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Justice League Vol. 1: Origin (The New 52) Hardcover – May 8, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

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Q&A with Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

Q: What's it like working on a huge initiative like The New 52?

Geoff Johns: This has been a tremendous opportunity to go back and look at the central core of the characters, the directions they've gone in over the years and the new takes we can bring to them. For me, the Justice League had become too much of a tight knit unit. Their relationships became nearly interchangeable, and in a team dynamic that is extremely dull. What conflicts would come out of their different personalities and approaches to these larger-than-life problems? How would the world's greatest super heroes really form a team? Their relationships are vastly different with one another and will continue to be.

Jim Lee: It's been incredible to see so many people coming together and be a part of this fresh, new direction to move our characters forward for, what we hope, will be a new generation of fans. These are characters that have been around for many, many decades and you shouldn't feel scared to be changing that up because otherwise they're just going to ossify and become relics of the past, as opposed to something living and breathing in the present.

Q: How are you balancing making these stories and characters feel fresh and new while still respecting what came before?

GJ: You always want to remain true to the core essentials of the characters that have made them connect with generation after generation, but at the same time you want to take chances. You want to do something that hasn't been done. For me personally, I want to explore mythologies and villains and new elements that are introduced alongside the world's famous characters.

Q: What would you say defines the character you are working on?

GJ: Their central concept, which is an emotionally driven one. I'm surprised by how many super heroes seem to lack believable motivation and, in comics, are often ill-defined. What does the character want? And how does that relate to the bigger story at hand? And how can I connect to that? That's what defines the character for me. Their powers, worlds and enemies should all be an extension of that.

Q: What stories or creators inspire you most when working on your character?

GJ: I'm inspired by anything that I connect to emotionally and, in the case of super heroes, that I cheer for.

Q: So what do you consider to be your character's definitive stories?

GJ: That's up to the audience to decide. Sinestro Corps became one because it connected with so many readers.

Q: With over 75 years of stories, is it difficult discovering new ideas and places for these characters to go that haven't already been done?

GJ: Surprisingly, there's always more stories to come from these characters--that's what makes them great.

Q: What would you say is the difference in approach between writing and dialoguing the characters of The New 52 versus their previous incarnations?

GJ: I don't want anything to be taken for granted. I don't want the Justice League to be the worked-together-and-friends-for-life characters that they've been. So approaching them in a different way, as people first and heroes second, is what I've been doing.

Q: Jim, what's it like working together with Geoff on Justice League? What about his writing do you think compliments your art?

JL: Geoff's energy jumps off the script and while he's known for his in-depth history of the rich DC Universe, it's his focus on character and the interpersonal quirks that really make it fun working on DC's trademark superteam. I get a big kick out of drawing their first interactions and more human aspects on the page, including a sense of humor and fun amidst this amazing roller-coaster ride of explosions, derring-do and heroics. At the end of the day, it's this journey you didn't expect that keeps people excited about comics!

Q: Jim, you've been involved with two of the biggest comic launches in comics history, X-Men No. 1 and Justice League No. 1. What's it like for you making such huge marks in the industry? Are they similar in any way?

JL: It's great! I think any artist wants to reach the widest audience possible for their work, so it's always gratifying to work on a project that captures a lot of fan attention and be considered a huge success. That instant feedback online and meeting fans at conventions is always a rush that fuels me to keep drawing late into the night. Justice League was part of a much larger effort, so it's even more rewarding to see the whole relaunch resonate with fans in a huge way!

From Booklist

The flagship title for DC’s New 52 relaunch, Justice League seeks to define the new DC Universe with tweaked character backstories and personalities, narrative surprises, and a modernized, streamlined look, and DC has tapped its biggest talent to do it. The prolific-to-the-point-of-ubiquity Johns scripts on a enormous scale to reintroduce the cast to readers and to each other as they first butt heads and then come together against the omnipotent Darkseid. The frisson between the obsessively disciplined Batman and the freewheeling Green Lantern, the tragic origin of the new-to-the-League Cyborg, and hints at a more dangerous Superman (as explored with subversive panache in Grant Morrison’s spectacular Action Comics) all help give a modest degree of depth to the breakneck narrative. The epoch-defining Lee, meanwhile, does his thing, crafting impossibly detailed cityscapes and gorgeous, if somewhat homogeneous, characters to play out the cataclysmic destruction. This is a massively successful title that shows no signs of slowing down. It deserves a place on shelves as, for better or worse, the quintessence of the contemporary superhero comic. Grades 9-12. --Jesse Karp --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (May 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781401234614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401234614
  • ASIN: 1401234615
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 91 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
- Green Lantern: "What are your powers anyway? You can't fly."
- Batman: "No."
- Green Lantern: "Super-strength?"
- Batman: "No."
- Green Lantern: "Hold on a second... You're not just some guy in a bat costume, are you? Are you freaking kidding me?!"

So when the hullabaloo's died down, what then? For a few months DC dominated the comic book market with its new "no trunks" 52 relaunch, its cr@pload of number one issues compelling you and me and that hopeful speculator to empty out our pockets. DC's flagship title, JUSTICE LEAGUE, started off strong, as only a project could when helmed by Geoff Johns and the mighty, mighty Jim Lee. The near-irresistible hook presents us with these heroes meeting each other for the first time all over again, and most of them copping an attitude.

This inaugural story arc is set five years ago, in this reimagined universe. It's a time when DC's metahumans first burst onto the scene and were immediately viewed with suspicion and alarm by the populace. Except there's nothing like a global alien invasion to all of a sudden quell them pangs of mistrust.

It's a really promising start. The first four issues are helluva fun reads, mostly because we're eyeballing Jim Lee's dynamic classic artwork (he really does make Superman's metal-plated costume look good) and because we get to soak in these new again characters' awkward, prickly interactions with each other. The first issue, which features Batman and Green Lantern's frosty first meeting, establishes the tone. I get a big kick that each new hero then introduced would echo Green Lantern's natural curiosity in determining what Batman's super-powers are. Geoff Johns infuses these initial issues with a good amount of humor, mostly at the expense of the Dark Knight.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Gonzo on April 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An extremely FUN read. Just getting back into comics after 15 years, and was very intimidated, but the way DC structured the New 52 format is very new reader friendly.

Highly recommend this book as a starting point.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Kennedy on June 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The New 52 relaunch by DC has met with a flurry of response covering the full range from excellent to terrible. In my own opinion, I'd say it lands in between.

For the artwork, the book is very solid. Jim Lee brings out the feel of the characters and the monstrous looks of their enemies. Occasionally the backgrounds do not feel well realized but that is his style which works for him.

The story is where the title fumbles greatly. The pacing of the book left much to be desired. While a decompressed storytelling is popular nowadays, this felt practically unstructured. Reading the book, it was more like waiting until the final page to have something happen. I found myself having to flip back a page or two just to verify I didn't miss something. Really a poor read in general which is surprising because I've enjoyed Geoff Johns over the years. He had been excellent with the JSA and Green Lantern titles, so I am so confused by some of the choices he went with in this opening story arc.

***The Spoilers***

Two huge issues that I have with the story --

1) Heroes don't kill - The foes that they fought (parademons) are living beings. Yet, these heroes attack savagely, killing these opponents. I may be old fashioned, but to me, that is completely wrong for these characters. Superman shouldn't swing a bus through a group, leaving a trail of bleeding body parts in his wake nor Aquaman stabbing his trident through a creature's head. It's not what I feel like these character's represent.

2) Batman taking of his cowl - I really do not get why Batman kept taking his mask off with people he just met. The story is set as the first meeting between these heroes, so there is no additional connection between anyone.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As much as I love DC and their storylines over the past decade plus, re-booting their entire universe is something that no reader can nor should take with a grain of salt. I wasn't exactly thrilled at the news of this, but upon reading this newly-minted incarnation of the Justice League, I have to admit that this is a great place for those new and unfamiliar with the DC Universe as a whole to get their start. The origin and formation of the Justice League packs quite a punch, with superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee behind it all as well. I don't want to spoil too much of the story of this first collection of the new Justice League, other than to say that Johns is clearly having a blast writing these newer takes on such classic characters. His characterizations of Batman and Green Lantern Hal Jordan especially come off as quite admirable, while his handling of Wonder Woman and especially Superman leaves a bit to be desired. Those flaws aside, we get quite an exciting tale here that keeps you hooked, and Jim Lee's artwork is a sight to behold. His rendition of Wonder Woman is beautiful without resorting to her being an over-stacked super model-esque figure, and his take on Batman continues to cement that he's one of the best artists to ever draw the Dark Knight in the history of ever. All in all, DC's New 52 gets off to a rousing start, and Origin is wholeheartedly worth your time and attention.
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Justice League Vol. 1: Origin (The New 52)
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