Graphic Novel Reviews: Justice League 012

The Story

The Justice League fights off Graves and the spirits he was using to try and possess them. After finishing him, the league is beset by people questioning their capabilities.

Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman have a falling out, while Green Lantern decides to leave the team and act as the scapegoat in the fight against Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman and Superman share a moment alone, and end up kissing.

The Review
I was reading Justice League back in the early days of the New 52. I figured I’d read everything that had Batman in it, but after I found myself with nothing to say in my reviews, I eventually just stopped reading altogether. I can’t really say that this was because the book was no good, it really had more to do with my lack of interest, which just might be the signs that the book was no good.

I can’t really amend that opinion with this issue. I picked it up because the buzz online was that it was good, or a good place to jump into the series. I can’t remember which review it was that said this was a good place to jump in, so I might not even be remembering it correctly. But if that was an opinion that someone held, then I can say this is not so. Not having read the most recent issues I found myself lost and mostly disinterested.

My biggest problem with the book is that it is generally unpleasant. The strife between the team is played up a lot, which makes sense considering these are strong personalities working together early on in their career. The problem is that while it does make sense, it isn’t what I imagine when I think of the Justice League. I’ll admit my exposure to the team is limited, but I generally think of them more as the strong, united team they are portrayed at in other versions. As such I wasn’t interested in what I was seeing.

The fallout between Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman felt very much like that. There was little in this book that was legitimately enjoyable. I really can’t say I like the characterization of Wonder Woman in this version. There’s being strong and independent, and then there’s being a jerk and rejecting the help offered by others. Sure Steve is portrayed as trying to use what he does for her to his advantage, at least that was the subtext I got, but that doesn’t make Wonder Woman’s behavior any more savory.

I have to say, the kiss between Wonder Woman and Superman feels more like fanfiction than actual professional writing. I can’t help but feel that the movement to have Superman and Wonder Woman together, rather than keep Clark with Lois, was done for the same reasons most fandom couples are created. I used to be a shiper, so I can recognize the patterns behind this decisions. And if I actually cared, I would most definitely not approve.

The only other thing of note, and I’m sure it’s come up before, but this is the first time I’ve encountered it in my reading, is that Amanda Waller is hot now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for reading stories about attractive people, especially women, but there’s something refreshing when you have characters that don’t conform to the comic book standard. And Amanda Waller’s previous incarnation definitely defied those standards. She was overweight, but she was also a tough case. I can’t help but feel that her slimming down is one of the cracks showing the true intent of the New 52. It’s about making things look good, without as much care given to the substance. I’m generally positive of the New 52, given that it did what it initially set out to do, provide a jump in point for new readers. But I really can’t stand idly by while I see changes made where the only reasoning behind it is, “We don’t want to draw fat chicks.”

The Grade
Overall, I was left as cold to this issue as I was to the earlier ones. Ultimately this is not a big jumping in point, nor was it a turning point for the series. I might buy issue thirteen, but only if I find myself with an excess of money and a dearth of sense.


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