Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Doug Mahnke
and Richard Friend
Published by DC Comics
Sometimes keeping it simple just works; sometimes paint by numbers storytelling is not a bad thing.
New writer Robert Venditti begins his run with a Fab Five line up, John Stewart’s Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. He does a solid job displaying their chemistry.
Our story starts with a Daxamite crashing to Earth and Batman taking the role of tactician. I know, I know, this again.
But Justice League is a title that often benefits from a back to basics approach.
The Daxamite visitor warns our heroes about the return of the Eradicator and an invasion of Daxamites. You will not need to be familiar with the Eradicator as Venditti does a great job of setting up the villain and the stakes. But from my perspective it’s great to see the Eradicator in all his glory.
Quick aside on the Eradicator. He first appeared as one of the replacement Superman during the Death and Return event of the early 90’s. The Eradicator is generally presented as someone who wants to push Kryptonian culture no matter the cost. In this instance, The Eradicator is teaming up with Daxamites to invade Earth.
The Fab Five get together and theorize that magic might hurt the Eradicator. Batman takes a trip and we’re then introduced to Madame Xanadu.
I also enjoyed how the action slowed down enough to give John Stewart and Superman a quiet moment. It also served to fill the reader in on the happenings in Superman’s main title without feeling like an exposition dump.
We are then shown how Madame Xanadu is not particularly welcoming to Batman, while time is running short, as the Eradicator and Daxamite invasion is already on Earth.
What should not be left unsaid is Doug Mahnke’s work. His action sequences are clear and easy to follow.. His work on the Madame Xanadu/Batman portion is atmospheric.
I found Venditti’s work on Green Lantern kind of bland, but this first issue of Justice League left me pleasantly surprised. I am really looking forward to the next issue and see what Venditti and Mahnke cook up next.