I was originally going to write a review of Batman: Earth One and then I realized that two other amazing stories I have recently read were also written by Geoff Johns. So I decided to review them all together and remark on how Geoff Johns is a fabulous comic book writer. Four birds, one stone.
Batman: Earth One
I’ll start with my original review of Batman: Earth One. This is a spectacular reimagining of Batman’s early years. While the original back story concept remains intact (Mr. and Mrs. Wayne are murdered, leaving a young Bruce Wayne to cope without family which ultimately leads him to become The Batman) the rest of the story has some interesting twists. For starters, Bruce is raised by ex-military, friend of the family, Alfred Pennyworth. We witness Bruce experience some scrapes, bruises, and lessons learned as Batman hones his skills to protect Gotham from its seedy underbelly.
Aquaman: The Trench
It seems the most surprisingly popular of DC’s new releases is New 52 Aquaman. Aquaman is most notable as being a cheesy character with seemingly undesirable powers. However, in the New 52 series, Aquaman proves himself more than capable of keeping up with the other “supers” and plays an integral role in rescuing the city from an underwater threat.
Johns does a wonderful job of addressing the audience’s potential dislike of Aquaman by beating everyone to the punchline. In fact, he allows Aquaman to suffer many jokes from supporting characters about his useless abilities to “talk to fish”, etc, but lets Aquaman prove to us that he has what it takes to catch our attention in a positive way. If you have ever felt that Aquaman was not worth your time, this series will definitely change your mind.
Justice League: Origin
Johns does an unsurprisingly amazing job of bringing together DC’s New 52 Justice League. For a serious story, Origin is refreshingly humorous. Issue 1 begins “5 years ago” (I guess that would be 6 years, now) following Batman chasing down an alien when he runs into Green Lantern Hal Jordan [Hal to Batman: You’re REAL? :3 ] One by one, potential JLers are introduced to the audience and their reluctant teammates.
The characters behave just as you would expect newbie supers to act who have never met (trust issues) and are simultaneously loved and hated by the populace. They have believable human reactions (fighting each other during their first introductions because they don’t realize they are both “good guys”). We get to see the origin of Cyborg, the addition of Aquaman to the JL (see the above review for why that’s so awesome), and a young(er) Hal Jordan as Green Lantern before all the crazy stuff happened with the Guardians (be sure to catch up on Green Lantern, Red Lantern, and New Guardians, in Rise of the Third Army and Wrath of the First Lantern story arcs). This story was so great I actually bought volume 2 when it came out. [“What?” says my beloved blog-readers, “Jess, you BOUGHT a book??” I know. That’s how good this story is. By the way, we now have volume 2 in the library system.]
It’s no coincidence that I love every book I read by Geoff Johns. His writing style is captivating and the reader can tell that Johns loves his characters. He fills each character to the brim with personality and keeps them consistent throughout each series that he writes. He knows his characters down to their 2-D, comic book souls. He stays true to each of them and never compromises their integrity to sell his story.
Check out more stories by Geoff Johns and tell me which ones are your favorite(s).