It’s time again for the next wave of DC Comics’ New 52 titles, this being the 4th wave. I have been skeptical of the New 52 since the beginning but I will give DC credit for one thing…they are giving just about every character in the DCU a chance to sink or swim. I can’t tell you how many times “back in the day” I had hoped that this character or that character was given their own title. Clearly DC isn’t afraid to throw titles at the wall to see what sticks as there have already been over 15 titles canceled. And you know what? Why not? Why not let the readers and the consumer make the decision for you? I mean did most people know that titles like Voodoo, G.I. Combat, OMAC, and Static Shock were not long for this world? Sure, but hey rather than a bunch of writers, editors, and marketing twits sitting around a conference room and trying to make predictions on what fans will buy, make it simple, give everyone their title and see how they do.
Which brings us to Justice League of America, not to be confused with Justice League. The new JLA fills the gap left by the canceled Justice League International and is another attempt by DC at creating a successful second title featuring their premiere super team. However it is safe to say that these are not exactly partner teams. Already in charge of the Suicide Sqaud, the new JLA is also the project of Amanda Waller who wants a Justice League team which she can control, which she cannot do with the current main team. In her own words she wants a “league that isn’t hiding twenty-two thousand miles above us in a satellite.”
To this end she recruits, or perhaps coerces is a better term, Colonel Steve Trevor to help. Trevor will not only act as a liaison but also help decide who should be on the team as well as trying to recruit who he wants as the team leader. The team goes after the new Green Lantern, Hawkman, former JL member the Martian Manhunter, Vibe, Katana, Stargirl, and Catwoman. Coincidentally, this new wave of titles also features Katana and Vibe getting their own solo titles. I’d hazard to guess both will be canceled within a year.
But again, that is the whole point of the New 52. With Waller in charge we’re maybe looking at a team that is a Justice League/Suicide Squad hybrid. Does this team have enough star power to last? That’s the key question. At first glance I would say no but what it does have going for it is writer Geoff Johns who perhaps understand the JLA better than any current writer and unlike self-absorbed writers like Bendis who looks at characters like his personal playground, Johns actually respects the characters and respects their history.
This is a standard first issue which is used to set the table for the future. Finch is a fine artist and has proven his ability to handle the daunting task of handling team books in the past. This is a wait and see book. I think the book will need some more heavy hitters to survive in the long term.