Continued from Part 2: Not your grandma’s heroine…
#5 – Leagues, Titans, and Guardians (oh my!)
It was probably a good move to not immediately re-hash the origins of every single character in the new 52 #1’s, it’d probably come across as redundant, and unnecessary. However, they have done an impressive job of showing the origins of a few different team-ups and explaining why they would work together to begin with (Even ‘JL-International’ wasn’t as terrible as I suspected). One of the best things they did was to retell the formation of the JUSTICE LEAGUE.
First off there’s an incredible roster, you have the essential core characters: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan of course), the Flash (Barry Allen, nuff said), Aquaman, and even… Cyborg?! Sweet! (for those wondering about the absence of the Martian Manhunter, he can be found in the pages of ‘Storm Watch’) Not only is it one incredible line-up of ‘Super Friends’ (who don’t get along), but you have two incredible talents working on it, this epic 6-part team-up includes: Writer Geoff Johns as scribe, and none other than the amazing talents of renowned artist Jim Lee!
You’ve got one clever catalyst as a reason for the initial roster: DARKSIED! Yep the Inter-dimensional tyrant of the volcanic Planet ‘Apokolips’ (sounds like a wonderful vacation spot).
It’s great to see a group of classic heroes outmatched and learning how to work as a team when the world is against them, when the lot of them can barely stand one another! To top it off, I thought it was a good move to promote Cyborg from Teen Titans chaperone to founding JLA member status, after all they needed some more diversity (Other recent African American characters who’ve gotten their own titles include Static-Shock, Bat-Wing, the Fury of Fire-storm, and Mr. Terrific). Speaking of diverse characters, and Cyborg’s former team, the new rendition of the TEEN TITANS is another great series which has made an effort to throw in some culture with characters like Bunker, Skitter, and Solstice.
The Titans headed by Tim Drake aka Red-Robin (worst codename ever, former Batman sidekick), which gathers a group of rebellious super-powered runaways, like Wonder-girl and Superboy to counteract an evil secret organization called N.O.W.H.E.R.E. in order to survive. It’s essentially a sidekicks reject club, minus Aqua-lad.
GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS. Another excellent team-up series written by Tony Bedard, starring Kyle Rayner (Hal Jordan has his own series of course, where he’s forced to work alongside his archenemy Sinestro, which I highly recommend), in which an unprecedented joining of rival corps members from the different colors of the emotional energy spectrums of the universe. To sum it up you have: Arkillo (Sinestro Corps: the Yellow power of Fear), Saint Walker (the Blue energy of Hope), Munk (of the Indigo Tribe of Compassion), Fatality (the Star Saphires /Passion), Glomulus (Orange/Greed), and Bleeze (RAGE of ‘the Red Lanterns’!) all working together with Rayner’s Green light of Willpower. It makes for an intriguing mix to say the least!
These three titles are must-reads, but you may also like some of these other team-ups: Justice League: International, Birds of Prey, Red-Hood and the Outlaws, Red Lanterns, Green Lantern Corps, the Suicide Squad, and Storm-Watch.
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Continued in Part 4: ‘Holy Bat-Comics, Batman!’