It’s time, once again, to piss off the comic book community with an article about the topic of continuity within the funny pages, specifically the funny pages of DC Comics. I’m going to make a bold statement and say that the hardcore comic book fan no longer exists. Heresy you say? No, good sir, I am speaking the truth.
This week Justice League of America #1 (Volume 6?) was released. It was written and drawn by none other than Bryan Hitch. You may know Mr. Hitch from his work on The Authority, The Ultimates, and others. Within this issue (SPOILERS ahead), Mr. Hitch writes an issue that is totally out of continuity and does not relate to the core titles of the DC Universe; such as, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and others. Gasp! What madness is this?
Comic book fans are a fickle bunch, for sure. When DC Comics launch the New 52 in order to wipe the slate clean and reboot the brand, old-heads who had been collecting comics since the 1960s, cried for the crucifixion of DC Co-Publisher Dan Diddio. Others welcomed the change hoping for a fresh take on aging characters that were no longer relatable.
The New 52 was a commercial success much to the chagrin of old-heads everywhere. No matter how much their old, boney fingers pecked each key (one at a time) to write a post about banning the New 52, the New 52 continued. Then, by some miraculous act of God, DC Comics released the event known as Convergence. By the end of the event, the DC Universe, prior to the New 52, became a part of the New 52. Jubilation! Right old-heads? Well, kind of.
Out of Convergence, DC launched the DC YOU – a campaign to shake things up. For example, instead of Bruce Wayne being Batman it’s Commissioner Gordon, Lois Lane told the world that Clark Kent is Superman, etc. The DC YOU storylines are taking place within the main monthly titles. Hitch’s JLA is a part of, kind of, sort of, the DC YOU campaign. Yet, it doesn’t seem to be following the continuality of the main titles. Oh, the outrage of the young-heads!
Hitch’s Batman is Bruce Wayne, Lois doesn’t know that Clark Kent is Superman, and so forth and so on. Newer readers that have been onboard since the New 52 have liked how in each title was in continuality. If Bruce Wayne lost is arm in Detective Comics, his arm was missing when he appeared in other titles like Superman. I believe it was Diddio that explained that after Convergence, DC was going to be a bit looser in terms of continuality allowing for the creators and editors not to worry so much about what is going on outside their creative bubble.
This brings me back to my bold statement from the beginning. The hardcore book fan no longer exists and DC is finally realizing this. Who’s out there reading every title DC pumps out each month making sure that if Kent has a nose ring in Superman that he has it in Wonder Woman? These readers no longer exist. Readers are more likely to read a couple of the main titles but not all of them. Therefore, current readers could care less what’s going on in titles outside of their pull list.
JLA is perfect for the reader who just wants to read a Justice League comic without being bogged down by continuality outside of the series. It’s the perfect jumping on point for new readers, which the DC YOU campaign is all about. That being said, the story was decent – your typical JLA fighting a big bad. There is a mystery threaded through the issue that adds a bit of intrigue and hooks you to pick up the next issue. My only complaint is that Hitch’s art looks rushed, blurry, and nothing like it was during his Ultimates run. See for yourself, the first image is from The Ultimates and the second from JLA.
Consume. Review. Repeat. gives JLA #1 a 6.5 out of 10 old-heads.