We’re three issues into this relaunched version of the Justice League, and most of the team is finally assembled against the invading armies of Darkseid. I’m finding this first team up of the DCnU Justice League to be a good introduction to these characters for readers that are new to the DC mythology. Instead of jamming every character into the first issue and having them fighting together against a common enemy in the beginning 20 pages of this series, Geoff Johns has written this series as an action packed build up to the inevitable formation of the Justice League in a world where superheroes are new and there’s no precedent for superteams. This is a series that uses decompression to tell a widescreen style comic that both capitalizes on Jim Lee’s amazing art in action scenes and doesn’t bog readers down in condensed, plot heavy, and slow paced storytelling.
This issue opens on a humorous introduction to Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman has escaped from her handlers at the Pentagon, which includes Steve Trevor, and she’s walking the streets of Washington, D.C. in a response to reports of a maurauding, winged creature. Understandably enough, she thinks this winged beast is a harpy, a Greek monster bird woman, and she’s eager to chop its head off with her sword.
I like how Johns is portraying Wonder Woman in this scene. She’s a bad ass warrior woman who’s eager for a battle, but more than that, she’s a stranger in a strange land. Things like ice cream and rock and roll are strange and wondrous to her, and this offers Johns plenty of opportunity for comic releif. It’s funny to watch Wonder Woman, the Amazon warrior princess from a paradise island of mythological marvels including but not limited to the cameos of Greek Gods, shocked and amazed by mundane things like ice cream that are so common place to us.
Wonder Woman’s harpy is actually a parademon, and this issue sees the invasion of hordes of the pesky little devils. Green Lantern, Superman, Batman, and the Flash fight against an army of parademons in Detroit, and Jim Lee is given room to run with his awesome art. His depictions of Superman repeatedly smashing an eighteen wheeler on the heads of gangs of parademons was dynamic and fun, although I was slightly concerned that the Man of Steel appears to chop one of their heads off with a thrown tire. I guess Superman’s code against killing doesn’t extend to parademons in the DCnU. Putting that aside, an army of invading parademons drawn by Jim Lee should be reason enough for anyone to buy this comic.
I thought Johns was also making an interesting commentary here. He has regular people convinced that the attack of the parademons is literally the end of days. Although this is obviously a ridiculous notion, the inexplicable appearance of thousands of bat-winged, demon-like monsters would probably be received this way. Johns even has Wonder Woman order the creatures to return “back to Hades” when she arrives to help the other superheroes. This got me thinking that Apokolips is a sort of metaphorical hell that is pouring up into Earth out of boom tubes from the sci-fi inferno.
Things are starting to really heat up in this third issue of the relaunched Justice League. Rather than a few parademon scouts like we saw in the first two issues, we get a full blown invasion of parademons as well as the death of Vic Stone and the birth of Cyborg. Wonder Woma has joined the team, if it can really be called that at this point when the titular name “Justice League” has yet to be mentioned within the comic, and the conclusion promises to include Aquaman in the next issue. This comic is perfect for new readers who could use an action packed introduction to the Justice League, and also for long time readers who are familiar with the mythology and are fans of decompressed, widescreen comics.