Writer: Bryan Hitch
Art: Tony S. Daniel
Inks: Sandu Florea
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Cover: Tony S. Daniel & Tomeu Morey
Variant: Yanick Maquette & Nathan Fairbairn
Assists: Amedeo Turturro
Edits: Brian Cunningham
Warning: Potential spoilers ahead.
Bryan Hitch takes on the writing duties for this first issue of the new Justice League title. In typical Hitch fashion, this story has all the makings of a sprawling epic. The issue begins and ends with focused panels on Wonder Woman. However, the issue also includes the remainder of the Justice League team in varying amounts. In the previous (and ongoing!) Hitch story, readers knew immediately one hero bore the weight of the struggle, while the rest of the team rallied. Here, the story is sandwiched between Wonder Woman panels, but it remains to be seen whether this new threat centers around Diana’s character or another.
The writing in Justice League #1 is solid as Hitch sets the stage for an unfolding narrative. Tectonic plates are shifting, sending shockwaves around the globe. The earthquakes they produce are leveling cities and sending tsunamis hurtling toward coastlines world-wide. The destruction is labeled as “an extinction-level event.”
Readers are taken around the world, as the Justice League attempts to keep the death and destruction to a minimum. Wonder Woman is engaged in conflict with Russian speaking soldiers in an unnamed location; The Green Lanterns, Simon and Jessica, are in China and Hong Kong; Cyborg is in New York; Flash is on the American West Coast; Aquaman is in Atlantis; Batman is in Gotham. The chaos is widespread and requires the splintered team to stop the bleeding.
Justice League #1 introduces the mysterious Kindred to the DC Universe. This seemingly ancient power possesses citizens and speaks through them. Throughout the issue, The Kindred repeats several phrases, most interesting are these: “Stolen light… Stolen power… Stolen speed… Stolen words…” Could this be in reference to each member of the League? Could this be something altogether different? While the revelation of the secret behind The Kindred remains shrouded in mystery, it seems to be a powerful nemesis.
The art in Justice League #1 is superb. Tony Daniel seems at home with the scale of this story. The details of each panel are striking and the action, moving. The pacing of the issue moves quickly, without any hint of wasted time or space within the issue. The colors pop off the page and frame each location and hero well – a must in any Justice League issue. Some art stands out: Flash’s suit glows a bright yellow, as if the yellow portions of his suit are reflective. One panel features Wonder Woman’s shield, with sunlight reflecting off its golden hues. It was strikingly beautiful.
Justice League #1 was thoroughly enjoyable. As a first issue, it set the stage well for a large, sweeping narrative and a seemingly impossible-to-defeat enemy that requires an incredible response from the heroes in the League. While the proof of the quality of this story arch will be in upcoming issues, Justice League #1 is an attention-worthy launching point.
This debut certainly grabbed the attention of this reviewer, and is reflected in the score: