This special reprints the first issue of the new JUSTICE LEAGUE of AMERICA, as launched by Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes. It came just after the INFINITE CRISIS and 52-- at a time when Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were trying to pick up the pieces of the shattered League.
Not much happens in this issue. Basically, the big three pick possible new members for the team while the Red Tornado looks into getting a new human body-- not knowing that there are malevolent forces seeking to use him for evil purposes.
Deprived of its original context, this story loses much of its power. We know who the new JLA members will be and we also know what happens to them. It is no surprise to see Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman making nice again or to see the Red Tornado come back. After all, INFINITE CRISIS was years ago. If anything, this story actually looks quite dated. Many of those who would be inducted into the League would later leave or be drastically changed. So it is hard to say why this issue was even singled out to be reprinted. There are some reprinted two-page origins of the JLA and the major superheroes in the back but other than that, there aren't any more 'extras' to make this comic particularly noteworthy.
The writing is quite good with some punchy dialogue that makes the characters more interesting. The art is pretty nice, considering that most of it is just people sitting around talking. It was only later that Benes' limitations became apparent in the pages of the regular JLA. But since this is just the first part of a multi-issue saga, this single issue just doesn't stand out on its own. Even the double-sized cover seems more sad than inspiring, since we know that many of the superheroes depicted on the cover would soon be killed off or crippled.
When this book first came out, it was intriguing and fresh. But reading it today gives you the impression that somewhere along the line, the ambitious plans for the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA comic book just went awry.