As a comic fan and as a start of a new series titled justice league, Justice League #1 was good and servicable. It was way better than the last "Justice League of America #1" no doubt. Jim Lee's art was great, the dialog was sharp, and seeing n00b Green Lantern running his mouth was a treat.
But as the most important comic DC has put out in a very long time, it was the wrong story told the wrong way at the wrong time.
I can't help, when looking at "Justice League #1" published in 2011 with art by Jim Lee, see an intentional echo of another line wide revamp of another super hero franchise, also with art by Jim Lee. I am referring of course to X-Men #1. And frankly, I very simply view X-Men #1 as the "right way" to do what Justice League should have been doing.
X-Men #1 set up the players... Magneto, the X-Men, and the Acolytes. It created a high stakes situation, reaffirmed the X-Men's reason for being, and made clear the motivations of pretty much every major character. If I were getting into comic books, X-Men #1 would be the kind of story I would want to read because it had these characters who I know from other media sources up against their greatest enemy in a new-reader friendly format.
Justice League did none of that. It was a set up issue. Batman dodged some cops and he and GL fought a transforming parademon and Superman showed up at the end, the end. Was it bad? No not at all. But Justice League 1-3, because the marquee title of the DCnU, needs tight, high octane storytelling to excite new readers. What Geoff Jones delievered instead was this random slow paced introduction... a terrible mistake for a comic that got more mainstream media coverage than any comic in memory, and a comic that won't see issue #2 come out (foolishly) until October 15th or so.
How would I have done it? I would have saved the Origin Story for the 2nd arc. I also would have had be be a steak-and-potatoes Justice League (already assembled) vs Darkseid story, in four issues, released weekly over September. New reader should be eased into a month between books. Justice League #1 didn't need to be an "artsy" book that people talk about with the reverence of Watchmen. It didn't need decompressed storytelling. It needed to be a good looking (which it was) explanation of why reading comics is fun and collecting them worthwhile (it wasn't). A terrible missed opportunity in my view. The best Justice League debut is still the DCAUs.
I really hope DC makes better decisions than they did here. The opening arc and opening format and opening schedule of Justice League should have been a slam dunk - after all Jim Lee drew their obvious template. Instead, they decided to lob it in just inside the 3 point arch for some reason. Too bad.