort. It turned out to be one of the titles they took no chances on the art and writing whatsoever.
And I don't think it needed any changing, because "Justice League" employs a fantastic idea: taking the universe’s best and brightest heroes and letting them loose on the kind of threats they couldn’t overcome alone.
It's an idea that has well-served DC and also Marvel Comics, in the form of “The Avengers.” Even old Saturday-morning cartoons – aka “Super Friends” - found success with the theme.
Daniel Dean from Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia, knew fans were looking to “Justice League” to gauge the quality of the New 52.
“There have been times when 'Justice League' hasn't been the centerpiece of DC Comics, but for a lot of people, as that book goes so goes the company,” Dean said. “They met this anticipation head-on by making ‘Justice League #1’ the very first of the New 52 to hit shelves, and stocking the book with Geoff Johns and Jim Lee - two heads of the hydra which operates DC these days.”
Lee was a major player in the ‘90s who has continued to create top level work. He was one of the founders of Image Comics and founded WildStorm Comics on his own. Eventually his creations at WildStorm would be incorporated into the DC universe.
“While his company has gone through a lot of changes over the years … his appeal has stayed consistent, his style has remained consistent, and he continues to find new audiences,” Dean said.
Johns, meanwhile, was racking up an impressive resume’ on many of the company’s biggest titles, even steering his own company-wide crossovers of characters from one book to another.
DC Comics “Justice League #6” is a big issue in the title’s storyline. The League finally fights as a cohesive team against Darkseid, one of the biggest and baddest of DC's monsters and super-villains.
If you've been reading the title since August, you're in for one heck-of-a grand finale to its first major story arc.
It also sets the stage for issue #7, when "Justice League" (which for issues 1-6 had been set five years before current DC universe events) syncs up with the rest of the New 52 timeline. In issue #6 Johns and Lee give us a proper introduction to some of the most talked-about characters in DC history.
“Issue 7 is, 'Boom! We are today!' – now you get a sense of how the Justice League interacts with the rest of the world and how they are seen, what they’ve been doing, where they are going,” Johns said.
“What I did not want to do was have an origin story and jump five years and have to tell a bunch of ‘This happened there and that happened there’ story. So you will get that all wrapped up really fast.”
If you're considering picking up the title, issue #6 lets you see the world's greatest superheroes absolutely throw down and you’ll be all caught up when the title shifts into higher gear next issue.
Johns said "Justice League" in its current form is all about finding out the truth behind the relationship behind the team.
“You know all the characters - you know Batman; you know Superman and Aquaman. Find out why they like each other and why they don’t like each other, find out why and how they work together. Find out why they would agree to work together.”
So, until next week, go forth and read, my people. And the reading will be good.
Is there a comic out there that you really love? Let us know in the comments. We’re always looking for tips on good comics.
Here are some of the comics scheduled to hit the shelves on January 29, 2012. Your local retailer will probably have these and others, so make sure to check with them for more details.
BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #1 $3.99
BATMAN ODYSSEY VOL 2 #5 (OF 7) $3.99
DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #24 $2.99
GEARS OF WAR #22 $2.99
JUSTICE LEAGUE #6 $3.99
JUSTICE LEAGUE #6 COMBO PACK $4.99
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ARCHIVES HC VOL 10 $59.99
LEGION SECRET ORIGIN #5 (OF 6) $2.99
LOONEY TUNES #205 $2.99
SCALPED #56 (MR) $2.99
SHADE #5 (OF 12) $2.99
SPACEMAN #4 (OF 9) (MR) $2.99
THUNDER AGENTS VOL 2 #4 (OF 6) $2.99
TINY TITANS #49 $2.99
UNCHARTED #4 (OF 6) $2.99
UNWRITTEN #34.5 (MR) $2.99
Batman: Odyssey Vol. 2 #25
DC Universe Online Legends #24
Gears of War #22
Justice League #6
Legion: Secret Origin #5
The Shade #5
The Unwritten #34.5
Thunder Agents Vol. 2 #4
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #680 $3.99
ASTONISHING X-MEN #47 $3.99
AVENGERS #23 $3.99
AVENGERS BIG THREE TP $29.99
CARNAGE FAMILY FEUD TP $19.99
FEAR ITSELF BLACK PANTHER MAN WITHOUT FEAR PREM HC $19.99
FEAR ITSELF HERC PREM HC $19.99
FF #15 $2.99
FF BY JONATHAN HICKMAN TP VOL 01 $15.99
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN TP VOL 08 UNFIXABLE $15.99
KA-ZAR BY MARK WAID AND ANDY KUBERT TP VOL 02 $24.99
MOON KNIGHT #10 $3.99
NEW AVENGERS #22 $3.99
PUNISHER BY GREG RUCKA PREM HC VOL 01 $19.99
PUNISHER BY GREG RUCKA PREM HC VOL 01 BLANK DM VAR ED $19.99
SIX GUNS #5 (OF 5) $2.99
SPIDER-MAN FANTASTIC SPIDER-MAN TP $19.99
TWELVE #10 (OF 12) $2.99
ULT COMICS ULTIMATES BY HICKMAN PREM HC VOL 01 $24.99
ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #7 WITH DIGITAL CODE $3.99
ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #8 WITH DIGITAL CODE $3.99
UNCANNY X-FORCE DARK ANGEL SAGA PREM HC BOOK 02 $24.99
VENOM #13.4 $2.99
X-MEN LEGACY FIVE MILES SOUTH OF UNIVERSE PREM HC $19.99
X-MEN LEGACY NECROSHA TP $15.99
X-MEN PRELUDE TO SCHISM TP $14.99
Amazing Spider-Man #680
Astonishing X-Men #47
Marvel’s The Avengers Prelude: Fury’s Big Week #4
Secret Avengers #21.1
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #7
Ultimate Comics X-Men #8
GI JOE 2 RETALIATION MOVIE PREQUEL #2 $3.99
GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO ANNUAL #1 $7.99
GI JOE YEARBOOK TP $24.99
INFESTATION 2 TEAM UP ONE SHOT #1 $3.99
JOE HILL THE CAPE #4 (OF 4) $3.99
MAGIC THE GATHERING #2 $3.99
STAR TREK ONGOING #6 $3.99
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MICRO SERIES #3 DONATELLO $3.99
G.I. Joe 2: Movie Prequel #2
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Annual #1
Infestation II: Team Up One Shot
Joe Hill’s The Cape #4
Magic The Gathering #2
Star Trek: Ongoing #6
Transformers: Autocracy #4
DARKNESS #100 CVR A HAUN (MR) $4.99
DARKNESS #100 CVR B MCFARLANE (MR) $4.99
DARKNESS #100 CVR C GOLDEN (MR) $4.99
DARKNESS #100 CVR D BROUSSARD & GHO (MR) $4.99
GREEN WAKE #10 (MR) $3.50
HACK SLASH #13 CVR A SEELEY & PASSALAQUA (MR) $3.50
HACK SLASH #13 CVR B TEMPLESMITH (MR) $3.50
INVINCIBLE #89 $2.99
NETHERWORLD #4 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99
ORC STAIN #7 (RES) (MR) $2.99
PIGS #6 (MR) $2.99
SAMURAIS BLOOD TP VOL 01 $14.99
VESCELL #6 (MR) $2.99
WALKING DEAD #94 (MR) $2.99
XENOHOLICS #5 (MR) $3.50
Green Wake #10
Netherworld #4 (OF 5)
Orc Stain #7
Samurais Blood TP Vol. 1
The Darkness #100
Walking Dead #94
ANGEL & FAITH #7 REBEKAH ISAACS VAR CVR $2.99
ANGEL & FAITH #7 STEVE MORRIS CVR $2.99
DRINKY CROW PARTY LIGHTS $14.99
EMPOWERED DELUXE ED HC VOL 01 $59.99
GANTZ TP VOL 21 $12.99
GATE 7 TP VOL 02 $10.99
KING CONAN PHOENIX ON THE SWORD #2 (OF 4) $3.50
THE IMMORTAL DEMON I/T BLOOD #3 $3.50
USAGI YOJIMBO #144 $3.50
GAME OF THRONES #6 (MR) $3.99
GREEN HORNET #22 $3.99
KEVIN SMITH BIONIC MAN #7 $3.99
KIRBY GENESIS DRAGONSBANE #2 $3.99
LORD OF THE JUNGLE #2 (MR) $3.99
ROBOCOP ROAD TRIP #3 (MR) $3.99
LAST PHANTOM #12 $3.99
LORD OF THE JUNGLE #2 (MR) $3.99
Green Hornet #22
Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man #7
Kirby Genesis Dragonsbane #2
Lord of The Jungle #2
Robocop Roadtrip #3
The Last Phantom #12
HELLRAISER #11 (MR) $3.99
STEED AND MRS PEEL #2 (OF 6) $3.99
Steed and Mrs. Peel #2
The Unwritten #34.5