Thursday, March 21, 2013

Justice League of America #2

(w) Geoff Johns     (a) David Finch

After a brisk yet satisfying first issue, Justice League of America #2 stumbles a bit as Geoff Johns attempts to get the action rolling as quickly as possible. Honestly, it's kind of annoying that the "Secret Society" is already known to so many people. I know Martian Manhunter says that all the villains he's interrogated have no idea what the Society is, but the fact remains that A.R.G.U.S. knows about it so how secret can it truly be? Johns spent six issues building up to Darkseid's arrival in Justice League. Here, the team is already assembled and out on their first mission. I'm all for getting to the point, but this seems needlessly fast paced.

The most unfortunate part is that this entire issue feels very much like it could have been the first, with the first issue as a #0. I know DC already did "Zero Month", but if Johns wants things to move at this kind of speed, he's already misstepped because the first issue was so slow. Both issues have been good, but neither fit together particularly well, and that's not a good relationship between the first and second issues of a new flagship series. 

Surprisingly, Green Arrow turns out to be the surprise star of JLA #2, and he's only conscious for the latter half of the issue. I still don't know why, but Johns insists on writing Steve Trevor as a massive ass, and his conversation with a newly awake Ollie Queen reasserts this bewildering fact all over again. Back in Justice League #8, Arrow attempted to join the League proper with less than desirable results. Trevor approached Arrow and it was established that Green Arrow would be an agent of A.R.G.U.S. It seems that now, after Ollie's been through the gauntlet to uncover the Society, Trevor has no problem throwing him to the curb without a satisfying explanation. The emotional tension between Ollie and Steve is great, and Ollie's insistance that Steve "sold out" is a fantastic throwback to Green Arrow's classic counterculture characterization.

Even though JLA #2 doesn't have the same feel as the first issue, Geoff Johns is still stetting up something big. Perhaps the series is supposed to feel like it's not completely sure of itself, much like Steve Trevor and his grasp on the JLA situation in general. Last year's The New 52 #1, which came out on Free Comic Book Day, portended the coming of a Trinity War that pitted hero against hero. That reality is coming closer and closer to fruition with more characters and plot lines being introduced.


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