Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art by Shane Davis and Sandra Hope
DC Comic’s silver age series Justice League of America has gone through many incarnations over the years. Recently, former writer of the Justice League animated series, Dwayne MCDuffie, has rebooted the Justice League bringing them to their former glory. The past and its influence on modern continuity are the focus in this issue. Old and new fans of Justice League of America are treated to history and drama from the members of the group.
Justice League of America is the epitome of superhero team-up books. In fact, it was the first. Without Justice League of America, there would be no Fantastic Four, Avengers, Teen Titans, or X-Men. While many famous teams of artists and writers have tackled the League, Dwayne McDuffie brings episodic television sensibilities to the team. This issue acts as an interlude between regular story arcs of the regular series.
History of the League and the characters involved plays heavily into the plot of this story. “Hard Traveling Heroes” with Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Black Canary is discussed and the great thing about the inclusion is we get a modern reaction to the dynamic of each of the heroes. Newcomers to DC Comics might get lost, but the drama works well and is easily understandable.
The reader really feels for Black Canary trying to reform the battered league with old stalwarts and new blood. Instead of superheroes we get people with real world problems and doubts that treat them as humans first, heroes second. The only real action is Black Canary punching Green Arrow. The rest of the issue is dialogue.
If pure action is desired out of a comic, look elsewhere, but the tension between the characters is fantastic. It’s as though the real action and pain lies in the minds of the characters, not from their fists. As far as story, this comic is solid from front to back cover. These sorts of issues might be seen as filler, but McDuffie does a wonderful job with this issue. There are no boring moments at all. In fact, the tension pushes the reader further better than any fighting.
Justice League of America needs a noble, larger than life art style. Thankfully Shane Davis and Sandra Hope do it well. Strong lines and shading work well with each character. The facial features actually tell a stronger story than the writing to show the emotions of fear and pain, along with sadness. Panel layouts are great in this issue as well. So many comics have a few panels per page that leave too much to the imagination, but here the mixture works perfectly. While the heroes look strong and confident, the art implies the inner turmoil that the script calls for. This is a very effective comic in regards to its art and writing being in sync.
Overall ( Not an Average) 7.5/10
The Story 7.5/10
The Artwork 8/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10