Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)

twitter Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)0facebook Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)0google Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)0pinterest Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)0tumblr Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)reddit Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)0stumbleupon Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)0

Before I go any further, these comics are not aimed at me…nor should they be. I am a long lapsed superhero reader, but surely not the kind that the DCnÜ wants to entice into reading their comics. So accept this as just one review out of 8264 that will be posted today and tomorrow. AND YEAH, SPOILERS, so don’t read until you’ve read the comics in question.

1 610eb2fe9a 600x921 Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)

FLASHPOINT #5 by Geoff Johns, Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope and Jesse Delperdang.

I read issue #1 of FLASHPOINT and then skipped 2-4 and this issue STILL made perfect sense. That may not be an endorsement, but I was quickly able to fill in the blanks — the off-kilter world Barry Allen experienced in issue #1 was the work of Reverse Flash, Eobard Thawne, who used Barry’s desire to save his mother from dying to turn the world into a war-torn, death-crammed, miserable parallel Earth of misery and corruption. Because, as we know, whenever you use your powers to change the past bad things happen. (Remember that Doctor Who episode where Rose tried to save her dad?) The issue opens with a splash page that screams “COMICS FIGHT” with dialog and speed lines of the highest order. I liked it! It was dramaticky!

4 09054f1b71 600x921 Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)

As the story begins, Barry and Eobard have a big fight. And Barry’s about to die because he really wants his mommy, but Doctor Thomas Wayne, this universe’s Batman, steps in at the last moment and saves the Flash, allowing him to get back on his cosmic treadmill and create the universe where the New 52 will now take place. But at a terrible cost — because now his mother will die and all the wonderful memories will have of her will be just that…memories.
5 244d6f3a10 600x921 Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)
A 7 page epilogue unfolds in which the Flash not only resolves his issues with his mother, but allows Bruce Wayne (now Batman again) to at least confront his father issues.

I had no trouble enjoying this story. The themes — sacrificing your own happiness for the greater good and surviving the death of a parent — are universal and well staged in the terms of a superhero fight comic. I didn’t much like FLASHPOINT #1 because all of its dramatic effects were based on knowing DC continuity. But this was pure character and plot, and included one awesome bit — Bruce Wayne’s “And don’t think I haven’t thought about it,” in regards to his own potential time traveling effort to save his parents. Why doesn’t Batman just grab one of the time travelers in the DCU and make him go back in time and stop the robber? I’m sure this has been done in a DC comics a time or 8, but these kind of meddlings with the time we know must always be punished with a worse world. I read enough issues of Marvel’s WHAT IF…as a kid to know that.

So I enjoyed that, then. And didn’t expect to. And then, I immediately picked up this comic:

justice league 1 3 Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 by Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams

…and I was kinda stunned. The tone was SO DIFFERENT. The dialog was so much…simpler, to be blunt.

In case you haven’t read the comic (I told you to do that!) or 259 other reviews, the story is this: it’s five years in the past of the new Flash world, and there is no Justice League! Batman is a vigilante chasing robots on rooftops. Suddenly he’s confronted by…GREEN LANTERN! A cocky space cop with a ring. The majority of the issue is these two getting to know each other, accompanied by spectacular Jim Lee/Scott Williams fights and explosions (much aided by Alex Sinclair, who also colored FLASHPOINT. )

I’m impressed. JL #1 is definitely aimed at those teen readers Dan DiDio was talking about. This comic hopes to target people who have never read a Justice League comic before and are discovering this world for the first time. So we have Batman and Green Lantern learning about each by witnessing each other’s powers — Hal is stunned that Batman HAS no powers, while Batman is able to disarm the sloppy, over-confident Green Lantern.

A lot of people are wondering why this had to be an intro book, but I say …what a great idea! Go back and watch the first episode of any TV show still on the air — it set things up! You met people! People met people! There was intrigue so you would come back next week, but also introductions. No one had ever seen it before so you had to do that.

justice league 1 5 Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)

justice league 1 6 Review: FLASHPOINT #5 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (spoilers)

The problem I have with JL #1 is that it’s all done so…stiffly. The dialog is awkward in the extreme.

“Sounded like a death cry.”
“It combusted into fire.”
“But it did it on purpose.”
“How do you know that?”
“It was trying to incinerate us with it.”

If you guessed GL is the one who doesn’t know what’s going on and Batman is the one with the answers, you figured it out, but…who cares. This issue reminded me of Todd McFarlane’s first issue of SPIDER-MAN. It was so on the nose that it’s hard to take seriously. It’s definitely supposed to mimic video game dialog, but on the printed page it comes off as not sparkling.

The scene shifts at the end to an intro of Cyborg, who is still human-looking, and here things liven up a bit, with the introduction of his mysterious dad, who never comes out to watch him play sports. Bad dad! The last page introduces Superman in a big dramatic reveal.

So what to make of all this? More than ever I feel the conflict of knowing that this is not aimed at me. This is a somewhat uninspired introductory comic for readers 13-up.

Which is what it should be. Really, was there any other tack to take with this book? You want new readers, you must appeal to new readers! I have no idea if the flat video game dialog was the result of second guessing, editorial mandate or what, but the vivid, heroic art by Lee will probably make up for it for the younger reader. I hope. I guess. How the hell should I know? I think David B. and Tony Millionaire are spectacular artists!

I do know one thing: that new logo is ass ugly.

I’m told the other 51 books are more over the spectrum as far as tone and potential audience, which is again as it should be. Until we get to read more of them, I would say to take the reaction of any jaded, cold-cast statue-owning DC reader on JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 as superfluous. Give it to some 13-year-old boy of your acquaintance if you can pry him away from Batman: Arkham Asylum and see if he likes it. That’s your future of DC Comics right there.

Comments

  1. RS David says:

    JL# 1 was suprisingly enjoyable. One thing that did throw me off was the Green Latern movie milk ad on the back with with “Green Latern June 2011″ prominently displayed. Did Flashpoint change me timeline too?

  2. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all, but JL #1 had a very “Marvel” feel to it. It was a fresh feeling, even to this hardest of hardcore DC fan.

  3. Chris Duffy says:

    My 13 year old son didn’t care for it. (He likes Arkham Asylum video game though.) But I thought it had its moments!

  4. I didn’t read Flashpoint, except for the last few pages while standing in the store. I’m glad I didn’t buy all those Flashpoint tie-ins just to get to those two pages where the Flash recreates the universe by running.

    I did buy and read JLA #1 today. It was fine. It didn’t knock my socks off or anything. I’m not a big fan of either creator, but I still enjoyed it more than I expected.

    But I don’t think that “. . .a somewhat uninspired introductory comic for readers 13-up” is “what it should be.” Why should an uninspired comic book appeal to new readers? Shouldn’t they have tried real hard to put out an INSPIRED introductory comic? I’m not sure what there is about this comic that is supposed to set it apart from anything else that DC has been publishing for the past few years. Sure, no continuity issues, but everything about it still felt awfully familiar. I’m unconvinced that there’s anything there that will bring in new readers and keep them. But I might be wrong.

  5. Ian Boothby says:

    I think it’s a mistake to have a comic you’re trying to hook new readers in with, call it Justice League, have the whole team on the cover but not in the book.

    it’s like if you went to The Avengers movie and it was just Iron Man and Thor with Captain America showing up in the last minute of the film. It might be entertaining but it’s not The Avengers.

    It’s a fun short story about Batman and Green Lantern but it’s not what’s promised in the title and cover. We (current readers) are used to the wait for the trade decompression of modern comics but to a new audience it’s not a good way to start.

  6. Longtime DC reader here and I was very underwhelmed. I can see how this would be a good first chapter in the trade collection, but as a single issue (and one where we have to wait seven weeks for the next part) I didn’t care for it.

    I’m also a bit mystified as to why it was $3.99 when the story itself was only two pages longer than the average comic.

    Still looking forward to a good chunk of new titles though.

  7. @Ian

    “We (current readers) are used to the wait for the trade decompression of modern comics but to a new audience it’s not a good way to start.”

    Exactly. I don’t know how they’re going to try to rope in the casual reader if they can’t make a single issue – whether it be #1, #2 or #15 – completely accessible on its own.

  8. Chris Duffy: I’m sure your son was raised on a solid diet of Gluyas Williams and Gustave Verbeck, so he’s hardly a good example!

  9. Ian Boothby says:

    I agree with Heidi that it is a great idea to set things up like the first episode of a TV show. But look at CSI or Lost or any series, in the first episode you meet all the characters and get at least a rough idea of what they’re like.

    This would have made a great Batman comic that could have been sold as a lead in to JL.

  10. Ian Boothby says:

    Just as an example. My friends’ daughters are huge Wonder Woman fans. WW is on the cover. She’s not in the issue.

    Only one woman actually talks in this whole issue and it’s a cheerleader pointing at Green Lantern’s awesome plane.

    Imagine a TV show with no female characters. This isn’t how to get that more mainstream audience. There are some old habits here that still need to be broken and fast.

  11. Chris Hero says:

    I don’t read superhero comics anymore and haven’t for a while, unless Usagi Yojimbo or Hellboy count as superhero comics. No, wait, I’m reading that new Daredevil comic….and that’s a perfect comparison.

    Daredevil #1, by Mark Waid, is an excellent introduction comic. It’s witty, it’s quickly paced, and we learn all these new characters through them interacting with each other.

    Justice League #1 is *awful*. I felt like I was being spoken down to the entire time. And it was just confusing…I thought this was the Justice League. Where are all the heroes? It wasn’t funny, it only introduced a few characters, and it seemed condescending.

    I can tell if teenage boys will even look twice at a comic, they’re picking up Hellboy. Justice League #1 reads like some old guys trying to be hip and cool to appeal to younger people and it’s just embarrassing.

  12. Chris Duffy says:

    Heidi: Ha! Yes, but he also read a ton of Spider-Man, Hellboy, and (yes) Deadpool…

  13. I’m surprised you used the comparison to a first episode of a TV show, with few exceptions a TV show’s first episode introduces all the main characters, sets up the premise of the show and the tone. Everything I’ve read, (I’ve yet to read the actual comic) says JLA 1 only has Batman and Green Lantern in it. That’s the first 10 minutes of a TV show. The first episode of a JLA TV show would have had all the members meeting, fighting a threat and banding together to “do good stuff”.

    This is problem I’ve had with comics for the past decade or so, writers taking an entire issue to do things that should be done in a few pages, if not a few panels. I’m not saying the entire JLA origin had to be fit into the first issue but every member of the team should have been in the issue and actively involved in the plot.

  14. Sphinx Magoo says:

    I read through the story and thought: “it’s ok. It’s a Geoff Johns book, and he’s following his formula. Jim Lee’s art was nice so I’ll be back for that. But, good golly, DARKSEID?!? Ugh! Why DARKSEID?!? He’s so overused lately he’s become almost a shadow of his former self. Oy…”

    To borrow the Daredevil #1 analogy up above: Mark Waid used a B-list (maybe even C-list?) Spider-Man villain and made him freaking scary. That took some thought and imagination, but still followed the old theme of Daredevil borrowing Spider-Man villains to fight. It was refreshing and new even while using an old formula.

    I’ll follow Justice League, but I’ll enjoy Daredevil.

  15. So Flash saves the multiverse in FP#5 like he did in Crisis? Only this time he didn’t disappear. (I’m on the comp list, so have only read up to FP#3.)

    I still think, if Thawne really wanted to be evil, he would go backwards in time and make the world perfect. (This is the “Ozymandis Gambit”.) That makes it harder for Flash to set things right. Do you let the world live happily-ever-after?

    So, if Flash returns to the New DC 52, his memories will eventually be replaced by the New DC history? And his character is now living in his third timeline reality since he was splashed with lightning?

    DC probably should have used the Man of Steel paradigm. Print a weekly comic (perhaps each issue focusing on a different member of the JL) which can serve as an introduction to the New 52, and stand alone. Then you launch the other titles, and continue with the “Five Years Before” timeline in Justice League, or just leave those five years blank and let other writers fill in that timeline at a later date, perhaps with “Year One” origins.

    JL was an okay read. I’ll wait for the storyline to finish before judging. I also read Secret Avengers #16, and while that was a better story (done in one?), it too failed to live up to Brevoort’s hype.

  16. Tony Millionaire is incredible.

  17. mr bones says:

    I read the JLA and was not as impressed as I hope. Note: I read it in the store and did not buy it. I appreciated the art but did not get hooked. That is the problem with most comics today.

    Why would DC not deliver a double ( hell, a triple length intro story – 60 + pages) Then you could introduce the entire league of characters and have development of the story that would allow you to hook both the new reader and current fan in.

    Charge 3.99 and let it be a loss leader to get the fans hooked and coming back. DC had its one shot at me and lost. I won’t be buying it.

  18. Jon_in_Austin says:

    Lots of great ideas in this thread. Many of us were kids in the 70s and read the Dollar Comics and Super-Spectaculars that were so full of content, we read them until the covers fell off. Mr. Bones brings up a great point – set the stage for the New Universe and give all of these “new” readers something to chew on.

    It strikes me that some of these concerns could easily have been addressed as a framing sequence, with the JL fighting off some interstellar menace, and one character reminiscing “it wasn’t always like this…” and have that serve as the bridge to the secret origin.

    And the Flashpoint ending gets a big WTF. Flash alters universe because he misses his mom. Reads like a National Enquirer headline. Would rather that they just ended things and debuted new No. 1s set on a continuity-free parallel Earth.

  19. jason says:

    they should watch the pilot of Breaking Bad to learn how to introduce an entire cast in a complex and interesting way. and damn the dialogue was bland as all get out.

  20. I was stunned at how exactly opposite this review was to mine but still drew the same conclusions.

    The logo does not look ugly. You crazy.

  21. Flashpoint was a little bit of a stretch, but I like that about superhero comics. With JL, it was a good start, Green lantern was a little to smart assey for me, but had a great ending.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HYj3h7BDI0

  22. DanielT says:

    I thought JL was adequate but what I really liked was the final Barry/Bruce scene in Flashpoint. It’s probably the most subtle Johns’ writing has ever been and it worked really well. Plus it was nice seeing Batman actually treating a fellow Leaguer like he was a friend, something I don’t think we’ve really seen since the 70s.

  23. Nine Tee says:

    The end of Flashpoint was… meh. It was off to a fun start, but then started to fall apart. Some of the mini-series were a much better effort. Who cares for Barry Allen’s mother who appeared briefly in #1 and #2? There was ano emotional connection, it all felt forced, even Bruce in the end.

    And Justice League #1 was just plain awfull, reading like an Image comic co 1993 1994. It doesn’t read like it was written for a 13-year-old, rather written BY one. Everything was just. so. ex-treeeeme! Nothing happened apart from the “”smart”” oneliners by Green Lantern. And those construction lines in the characters? Everybody just looked like they WERE toys. Stupid ones.

    Thank god there are some good concepts and art here and there in this reboot, because I’ve already dropped a ttles after today.

  24. When I flipped through this at the local comic book shop, I was unimpressed and put it back on the shelf. This comic ain’t for me.

    Instead of reading The New 52, I think I’m going to go back and re-read The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke.

  25. A brilliant strategy on the Warner’s part to combat the monster Disney, that lurks in the wings hungering for the consciousness of young readers.

  26. James says:

    To everyone complaining that the first episode of a television series introduces every character and sets the tone for the rest of the show: one issue of a comic does not equate to an episode of television. An hour long episode of television has 45 minutes or so. An issue of a comic has maybe 10 minutes.

    Give Justice League an arc before you start making judgments. I’ve been reading DC for almost 20 years and I have to say, I loved it.

  27. Allen Rubinstein says:

    In this issue – Batman fights Green Lantern or something! And Superman’s there for some reason! And it’s new! New I tells ya! It’s not really the 4,862nd Batman and Green Lantern story at all! This one is brand spanking new! We’ve changed everything but the characters, writers, artists and all the genre tropes and trappings, but some of the background details have been slightly altered.

  28. Ian Boothby says:

    You’re missing the point of the relaunch James. An arc is six issues on average over half a year (if things come out on time). Do you expect a new reader (the reason they’re doing this) to give something that kind of a commitment?

    This issue needed to let the new audience know what the Justice League is. It didn’t. It’s not a bad prequel but at this point for this to work you need to start with the actual main story. Not the lead in, not the tease, jump off the dock and into the water.

  29. Dave Aikins says:

    “Give Justice League an arc before you start making judgments”

    That’s hard to do at $3-$4 an issue. If an arc is 6 issues….

    One of the big problems with the increased costs of monthlies. How much money to you sink into a new series if you are underwhelmed by the first issue? At what point do you bail?
    Me… I bailed a long time ago with almost all DC/Marvel comics and would rather spend my money on a Tony Millionaire book. Or, if anything, I’d buy the JLA trade at half off the cover price.

  30. Synsidar says:

    Re FLASHPOINT #5:

    As noted, the issue is understandable to someone who hasn’t read the preceding issues, but that’s largely because the Reverse Flash takes the time to tell the Flash where things stand, in considerable detail. Do those details actually make sense to someone who hasn’t read comics? Or will many readers ask, “What the heck does running fast have to do with time travel and changing the time stream? What’s the speed force?”

    Are there satisfactory answers to those questions, or will a reader be told that he has to suspend his disbelief?

    I thought the Batmans were handled well, especially the sequence in which Bruce reads the letter, but the scenes with the Flash and his mother amounted to a heroic cliché, a false dilemma.

    I would have gotten JL(A) #1, but the local shop didn’t have any. People should hope, though, that the average comics shop sold many more copies than the one in Grand Forks, ND did. I was told that seven people asked for copies.

    SRS

  31. Charles Knight says:

    James – the bigger problem is that first episode of a TV show is cheaper on itunes and lasts longer than a comic that takes about five minutes to read.

  32. briguyx says:

    Um, when I watch the pilot for a new show, I have no idea who anyone is. So yes, the pilot has to introduce characters and grab me.

    When it comes to the Justice League, people already know who Batman is… and when they were planning the book, I’m sure the DC brain trust thought the Green Lantern movie would be a big hit, so why not start off the book with a team-up of the most popular characters? Makes sense to me. Now making the book exciting is another matter…

  33. Imagine if they did the entire relaunch of the nuDC as 52 done in one issues? Imagine that? An entire story in 20-30 pages? With a beginning, middle and end? A real “pilot”?

  34. So, JL#1:

    Non-Super-hero Comics fans found more of the same to criticise… IF they did buy the comic— DC stalwarts generally found it okay…
    even with some reservations— and Big Two-friendly Sites and reviewers gave it a ‘Thumbs Up’… while carefully couching their criticisms of it.

    Now I want to find out what did the hoped-for and hypothesised “New Reader” think of this opening salvo of the DCnU: where’s their
    reviews?

    /still trying to make sense of INFINITE CRISIS

  35. AndyD says:

    So it is basically “The Brave and the Bold” with a Superman cameo? Written for the trade?

    I like the 10 minutes of a tv-pilot comparison. But to pay 3.99 for that is a bit much to ask. This “new reader” thing is a myth imho, but even if they are out there waiting to pay that much money regulary for a thing they never bought before it seems odd that the first and crucial issue doesn´t deliver what the cover promises.

  36. “Give Justice League an arc before you start making judgments.”

    Sorry, but most people want bang for their buck, so where’s the refund line forming?

    “An issue of a comic has maybe 10 minutes.”

    That’s a serious flaw of modern ‘big two’ comics-making, the conditioning of comics fans to expect LESS from their purchases, all from the same jokers who keep spinning their wheels promising more.

  37. A Newton says:

    I could have sworn there was some talk at the DC events about not “writing for the trade” anymore with the new 52 While I kinda liked JL #1, it certainly still felt like it was being written for trades.

    I really feel like issue #1 should have brought the team together. While I’d like to see it, Im no longer harboring the false hope of more dense storytelling.

  38. Bryan L says:

    I won’t be back for issue #2. Maybe the trade, if I can get it cheaply enough. There wasn’t anything in the issue to justify my $3.99. It’s clearly the first few pages of a trade, and there’s much too little story here for the price. I’ll still be buying some of the 52 titles, and I’ll download a few more from Comixology once the price drops. But this one is off the list.

    I have the funny feeling that after all this 52 business shakes out, I’ll be spending less money on DC than before. I hope I’m wrong, and I hope they get those new readers. But if this issue was DC putting its best foot forward, I’m not sure I want to see what the other foot is wearing.

  39. Kate Fitzsimons says:

    I was not hugely impressed with JLA 1, not as a longtime comics reader – though, obviously, I am – but as someone who once was that 13 year old kid. It would be perfectly gone as the first half of a pilot / first issue, but if I were a newbie paying $3, I’d feel more disappointed.

    It’s too decompressed, there’s not enough story to actually emotionally hook readers who don’t care about the characters yet particularly well. It’s not a matter of it being too young or too early in a series. Comparing it to even the first half of the first episode of the Justice League cartoon, or My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, or Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, you just don’t get as much story, especially if you don’t know comics super well.

    A veteran DC fan would recognize that cube and get excited and know immediately why it was a big deal. An old hand would get the foreshadowing of the Victor Stone part and get the tragedy and emotional resonance of seeing him healthy before he meets his fate. An excited new fan who watched a movie or two and a couple cartoon episodes just wouldn’t.

    I don’t hate it, it’s fine, I do actually like the works of both Lee and Johns very much, and this story arc could eventually live up to them. It just doesn’t strike me as a great intro issue.

  40. Justin H. says:

    “Give Justice League an arc before you start making judgments.”

    I love how it’s not okay to have an opinion before the book comes out (even tho’ there’s been plenty of art), or even when the book itself has come out- you have to read the entire story (altho’ they’re supposedly not writing for the trade anymore) , and, presumably, the Johns/Lee interviews that explain their take, any supplemental material in the TPB and Dan DiDio’s grocery list before you can make a judgement.

  41. @ mario boon – Your suggestion is EXACTLY what they should have done.

    @ Ian Boothby – You nailed it as well. Start with a team action sequence. It’s the same reason the James Bond movies start with the end of a mission, and the same reason Star Wars didn’t start the story with the Bothan Spies.

    My seven year old son came to the comic shop with me yesterday. He didn’t care about the Justice League. Instead he bought The Heroic Age Avengers #2 for a dollar. He wanted to buy a Transformers comic too, but all they had were the “chunky” movie comics and not the “awesome” G1 comics.

  42. Torsten Adair says:

    (Just to nitpick… there’s no “America” in this comic… it’s “Justice League”. And cue Glenn Beck in three…two…)

    Hey… has anyone gone back and read the first issues of each comic after Crisis On Infinite Earths? At the time, I only bought the three Superman titles, which I enjoyed as a newbie. (I had no idea who the Teen Titans were, knew the basic of Metallo, and Adventures had a simple terrorist attack.) Justice League International appealed to my sense of humor. The rest of DC’s output didn’t appeal to me, a Marvel fan, until Sandman Month a few years later. (Yes, I bought every Millennium issue…and didn’t get hooked on anything.)

  43. “I would have gotten JL(A) #1, but the local shop didn’t have any. People should hope, though, that the average comics shop sold many more copies than the one in Grand Forks, ND did. I was told that seven people asked for copies.”

    —how many people would need to ask in Grand Forks for you to consider this a success?

    and if only 7 people asked, why was the shop out of the book?

  44. Synsidar says:

    and if only 7 people asked, why was the shop out of the book?

    The owner was out; his loyal sidekick told me that seven people had asked for the issue (JL #1), so that’s how many copies he ordered. I was the second person that day (mid-afternoon) looking for copies on the shelf.

    The store owner normally orders copies in excess of pull list requests, including titles from IDW, Dynamite, BOOM!, etc., but he warned customers weeks ago that he’d be sharply reducing the number of shelf copies this month, presumably because placing orders for all those DC #1 issues is a financial strain. If his situation is at all typical, that will influence the sales stats for August and September.

    There is only one full-service comics shop in Grand Forks, a college town with about 53,000 people. Given the publicity, I’d have thought that more than seven people would want JL #1.

    SRS

  45. mpneeb says:

    “Give Justice League an arc before you start making judgments. ”

    Nope.
    This was the kick-off event for their entire new universe. It’s a cliche, but “go big or go home” was what had to be done and it wasn’t.
    And this arc is going to take until June 2012 to complete (unless Jim Lee has gotten really fast at drawing). I don’t think anyone wants to wait 9 months to see how something we know happens (the Justice League forms), happen.

  46. I dug it, and I generally can’t stand any superhero comic written after 1975. Light, quick, fun, character driven. Perfect superhero book.

  47. “(Remember that Doctor Who episode where Rose tried to save her dad?)”

    Funny you should mention that, it was written by some bloke called Paul Cornell. :)

  48. Ron Catapano says:

    OMG! I can’t believe the amount of bitching and moaning going on here.

    If they told the entire origin in one issue you’d complain that it was rushed or that it took up the whole book and they should have included a back up story. OH, and it should have ben cheaper too, a book by 2 of the most tallented guys in the industry shouldn’t cost $3.99…I won’t be able to afford Aunt Mays prescription, waaaaa!

    It’s a story, it should take as long as it needs to be told well. If you don’t like it after it’s finished, then complain.

    I really like the guy who is bitching about a book that he read for free while in the store…at least have the decency to pay for the book if you want to complain about it.

    I actually enjoyed the book and liked the mix of action and humor. It also did something very important, it made me excited for the next issue.

    For those that look at the numbers, initial orders were over 200,000 which completely sold out.
    On Wednesday DC sent notice that they were doing a second print that would be available in 2 weeks.
    By Thursday reorders were already going to backorder because the demand for more copies had already surpassed DCs’ planned 2nd print.

    I think most people would consider this a success.

  49. It’s only a success if it works in the long term. Lots of TV shows have big ratings on their first episode but if they don’t deliver then those drop off fast.

    I want this to work but there are some very bad habits the industry needs to lose if its going to do more than grab a few headlines on slow news days.

    Decompressed storytelling needs to take a hike. Women need to be more than (literally in JL’s case) cheerleaders for the dudes. What you show on the cover needs to have some resemblance to what’s in the comic. And assume every comic is someone’s first (especially when it’s a first issue) and make it clear who’s who.

  50. mr bones says:

    If the owner of my shop has no issue with me picking up a book, You’re damn right I am going to read it before I buy it, especially if it takes only 5 minutes to read through it. If I like it, I’ll still buy it.

    As a collector for over 30+ years, I am sure there are many other people who sympathize with buying a book because the cover was cool, the art interesting, you like the author, etc… without knowing too much about the story and being disappointed with how the book turned out ( either the individual issue or the arc) and basically your money being flushed down the toilet. The book has no further readability or intrinsic value. Never mind, after paying $3 – $4 and seeing that book being offered in the dollar bin ( or less).

    I didn’t read too many people asking for the entire origin to be told in one issue. We only want a compelling story that will entice us for more than 5mins.

    For those who have an issue with the comparison on comics to TV shows or the internet, you better wake up. DC is competing with ALL forms of media and entertainment ( some of it for free) and all of it just as compelling as some of the best comic stories in history.

    When I was 13, I only had books, sports, cartoons ( only on Saturday, btw) and maybe an Atari and hopefully a girlfriend. Today I can look at a live action Batman movie, an anime, read a novel, visit comicsbeat, play Arkham, etc, etc, etc….

    Every other thing we like ( sports, cars, food, girls or guys, movies and games) are all offered in all varieties listed above and more. Good luck getting a young kid ( heck, a devoted fan like me) to stick around for 6 months and spend $25 or more for DC to figure out how to get me to tune it.

    Those days are LONG gone!!!

  51. Jonathan L. Miller says:

    Well, I’m not a new reader, but I did hand a copy of JL#1 to my wife, who has mainly been interested in The Unwritten and (after she saw the first movie) some of Fraction’s Iron Man, but not much else. She devoured it in a few minutes and, when I asked her if I should buy issue 2 (which I wasn’t sure I was going to do) for her, answered with an unequivocal “YES.”

    So, I guess DC got one newish reader for Justice League out of this.

  52. Kate Willaert says:

    “It’s definitely supposed to mimic video game dialog…”

    “I have no idea if the flat video game dialog…”

    Y’know how you’ll occasionally read a movie review where the critic compares the poor dialogue to comic book writing, and seeing it never stops making you cringe?

    Just saying, you might want to think twice before painting another industry that has trouble being taken seriously with the same broad brush. Especially when its an industry with recent hits like Portal 2, with writing that rivals Pixar in quality.

    Stiff writing is stiff writing regardless of the medium.

  53. briareos says:

    There was a great sum up of JLA #1 on MGK’s site

    “It reads like one of those comics you get with an action figure”

  54. I thought it was pretty dull. The art was really nice, but there wasn’t much of a story there, and not the slightest bit of danger or threat to our heroes. They were just there babbling away about nonsense. There was no cliffhanger to speak of, no nothing.

    I am not sure a full arc is needed to pass judgment given Geoff Johns mediocre Infinite Crisis. This is as forgettable as that and I am not sure why I should be expecting anything to improve anytime soon.

  55. I get what you’re saying that Statue Fan Man doesn’t have a say here since it’s not geared towards him — but is that really true? If they are not gearing it towards “that guy” as well then why the launch party at Midtown Comics of all places? The signals are a little mixed.

    FLashpoint: I liked the irony that it is Batman (!) who cries about the loss of the universe(s) — but on the other hand, Batman, in any universe, would never say “Don’t beat yourself up, Barry” while lounging in the the Bat-office chair. The last two scenes were powerful though. But what was the resolution to Wonder Woman v. Aquaman? Did I miss that? Why was Billy killed? Superman/Boy stepped on someone?

    I completely agree though — if they want new readers they should publish that fake Nightwing mock-up! Wow. I wouldn’t like it, but like you say, that’s the point. But maybe that’s better than trying to split the diff.

    Brad

  56. Synsidar says:

    I went through FLASHPOINT #5 again — I hadn’t appreciated the extent to which DC’s various Earths are just alternate timelines. Emphasis on “just” because time travel and alternate timelines have been around for so long that there are hardly any mysteries left to them. One point in particular: To avoid severe logic problems, whenever a time traveler goes to the past, he physically leaves his original timeline and creates an alternate one. The original one is unchanged, except for his absence. Calling the alternate timeline a universe, a dimension, or anything other than an alternate timeline is misuse of terms.

    If DC’s various Earths and the crises dealing with them are alternate timelines, then the material is much more dated than I’d thought it was. Not to the point that the entire structure is obsolete — time travel stories are still written — but the current view is that there are a nigh-infinite number of timelines. Any event that can possibly occur has probably happened. Going from the current scientific view to DC’s manipulation of timelines via the Speed Force, a limited number of them, etc., can strain disbelief severely.

    SRS

  57. You see, DC Comics should have established the characters for us first before bringing them together as a team. The Justice League # 1 should have been the last book on the stands for us to buy. Not the first. I don’t know these characters. To have Superman hit Green Lantern as hard as he did, and not knowing Green Lantern’s power because they never met? What if he hit Batman like that? That was actually a killing blow. It’s a clear indication that this is NOT the Superman that we know. Superman didn’t determine Green Lantern’s power level before the blow. In that, it read more like a cross between the Brave and the Bold and the Teen Titans. The Justice League # 1 should have been big and grand but it was a bit too intimate for that to happen. It should have been amazing. Maybe it should have been Justice League # 0 as an introduction rather then the actual first issue. Well let’s see what happens in the second issue. They’ve already started the infighting again. But don’t worry, we all know what’s going to happen again. I’m sure that Batman is going to again find a way to defeat Superman again. Again. Am I nit-picking here? Probably but it’s because I want to book to continue with top sales every month …

Speak Your Mind

*