My knowledge of the Justice League and some of the characters who comprise the epic team-up of powers come from watching various incarnations of DC heMy knowledge of the Justice League and some of the characters who comprise the epic team-up of powers come from watching various incarnations of DC heroes on television -- most likely from the classic cartoon show The Superfriends.
So, I come to the New 52's reboot of the team with a fresh palate, even though I've read around the epic team-up for a while now with various characters in their own collections. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the epic team-up and having read these six issues, I have to say that I'm not exactly excited by what I've seen. The story, such as it is, is an origin one of how the team got together. Apparently this happened due to an epic invasion from another dimension and the evil Darkseid sending wave after wave of various monsters to our dimension to (as near as I can tell) destroy every major city in sight.
Geoff Johns wisely uses the larger page count to give each hero on the team his or her own introduction to being part of the Justice League. In some cases, this works well such as with Aquaman who gets to be pretty all-around bad-ass when he emerges onto the scene. In other cases, it's not quite as strong as it could be such as with Wonder Woman who we find out has never, ever had ice cream and thinks it's the greatest thing ever. I have to admit this plot line made me stop and scratch my head a bit because it seemed so, well, pointless in comparison to all the other characters getting an epic debut in the story. I wonder if I hadn't read the New 52 take on the character before this is it might have stood out quite as much. *
*I'm thinking it probably would, but I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt here.
The one new character whose origin we get to see is Cyborg. I don't know much about his background or previous appearances so I can't comment on whether this new take is better or worse than what has come before. It does establish some things well and overall it works.
The big problem I had with this collection (well, beyond the Wonder Woman stuff) is how it felt a bit like the last hour of Man of Steel. This is not a good thing in my book. It felt too much like a mindless excuse to have various characters bash on things and destroy large chunks of various cities and settings rather than an actual story or an exploration of these characters. If the only thing bringing these characters together is the potential to bash on things in new and interesting ways, I'm not sure if or how that can sustain a comic book series for any length of time. It also makes me a bit more wary than I already am of the upcoming Justice League movie. I'm hoping that someone over at DC realizes that fans want more than just cool CGI renderings of things getting destroyed and that maybe some character work and depth might be in order.
Looking at other reviews on various social media outlets, I have a feeling I'm a bit in the minority on not out and out loving this book. I don't expect great literature from my comic book reading, but I do expect to enjoy it more than I did this collection.
After being disappointed by the first collection of the New 52 Justice League, I didn't have high expectations for the first set of stories surroundinAfter being disappointed by the first collection of the New 52 Justice League, I didn't have high expectations for the first set of stories surrounding the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman. So, I was pleasantly surprised at not only how well this collection of six issues worked but how much I ended up enjoying what was unfolding on these pages.
With two of the DC Universe's iconic characters dating, Superman/Wonder Woman seeks to give us some insight into what a relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman would be like. It shows the connections these two have as well as the differences they have -- one of the biggest early stumbling blocks for the two is if and when they should publicly acknowledge their relationship. Superman wants to keep things on the down low for now while Wonder Woman says that they should acknowledge their relationship. The decision is quickly taken out of their hands by a tabloid blog run by Cat Grant (who is in this venture with Clark Kent, ironically enough). The news and its impact on the characters and their world is nicely done.
The story ties their romantic relationship in with their battles with certain villains. In this case, it's Zod who is freed from the Phantom Zone and comes to threaten our heroes and the world at large. As threats go, this works well and what is presented on these pages easily beats what we saw in Man of Steel. I'll admit the battles with various villains worked far better than what we got in the first Justice League collection, where it seemed liked the heroes were given mindless and faceless bugs to pound on, all while destroying several cities.
How long these two remain together remains to be seen. But I'll give DC and the creative team props for bringing them together in an interesting, believable and readable collection. ...more
Annie Black seems to have the perfect life -- a wonderful husband and three children. But when her oldest son is involved in a car wreck, secrets fromAnnie Black seems to have the perfect life -- a wonderful husband and three children. But when her oldest son is involved in a car wreck, secrets from Annie's past rear their ugly head, threatening to destroy the life she's built.
Told as a letter written from Annie to her comatose son A Small Indiscretion chronicles Annie's life then and now and the mistakes she made along the way. At nineteen, Annie impulsively decides to head to Europe to find herself. What she finds instead is a job, working for an older, married man named Malcolm. A large part of her job involves going to the pub each evening with Malcolm and hearing about his wife and their unusual marriage -- seems that the wife is having an affair with an artist named Patrick. Before long, Annie is drawn into this world and finds herself sleeping with Patrick all while fending off Malcolm's growing advances.
Twenty years later, Annie has created a seemingly perfect life. Married to a doctor and running her own business, Annie seems to have it all. Until it all comes crashing down on her when an old face from the past emerges and her secrets begin to come to light.
I'll give A Small Indiscretion credit for coming up with an interesting little twist that I didn't necessarily see coming (I thought I'd figured out exactly what the titular indiscretion was long before Annie is ready or willing to reveal it to us) but that is nicely set-up and paid off during the course of the novel. The letter writing style is nicely done, allowing us to see inside some of Annie's thought processes but only giving us as much or as little as she's willing or able to give at the time.
And yet I couldn't help but come away from the novel feeling a bit disappointed overall. The first and final thirds of the book are utterly riveting as we get to know Annie, her family and the situation. It's in the middle third that I felt like things were treading water a bit, with Annie dropping hint after hint things but not offering anything more to her son and readers. I found myself growing frustrated with the middle section of the book wishing that Annie would tell us something that we didn't already know already. Maybe that's the point or what Jan Ellison is trying to have readers feel in this section.
Overall, the novel is a good one. I've seen the marketing materials compare it to The Girl on the Train which I think is a bit unfair to both books. This one is uniquely different and doesn't have quite the same central, driving mystery Train does.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received an ARC of this book as part of the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review....more