Written by: Bryan Hitch
Sucking the Power
Art by: Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea, Tomeu Morey and Richard Starkings
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 20, 2016
I don't think it's a secret around these parts that I didn't like the Justice League Rebirth issue. I hope it's also no surprise that I am hoping things turn around on this book really quick. The Justice League book should be the shining light of the whole DCU and while DC found the New 52 in need of a tuneup, the problem was never with this book. I know that following Geoff Johns may feel like a no win situation, but Bryan Hitch made himself an easy target by giving us a Rebirth issue that felt more in line with his canceled Justice League of America book than anything else. As a reader of that book, it felt like a slap in the face, but even those fresh off the boat had to feel the sting of an issue with way more going against it that going for it. This issue starts off the series proper and I'm just hoping Hitch gives readers something fun they can look forward to every two weeks. Well, did he succeed? let's find out...
The issue opens up with Wonder Woman in Eastern Europe claiming she comes in peace. The problem is, everyone around her is ending up in pieces. She is wrecking shit up and while it didn't feel totally right, it was pretty cool nonetheless. It ends with an earthquake that Diana can't take credit for, but stops the fighting for at least a bit.
I will tell you right off the bat, this issue looks amazing. The pencils by Tony Daniel are as good as you'd expect, but the real star is Tomeu Morey providing some major, kickass colors. I don't know if it was by design, but starting off with Wonder Woman was a great choice because Daniel draws what I think is the best rendition in a long while.
We continue with a newscast telling the reader that earthquakes are hitting everywhere around the globe and luckily, this is a show me as well as just tell me type of situation. It's an "extinction level event" with the Justice League trying to help out, yet everyone else is just standing around taking selfies and probably playing Pokemon Go! I'm not joking...the world is coming to an end and everyone has their phone out trying to record the next viral hit. If only someone were growing rhubarb in the alley.
We first go off to Beijing where I guess Simon and Jessica returned to after fighting the Reaper in Rebirth. They are securing the buildings with a little Green Lantern magic and while I appreciate that Bryan Hitch is trying to channel the new Green Lanterns vibe here, it falls a bit flat.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Cyborg gives us a little update on the whole League and then plays chicken with a train. Actually, he doesn't play chicken, but instead a little game called, "Stop the runaway train by thinking of an old football game". You know, the game sweeping the nation! I guess the winner gets to talk about themselves in the third person because, "You still got it, Vic"! didn't feel as awkward as it should have.
We then check in with Flash who is busy saving people in San Francisco, Atlantis which is falling apart and Hong Kong which is being saved by Jessica and Simon. I can only think that Hitch is trying to make up for shoving the Green Lanterns into the Justice League Rebirth book by going out of his way to nail both characters, but again, it falls a bit flat here.
We do get the twist here, however, as Simon and Jessica's plan goes down the tubes when the people of Hong Kong get glowing eyes and suck the power out of their rings. If that wasn't strange enough, heroes around the world is running into a similar situation. Wonder Woman...Flash...all running into glowy eyed people.
After Vic shows us that Superman is all over the place saving people, Batman hits Gotham City just as a pod crashes into the street. Bugs come out of it and Batman kind of gives up a bit too soon for my tastes.
We finally get some Aquaman action and while he's okay, his underworld kingdom is a bit the worse for wear. He is trying to coordinate a rescue plan when everyone around him gets glowing eyes and says they want the "words" back. Just give them the damn words, Aquaman! The issue ends with Wonder Woman running into glowing eyed soldiers yelling things that would feel right at home in her solo book and yet another over the top threat to the villains of the story.
This was an improvement from last issue, but not by much. Bryan Hitch concentrates more on the new Green Lanterns of Earth, but they just aren't that interesting here. What really isn't good is the story and the villain. The story is more of a series of cutscenes and while there is still a lot to learn about the villain, it's already got a been there, done that feel to it and this is only issue #1. How is that even possible?!? Also, where is Shazam?!? Could this be a big hint that they will be announcing something soon.
Tony Daniel's art is fantastic and the rest of the art team should take a deep, long bow right along with him. Everything looks great and I just hope Daniel can stay on this book for a long, long time.
Bits and Pieces:
Things pick up a very little bit in this issue, but after facing a similar threat in the Rebirth #1, it just didn't feel as fresh or even epic here. Tony Daniel makes everything look great, but he can't save things all on his own. I will give Bryan Hitch one more issue to get used to his surroundings, but after that, the gloves come off.