Praise be.

The definitive iteration of the Justice League is back y’all. A follow-up to such a venerated series has a lot to live up to. Especially in a media landscape where the mainstream versions of its heroes have been deformed into mass murderers and sad brooding objectivists. So is it any good? Praise Amazo, it is! Keep reading to find out how.

ART

I was a bit worried about the art. Bruce Timm’s style is hard to get right, and the art in Batman: The Adventures Continue had already let me down. Fortunately, artist Ethen Beavers and colorist Nick Filardi aren’t even a little bit of a letdown. Nearly every panel is dripping with cartoonish color and detail. 

I mean

 

Look

 

At. these. panels.

Funnily enough, for all its adherence to the Timm style, the art gave me serious Genndy Tartakovsky vibes. A little digging showed why. Ethen Beavers is a big Clone Wars and Samurai Jack fan and has also worked on Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and Clone Wars comics. 

The character’s facial expressions and poses are emotive. The panels featuring my droid-boy Amazo set in the far reaches of space are suitably Kirby/Steranko-ish. But the real chef’s kiss is Filardi’s colorwork. And even though they’re one of the weaker bits overall, the action splashes are still fairly kinetic and dynamic. The only (slight) problem I have with the art is it tends to be a bit too busy, and very flat. The business is fine, but I could see how the near-total lack of depth/perspective could bother someone. Fortunately, Filardi’s heroic colors swoop in and add a touch of depth in post. 

STORY

Galaxies apart — Amazo, the god-like android, and J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, are in the throes of existential crisis. The android’s search for meaning takes him to the farthest edges of the universe. Meanwhile, Martian seeks to better understand himself by befriending people across oceans and continents. Both, for better or worse, are inexorably tied to the Justice League, who are throwing Flash a party — a party rival factions from Apokolips intend to crash.

The Big Seven are here (minus J’onn) with some fun additions (Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Big Barda, Mister Miracle, Vixen, Atom, Elongated Man, and Red Tornado all show up to boogie). Also, Fire and Ice exist. The characters don’t seem to have deviated much from their onscreen predecessors. Batman is stoic, with an occasional dry remark. Wally is a big goof. And Superman is, well, Superman (though of all the Big Seven, he was given the least to do). Like I said earlier, for me, many of these characters are the definitive versions, so seeing them again here is like coming home to family. Mister Miracle and Big Barda are given just as much attention as the core Leaguers — and Booster/Ralph Dibny’s fight over cake adds a fun spritz of light-heartedness to the Apokoliptic brawl.

 

The real stars of JLI #1, though, are Martian Manhunter and Amazo. They’ve always been two of my favorites from the series because they were a bit more existential and introspective, and this issue is leaning into that hard. Not only do they lend a bit of gravitas and emotional depth, but I found the contrast between their solitude/angst and the League having a gay old time pretty interesting. 

Not all is perfect, however. Some of the humor falls a tad flat. And as I mentioned earlier with Supes — not everyone is given equal love and care. I’ll mostly give it a pass, since this is only one issue, but having a character they’ve waited years to see again not have a lot to do might irk some folks. Regardless, this is a solid first issue and I’m raring to see what comes next.  Especially since we’re left with a stinger at the end.

Recommend if…

  • You are a fan of the DCAU
  • Amazo is your droid-boy
  • Honestly, I’d recommend this to anyone who is a sentient human

OVERALL

I am beyond relieved that Justice League Infinity #1 is off to a marvelous start. Writers JM Dematteis and James Tucker both worked on Justice League Unlimited — and it shows. The story in Justice League Infinity #1 feels like it crawled right out of an early-aughts plasma television. Focusing on the soul searching of Amazo and Martian Manhunter gives the issue a solid emotional core, while having a joyous and exciting get-together filled with beloved characters many of us have dearly missed feels like the perfect way to reintroduce the Timm/Diniverse League back into our lives.

Score: 9/10


Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.