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Reluctantly Reunited

July 19, 2010

Justice League: Generation Lost #4 begins with a little Maxwell Lord prologue.  When Lord tries to control some scientist, he somehow turns the scientist into a dead Black Lantern, and black blood comes out of his nose.  Worse, this isn’t the first time.  In Russia, Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, and Ice get caught in a crossfire between a Rocket Red brigade and a rogue Rocket Red who believes that he is a true communist and tries to destroy Western influences.  The guys don’t want to get involved in the fight, but when the battle continually endangers nearby civilians, they realize they have no choice.  The one Rocket Red is thrilled to see them, since he thinks that Justice League International is there to help.  Fire also arrives as backup, having been informed of their current position by Skeets.  Rocket Red calls out to the brigade that together they are Justice League International, but everyone else just takes him out of the city to prevent people from getting hurt.  Elsewhere, Batman converses with Taleb Beni Khlaid-Isr about Fire, and he can’t help but feel that something’s wrong, since Checkmate is trying to “pass the buck,” and he has the same feeling.  Rocket Red insists that they are Justice League International, but no one else admits it.  Then, Booster Gold suddenly figures it out.  In fact, Lord deliberately forced them all together, just like he brought them together at the beginning.  He yells out to Lord, knowing that he’s listening.  Then, Lord’s voice comes in from the comm of one of the defeated Rocket Reds, saying that he’ll answer their questions, but that he’s also having a bad day.  And wherever he is, he’s surrounded by dead Black Lanterns.

Well, here’s another one of the twelve revived heroes having something remaining of his Black Lantern-ness.  That makes Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, Maxwell Lord, Captain Boomerang, and Jade to date, I believe.  There’s really something wrong going on here, and I’m glad to see that all of the books that involves these characters are acknowledging this.  And I love this core idea, that in fact, Lord has been manipulating the team back together, and they didn’t even realize it.  Why he would do this, I don’t know.  But it’s a really cool idea.  And Rocket Red is pretty funny.  He’s so out of touch both with the rest of the League and with Russia as a whole, yet he’s the one who realized that they were the JLI again.  That part was pretty funny.  His armor’s so antique too.  And leave it to Batman, even if it is Dick Grayson, to begin to figure out that something isn’t right with these guys’ strange behavior.  I wonder how that will play out.  Joe Bennett, of course, does a great job with this whole issue.  Everything looks completely solid, save for Captain Atom’s face about half of the time.  Those times, it almost looks like another artist is drawing him.  Maybe it’s the coloring and the shading with his metal skin, but that face doesn’t look like Bennett’s usual faces.  So yes, Judd Winick and Keith Giffen are doing a dang good job with this book.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it is.  So that’s a nice surprise.  Too bad the Justice League of America book isn’t as good or as well-drawn as this.

Plot: 8.7      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 8.8      Overall: 8.7

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