I’ve been tempted to pick this title up when Kurt
Busiek takes over with issue 107 in October. I
decided it would be best to see where it’s been,
first.

General Information

Title: JLA Vol. 1: New World Order

Author: Grant Morrison

Illustrator(s): Howard Porter and John Dell

Original Publication Date: 1997, collection and
individual issues

ISBN: 1-56389-369-X

Cover Price: $7.95 US, $12.25 Can

Issues collected: Issues 1-4 of the current JLA
series.

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

The Justice League of America encounter a group of
superpowered aliens
intent on fixing the world.

High Point

“I’m you’re worst nightmare, pal. A manga nut with a
power ring.”

Low Point

From the story perspective, the introductory
character moments,
complete with names, comes well after we’ve already
met them all.
From the packaging perspective, the “big reveal” of
the actual
identities of the invaders is written right on the
back cover. It
doesn’t take much to figure it out, but the readers
were clearly
intended to figure it out themselves, and not have it
handed to them
before they even read the first page. If you choose
to pick this up,
don’t read the back cover until you’ve read the
interior.

The Scores

I can’t really judge this for originality in
the context of
this particular series, since it predates any of my
other exposures to
the team. (In fact, I think it’s the only
in-continuity JLA I’ve
read, with the possible exception of Welcome to
the Workweek

and JLA/Avengers.)
It
seems like a pretty straightforward superhero
knock-down, though. We
get to see little moments that show each team member
at their best,
setting the stage to let us know who will be on the
team in this era,
and we get some great action with them, but I doubt
that there was any
individual moment that was new to the team. (I’ve
seen the same sorts
of plot devices in Avengers comics 30 years older
than this, at any
rate.) I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork isn’t all that impressive.
There are some good
looking panels, and some not so good looking panels.
I give it 4 out
of 6.

The story has some interesting ideas, but
it’s mostly good,
old, flash-and-bang superhero action. There are no
major flaws, but
there’s not much complexity, either. I give it 4 out
of 6.



The characterization is well done. We don’t
see much of any
given character, but we see a little of each, and how
they interact.
I love that Batman figures everything out almost
immediately, while
Superman needs a longer time and a lot more evidence
to sort things
out himself. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was good. There
wasn’t much here besides
action, but it’s good action, with the little
character moments to tie
it all together. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow was a little abrupt, with some
massive mood swings
in places that didn’t seem to be working towards any
particular
effect. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good introduction to the
team, with some
classic superhero action. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, JLA Vol. 1: New World Order
receives 30 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

I picked up volume 2, American Dreams, in
the same order, so
expect that review shortly.