Justice League United #0 is not exactly that. Our experience with a Zero Issue has always been a self-contained tale, more like some new mag you would see on Free Comic Book Day, explaining the set-up and direction of a new comic to a potential audience. As #1 began, so did the saga of Team X (not to be confused with a new Marvel mutant title, lol).
Instead, writer Jeff Lemire plunges us right into the action of a multi-part drama in space and in the northern reaches of Canada, forming the team around the adventure. We start with Animal Man and Stargirl at a celebrity signing north of the border, back up somewhat, and wind up near Hawkman’s home world.
I like it!
This is certainly one of the more bold Zero Issues in the history of DC. Characters are not clearly introduced for the vaunted “new reader,” but you did not have to be a regular reader of Justice League of America (which I was not) to understand and enjoy these characters and where they are going.
And make no mistake: Lemire is giving us something very, very different than Geoff Johns’ government-recruited team to “control” the super-hero growth in North America. These are definitely empowered characters, out for themselves to better the way of life for mankind (on Earth and in space) as a whole. And with no insult to Martian Manhunter and Supergirl, there are no Big Guns here to worry about so Lemire just might be a little more free to do as he will to these characters, hopefully in a good way.
While some of the figures’ actions may be a bit stilted, artist Mike McKone has an incredible sense of character demonstrated in these pages. The heroes, from J’onn J’onzz to Green Arrow, shine in their spots, and McKone packages those great little things we always expect from a Lemire script very well. The page layouts have a great design and the flow is easy on the eye.
God knows the reader has enough to become familiar with along the way!
There may be some confusion for some in this initial offering – and that is what it is – to JLU, but to shackle the writer to constantly introducing and reintroducing characters and situations to readers (many of whom are longtime) not to mention a constant vortex of #1 issues as some are doing only muddies the water and does nothing to help its clarity, IMHO.
From a new comic book standpoint, Justice League United is a cosmic success and I look forward to issue #2 … er uh, issue #1.