Art by: Travel Foreman and Jeromy Cox
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 8, 2015
United We Fall
Of all the books that made it out of the New 52 into the DC You, Justice League United may be the one I was most looking forward too. It also may be the one with the biggest changes. I know that's a lot to say with what's happening with Batman and Superman at the moment, but JLU at least belongs in the discussion. Coming right out of Convergence, this book is welcoming a cavalcade of what appears to be a thousand characters, combining them into crazy teams and throwing them into a fray that I'm still not sure I can explain. In fact, going into this issue, I can't say that I knew much except that Jeff Parker was writing and Travel Foreman was on art. While I love both of them, was this issue the start of something special or just a Convergence hangover I'd like to forget? Let's find out...
The issue opens with a cool page of a Justice League that we find out later was chosen for one job. Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing, Equinox, Etrigan and Mera might be together for the first time, but I hope it's not the last. After a "Strange" explanation of what is going on, we get to see this team being assembled.
This issue has more recruitment trips than a Big Ten School and we start with Animal Man visiting Mera. She is worried about finding Aquaman, and while Buddy seems to want to take his place (who wouldn't?!?), she joins up reluctantly. We than head to Louisiana to see Stargirl call on Swamp Thing, Burnside to see Alana Strange grab Poison Ivy and Armenia to watch Jason Blood join up with Equinox. While they are all really quick, I liked Jason Blood's part the best. They have been brought together to fight in the most dangerous place in the world...Lake Eerie.
Jeff Parker just throws readers into the fire in this issue. I don't know if I have fully grasped the whole story of Breakers that can be seen by Adam Strange inside the Zeta, but I do know that their existence is bad because of what happens in Lake Eerie. It's disgustingly awesome.
A book like this is defined by the team and I'll tell you. I love the team in this issue. I'm not sure how long it will be before they are replaced by a fresh, new roster, but I'm enjoying it while I can. Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing make so much sense together and were the highlight of the issue for me. That's not saying I didn't like the others...Mera kicks ass, Etrigan is a favorite of mine and while I want the rhymin' and stealin' Demon, I'll take whatever I can of him nowadays. Equinox is underused, but I like her being part of the team, as well.
Back to the problem at hand...this JLU ends up fighting a H.P. Lovecraft island of blood and guts and it was exciting to watch, unless you are a big fan of Swamp Thing. By the end of the issue, it looks like Swamp Thing and the Green in general are gone. Gone like eaten by that awful creature. However, if the ending is to be believed, it's all going according to plan.
I am conflicted with this issue. Jeff Parker doesn't give the reader a lot to work with. Sure, on the surface, I enjoyed seeing the diverse roster of characters that rarely interact with each other, fight an unknown horror, but the deeper story is a real mystery. I know we will learn more in the near future, but I hate finishing an issue in utter confusion.
I'm not confused about Travel Foreman's art. I really enjoyed the frenetic action and kick ass character work that he put into this issue. Plus, he draws a great blob of blood and guts and while I really never want to see it again, I'm glad to have gotten a peek this month. Also, check out the panels I've included to see how great a job Jeromy Cox did on colors.
Bits and Pieces:
This new direction of JLU feels exciting and fresh even while I can't explain everything that's happening. I enjoyed seeing the diverse characters join together, but the ending had me confused. It was enough to have me curious for next month, but I hope we learn a lot more then. The art of Travel Foreman is top notch and I am cautiously optimistic for the next issue.