NON-SPOILERY AND BORING VERSION: It would have been nice if this comic started out with the Justice League already formed and filled in events throughout the series. It feels awkward having to see the heroes meet for the first time and, of course, fight each other a bit and have little power struggles between them. And I'm not entirely happy with the 'normals' versus 'supers' plot line. We've seen it in just about every X-Title ever and DC did a giant crossover way back when with the Manhunters story line. And I'm sure there have been more. It just seems like such an easy way to create conflict.
But it was a fun read. I just can't wait until the league is set up and they start working together. This really is not the Justice League yet. It was actually kind of like The Brave and the Bold! Maybe that's what Geoff Johns was going for in this one.
SPOILERY VERSION! But the comic is four months old so suck it up!
First off, there is no Justice League in Justice League #1. I think Geoff Johns should have started in the middle! Isn't that what you're supposed to do when you're writing an epic? But he starts at very nearly the very beginning. Actually, he starts five years before the beginning! The heroes don't know each other but they seem to have heard of each other.
Well, Batman probably knows all about the others already.
The comic starts out in Gotham where Batman is chasing a Parademon (it's revealed later in the comic) while Gotham City Police are chasing them both in helicopters and raining bullets down on them.
Why are they trying to kill Batman? It seems the entire world knows nothing about super heroes and they're suspicious and afraid of them. Really, Mr. Johns? Isn't that plot a little worn out? Later, during a conversation between Batman and Green Lantern, Batman reveals that the Parademon was seen setting up a bomb and setting fires with his mouth. So maybe the Gotham Police think Batman is in on it as well and they're trying to take out these dangerous super powered arsonists. But here's the real reason they're trying to kill Batman and the Parademon, from the mouths of the police themselves:
Popo #1: We have Batman in our sights. He's running after someone.
Popo #2: Man? Woman? What?
Popo #1: I can't tell. Face is covered.
Popo #2: Is it one of them?
Popo #1: The way they're leaping twenty feet at a time? I'd say yes.
Popo #2: Bring them both down!
I'm willing to bet this is fairly realistic police banter! "Hey, is it one of them?" "Yep, it's one of them!" "Get 'em!"
So the police are trying to kill Batman and an unknown person because they can leap far when Green Lantern shows up. Green Lantern is shocked that Batman is real. Batman knows all about Green Lantern and some sort of conflict he's been having with the air force.
Right from the start, we see that Batman is subtle and maintains secrecy. And he's always keeping tabs on everyone else. He's filing it all away and not giving anything back. So the Police open fire on Green Lantern as well and Batman just chalks it up to being Gotham.
Meanwhile, the parademon blows up the helicopters and gets away. Green Lantern lowers the helicopters safely to the ground by creating a bunch of giant green bats. Nice touch. Green Lantern also begins to question Batman about his powers. Of course, Batman gives nothing. But when Green Lantern says, "You're not just some guy in a bat costume, are you?" you can see a slight smile on Batman's face. And in the next panel, Batman has taken the ring off of Green Lantern's finger to examine it.
This is interesting because it isn't just showing Batman is a good thief. Batman noticed earlier that when the parademon screamed, it broke Green Lantern's concentration and his Riot Shield creations disappeared. So Batman finds a moment when Green Lantern is completely distracted by his incredulity that Batman is just a man, and he takes advantage of it. At a time when Green Lantern is about to play up the fact that Batman has no power, Batman shows he has all the power. It's a nice moment between the two. And you can see who has more experience already. Green Lantern feels really young and full of bravado. Probably newly ringed. Batman has been doing this for a long time already.
The Parademon yells, "For Darkseid!" before it blows itself up and we now know who the Villain of the Storyline is. Darkseid. Already?! Man, this Justice League is going to blow its wad early! Slow it down, buddy! Suck on them titties a little longer before you shove it in! Sheesh!
So Green Lantern and Batman discover a Boom Cube (as opposed to the old fashion, non-52 previous universe Boom Tubes!) and figure out it's alien. Green Lanterns ring doesn't know what it is so Darkseid must not have made any trouble in the universe until now or else the Guardians would know who he was and where the technology came from. But Green Lantern and Batman know an alien! And all aliens must know each other, right?! So it's off to Metropolis!
Before they get to Metropolis, we get to watch Vic Stone score 42 (FORTY TWO!) points in a high school football game. Then we get to see him be disappointed by his daddy. Awww. He's athletic and he has daddy issues! He'll make a terrific super hero once most of his flesh and bone has been burnt away in whatever accident Johns dreams up to turn this kid into Cyborg. It better be soon!
Where the fuck is the Justice League already? Shouldn't they have called this comic Soon To Be The Justice League?
So in Metropolis, they find Superman. Green Lantern talks some shit and Superman hears him with his super hearing and then blasts him with his eye lasers and then Superman asks Batman "What can you do?" because apparently every time two heroes meet up they have to pull out their dongs to compare. And the comic ends with "Next: Batman vs. Superman"! And since Batman doesn't know about Kryptonite yet, I'm putting my money on Superman!