100th Post Special – New 52 Justice League: Origins – Review

Justice League OriginsHello interweb, Nate here.  Wow, my 100th post.  It’s kinda hard to believe that I’ve done 100 of these things.  With such a milestone I felt like I should do something special.  Originally I was going to do a countdown but I decided against that as that would be too obvious.  So I wanted to do something different from my past specials.  So I decided to review a comic.  So why this comic?  Well as most of you know by now, the New 52 is ending with Convergence and as such I decided to read arguably the New 52’s best known story: Justice League: Origins (consisting of #1-6 of the New 52’s Justice League).  Of course since this story consists of six issues this will be similar to my Civil War review however this does not have as many characters so I’m not going to put these characters in alphabetical order or anything like that.  So with that said, let’s do this!

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Jim Lee (Penciler), Scott Williams (Inker), Alex Sinclair (Colourist)

What you Need to Know

In 2011, DC released their 5-issue miniseries Flashpoint where, long story short, Barry Allen/Flash basically altered the DC universe and caused DC to relaunch 53 different titles.  New 52’s Justice League: Origins is the introduction to this universe’s Justice League.  In this universe, Superheroes are a rather new phenomenon (only being around for about 5  years) and people are scared of them and the government wants to take them down.

Major Characters

Due to the nature of the story, I’ll also be talking a little bit about my opinion on the portrayal of each character starting with…

Batman (Prime Earth)

Batman (Bruce Wayne):  Everybody knows who Batman is: rich guy, lost his parents as a kid, no superpowers, etc.  I really like Batman in this story.  In the story, he’s constantly surprising the rest of the League that he’s real as most of them believed that Batman was a myth.  They were also surprised when they learned that Batman had no superpowers.  I really have no complaints about his portrayal and he seems like the Batman everybody knows about.

-Powers: Batman’s a normal human however he has mastered several martial arts and he’s very intelligent.

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan): Hal Jordan’s origin is the same as it’s always been where he inherited Abin Sur’s power ring when he died.  I’m  not really the biggest fan of how they did Hal in this.  Hal Jordan is suppose to be a great leader and a brave person who would risk his life to save people.  Here, he’s kinda full of himself as he’s constantly claiming that he can defeat anyone and do anything.  While they do fun things with his ring, I wish we showed more of Hal’s  bravery and less of his arrogance.

-Powers: Hal Jordan is just a normal human, however he is a Green Lantern.  This means that  Hal can use his power ring to literally will anything he wants into existence with the only limitations being his will and imagination.

New 52 Superman

Superman (Clark Kent):  This is the New 52 Superman and so if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’ll know my problems with him.  Rather than being a powerful being who uses that power to do the right thing because it’s the right thing, he uses that power to do the right thing because he likes to punch things.  And that’s shown here quite a bit.  He’s not really as heroic as he is just the League’s power house, which (in my opinion) his a gross misuse of his character and they could’ve used him a whole lot better.

-Powers: Super Strength, Super Speed, Flight, X-Ray vision (can’t see through lead), Heat vision, Microscopic vision, Telescopic vision, Super/Freeze breathe

Flash (Barry Allen)

The Flash (Barry Allen): This story uses the Barry Allen/Flash rather than the Wally West/Flash and that’s fine as he was brought back before the New 52 in Flash: Rebirth (also a Geoff Johns story) and was responsible for Flashpoint which resulted in the New 52 (and yet another Geoff Johns story) so even though I prefer Wally over Barry, Barry is still a very enjoyable character and the fact that he played apart in creating the New 52 it would have been a little strange if he didn’t join this version of the League.  Not gonna lie, I really liked Barry Allen/Flash in this story.  Barry Allen’s a forensic scientist and seems rather reluctant to become a superhero as he’s “not a vigilante”.  On top of this, he’s a major Batman fanboy so I found that funny.

-Powers: Super Speed (more so than Superman)

Cyborg (Victor Stone): This story is also the origin story to Cyborg as he’s created in this story (see Story).  Now as most of you know, Cyborg is a strange pick for the Justice League as he’s more often associated with the Teen Titans.  Cyborg is here instead of Martian Manhunter, who I actually prefer.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Cyborg, but I would’ve liked Martian Manhunter to be here instead.  Although Cyborg is still a rather interesting character as this story introduces him as a high schoo age kid who plays football but his scientist father is to busy with his work than his son’s games.  While I would have preferred Martian Manhunter, I still feels like Cyborg was done very well in the story.

-Powers: Cyborg is a cyborg (no, really?) and as such has several robotic powers such as: the ability to mentally connect to any computer program, several technological equipments (e.g. retractable jet packs), and several sensory instruments.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira): Wonder Woman in this is treated…interestingly.  Wonder Woman is an Amazon from the island Themyscira that is inhabited by only women.  As such, she acts kinda ridiculously here as she’s introduced to America as an ambassador and, due to her Amazonian herritage, she’s constantly wants to find a fight and seems very eager to fight.  Now unlike Superman, I’m fine with this as that’s who Wonder Woman is: a warrior.  She really enjoys fighting and she’s always been that way.  However here she acts rather…stupidly.  She’s rather dramatic compared to the others and is always in the “today is a great day for a battle!” kind of attitude.

-Powers: Due to being a demigod, Wonder Woman has: Super Strength (on par with that of Superman), flight, and super speed.

Aquaman

Aquaman (Arthur Curry): Aquaman is the king of Atlantis and a awesome one at that.  I think this is mostly due to DC trying to shake Aquaman from people seeing him as the “lamest superhero ever” but his BA-ness has definitely went up a few notches.  Admittingly I’m not the biggest Aquaman fan so I’m not quite sure what he’s “suppose” to be like, but the story definitly does a good job at showing him off as a cool character.  I did find it funny how he basically just showed up in #3 and basically told everyone that he was in charge.

-Powers: Due to his Atlantean physiology, Aquaman has super strength and can telepathically communicate to aquatic life.

Darkseid

Darkseid: Darkseid (pronounced dark-side, not dark-seed) is one of if not the most powerful villain in DC.  Darkseid lives on a world called Apokolips which is located between dimensions.  The thing is I don’t really need to explain much about Darkseid for this story as he’s mostly used as a really powerful villain that the League must work together to defeat (kinda like Loki in the first Avengers movie).  I have no big problem with Darkseid’s portrayal in the story.  What I do have a problem with is that he’s portrayed in the story.  This story is the origins to the Justice League and as such Darkseid, probably one of the biggest enemies in the DC universe, is the very first enemy that not only fought the Justice League but also lost to them.  That bugs the heck out of me.  That’s like doing the Avengers but having Thanos be their first enemy.  How do you do any good stories after that?  You build up to this, not just start right away.

-Powers: Super Strength (even stronger than Superman), Omega Beams; rays that he can shoot out of his eyes and control from a distance.

Story

Issue 1 of 6

Justice League Origins IIIThe story starts with Batman as he’s running on the roof of some buildings after some kind of alien creature and is chased by Gotham authorities in helicopters.  The helicopter starts shooting at them but Batman uses some type of gadget that causes them to stop.  He then tackles the alien and asks it: “WHAT WERE YOU DOING AT THE DOCKS?” only for the alien to spit fire at him.  Then out of nowhere a bright, green light blinds them before a green firetruck crashes into the alien.  The truck is then revealed to have been created by the Green Lantern whose light attracts the attention of the authorities who begins gunning them down, only for Green Lantern to create some constructs to protect them.  The alien from before gets up and attacks them before morphing into a four-legged form and crawling off.  Batman then tells him to head back to Coast City but Green Lantern tells him that he’s responsible for the entire space sector.

Justice League Origins IIBatman then jumps into the sewers and Green Lantern follows.  GL brags about how he can do anything and then asks Batman what his powers are only for him to realize that Batman had none.  However this doesn’t stop him from taking GL’s ring and examining it to see that it probably works by concentration as there was a lack of buttons.  GL then has the ring fly back onto his finger and tells Batman that he won’t do that again and gets angry when Batman replies by saying that he’ll do it again if he wants to. Justice League Origins I GL then stops himself from attacking him when he sees the alien from before place some type of device on the sewer wall.  GL then creates a safe to protect the two when the alien self-detonates.  GL creates something to scan the machine but is shocked to learn that his ring did not know what the machine was.  Batman looks at the device and believes it’s not a bomb but an alien computer.  This prompts GL to wonder if it’s connected to “…THAT GUY IN METROPOLIS.” (Superman).

We then cut to a high school football game where Vic Stone scores the winning touchdown.  After the game, Vic calls his dad, who didn’t show up, and told him: “OH… AND NOT THAT YOU’D ASK, BUT… WE WON TONIGHT, DAD.”  Everyone then freaked out with excitement as a green plane flies over the game and a kid mentions that Vic’s dad studies super-humans but apparently he doesn’t tell Vic about them.

Once they arrived, Batman criticizes Green Lantern about the glowing, green jet saying they should’ve found something more subtle (Why exactly didn’t he mention this before they left Gotham?  Why did he wait until after they landed in Metropolis?).  Despite Batman warning GL that Superman’s really powerful, GL puts Batman in a green box saying that Superman’s no problem.  The issue then ends with Superman punching GL and asking Batman what he can do.

Issue 2 of 6

The issue starts at the Central City crime lab where Barry Allen is trying to solve a murder but his boss is telling him that everybody must be working on unmasking the Flash.  His boss tells him that he wishes they can be allowed to solve actual crimes but they are not allowed to until they learn the true identity of the Flash.

Justice League Origins #2 IVMeanwhile, Superman uses his X-Ray vision to see that Batman’s utility belt is empty.  Superman than sees the machine from the last issue on Batman’s belt and questions him on it as he saw someone earlier with a similar device.  Green Lantern than sees Superman holding Batman’s throat and attacks him.  Justice League Origins #2 IIIHe uses his ring to create chains and ties Superman up.  Superman than mocks him before breaking free.  Green Lantern forms a bubble around him and Batman too protect them as Superman punches them.  GL decides to call Barry for some back up.  Barry is hesitant at first but after GL tells him that Superman’s gonna kill them, Flash shows up distracts him.  Superman tries to attack Flash but Flash just runs circles around him.  However, Flash underestimate Superman’s speed and is literally flicked several yards away.  Justice League Origins #2 VBatman then calms Superman down long enough to tell him about the mysterious devices.  Flash then starts cleaning up before the authorities shows up and the team heads into the sewers and Batman worried that the device they have is only one of many.

The next panel is in S.T.A.R. Labs as a group of scientists are examining a similar device to what the others have.  As they discuss the device, a scientist named Dr. Stone is told that his son is there and he’s rather upset.  Dr. Stone goes into the next room where his son, Victor Stone, is waiting for him.  Victor then tells him that his game went really well and that he’s good enough to go pro.  His father disapproves of this telling him there are more important things out there than throwing a ball around.  Victor than asks if he’ll ever come to see one of his games and his father replies with a “NO.”

“LOOK AT THE WORLD WE LIVE IN TODAY!…WE’RE WITNESSING THE BIRTH OF A NEW RACE OF PEOPLE.  BEINGS WHO CAN FLY, TEAR THROUGH BUILDINGS AND OUTRUN RACE CARS.  THEY WILL MAKE WHAT YOU CAN “DO” OBSOLETE!  DO YOU UNDERSTAND?…CATCHING FOOTBALLS AND SCORING TOUCHDOWNS IS A JOKE!”

Batman, Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern all hide out in an abandoned building as they discuss the mysterious device.  As they talk about it, the devices that they have and the one at S.T.A.R. Labs starts to act up.  Suddenly, both devices activates and hundreds of parademons (the alien thing from #1) starts flooding out of the devices.  One of the devices hits Victor Stone causes a lot of damage to him, ending #2.

Issue 3 of 6

Issue 3 starts with Steve Trevor as he’s looking for the Amazon ambassador Diana who left the White House without his permission.  A general then told him that she was flipping through the TV channels and arguing with a bunch of people who hated her in America before running after a winged creature that was reported  in the news.  Steve then asks why they didn’t stop her, only for them to show him a human-sized hole in a brick wall.

Justice League Origins #3 IWe then cut to Wonder Woman as she’s walking around and asking people if they’ve seen a harpy.  She does this while wearing an updated version of her modest outfit (did you catch the sarcasm there) with a sword in one of her hands.  She then meets a little girl who seems excited about meeting her.  Wonder Woman asks her what she’s eating only for her ice cream to fall on the floor.  She then points her sword to an ice cream man and asks for two.  Steve Trevors then shows up and asks W0nder Woman to come back to the Pentagon before a group of Parademon shows up and she decides to fight it instead.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Parademons are swarming the place as Dr. Stone is kneeling by his son who now has burns on most of his body.  Dr. Stone than tells the other scientists that he refuses to see his son die after loosing his wife.

Justice League Origins #3 IIIBack in Metropolis, Batman, Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern are all fighting against countless Parademons with Flash telling them that this is happening all over the world (he has a radio in his ear piece).  Batman tells Green Lantern to concentrate as his constructs are weakening only for Green Lantern to tell him how he has no powers, surprising Flash.

After Superman barrels through a few Parademons, we see Dr. Stone attempting to get his son into a room that is durable enough for them to have time helping Victor.

Superman and Wonder WomanBack at Metropolis, Batman realizes that the Parademons are kidnapping people, not killing them.  Suddenly, Wonder Woman shows up (how she got there from Washington DC is never explained) and attacks a few Parademons, catching Superman’s attention.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Stone is working on a way to help his son whose going into cardiac arrest.  Dr. Stone then injects him with untested nanites, despite the opposition from the other scientists, which causes great pain.

The Parademons at Metropolis begins to retreat and assemble over the waters nearby.

We cut back to S.T.A.R. Labs where Victor suddenly has a light shoot from his body.

The issue ends with Aquaman coming up from the oceans and declaring himself the leader.

Issue 4 of 6

The issue starts at S.T.A.R. Labs where the machinery finishes attaching itself to Victor, replacing most of his skin.  Victor hears a voice saying a lot of techno-babble (e.g. downloading this, recalibrating that, opening this file, etc.).  The door to the room bursts open as a bunch of Parademons come into the room.  Victor hears the voice again as it says “OFFENSE MODE….WHITE NOISE CANNON ENABLED” and  his hand turns into a cannon that blasts the Parademons.  Victor sees himself in a reflection and is scared at what he has become. His dad attempts to explain, only for victor to yell “YOU DID THIS TO ME!” and jump through a hole.

Back in Metropolis, everyone is either annoyed at Aquaman’s presence (Green Lantern) or happily greets Aquaman for the fight (Wonder Woman).  Aquaman then attempts to become the leader.  Green Lantern tells him that he can’t just announce himself leader, but then he summons a bunch of sharks to eat a group of Parademons.  More Parademons shows up, prompting the team to start fighting them again.

We then cut to Victor who protects a woman from the Parademons.  He then sees a device like the once earlier and he hears a voice coming from the device that tells him that their goal is to collect organic beings to turn into Parademons.  He’s then teleported.

Back in Metropolis, a bunch of US military are shooting at the others which gets Superman and Flash to go and disarm them.  Victor than shows up and Green Lantern grabs him with a giant hand before being told that he’s not a Parademon.  Out of no where, a bright light comes from the water revealing a tall alien with dark skin named Darkseid.  Darkseid then pushed the heroes back with shockwaves, ending the issue.

Issue 5 of 6

We open up to see Darkseid blast down a military jet causing Flash to yell “NO!”.  Superman than gets up but he and Flash needs to run for their lives as Darkseid shoots lasers at them.  The two splits up but his beams are locked on them.  Flash loses one of them by vibrating fast enough he can phase through a Parademon and have the lasers hit it instead.  Superman, however, takes the his on his and is kidnapped by a Parademon.    The rest of the heroes then turn to Darkseid as Green Lantern decides to take him on himself.  After throwing a few constructs at him, Darkseid punches him and then proceeds to break his arm with only his hand.

Justice League Origins #5 IGreen Lantern then tries to go after him again but Batman stops him.  Green Lantern creates a construct to protect his broken arm and tries to go after Darkseid but Batman won’t allow it.  Batman tells him that they’re alike as they’re the only normal person on the team.  Batman than unmasks himself and tells GL that he’s Bruce Wayne and tells him why he fights as Batman.  He then proceeds to take off his cowl and tells Green Lantern to regroup the others and come up with a plan while he goes to save Superman by letting a Parademon kidnap him.

Green Lantern than calls to regroup.  He tells them that Darkseid’s beams come out of his eyes, prompting Wonder Woman to declare that they blind him.  Green Lantern will distract him with a light show while Wonder Woman attacks one eye with a sword while Aquaman pierces the other with a trident.

As the others initiates the plan, Batman shows up at Darkseid’s home world, ending the issue.

Issue 6 of 6

The issue starts with some narration (the narrator is unclear) saying:

“I thought there was going to be no tomorrow.  I thought my family and I were going to die.  Then I saw them.  And I saw tomorrow.”

JL V DOnce the narration ends, we see the entire team (bar Superman and Batman) attacking Darkseid.  Suddenly one of the mysterious devices starts glowing and Cyborg (I’m just going to call him that now, his name’s not established as “Cyborg” yet but we all know it will soon) tells them that their called Mother Boxes and they create portals from alternate dimensions called Boom Tubes.

Back on Apokolips, Batman is stealthing around and finds Superman and a bunch of scientists who are talking about how he’ll help with the search for Darkseid’s daughter.

Back at the fight, Wonder Woman uses her bracelets to defend against Darkseid’s lasers as she stabs his left eye with her sword.  Flash then runs and throws Aquaman so he can shove his trident into Darkseid’s other eye.  With both eyes damaged, Cyborg then tells them that he can open a Mother Box to create a Boom Tube to send Darkseid back to where he came from.  Suddenly all the Mother Boxes opens up.

Back on Apokolips, Batman gets Superman as a Boom Tube opens to reveal Darkseid stumbling through one.  Superman than flies in to push Darkseid into it but he resists.  Cyborg tells Batman that he’s unable to close the Boom Tubes.  He then releases a burst of energy that causes all the Boom Tubes to collapse on themselves and Darkseid returning to his world.

The heroes then are surrounded by a all the civilians as they approach the group.  Before the team decides to run away to avoid taking blame, everyone cheers for them.

At the White House, the president is giving a speech as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Flash are all lined up behind him.  Green Lantern tells the others that they’re not a team, even though the others disagrees with him.  The others debate on whether or not their actually a team.  The president than turns around and tells the others that there’s trouble that requires their help. Flash then tell them that they have a name and says it’s: The Super Seven!  Of course everyone believes that that name’s stupid and a book is shown titled: Justice League: Gods Among Men.

Art

Jim Lee does the art for this comic and it is fantastic.  Jim Lee is one of my favorite artists and it shows well here.  It looks fantastic!  Everything looks awesome and it is great to look at.

Final Thoughts

Justice League: Origins is a great new origin story retelling of DC’s greatest superhero team.  The story is a simple good vs evil story with a super powerful enemy.  However, I do wish that Darkseid would to show up a little later down the line.  Maybe I like what they did with him better in Superman: TAS but at least they did show how powerful he was.  While the story was simple, it was intense and had a few gripping moments.

I also liked how theydeveloped each member of the team.  issue one was essentially a Batman/Green Arrow team up and each issue basically introduced 1 or 2 more members until half way through the story where we see the team form and Darkseid shows up.

Pros:

-Great Art

-Gripping action

-Flash, Cyborg, Batman, and Aquaman was awesome

-Great villain

-Great introduction to the characters

Cons:

-Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman wasn’t done that well (IMO)

-Their biggest threat is their first enemy

Rating

1=terrible, 2=bad, 3=ok, 4=good, 5=outstanding

Characters – 4: The characters are introduced nicely and each gets plenty of times to shine.  However I do feel like some characters aren’t written as well as they could’ve been.

Story – 4: A simple good vs evil story but it had great moments an d a lot of awesome action.

Art – 5: Jim Lee does a great job with this comic and drew some awesome action scenes.

Comic – 4.5: A fun story with a pretty good introduction to the Justice League.

End Poll

So Avengers: Age of Ultron is being released into theaters this Friday and as such I decided that I want to do an Avengers-themed post in celebration of the film.  So I want to do a “Who is” Comixplanation post for an Avengers character.  The main difference between a “Who is” post and a Character Bio is basically it’s a brief summary of the character and some important things that you might want to know about him, her, or it vs my Character Bio that goes very in-depth with the character’s history.  The options below features all the new characters in the film and non of the characters already established in previous films.

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