Let’s be honest with ourselves, mainstream comics have been a mess. Major events, reboots, more events, more reboots, how about another major event, followed by a complete reboot. This attempt to keep print alive and snag new readers has had a reverse impact on long time readers. It is hard for established fans to keep up with all the crossovers, character makeovers, and rebuilds; ironically with every reboot they have given readers an out, and many, if not all of us have taken that chance at least once. As fun as the major events can be, the constant change of the norm in our preferred universes has been a frustrating process.
Few titles from the big two publishers have given us any stability, or a constant superhero we can rely on for the simply well-written books we crave. Spider-Man and Batman have been my fall back, trusted titles for, well, ever. When Superior Spider-Man took stage, I was there I supported it as a change up, knowing that it would return to the faithful constant we expect from the friendly neighbourhood web slinger. But the Spider-verse was a bit too much for me. I was there when they gave Batman a son, it worked, they handled it well and it felt like a natural progression for the Dark Knight. But killing off Batman in Final Crisis, come on!
Fortunately it looks as if these major companies are beginning to hear our cries. Marvel’s recent creators convention at the House of Ideas has come with the publisher looking at stabilizing their heavy hitters, and taking a break from major events. It looks as if DC has been on this track for the last few months. The repetitive reboots from DC has been laughable, and the centre of many comic nerds jokes. We can only hope they stick to being consistent and we don’t need to suffer another reboot for… I don’t know, give us five years, minimum. I am not picking up comics to see all the crazy changes you can make to a character and the world around him. I pick up a comic for a well written story on a character that I know, love, and share a long history with.
So, after seeing DC being true to their word and aiming for the much craved stability, it is time I give this, hopefully, final reboot a shot. And, if you’re going to go DC, it’s go big or go home. Batman is pure comic reading ecstasy, and I will always be there. But there should be no bigger DC title than Justice League.
Justice League #1 of the DCU Rebirth hit the stands in September of ‘016. We were all there for the mixed reviews on everything DC was doing during Rebirth. Justice League, written by Bryan Hitch was no exception, with many lovers and more haters. In January ‘017, the first TPB collection of issues #1-5 was released, along with many other Rebirth graphic novels- Now I would like to pause for a moment to question the cover choices. Marvel has been doing the white spines to their books for many years now, so why in the world would DC transition to white spines as well? Shouldn’t they have stuck to black, or anything other than what their competitors are doing? Sorry, had to get that out, it kinda messes with a good looking bookshelf.
The Justice League is back in regular form. Batman, Wonder Woman and Flash are doing what they do best. Cyborg is an established centre for intel and technology. Aquaman is… around. The new duo of Green Lanterns are settling into their roles as police of the stars. And, of course the world is in peril. Everything is back to shape after years of events and changes. Well, all except Superman. Superman is dead, again. Rebirth has a new Superman, well an old one, or a new old one. The new/old Superman has been living on this Earth for quite some time, hiding, watching, living with his wife Lois Lane, and son, Jon. With the passing of the old Superman, this new hero must take his place. But, can the League trust him as they did with their Supes. Meanwhile, there is a new threat to the planet, with massive earthquakes, mind-controlling alien life forms, and world wide terror. Can this new Justice League keep the world from falling apart, while solving the mystery of this new alien threat?
Well, let me start of by saying: I liked it. No, the story wasn’t strong, but like I said this is a return to consistency. For a new long running JL title, bringing in a threat that mimics the first villain that brought them together, Starro, felt appropriate. For the Justice League to band together and work as one, it has to be a big, elaborate, world ending crisis. Despite it being cheesy or played out, it was essential for a strong kick-off. The individual players each carried their necessary strengths and weaknesses, and are exactly what we expect them to be. Even this new Superman feels like a more true to form Man of Steel than we have seen for a long time. Along with new struggles, and more at stake like, being a father, he has the same strong morals and is unquestionably Superman.
It may not be the best Justice League book, it may have its flaws, but it is a Justice League I can recognize. There was no big questions about what happened to this guy, or what happened over here. It was there for me to take in, straight forward. That counts for something, actually with everything I said at the beginning of the post, it means a lot. I am going to give Extinction Machine a 4/5, even though it is a 3/5 read, mostly because of the respect I have for them bringing home the status quo. If you miss stable titles like me, it is worth a read. JL has always been a bit too corny and over the top for me, but I am glad that the creators have finally accepted that’s what they are and what the title is supposed to be about.
Thanks booknerds, time for a Green Onion Rebirth?