Headlines   2002 Review Index   October 2, 2002

Suspended Animation

Michael Vance - Mark Allen
Michael Vance Books

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Justice League: A New Beginning

justice league      In the world of comics, there are those works that, since their inception, have been considered classics.  One of those, a personal favorite of many older fans, yet surprisingly, unread by many, is D.C.'s late-'80's incarnation of the Justice League; and believe me, these aren't your father's Superfriends.

      Justice League: A New Beginning is a collection of the first seven issues by writers Keith Giffen (who also supplied some art breakdowns) and J.M. Dematteis, and artists Kevin Maguire, Al Gordon and Terry Austin.

      So what made this version of the League different from previous works, you ask?  Most outstandingly, the in-your-face, laugh-out-loud humor.  For what was supposed to be the D.C. Universe's flagship super team, co-lead by one of its darker characters, Batman, the constant in-jokes, snickers and occasional guffaws would seem to be out of place.  But, somehow, it worked. 

      Maybe it was due to the writing prowess of Giffen and Dematteis, who seemed to flawlessly merge such serious characters as the afore-mentioned Batman and Martian Manhunter, with the likes of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, creating plenty of one-liners and straight-man appreciation.  To their credit, the two even managed to occasionally give Bats a little of the comedic action, without at all damaging his "dark knight" persona.

      Or, maybe it was the artwork of penciller extraordinaire, Kevin Maguire, who may well be able to draw any and every known human expression, while also being one of comicdom's masters of realistic musculature.

      I guess it could also be that this League broke new ground, while staying true to the traditions of fantastic action and world-threatening villains that had always been a part of the Justice League. 

      Most likely, it was all of the above.

      Justice League: A New Beginning is recommended for all ages, and especially for those who enjoy intense action with a healthy dose of good humor.  Find it in comic shops, bookstores, or online auctions.          

      Justice League: A New Beginning, published by D.C. Comics, 190 pages, $12.95.

      Review by Mark Allen


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