DC began the New52 version of the "Justice League of America" yesterday, and I am pleased to say that it is not bad. The premise surrounds the formation of a league of super-humans under the jurisdiction and control of America. While these heroes are to be a shining symbol of American values, they are also responsible for trying to keep the original Justice League in check. The membership of the team includes Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Katana, Catwoman, Star Girl, Green Lantern(Simon Baz), and Vibe. Why these particular characters? Because they can all apparently counter a member of the Justice League effectively, or at least that is what Geoff Johns, the writer, thinks so.
The team may seem like a motley crew, however that could be the strength of this book, as none of these characters have made a big splash in the New52 yet. Johns has gotten some flack for the lack of quality writing in the Justice League, but JLA may be a redeeming series for the writer. When dealing with characters like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, there are a lot of expectations on the quality of the book. People get mad if you mess too heavily with the classic characters, but they also get upset when you stick them in static situations like fighting Darkseid for no discernable reason (like the first arc of Justice League). Perhaps Johns has realized this and believes his talents would be best suited towards reworking characters that don't have much a of a place currently in the New52. Certainly all of the characters in this series could use a boost in plot, or a starting point for the new universe, perhaps this series can serve those purposes.
The first issue is a pretty cut and dry starting point for a new comic. Have bad guys vaguely introduce their nefarious intentions, cut to people talking about members of the new team, allowing for full introduction of the characters, and end with someone almost dead to hook readers for next issue. JLA #1 follows a pretty simplistic pattern, but I must give Johns some props for having decent dialogue, not great, but decent. In addition to the writing, I did enjoy David Finch's illustration, even if it is a little nondescript.
Whatever the reasoning for this team, it is a decent title if you were looking to get into some b-list DC characters in a straight forward comic. I give JLA #1 a 7/10.
On a side note, this book was published with variant covers for each state, and Diamond Distribution apparently messed orders for a bunch of stores. The shop I go to did not receive any Arkansas covers they ordered and I have heard rumors that several shops only got Idaho covers. Way to go Diamond!