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

4.3 out of 5 stars 412 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (412 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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The New 52 is well known (or I hope so at this point) as a reboot and a renumbering of the DC universe. It was intended to draw in new readers and invite old readers back. I for one absolutely love the new universe. It is accessible to everyone regardless which issue or volume you pick up (though it is advised that you follow some of the early issues). Justice League was among the first to introduce this new universe. Written by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee, Justice League is a entertaining journey chronicling the conception of the team of superheroes. I haven't really read anything by Geoff Johns before this (I know I've probably sinned) but he is a very good writer, I have heard nothing but praise from his Green Lantern run. His story is masterfully brought to life by Jim Lee, I've always loved his art since Batman: Hush which is still one of my favorite Batman stories ever. The interaction among these characters is written beautifully with some characters taking sides with others in the midst of arguments or confrontations. Johns really shows that these people really shouldn't be together (in a fashion similar to the Avengers) but they ultimately have to put their petty differences aside and join together to face this overwhelming foe. We are all familiar with Batman and the heavy hitters of the Justice League but Johns introduces a character that for the most part is affiliated with sidekicks such as (Teen Titans) I am of course referring to Cyborg. Victor Stone is a great character surprisingly, but he doesn't have enough time to really grow on you as he should. One second he is having problems with his father, surprisingly good scenes but they are short-lived as the next second he is making his transformation into Cyborg.Read more ›
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I just finished this and loved it. The art is great, the story was well written and i eagerly await more in the series. The new spin DC comics has done is fresh and in my opinion needed to attract more readers. I didn't know what to expect with (the New 52) but it surpassed my expectations and has a new fan of DC again.
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DC could have freshened up the DC universe without messing with continuity so much, in my humble opinion.

That being said I wanted not to like this... but I couldn't. Jim Lee's art was sensational(like always!)! Also Geoff Johns did a good job weaving in 7 heroes joining together nicely, if a bit rushed, but it is understandable with how much he had to fit it. The banter between the heroes was spot on, except for Batman! Johns view of Batman is more of a highly intelligent, wise, leader as apposed to the more sullen roguish Dark knight. He portrayed him the same way when Batman was in some of Johns "The Flash" about 5 years back. I guess everyone has different takes on different characters.

Also I was surprised at the lack of focus Johns put on the villain of the story, which was Darkseid. Johns has a reputation of putting you in the mind of his villains, which can add so much to the story! I won't hold that against him in this collection since he had a lot to do (re)introducing 7 heroes.

If DC was going to hit the reset button on us with the Justice league, they were very wise to have Johns/Lee/Williams do it! I would give the story a 4 and the art a 5. Since there isn't a 4.5 I can choose I'll round this up to a 5!
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