Comic Books DC Comics

iReview: DC Comic’s JUSTICE LEAGUE #3

The “Rebirth” continues and Earth’s mightiest champions are caught in the middle of an alien invasion with an “Extinction Agenda” on its mind.

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The entire premise of “Rebirth” the current imprint-wide rebranding that’s taken over DC Comics is a reset to more pratical storytelling. After the widely admonished “New 52” reboot which was a far more dramatic retcon of established continuity as well as a contemporary cosmetic retooling of the major comics icons, “Rebirth” is taking a step back to get back into the types of adventures that got audiences hooked on the books in the first place. That is none-more apparent than what is happening in the pages of the publisher’s biggest team book.

With Justice League #3 the DC Comics premiere team-book that many of us depended on to deliver on the more cosmic, more epic elements we have all come to enjoy, it appears that the “Rebirth” is being taken very seriously. When the series ended its most recent run, which began with the collaborative legends Geoff Johns and Jim Lee retooling the origins of the Justice League (and the multiverse for that matter) and introducing the initial “Super Seven”, the entire first fifty-two issues of Justice League were larger than life! Really!

For most of those first fifty-issues the team roster (also) hardly changed. There was only a minor draft moment during the “Throne of Atlantis” arc (that was also turned into an animated movie), but none of those “reservist” remained on the team after the end of that mission. The next draft came shortly before the “Forever Evil” arc was implemented and brought most notably Firestorm into the mix, and Atomica (who turned out to be a double agent for the Crime Syndicate). Although the Justice League of America was also incorporated into that crossover, the core leaguers remained the same.

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Now that the “Rebirth” is taking shape, the line-up has also evolved. It includes not just one, but two rookie members of the Green Lantern Corps intergalactic police officers, and there’s a new Superman on the block — or rather — the original is back! It all may sound a bit confusing, but in the realm of comic books, these are gods onto themselves, and the spirit of them never dies. So although Justice League has been renumbered and rebranded to fall in with the “Rebirth” initiative, it still very much feels like the same team book fans have come to expect.

And this is a very good thing!

Though not necessarily really needing to be heavily overhauled, from the beginning Justice League was heralded as the flagship title for the line. It introduced The New 52 continuity and now continues to illustrate how this new multiverse is continuing to evolve. Now being helmed by writer Bryan Hitch and illustrated by Tony Salvador Daniel it continues to present all the favorites just as we’ve all come to expect them.

And maybe that’s the bad thing!

It all feels like we’ve been here before. In the latest arc opening up the new series “The Extinction Machines” an alien and element threat is possessing the population, stealing our heroes powers and sending Superman on an errant mission to the center of the earth that only he can save us all from. Sure, they are the best that the planet has to offer, but where is the character drama, the human element that really makes these characters stand out from the rest?

The mystery of this alternate-earth Superman that walks among them still has to be explored, but there’s a greater threat out there — the one that Wally West, the original Kid Flash presents at the beginning of “Rebirth” — the missing years and who’s behind them that still has to be addressed. Hopefully the Justice League will get to solving that mystery too, or at least give its readers more story per bi-weekly issue release at the bargain price of $2.99.

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