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The League Disassembled

January 12, 2010

     Ever since Final Crisis, Justice League of America has been taking a serious beating.  And that only continues here.  Despite Amos Fortune’s probability-altering technology, the remnants of the League manage to defeat the Royal Flush gang, handing Roulette a win.  They track down Roulette and Fortune, who manage to escape.  Roulette meets with the Key, who is working for a mysterious employer for whom Roulette was acting in this entire arc.  Fortune is subsequently killed by the wife of a former member of the Royal Flush Gang.  After the events of Justice Leauge: Cry for Justice, former member Blue Jay is killed by a mysterious enemy.  Vixen, Dr. Light, and Plastic Man, all injured by Prometheus in said miniseries, meet with Red Tornado to discuss the future of the league.  They are attacked by Despero, who killed Blue Jay and has injured Gypsy.  Zatanna arrives and manages to teleport Despero away, but Blackest Night has come, and they’re all needed in the old Justice League headquarters.  When they go to meet with Firestorm, they are attacked by Zachary Zatara, Zatanna’s dead father, Vibe and Steel, former members of Justice League Detroit with Vixen and Gypsy, and the original Dr. Light.  Kimiyo Hoshi manages to realize the full extent of her light powers and defeats Dr. Light on her own, and the reast of the team also manages to defeat the rest of the Black Lanterns.  However, they are now even worse off than ever, with Plastic Man barely even able to stay solid, Red Tornado destroyed, Vixen and Dr. Light exhausted, and Zatanna in shock.

     Well, Len Wein’s Justice League story was a nice and unimportant story, albeit written in a rather antique style, that strengthened Vixen’s character more than anything else.  However, James Robinson had to toss that all away, because rather then just have these characters move on or something, he has to completely trash the current League.  Of the current members of this sad little League, only Dr. Light will be a part of Robinson’s League, which debuts in the next issue.  And even she isn’t doing too well.  Plus, he also kills off Blue Jay for no apparent reason, since Despero is already dead in R.E.B.E.L.S., meaning he’s not coming back to play any role here.  I truly have to wonder what happened to the guy who wrote one of the seminal comic books of the 1990s, Starman, because this James Robinson is obviously not him.  His dialogue is often more painful to read than that of the old-school Wein, and he just loves to kill off characters (Blue Jay, Tasmanian Devil, Freedom Beast) for no apparent reason.  Tom Derenick’s art in his issue was of the same quality as the previous issues, decent but not particularly exciting.  On the other hand, Mark Bagley’s work here is just not of the same quality of what he did for Ultimate Spider-Man.  Although action scenes are dynamic, everything just seems so much muddier than before.  I wonder what happened to him too.  So even though I’m happy that characters like Dick Grayson (now as Batman) and Cyborg are finally joining the League, I wish someone else was writing it.

Plot: 5.2      Art: 8.0      Dialogue: 6.0      Overall: 5.8

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