The biggest and best moments of DC’s premier super-team are celebrated in the terrific Justice League: 100 Greatest Moments from Chartwell Books.
There are few superhero teams like the Justice League. Across comics in general, I think you can probably only find two, maybe three more that are in the same league, no pun intended. DC Comics’ super-group stars the biggest heroes from their universe, and has for over sixty years. That’s despite shaking up the formula many, many times over the decades. And yes, that meant sometimes including less than A-listers. The big guns were almost always there though, and honestly some of those teams that mixed things up were the most fun.
The point in all of this though, is that there’s a ton of material here to work off of. Created by Chartwell Books and assembled by Robert Greenberger, Justice League: 100 Greatest Moments is a tome that no fan of the League should not check out.
Greenberger has been a longtime DC Comics employee. He worked for the company twice before branching off into the freelance waters. He’s also a big fan of the properties that the publisher holds. According to his bio, he was nudged into writing and editing not only by his dad, but also because he was a Superman fan, and that’s what Clark Kent does for a living.
So, bottom line, he knows what he’s talking about. And you can tell.
Justice League: 100 Greatest Moments dives deep into League lore. The book breaks things down by theme, covering much of the League’s history, and hitting its target – relating almost all of its biggest moments.
The chapters hit the team’s Membership, Headquarters, Aliens, Occult, Allies, Enemies, and Greatest Battles, in that order. After all that, you also get a look at the League’s rosters over the decades and various incarnations. This is a short inclusion compared to the rest of the book, but it might be my favorite. It’s nostalgic fun to look back at teams like the JLI, and see who the members were and when they joined, listed by storyline.
The meat of the book though, goes much deeper than all that.
As I mentioned above, each chapter is broken up by a theme. And yet they all keep to the hook that the book carries. So, for instance, in chapter 4 “The Occult” Greenberger outlines the League’s history with magic across three pages, both for good and ill.
Then the chapter flows right into some of those “Greatest Moments”. In this chapter, they’re ones all having to do with mystical forces. We see sections on the Phantom Stranger here, as well as Asmodel, Blackest Night, The Obsidian Age, and of course The Demon (among others). You can see from that list, the some of the Greenberger’s Gretest Moments focus on single characters. Others however, center on entire story arcs.
Most of these pages carry one big image, with a paragraph of description below it, though some are two-page spreads. All of it is cool to leaf through, since a good deal of what’s here is truly classic stuff. Even the more recent stuff, while it might not be truly “classic” is awesome to see recounted along with the greats.
All of this means that the vast majority of the art is incredible as well. Sure some of that early stuff is lacking the insane detail that modern comics include, but it’s undeniably fun to see. And in the end, pretty much every one of the biggest events that I can recall the League being faced with is included.
All that and it’s a good looking book too
Not that you couldn’t have deduced this from the above, but this is one good looking title. I hadn’t had anything from Chartwell Books in my library, but if Justice League: 100 Greatest Moments is anything to go by, I’m going to be adding more. The publisher has done a fantastic job putting this one together, and it easily stands with stuff from other companies.
Hardcover, with a nice heft to it, the book runs a total of 312 pages, and ends on a cool note about the world needing heroes. The pages are glossy, with bright colors mimicking the original printings of the imagery included. Sections of text intro are backed with white space. But even so, they’re framed by even more images, some of which are tailored to the page they’re on.
On top of that, something I always like to see, the pages themselves are of a heavy stock. They feel substantial, and are enjoyable to flip through. This is just a very well assembled title, and it’s appreciated as a reader.
There’s very little here to dislike, in fact there’s nothing that I can really point to as being missing or ill-conceived. I guess it would have been nice to see “moments” broken down even further, and divided into eras, but that’s not the most important of things.
What we’ve got here is a great book, that’s fun to read and stare at in almost equal measure. And it’s one that I’d say any Justice League fan would enjoy.
Justice League: 100 Greatest Moments
Release date: July 31st, 2018
Published by: Chartwell Books
Written by: Robert Greenberger