All Associated Cover/Issue Images
- Dr Silas Stone
- OPEN YOUR EYES, SON! Look at the world we live in today! We’re witnessing the birth of a new race of people. Super-humans. Beings who can fly, tear through buildings and outrun race cars. They will make what you “do” obsolete!
- Green Lantern
- Hey, Flash.
- Green Lantern
- I say we ditch black and blue, and figure this out ourselves. We don’t need them. Batman’s a pain in the ass, and Superman doesn’t know what this is.
- Amanda Waller
- Provoking people lets me see what they’re capable of. That’s my job.
Synopsis "Justice League -- Part Two"
Main Story: “Justice League — Part Two” (22-pages)
Previously in Justice League (vol. 2) #1 (Oct 2011): The super-humans first appeared five years ago, but their transformation into the Justice League was not without disagreement and pain. Batman and Green Lantern have been brought together by the appearance of a Para-Demon in Gotham City. It committed suicide as it shouted “For Darkseid!”, but left behind an unusual box-device (a Mother Box). Batman and Lantern followed the alien lead to the mysterious Superman who had recently appeared in Metropolis. However, Lantern’s aggressive stance precipitates a fight with him. In Detroit, high-school football star Victor Stone is once again disappointed that his father has refused to watch him play.
In Central City, CSI Barry Allen is arguing with lab Director Singh about the merits of a particular murder case, but he gets over ruled. The police chief wants everybody assigned to the “Flash Case” — the investigation into Allen’s own alter-ego. Back in Metropolis, Lantern is down leaving Batman to face Superman alone. The alien hero had just fought a Para-Demon similar to the one that attacked Batman and Lantern. He assumes that they are linked to it as Batman is still carrying their creature’s Mother Box. Unfortunately, Lantern goes on the offensive again before Batman can bring some sense to the matter.
Superman is far faster than they are so Lantern telephones Allen for help. After some persuading, the Flash arrives to assist them and runs rings around Superman before he is batted away. Nevertheless, it’s enough of a distraction for Batman to get between Superman and Lantern before they can kick off again. Batman quickly establishes that they were all actually fighting the same enemies. The heroes are forced to retreat underground before the newly arrived US military asks too many questions.
The Mother Box left behind by Superman’s Para-Demon is discovered by the military who rush it to STAR Labs’ Super-Human Study centre in Detroit, Michigan. Doctor Silas Stone (Victor’s father) is leading the investigation. His team discovers that the Box is emitting a signal similar to ones coming from New England, Washington DC, Central City, and Coast City – all places associated with super-human activity. Dr Stone is called away from his investigation by the arrival of Victor who is taking him to task for missing yet another football game. Victor wants to turn take up a football scholarship, but his father angrily counters that the superior super-humans have rendered physical competition obsolete.
Superman, Batman, Lantern, and Flash are trying to decide what to do with their own Mother Box when it starts emitting a pinging sound. Doctor Stone is called back to his lab because that Box is emitting the same sound. There is a loud “BOOM” as each device opens a swirling vortex/gateway (a Boom Tube) and hoards of Para-Demons swarm through shouting “For Darkseid!” The Boom Tube’s backwash kills several of the STAR Labs scientists out-right and Doctor Stone watches in horror is its energy engulfs Victor.
Transcript of a debriefing session between Steve Trevor and Amanda Waller following Trevor’s rescue from Paradise Island by Wonder Woman. Trevor was previously part of something called Operation: Pandora’s Box. As part of a separate operation he was dispatched by his superiors to search for a missing coast guard ship (a ship he now suspects never existed), but he ended-up passing through a hurricane and crashing onto the Amazon’s Paradise Island. Agent Waller also mentions that people across the US are being kidnapped and studied by a wizard (Shazam) looking for a worthy champion. She also mentions an author called David Graves.
Justice League Sketchbook (4-pages)
Character designs and notes about Batman and Superman.
- Chronology: The Flash and Green Lantern have already met and are friends by this point in the new DC timeline. They cooperated to defeat a gorilla, but destroyed a Museum in the process. It is this which led Central City’s Police Chief to set-up an anti-Flash task force.
The League is slowly being built up as Superman and the Flash get added into the mix. The standard of delivery is very high and there is a lot to like here. The issue remains accessible and doesn’t launch into the hard-core DCU’ness that I’d have liked to have seen from the start. There is often a lot of talk about how detailed or how well structured Jim Lee’s art is, but what I really like is how he’s perfectly able to become quite sketchy and energetic when necessary. I also like that inker Scott Williams lets that come through in his inks and doesn’t try to clean it up as some other inkers may have done
For the first time we get one of the things that I was really looking forward to in this series, to wit the interaction of Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. Blackest Night started with Hal and Barry just hanging out and Johns showed a brilliant ability to nail their personalities every time. Indeed the most engaging moments of this issue are after Barry has shown-up and he and GL are just bantering behind “black and blue”‘s back. This type of banter reminds me of the old JLI’s Beetle and Booster.
The one thing lacking in this issue is the actual page count. It is only two pages higher than the standard 20-page/$2.99 issues, but the difference is made up for by a Watchmen style text-piece and Cully Hammer’s designs for Superman and Batman. I’d personally rather have 6 more pages of the main story, but I think we all know that’s probably impossible on a monthly schedule.
The interview with Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor hinted at many things, but also seemed to stick fairly close to the classic form of Wonder Woman’s journey to Man’s World. The note about Shazam’s abductions was interesting, but I am cautious about how they’ll integrate the Marvel Family into the New DCU – their light/whimsical tone doesn’t seem to fit in with the new ultra-modern DCU. We’ll find out how it works soon,the Marvel Family will be appearing as a back-up feature in this title beginning in a few issues time.
Surveying the Internets
The sense I get from reading through the reviews of this book was is that it is somewhere between really good and fairly safe. The ratings are consistently high (4/5 stars or so) and, baring the odd characterisation/plot bump, people genuinely like what Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are creating. However, some reviewers seemed to share my own feelings that, although there is nothing wrong with this series and the writing/art are of the high standard, there isn’t much to really celebrate either. As the Heretic (Heretical Jargon) says,
Johns’ writing is “safe,” but not spectacular, with Jim Lee’s style lingering in that “safe” zone with Johns.
Wayland (ACB) pits a different spin on it by writing that
Geoff Johns and Jim Lee aren’t reinventing the wheel here, they’re essentially creating one heck of a summer blockbuster movie.
Rebel Rikki (Nerdy Nothings) likes how Geoff Johns alters the Flash’s characterisation from his recent series:
One of my favorite surprises about this issue is how Johns characterizes Barry here — he’s a nice mix of sensible and whimsical, with a solid control (and enjoyment!) of his powers and a good head on his shoulders. He’s the voice of reason, but he can have some fun, and like Wally West he brings levity to the team, which needs it now more than before.
The more relaxed Barry and even more cocky Hal can seem a little odd at first, but we are reminded by the story that these are neophyte heroes. Or as Andy Hunsaker (Crave Online) puts it, “it’s really weird seeing the Justice League running around like a bunch of incompetent boobs.”
J. Caleb Mozzocco (Every day is like Wednesday) was slightly more critical and writes that this opening arc reads like a “classic Marvel” story with
the heroes are viewed with suspicion by the general population [...] and the heroes blunder into conflicts with one another, misunderstandings leading to brawls which then lead to team-ups.
It’s an astute observation. The Marvel Mutants have always been repressed and feared, but DC’s superheroes — with the exception of Year One Batman — have nearly always been idolised by their public. I think this has a lot to do with the Justice Society’s prior existence priming the public for what its like to have super-humans around. Remove the JSA from the chronology, as this reboot appears to do, and its a cold open for the public’s relationship to superheroes.
|Character Site||The Captain's JLA Homepage||Jason Kirk||3.5/5|
|Reviews Portal||Comic Book Resources||Doug Zawisza||4/5|
|Reviews Portal||Comic Vine (staff)||Tony Guerrero||5/5|
|Reviews Portal||Comics Bulletin||Sunday Slugfest||3.5 & 4.0/5.0|
|Reviews Portal||IGN||Erik Norris||8/10|
|Reviews Portal||Inside Pulse||RJ Schwabe||8/10|
|Reviews Portal||Newsarama||David Pepose||7/10|
|Community Site||Comic Vine||17 reviews||4.1/5|
|Magazine||Crave Online||Andy Hunsaker||6.3/10|
|Magazine||Player Affinity||Brian Russell||8.8/10|
|Magazine||Under the Radar||Kyle Lemmon||7/10|
|Blogs||A Comic Book Blog||ACB||75%|
|Blogs||Bad Haven||Bad Man||4.5/5|
|Blogs||Captain Bloggington||Wade Christian||2.5/5|
|Blogs||Comic Book Revolution||Kevin||7.5/10|
|Blogs||Fandom Post||Chris Beveridge||B+|
|Blogs||Funks House of Geekery||Super Marcy||4.5/5|
|Blogs||Game FOB||Joe T||7/10|
|Blogs||Heretical Jargon||Jimmy Trapp||6/10|
|Blogs||Major Spoilers||Stephen Schleicher||4/5|
|Blogs||Modern Media Myth||Sean Gerber||4.5/5|
|Blogs||Multiversity Comics||Gilbert Short||8/10|
|Blogs||My Comic Book Blog||Dan Rovito||A+|
|Blogs||Nerdy Nothings||Eric Garneau||A-|
|Blogs||Razer Fine Reviews||Alan Rapp||2.5/5|
|Blogs||True Believer Reviews||Otomo||8/10|
|Blogs||Weekly Comic Book Review||Minhquan Nguyen||B+|
|Blogs||World of Black Heroes||World of Black Heroes||4.5/5|
|Character Site||Batman-News||Andrew Asberry||7/10|
|Character Site||Batman On Film||Chris Clow||A|
|Character Site||Gotham Knights Online||Brendan, Cory||5 & 3/5|
|Character Site||Superman Homepage||Ralph Silver||5/5|
Page 1. CSI Barry Allen is the Flash so he obviously has problems with working on an investigation into himself. This is a new addition to the Flash’s mythology. In the older DC Universes the Flash was always a very public hero and worked solidly with the police, but in the New DCU – at least to start with – he is seen as just as much a vigilante as the Batman was.
The Barry Allen version of the Flash first appeared in Showcase #4 (Oct 1956) and was the herald for DC’s Silver Age revival. He was killed off in the 1980s and was superseded by his sidekick, Kid Flash (Wally West), until he was resurrected as part of 2008′s Final Crisis. That kicked off events which eventually cumulated in the Flashpoint and the rewriting of DC Comics history. The post-Flashpoint Flash first appeared toward the end of Flashpoint #5 (Sept 2011) and then fully in The Flash (vol. 4) #1 (Oct 2011). His appearance, however, in Justice League (vol. 2) #1 is his earliest chronological appearance to date.
Director Singh is David Singh who was first introduced in Flash Secret Files and Origins 2010 as the director of the Central City Crime Lab at the time of Barry Allen’s resurrection. His appearance here significantly back-ports his first chronological appearance to the time of Barry’s origin as the Flash. He also appears in issue #1 of the Flash’s post-Flashpoint comic.
Page 6-7. Superman in chains is an allusion to the classic pin-up by Joe Shuster from Superman (vol. 1) #1 (Summer 1939) which shows superman using his super-strength to breakout of steel chains.
The Superman Homepage has a gallery of similar images inspired by Superman #1.
Page 8. The Flash has an iPhone despite Adobe Flash famously not being supported by Apple’s iOs devices.
Page 8-9. The Flash’s position as a wanted man in Central City is related to his team-up with Green Lantern:
The talking Gorilla could be Gorilla Grodd of Gorilla City. Grodd first appeared in The Flash (vol. 1) #106 (April–May 1959). Historically, Flash and Green Lantern first met in Green Lantern #13 (June 1962) when Hal was brainwashed by aliens into trying to capture the Flash.
Page 14. Lex Luthor was shown working for the General Lane’s US military in Action Comics (vol. 2) #1-2 where he was responsible for torturing the captured Superman.
Page 15. Dr Silas Stone is Victor Stone’s father. The woman “Sarah” who is mentioned could be Sarah Charles, a cybernetic expert who was a long running supporting cast member in Cyborg’s stories.
Page 16. MSU would be Michigan State University.
Page 18. Using an abandoned printing press as a hang out shows that Superman has not yet built the Fortress of Solitude.
Page 19. A reference to “Barry”, a crime lab, and probably a mid-western accent means that Batman almost certainly now knows the Flash’s secret identity should be so inclined to look it up. Likewise for Superman.
Page 20-21. The first post-Flashpoint appearance of the Boom Tube so named after the sound it makes when activated.
Page 22. In his Teen Titans origin Victor Stone was seriously injured by a monster that crossed over a dimensional portal his father had been studying. This revision sticks with the dimensional portal, but substitutes one of Apokoliptian origin.