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The League at its Worst

August 22, 2009

     Once again, a cover gives false advertising.  Aside from being mentioned as “on call” on the roster, Superman isn’t in this issue of Justice League of America at all.  Anyway, the sad five of the JLA move to thwart another Royal Flush Gang attack.  Wonder Woman shows up to give support, but when she tries to use her Lasso of Truth on the Gang, they get zapped remotely.  Then, we go back to Roulette and Amos Fortune and get treated to Fortune’s secret origin, that shows his rise as a skillful card player and generally smart guy, as well as the formation of the original Royal Flush Gang.  May I say that he was a pretty fat Ace.  We get a brief recap of the Gang’s first encounter with the JLA and the gang’s expansion to a massive crime organization that even rivals Intergang.  Vixen confesses to Wonder Woman that recruitment drives haven’t been going very well, but their heartfelt talk is interrupted by simultaneous Royal Flush Gang attacks across the country.  Vixen splits up the team into pairs to handle the problem, and the JLA moves out.

     This is a rather appropriate filler arc, though I have to say that the current status of the JLA is pretty sad.  Even Justice League Detroit had a few big names, like Martian Manhunter and Batman.  This team doesn’t have any big names at the moment, since Wonder Woman’s just there temporarily.  Poor Vixen has it rather tough right now.  Now, this arc isn’t quite as antiquated sounding as Wein’s single-issue filler piece a while back, but it’s not exactly cutting edge.  Truth be told, I find the idea of Amos Fortune and the Royal Flush Gang to be rather silly, a holdover from older and campier days.  The fact that Len Wein has to justify being able to use a playing card to cut someone’s neck proves my point.  In other words, this is decently enjoyable, but it’s nothing more than filler.  Tom Derenick’s art is nice, but it’s nothing special.  I don’t exactly like the way he draws Fortune, though, with that massive triple or whatever chin.  That may be just because Fortune is fat, but Derenick isn’t helping matters.  One more issue of this, and James Robinson takes over the series.  I just hope that his run on the series isn’t anything like Justice League: Cry for Justice.

Plot: 7.1      Art: 7.8      Dialogue: 6.3      Overall: 7.1

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