DC's new universe started with the end of the Flashpoint Mini-series and Justice League #1, which both came out this week.
Although Flashpoint was drawn and written fairly well, it was ultimately just another ho-hum "alternate reality story" which we all knew would not stick around. Although surrounded by tie-ins, the Flashpoint universe was predictably here and gone, giving me no reason (as I knew it wouldn't) to invest in the alternate versions of my favorite characters that were presented.
Where it functions well is as a Flash story, dealing with Barry's greatest enemy, The Reverse Flash, and bringing the stakes close to home as the story hangs on the death of his mother. The ending felt a little rushed and I think it would have been stronger if it wasn't attached to the "New 52" event, but these are five issues that would stay in my collection even apart from their soon to be historical significance in attachment to the relaunch of DC's continuity.
The real fun this week began as I opened to the first page of "Justice League #1". The story takes place five years ago, when superheroes were first coming on the scene. In fact, we get to see Batman and Green Lantern meet for the first time! The writing is great, showcasing the core of who these characters are and with the backdrop of freshness that the editorial staff is no doubt aiming for. It looks as though this entire opening story arc in the Justice League book will be about the team's origins.
Not all DC books are using their first issues this year to tell origins stories, though I kind of wish they would. In fact, part of me wishes that DC would have just gone all the way and done a COMPLETE re-launch of the universe, with no stories outside of character origins retained from the previous continuity. That may sound strange from a guy who's been a hardcore DC fan for 15 years and who LOVES the rich history of the DCU, but I for one would love to see DC's answer to Marvel's "Ultimate" universe, and the New 52 isn't quite that.
Even so, I can already tell that this is the best jumping on point that new readers have ever been offered for their universe. And the pages of Justice League, if issue #1 is any indicator, will be a great place to get more big iconic heroes for your buck and maybe test the waters and see what heroes you might be interested in following in their own books. If you only try ONE DC book, Justice League should be it! (At least until more DC books come out later this month.)
DC has already sold out on their first print run of Justice League #1, but the second print is already coming to stores next week, and you can always go digital and get it right now for your mobile device!
(Boy, I wonder when that publicity check from DC is going to get here.)