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The League Returns?

February 22, 2010

     As other people have noted, there’s a certain similarity between Captain America and Justice League of America right now, minus the “America” in their names.  Both of them have had their new status quos spoiled by the late shipping of related miniseries.  And yet one is clearly better than the other.  In James Robinson’s attempt to revamp the League after the atrocious events of Justice League: Cry for Justice, Vixen leaves the team after being battered by Prometheus and the events of Blackest Night.  That just leaves Dr. Light and the badly damaged Red Tornado.  Donna Troy wants to quit superheroics, but she helps at least briefly to rescue a hostage situation involving children.  Wonder Woman convinces her to go to the Justice League both to help it and to heal her own wounds.  In a flashback, we see some mysterious tech discovered during the Revolutionary War, and some poor schmuck, while looking at it, gets attacked by…  someone who looks kind of like evil Lightray.  Donna recruits Starfire, Cyborg, and Batman (Dick Grayson) to the League and gets some flak from Robin (Damian Wayne).  Dr. Light wants to be done with being a superhero, but Donna, with bizarrely newfound optimism, convinces her to stay.  Dr. Light then recruits the Guardian and Mon-El, and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Batman go to get Green Arrow to stop wallowing in rage and join on as well.

     Having just started reading Robinson’s run on Starman, I can’t believe that this is the same writer.  From the delightful spoilers from Cry for Justice in this very book, i sounds like nothing more than pointles violence that didn’t really advance anyone’s character except make them even madder than they were before.  Oh yes, and it made Vixen a tad self-loathing and Dr. Light and Donna world weary.  Great character development.  And do we really need evil New Gods here right now?  Pretty sure Final Crisis was partially done to give them a breather for a while.  After all, there’s so many great Justice League villains that could have been used instead.  And how in the world did Donna suddenly do a 180-degree turn from pitying herself to being the League’s chief recruiter in eight pages?  The dialogue is quite ridiculous, with Wonder Woman’s attempts to inspire Donna just sounding flat.  Oh yes, and let’s not forget Damian’s ludicrious “harlot” line.  Mark Bagley’s art is still nothing like it used to be, and he also seems to have decided that Donna Troy’s breasts should be second only to Power Girl’s in the DCU.  That uniform doesn’t even really fit her at that rate.  And don’t get me started on the “mandatory” Starfire buckshot.  Add to that muddy, poorly defined faces and lines in other places, and it’s shocking that this is the guy who drew Ultimate Spider-Man.  Earlier today, I said that Teen Titans suffered the most from One Year Later.  Well, considering Dwayne McDuffie’s editorially mandated, crippled run, constant roster shuffling, and now this, the JLA comes in at a close second.  I may be done with this book for a while, until someone who can actually write the world’s greatest superhero team comes along and is allowed to do his/her own thing.  Besides, how can you take a team seriously when one of its members is someone whose only power is that he’s a human mind in the body of a golden gorilla?

Plot: 4.9      Art: 7.2      Dialogue: 4.3      Overall: 4.3

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