Well that escalated quickly.

After a Rebirth issue that was long on greatness but short on action, Steve Orlando, Ivan Reis and the rest of the brilliant team behind the new Justice League of America series flipped the script and delivered an action-packed debut issue.
In the previous issue, Batman crisscrossed the country to assemble his new team. In the first true issue of the series, the squad faced off with its first villainous challenge, and what a challenge it was. Lord Havok and the Extremists have returned to Earth, hellbent on “saving” it. Havok and company arrive in Saratoga, New York, declaring they’ve watched their world burn and have come to save ours. Raise your hands if you’re suspicious about his intentions. Yeah, me too.

Havok bragged about heroes he’s killed across the universe on his way to Earth, prompting Batman and the team attack their foe. The Extremists are called in to even up the odds, leading to another beautifully rendered donnybrook by Reis. The Atom’s inexperience shows as he tries to take on Havok single-handed and ends up with the invader’s hand around his throat. Batman offers to trade himself for Atom, willing as always to put himself in harm’s way to save his team.

Orlando’s extensive knowledge of the DC Universe is on clear display in this issue, as he dug deep into the past with his Frank Future and Machinehead references. His naming the team’s signal device the Troubalert, a term popularized by the Superfriends, was a nice touch for an oldtimer like me.

If you’re not reading this series, you’re missing out. The team of Orlando and Reis are magic together, and this issue was flat-out fun. It’s only been two issues, but this book is bordering on appointment reading.

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