Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 2

Justice League of America 38

by James Robinson and Mark Bagley

The steady spiral downward continues with this title. We start with the cover, and yet another ode to the missing trinity. It’s been a subject harped on for months –not by us, but by the characters in the book itself- that the big three are MIA. Did we really need to drum the point home with yet another tribute to them? Then you have John Stewart unconscious, even though he appears nowhere inside the book. So we don’t get truth in advertising in yet another cover of JLA.

Inside, we start with the death of Blue Jay, an obscure mash-up of Hawkman and Atom from another universe. Then we pick up with a discontinuity: everybody is injured from a fight we haven’t seen. In an attempt to plug events into Robinson’s Cry for Justice mini-series, we have to put up with (yet again!) this issue coming out before the mini-series which shows us the events that take place prior to now. If things were going to be this bad, they should have put out another filler issue.

What about the rest of the story itself? Also sporadically contradictory. Vixen spent so much time reaffirming her commitment to continue the past five or six months, to see her open a meeting by asking why they bother at all feels like a re-run. How much longer do we have to put up with her asking this same question? To take our minds off of the sameness boring of it all, Despero magically shows up to attack them in their old HQ.

Despero is doing another villain a favor, and he gets spirited away before a late-comer, Zatanna, can banish him or contain him. Despero will now die in R.E.B.EL.S. Annual #1, already out on the stands. Here’s the weird thing: Zatanna asks why the team is in the old cave HQ, when Vixen said she already put out a call for her to show up there. So why does Zatanna have to declare that she’s been “searching high and low” for them, when Vixen said she already invited her to the (CENSORED) meeting!?!?

As if the writing wasn’t bad enough, we then have to put up with Robinson putting phrases in Zatanna’s mouth like, “For real?” To make it worse, she doesn’t offer to heal Vixen or Plastic Man with her magic, she just stands there and tells Plas how awful he looks. Way to help, Z.

Next issue, Blackest Night takes over, and the internet is already aflutter with the question of how much the corpse of the original Doctor Light will talk about his new super-power of rape, and arguing over if it counts as necrophilia if the reanimated corpse is hitting on you. Oh, and Zatanna is also unconscious on the cover, even though she’s the one that showed up and saved everybody.

Bagley’s art is his usual standard, and even if I prefer Ed Benes or Howard Porter, he does an okay job. It’s mostly the writing that makes this comic the worst JLA I’ve read in years. The editors are messing up all over the place, and let’s face it, this is one writer who needs a lot of babysitting. He’s not getting it. At least he didn’t throw in any sexual references this time, but that’s because he already made Green Lantern and Green and Red Arrow quit, so maybe he ran out of male chauvinists to have talk about that kind of thing.

One of the most embarrassing issues of JLA ever.

Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.