Following the ‘Forever Evil’ crossover, the US government sponsored Justice League of America is no more and three (maybe four) of their members have headed north to Canada. Stargirl, Green Arrow and the Martian Manhunter have aligned themselves with Animal Man and Adam Strange to form a new team that finds itself battling a shape-shifting alien threat. Hawkman also appears but separately along with Lobo and a new character, Equinox.
In all, this book is fun. It serves as an interesting alternative to the regular ‘Justice League’ book which stars all the A-listers in one place. Instead, here we get to spotlight lesser-known characters and give them a chance to shine. Green Arrow makes a nice comedic “class clown” type and he has a certain dynamic with Animal Man that’s entertaining and shifting through the story. Adam Strange is delivered as a brand new character here, so we’re getting to see his origin completely retold. There are some nods to previous storylines, though, particularly the connection between Stargirl and the Martian Manhunter who were essentially stranded on their own, throughout the ‘Forever Evil’ storyline and had to depend on one another to survive.
Unfortunately, the new character, Equinox isn’t present at all in this issue, making her development hard to judge.
For some reason, Mike McKone’s pencils aren’t coming across as fantastic as they normally do. Maybe it’s just that he’s dealing with new characters and needs a few issues to really get the vibe of this new team. I mean, they’re certainly not bad, but he’s done better work in the past.
The B-List cast (and I’m being pretty generous there) might be a turn off to some, but I think it works fine. I don’t honestly feel like you need to know much about these characters other than what’s presented here. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read Animal Man’s solo book or Green Arrow’s. Like I said, Adam Strange (and his girlfriend Alanna) are being presented as brand new characters, so you don’t need to know who they were pre-New 52.
So in all, this is a light, fun diversion from the epic adventures of the ‘main’ Justice League. If you just enjoy fun team adventures, this delivers.
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art and Cover by Mike McKone