DC's Rebirth initiative has enveloped many of the publisher's more iconic characters at this point, but it has yet to fully depict the DC Universe's premiere superhero team, the Justice League.
Now we finally get to see all the pieces of the team come into place, including the large void left by the death of the New 52's version of Superman. This subplot, in particular, is by far the most intriguing part of Writer Bryan Hitch's debut issue, as he smoothly distills a decision of epic proportions to a simple but meaningful discussion between husband and wife.
The conversational tone between the two gives me hope for future issues, but the dialogue between the rest of the team can be so rigid at times. Specifically, I'm referring to Flash and Wonder Woman, whose team banter just sounds like it is was written for a League circa 1960. It doesn't feel fluid until Green Lantern's Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz join the fray. It's here that Hitch starts to settle in a bit more, with some genuinely funny dialogue involving the two rookie lanterns, including Baz's constant reminding to Flash that he is indeed present.
That said, I couldn't help but feel as if I was reading some homage to Bioware's Mass Effect franchise throughout. If you told me that Hitch had just come off a playthrough of Mass Effect 3, I would be far from shocked. The villains are referred to as Reapers, a sentient race who come to cleanse worlds when it is their time. If that doesn't ring the familiarity bell, one look at them will give you an immediate sense of Deja Vu. I love Mass Effect, don't get me wrong, but it was similar enough to warrant a mention.
Hitch is much more experienced as an artist than a writer, and I'm not sure if that increased focus on the script led to art that is in many ways disappointing. I've read many a story illustrated by Hitch, and this ranks towards the bottom. There are exceptions to this to be sure. Very few are better at giving a volatile situation a true sense of scale than Hitch, and throughout the book, you sense just how dire the circumstances are for this team of powerful heroes. When it comes to depicting smaller scenes, though, the art just lacks a substantial amount of details, especially when it comes to facial expressions.
Hopefully, as time goes on Hitch will find a balance for both. While it isn't the strongest start, there is enough here to keep me on board for the time being, with Hitch's handling of Clark and Lois being the high point.
Rating 2 out of 5 Stars
Written and Drawn By: Bryan Hitch
Inks By: Daniel Henriques & Scott Hanna0comments
Colored By: Alex Sinclair
Lettered By: Richard Starkings & Comicraft