I’m a Justice League fan. My user ID over at the DC forums has been “JLAmember” since the early days of Grant Morrison’s run. I’ve stuck with the League through some pretty awful times. I even read that Claremont/Byrne story from a few years back! (Those of you who read it understand what a sacrifice that was).
For a long while now, I’ve bemoaned the state of the regular Justice League title. Brad Metzler got free reign on the book and turned it into his own personal playground. He squeezed in everything he wanted to see changed in the DCU before dumping the book on Dwayne McDuffie. By now, we all know how things played out from there.
When Cry for Justice was announced, I was jazzed. The art looked great and I was excited to see what Robinson could do to revitalize the team. Granted, the line-up was… quirky. But I can live with any line-up if the stories are good. And Robinson’s Superman run has only raised my expectations.
But then came that 6-page preview of Hal Jordan bitching. I could not believe how bad it was. Surely, this wasn’t the future of the League. But it was no joke. When Cry for Justice #1 hit the stands, the entire issue read like that 6-page preview. I couldn’t even bring myself to write-up a review.
If you read the title of this article, it’s labeled as a “rant” and not a “review”. That’s because once again I can’t find the inner fortitude to write up a proper review of this issue. It’s better than the first issue simply because Hel Jordan doesn’t get on his high horse and lecture the Justice League for 6 pages. But, that’s true of just about every Justice League comic book I’ve ever read (including that Claremont/Byrne vampire story from a few years back!)
What you get with this issue is another 20 or so pages of “the team coming together”. Unfortunately, it’s filled with more of the laughably bad dialogue from last issue. How do you even begin to review stuff like this:
Hal: Ah yes, Gotham. The sweet smell of corruption and cotton candy.
Seriously, WTF?!? Cotton Candy? After decades of seeing Gotham City in comics, movies and TV, never once did I imagine it smelled like cotton candy. Next panel:
Hal: I have a confession to make.
(Me: Oh boy! Here we go again!)
Ollie: If it involves you, the Huntress, Lady Blackhawk and a bottle of grappa, Dinah already told me. And all I have to say is “well played, sir.”
Seriously, WTF. But they don’t stop there.
Ollie: Everybody heard about it — from Man-Bat to Metamorpho. And Rex Mason was quite the lothario before he turned all weird looking. So for him to be impressed took some doing.
Hal: I’d rather be known for the plans I flew.
Robinson manages to make Hal look like a bigger pig than Ollie in one panel. Amazing!
Hal and Ollie go on to talk about Gotham for a few more pages. Somehow, they manage not to bring up the smell of cotton candy. But the weird dialogue continues. Next, we get Starman and Congorilla battling to the death. No explanation is given as to why, but both characters make their bloodlust known.
Then they get tired and stop fighting. They both decide to put their battle to the death on hold for a few seconds while they catch their breath and talk about… cocktails. A few pages later and Congorilla is quoting “Casablanca”. Soon, the two are best buds and flying off to who knpws where.
Back on the rooftops of Gotham, Batman’s private detective Jason Bard shows up and points Hal and Ollie at a collection of bad guys who are working for Prometheus. Hal and Ollie refer to each other as “Green Lantern” and “Green Arrow” in quotation marks. Cute, huh?
Next up is Ray Palmer and Jay Garrick (what is he doing in this book anyway?). They both say “Ray Palmer” a lot because Robinson seems to love it when people say “Ray Palmer.” And Ray Palmer throws himself another pity party because the universe hates Ray Palmer.
Then Freddy Freeman shows up because he’s on the team and he hasn’t shown up yet.
Freddy Freeman and Ray Palmer actually discuss the breif time they were on the Teen Tians together. Ray Palmer comments that it feels like that almost never happened. That’s because DC has been ignoring any comic book from the 90s in which Superman didn’t die.
Back in Gotham, Hal and Ollie are literally standing on the bodies of the second-string villains they defeated and gloating about how easy it was. Then Freddy Freeman and Ray Palmer show up. Surprisingly, no one says “Ray Palmer” for two whole pages. Instead, they say “Justice” a lot and Ollie confesses a man-crush for Freddy.
Then, the Javelin (who?) gets up and throws a spear (or javelin I suppose) just in time to poke Supergirl in the boob. Supergirl knocks him out and poses for the final page because she is also on the team.
The story is over, but you still get several pages of text in which Robinson talks about Ray Palmer. There’s also a two-page origin story just like the ones we got in the back of 52.
Please, don’t let this be the future of the Justice League!