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More Fall Than Rise

April 17, 2010

     James Robinson’s inaugural arc on the Justice League proper finishes off with Justice League of America #43, and it’s no better than how it started.  We get another flashback involving one of those strange machines, this time involving the classic Justice League and Shaggy Man, with Green Arrow narrating.  Then we jump back to today, with Green Arrow facing off against Dr. Impossible, Neon Black, and Hunter in the JLA Watchtower.  Then, back on Blackhawk Island, the League fights Silent Mercy and Chair.  In a massive jumble of a fight that even Batman admits is poorly coordinated, the Justice League manages to allow the two villains to escape.  Green Arrow tries to run away from his opponents, and Red Tornado gives him a hand, which ultimately convinces Dr. Impossible to retreat.  Green Arrow then slinks away to be dark, brooding, and violent some more.  The Flash suddenly picks up Green Lantern, leading to something related to the rest of the Rise and Fall storyline.  Black Canary leaves to check on Red Arrow, and the rest of the team goes back to the Watchtower, which is completely decimated.  In the following weeks, Green Arrow’s actions come to light, and everyone except Donna Troy, Batman, Mikaal Tomas, and Congorilla leave the team.  The four of them fight some ragtag supervillains who are tangentially related to Prometheus.  Elsewhere, something’s wrong with Green Lantern (Alan Scott).  And Dr. Impossible assembles some massive machine composed of all the pieces he’s been stealing over the past few issues (by the way Blue Jay’s alive), and it somehow opens a door up to the Multiverse.

     Sadly, I think that everything that needs to be said about James Robinson’s recent work has already been said.  His dialogue is absolutely terrible, if not quite at Chris Claremont levels of bad (What the hell was with that curry stuff at the beginning?).  This whole story was absolutely random, with basically character development aside from hinting at what Green Arrow is feeling and Donna Troy basically beating stuff up so she doesn’t feel bad about what happened during Blackest Night.  The villains are vapid and uninteresting, and we get no sort of conclusion to the plot.  Instead, we get this obnoxious hint that if we want to know more, we have to read more of the Rise and Fall storyline.  The Justice League doesn’t even try to pursue the bad guys after they escape.  And then basically the whole team leaves because even Robinson acknowledges that the team he had set up was too much for him to handle.  The whole second half is a bunch of random jumps between scenes that, while not as bad as Teen Titans, are not in the least bit satisfying independently or together.  They’re nothing more than Robinson trying to sell us on buying the rest of the Rise and Fall and on staying on with this book, especially for the upcoming crossover with the Justice Society of America.  Even Mark Bagley’s art continues to confound, as it’s still nowhere near the consistent quality he’s so well-known for.  Battle scenes are just a total mess, and his faces just don’t look anywhere near as good as they used to.  Granted, they’re not ugly, but again, Bagley should be doing better than this.  As I said before, Robinson had one last issue to try to sell me on his run on the Justice League.  He failed rather miserably.  Seeing as how I don’t have the same emotional connection to this book as I do with Teen Titans, I’m dropping it rather immediately.  I’m not really interested in the team he’s assembling, since two of them belong on with the Justice Society, and one of them is so ridiculous as a concept that it’s sad that he’s still around.  Maybe someday, when DC decides to take this book seriously again (again, like Teen Titans), and they put a good writer on it, I might come back.  But for now, with all these great new titles being launched as a part of Brightest Day, I’ll save my money for something I’ll actually enjoy.

Plot: 3.5      Art: 6.7      Dialogue: 3.2      Overall: 3.2

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