Review: Justice League United #0 by Jeff Lemire and Mike McKone

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Justice League United #0

Written by Jeff Lemire

Art by Mike McKone and Marcelo Mangual

 

The short of it:

A few days from now, the Justice League United attacks a station out by Thanagar, freeing Alanna for Adam Strange, but then promptly being nullified by some weird baby thing. Now, in the present, Animal Man and Stargirl are doing an autograph signing when Adam Strange shows up, as a fan, to tell them grand stories about kidnapping and needing their help. The alien skull and device that teleports them to another planet help his case and they go with him to inspect the spot where Alanna vanished. And that’s where aliens attack them at.

Elsewhere in Canda there’s this girl named Miiyahbin that’s off to grandma’s house, only the door is open and there’s a creepy dude inside who makes little sense before turning into a monster, forcing her to say a magic word and go super powered herself. They fight briefly before the monster shape shifts into her, vanishes, and all of the sudden it’s like it never happened and her grandmother is there to confirm that nothing happened.

Adam, Stargirl, and Animal Man are busy fighting aliens when the cavalry arrives in the form of Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter. They take down the aliens, offer some some exposition for the readers sake, and then hey look, more aliens! They try and escape, leaving a giant fire monster behind that knocks out J’onn. Out in space, the escapees report to their leader, who wants the prisoners disposed of. Alanna talks a bit too much smack to their guard, a relatively famous bounty hunter who would be happy to cut her down, but the thing is…one of the other prisoners is going to make for a much more interesting fight.

 

What I liked:

  • “Aboot a week ago”. Oh Canada jokes. They never get old.

  • “You’re thinking of Aquaman and that Jedi mind-thing he does on fish.”

  • “I’m ridiculous? Dude…you’re Animal Man!”

  • If it’s not clear, I love the humor in this book.

  • Welcome back, Mike McKone! I can’t remember if I’ve seen anything out of the guy since his Avengers Academy days, and that’s a damn shame because he’s a hell of an artist. Actually, on further research, he did an Avengers OGN that I haven’t read yet. Noted!

  • It’s a pretty damn enjoyable book from cover to cover, Lemire does a great job balancing the team and handling their debut. Seriously, he does in one issue what many writers (Geoff Johns included) can’t do in three or four.

 

What I didn’t like:

  • Miiyahbin. Her name is long and too damn clunky for me to try and pronounce, and her pages are confusing. I fully expect to know who she is and care within a few issues, but she didn’t need as much space as she had in this book.

  • Where’s Kara?

  • What makes this a zero issue?

 

Final thoughts:

Supergirl isn’t a Red Lantern and Ollie has enough time to take a break from his war with the Outsiders to go to space?

Seriously, with all the crap Ollie is dealing with in his own book, where does he find time to go to Canada and make Animal Man jokes?

I miss Stargirl’s bike shorts and exposed stomach look. Yes, I get that this look is more practical given the character and her age, but there was something about that classic that just screamed “teenager playing superhero”.

When Miiyahbin said her magic power up words, all I could think of was Apache Chief. And keep in mind, I have very little Superfriends nostalgia, so I’m picturing him on Birdman pouring coffee on his lap and suing because of it.

Given Lemire’s previous work, I wasn’t expecting a lot of humor. I mean, dude wrote Animal Man, which was anything but a comedy. Couple that with Animal Man moving on to this book and…yeah, I was expecting dark and gritty with a horror chaser. Not Canada jokes and Green Arrow making fun of Animal Man as if he were the new Aquaman. Or, hell, Animal Man straight up making fun of Aquaman.

Making Alanna a human and one of Adam’s students is an interesting twist on their relationship. At the same time, Adam is the man of two worlds because his wife belongs to another one, so how would this go about making Rann into a thing?

How does nobody notice a big guy in giant gold Hawk gear standing in a holding cell?

Alright, bring on issue number one! Even though I can’t understand why this wasn’t issue number one!

Overall: 8.5/10

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