Every so often, Batman gets frustrated with the Justice League and splits off to form a new group that would be made up of people who would fight the problems that ordinary folks have. The first time he did that, he created the Outsiders team.
For DC Rebirth, he made the Justice League of America, a team with a name similar enough to the main Justice League title to confuse all kinds of people, including me sometimes. But here’s a look at the first volume to this series, subtitled The Extremists.
The main thrust here is Batman is assembling a more proactive team than the other one that he didn’t quit so much as set to the side while he did this other thing. His crew is interesting. He started with a reformed Killer Frost, now preferring to just be called Frost, as a result of events from a Justice League/Suicide Squad crossover. There’s Black Canary to keep him honest, Vixen to be the glue that holds the group together, the Ray because he’s a promising rookie, and the Ryan Choi Atom despite the fact he doesn’t really know how to do anything since Ray Palmer is missing and the last member of the team insisted. That last member would be alien bounty hunter Lobo. How did Lobo get on a Justice League team? Batman made a deal of some kind with him.
Is it odd that for a team that’s supposed to be closer to humanity, it includes an impossibly strong alien that can’t die too easily?
As it is, the two storylines included here seem to have villains that are more inclined to have some sort of philosophy behind what they do. First up is the Extremists, revised a bit from their original appearance with two new members, but this time around Lord Havoc truly believes he needs to rule the world because freedom causes death. The following two-parter had a bad guy creating weapons like the stuff out of Greek mythology who believed in chaos and order was a lie. Writer Steve Orlando gave these guys a distinctive personality, making at least Lord Havoc have a somewhat sympathetic motivation as he thinks he may actually be saving the world the only way he knows how.
And that’s actually the book’s biggest problem. These characters, especially the villains, just seem to talk and talk, often with what feels like heroes standing there and letting them go on and on. I was reading it and wondering why the League didn’t just take some of these guys out faster. Heck, most of them seemed underpowered compared to the League. I will give Orlando credit for mining DC”s old stable for old Justice League characters, a thing he continued as the series went on, but this was just not very interesting as presented. 7.5 out of 10 chimera mounts.
Man, that’s two somewhat disappointing trades in a row. I better find one I like better next.
Sweet Home “Episode Four”
Comic Review: Undiscovered Country Volume 4
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #61 (June, 1968)