A brand-new era is beginning in the DC Universe, and it's kicking off with an all new Scott Snyder written JUSTICE LEAGUE, which is coming hot on the heels of other Snyder events like DARK NIGHTS: METAL and NO JUSTICE. I could tell you that JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 is action-packed (it is) and that it sets up events that could potentially alter the course of the DCU for good (it does), but…really, all I want to do is tell you about how much it made me laugh.
First, let me be clear that I don’t mean that as a bad thing! I wasn’t laughing at it. The thing is, there's something at the heart of the DCU that makes it special that doesn't have anything to do with Source Walls or cosmic forces or the newly named Omniverse. It's something you can find in the way that each superhero relates to one another and in the way each team fits together. I’m talking about the dynamics that keep the story moving even when there isn't a huge calamity or universe-altering Crisis sitting just over the horizon. The League may be mythological in scale and scope, and the new Hall of Justice may be their glowing Mount Olympus, but that's not what makes them so iconic. Not really.
The League is a family, at the end of the day, that's what keeps me coming back for more—and Justice League #1 is a perfect spotlight on just how and why that is.
From the team’s shared Batman impressions to their quick moving psychic banter, it's the little moments that really seal the deal. These are heroes who know each other, and not just because they work together. They've known each other for upwards of sixty or seventy real-time years in some cases and that isn't something that any amount of continuity rebooting and multiverse altering can really change or take away. That history is always going to inform them in one way or another, and it's going to manifest in all sorts of strange and wonderful ways, like Diana growling that she's the “@#%!& Batman” or J'onn feeling comfortable enough to admit his own self-doubt in his chairmanship. These are ways that only happen when characters really understand one another.
So yeah, maybe there is a giant unknown intergalactic totality hurtling towards the surface of the Earth, and sure, the multiverse might be hemorrhaging out bit-by-bit with each passing moment, but personally? I feel a lot more confident in the planet's odds of survival when it's in the hands of a team knit together like the League is here and now. If saving the world is going fall in anyone's lap, I'd much rather it be a family affair. I can't help but trust people who trust each other.
And trust is going to be key in the coming months, by the looks of it. Justice League #1 may be packed with a bunch of feel-good bonding moments between heroes, but it's got a couple of maybe not-quite-as-feel-good moments of villains coming together as well, and those? Well, let's just say they have the opposite effect. Lex Luthor's organized a team for himself, and he's stolen Vandal Savage's Injustice Gang base right out from under him. Now, there's a monster in the basement (even though there isn't a basement) and weapons in the attack (even though there isn't an attic), and it's very apparent that Luthor is ready for war.
So, the universe is bleeding out, there's an ancient mystery hurtling through space towards Earth, and all new threats are cropping up in every corner. Here's hoping the League is ready for them and for whenever Luthor and his Legion of Doom come knocking at their door. They may be stronger and closer than ever, but the stakes have never been higher.