It was only after I posted my editorial about DC’s fall reboot/renumbering initiative a little while ago that I happened upon the Jim Lee illustration of the new Justice League lineup that’s to star in the new Justice League #1 that Lee’s doing with writer Geoff Johns. The image says a lot about the coming changes without saying much of anything at all.
The image is going to be examined, analyzed and generally picked apart by fandom, and I thought, “Hey, won’t not join in?”
The first thing that jumps out at me when looking at the image isn’t the inclusion of DC’s bigger super-hero icons, but rather the inclusion of Cyborg in the lineup. This isn’t the first time he’s been in the big League. He was a member of the Dick Grayson-Batman-led Justice League of all of two seconds last year, but he was also a member of the Super Friends during one of the mid-1980s incarnations of DC’s super-hero cartoon. Furthermore, the more beefed-up version of Cyborg we see here seems to be in keeping with his all-American-hero incarnation in Flashpoint, which is the lead-in to the big reboot/relaunch of the DC super-hero line. One might suppose that could mean some of the alterations in Flashpoint will be lasting.
The next thing that struck me was that several members of the Justice League seem to have hired the same designer or tailor. Check this out:
Why does half of the team seem to have the same collar? Even Wonder Woman seems to be wearing a V-shaped choker so as to mimic the style. While this is a small detail from each character’s look, the repetition is distracting and seems a little sloppy. If it were consistent across the board, then one might imagine some kind of uniform look for the team, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
No doubt, the costume designs for the Batman and the Flash will be the focus of a great deal of speculation. Which Batman do we see here? The design is more consistent with the one we see ex-Robin Dick Grayson wearing these days, but who’s to say if this Batman Inc./multiple Batmen concept will survive the relaunch? Fans are also already wondering if it’s Barry Allen, Wally West or someone else wearing that new helmet-like speedster cowl (for a Justice League comic, I don’t know that it actually matters).
Also noteworthy in the image is what one of the characters is doing, specifically, Green Lantern. He’s used his ring to create a huge gun, and when I noticed it, I was immediately reminded of a scene that passes by quickly in many of the trailers and TV commercials for the upcoming Green Lantern movie. In the past, Hal Jordan’s been usually used the ring to create more simple shapes and devices. This new image seems to signal that DC might be considering bringing the comic-book incarnation of the character a little more in line with the silver-screen version.
However, nitpicking aside (as well as concerns about the larger relaunch initiative’s potential effects on the marketplace), I must admit that I’m interested to see what Geoff Johns will do with a Justice League comic featuring DC’s big guns, and Jim Lee has demonstrated in the past he can bring a lot of fun and energy to a super-hero book (whether he can do so in a timely manner remains to be seen).
Follow Eye on Comics on Twitter.