Justice (Anglais) Broché – 19 juin 2012
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After the villains of the Legion of Doom — led by Lex Luthor and Brainiac — band together to save the world after a shared dream that seems to be a vision of the Earth’s demise. They are confronted by the Justice League of America, who doubt their true motives. The true plans unfold as the two teams do battle.
From the Hardcover edition.
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This edition covers JUSTICE no. 1 to 12 and is a definite bang for your buck, housed in a sturdy hard cover.
To see more pictures from inside the book, please visit my blog via my Amazon profile link.
Horrible dreams of global destruction are occuring to several characters - but not to the characters one would expect to be so deeply troubled by them, but to the kind of people who are usually Plotting the mayhem. People like Lex Luthor. And Luthor decides to take action, aligning himself with an array of other unlikely champions - Black Manta, Gorilla Grodd, etc. Luthor presents to a host of the world's supervillains the same case he's preparing to bring directly before the people of the world: if there are these godlike beings like the Justice League looking after things, why is there still poverty and starvation in the world? Why is there government oppression all over the globe? Why is there disease? Why do wars still rage? Logically they should be able to bring an end to it all, so goes Luthor's arguement. But they don't. Or won't. Such an omission invalidates any right on the part of the 'superheroes' to your trust, Luthor maintains. Don't trust them; trust Us. Join us, and we'll bring you utopia.
The thing is, this time, how can Luthor be countered? The efforts of the planet's superhuman defenders against the kind of miseries and injustices Luthor outlines have been tackled from time to time, but rarely. I've always assumed that the ongoing battle on these fronts takes a larger slice of the superheroes's efforts than we're being shown, and that efforts to eradicate these ills are counterbalanced by other larger-than-life circumstances (or to put it another way, every time Superman delivers enough food to a drought-stricken region of Africa, an Imperiex clone or something devastates another large area, making it a constant game of catch-up). But that is just an assumption, and to the general populace of the DC Universe Earth, wouldn't it look like the League and its allies are willing to defend the planet from monsters and hostile aliens, but perfectly willing to let the other parts of the picture slide? ARE they willing? Is Lex right this time? COULD a concerted effort by the superheroes have made much more of a difference on these fronts? When Luthor and his allies begin to make that difference themselves, it begins to look uncomfortably plausible.
Meanwhile, in the midst of all this, Luthor co-ordinates a huge coalition of some of DC's biggest and baddest to make synchronized strikes against the superheroes around the globe. And what is behind the dreams in the first place? Are larger forces at work, pulling strings? Where, exactly, Do the superheoes draw the line between what's saving people and what's controlling them? And is that line justified? It's a book of questions, that's for sure.
Everything about the saga excels. The sheer volume of players involved - Superman, Batman, Solomon Grundy, Poison Ivy, Red Tornado, Wonder Woman, Grodd, Aquaman, Luthor, Flash, numerous others...and other characters who aren't in play Yet but whose appearances are foreshadowed in the cover art. The innovative ways we're seeing characters use their powers. The gorgeous art in every panel. The flawless dialogue. I could go on.
The bonus pages here that weren't in the original issues consist (in addition to some preliminary artwork) of profiles and portraits of a number of major characters, in the words of Superman and Batman themselves. Superman provides brief intros to a number of core League members. Just a few words on each are remarkably insightful on both the subject and on the mind of Superman himself. Batman, being the cheerful, happy-go-lucky optimist we all love, naturally delves right into the twisted psyches of some of Earth's foremost villains. But, all sarcasm aside, these files provide a glimpse of surprising compassion for some of the worst of the worst; a side of the Bat that sometimes gets lost beneath the ominous exterior. Batman also covers a couple of heroes for good measure, and again there's as much insight into the profiler as the profiled.
"Justice Volume 1" begins what's looking to be one of the best DCU-wide sagas since...well, ever. High praise indeed, but well earned. The "Justice" series is an essential for any DC fan.
The story begins with the destruction of the Earth, despite the best efforts of the Justice League. It is slowly revealed that this is a dream shared by the League's enemies, apparently foreshadowing a great disaster brought about by Earth's over-reliance on its heroes. As a result, the villains decide to use their substantial powers to solve world problems and empower humanity. Utopia appears to be at hand, but at the heart of it, the heroes know that something isn't right. The compromising of their secret identities and subsequent attempts on their lives lead them to uncover an insidious plan that, frankly, only ended up confusing me.
At the heart of JUSTICE is Alex Ross' love of the Super Friends, and as such, we get classic '70s versions of our favorite heroes and villains; not just the core Super Friends, but also supporting members, as well as the Doom Patrol and the Metal Men. The characterizations are excellent, and the creators do get some neat ideas onto the page. Unfortunately, these various bits are mired in a tedious narrative that ups the ante at every turn, so that by the time I reached chapter 8, I was ready for the story to end. There are so many ways in which Krueger and Ross could have streamlined this story, eliminating some dead ends and tightening the plodding conclusion. Artwise, it's difficult to appreciate Braithwaite's contribution. He is an accomplished artist in his own right, and I'm a huge fan of his, so it would have been nice if his style weren't completely hidden by Ross' paints. On the other hand, Braithwaite's jarring and awkward layouts really make it difficult to follow what's happening. Cuts between scenes are not handled well - they are extremely abrupt, to the point that I had to constantly go back to make sure that I hadn't missed a page. Some objective oversight of this project might have helped to smooth things out, but I guess editors are hesitant to say "no" when Ross is involved.
I can't help but to compare the overall product with the grand mess that is Marvel's Secret Wars, as there are numerous similarities between the two (even the toys!), but with JUSTICE, I at least enjoyed the better part of the ride. This was such an ambitious project, and it does fare much better than most of Krueger and Ross' collaborations, but ultimately, JUSTICE comes across as an indulgent pet project of the creators, rather than something done for the readers.
The story begins with a handful of super-villains experiencing a collective nightmare of the world coming to an end and the JLA being powerless to stop it or save anyone. They villains then embark on a mission to put the JLA out of their commission and appoint themselves as the true guardians of mankind. Sounds like an often used old school JLA adventure, right? But it really isn't. Although the plot may at face value seem like run-of-the-mill, the story however is deeper and much more layered. The JLA has rarely expereinced this level of peril and the villains have rarely seemed this ruthless and committed to their goals. The gem in the story is that villains can organize just as well as the heroes and can save the world. The villains think they are the heroes in this case. While it seems that it is a villains vs. heroes story, there is this ominous sense that they are merely players and something much larger than either is at foot. The book ends with the JLA being taken out of commission and Lex Luthor and his allies declaring themselves the new guardians of humanity and condemning the JLA for their inactions.
Now, let's talk about the art. It's pencilled by Doug Braithwaite but painted over by Alex Ross. I don't know how but the pencils and the colors enmesh perfectly and the art entirely seems done by Alex Ross (although in some cases Braithwaite's presence is felt). The bottom line is that the art is drop dead gorgeous. It also carries a dark tone and perfectly suits the story since, I have yet to see the JLA taken apart like this.
As for the extras, you get profiles of heroes and villains which are supposedly files in Batman's computer. You also get numerous pencilled pages by Doug Braitwaithe. It also features an intro by Jim Krueger.
I would like to address the quality of the collection brought up by another reviewer. Yes, the papers are pretty thin and can be easily crumpled. But DC hardcovers characteristically seems to suffer from this (i.e. Batman Broken City HC). But it is prices lower than Marvel hardcovers so, it's still a great buy.
Go on, click "add to shopping cart" and enjoy a great story with beautiful art.