Saturday, March 24, 2012

Justice League #7 - May 2012

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Comics Weekend "The Villain's Journey" by Geoff Johns and Gene Ha.

This issue of Justice League opens with yet another catastrophe, as innocent bystanders are threatened by a pack of horrible monsters:
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At first, it is a small band of armed soldiers that take the creatures on. Led by Colonel Steve Trevor, they quickly realize they will soon be overwhelmed, and the news media nearby wonders aloud where the Justice League is.

Ask and ye shall receive:
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The League, using some intel, have learned who is behind the creatures. Batman devises a plan, but Green Lantern stops him, over-confident as always. He takes off, with The Flash trailing behind.

Lantern and Flash show up at the address of the man they think is behind all this, but are met not with a human, but a monster of even bigger proportions. Luckily for them the other Leaguers are also right behind:
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Later, Col. Trever holds a press conference, but he is met with derision. The assembled press wonder aloud why the Justice League can't just take over the running of the government, in all its facets.

Trevor, pissed off, leaves to face an even stupider crowd: the United States Congress. Here, Trevor is again peppered with tough questions, but from the other side of the equation--Congress wants all access to the Justice League, its headquarters, its secrets. Trevor, having had a really bad day at this point, tells the congressmen that the people are ready to chuck everyone of them out of office and replace them with the League. Do they want that?

Later, we see Trevor go online and have a video conference with the League, specifically Wonder Woman:
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After they end their talk (which is clearly painful for Trevor, since he has feelings for Diana that she doesn't seem to reciprocate), we catch up with the author of the Justice League book we saw at the end of issue six, David Graves. In the intervening five years between these two issues, it seems that Graves has transformed into something sinister:
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...to be continued!


This of course is the first issue of Justice League to take place in the current day of the New 52,
which is a big deal. Unfortunately, in my opinion this issue is just a big miss, for a variety of reasons: the JLers have not seem to moved forward in their interpersonal relationships in the intervening half decade (Lantern is still poking at Batman, really?), the villain feels like an afterthought, and the ostensible heroes of the book feel (again, IMO) distant and remote.

Maybe it's the very heavy, very dark work of Gene Ha, but this whole issue felt so downbeat to me. Other than some light banter between GL and Flash, I walked away from this issue feeling like everyone involved is unhappy, and that's just not what I want from a book DC has seen fit to call Justice League. Not that I want this title to be a New 52 version of the Super Friends (who get namechecked here), but I'd like a little bit of joy when I read this book. As knuckleheaded as the first six issues were (the way a big, loud action movie is), the work of Jim Lee and Scott Williams has an inherent joie de vivre to it that helped make those introductory issues feel more lighthearted, if you didn't think too hard about them. Maybe next issue, when Green Arrow shows up, will steer the ship towards more sunnier climes.

On the Aquaman front, he doesn't get much to do in this issue; though I did like the detail about not needing to be shielded from the weather. This is one hero who likes long walks in the rain...

10 comments:

jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jim said...

Green Lantern: "I hate being saved by Wonder Woman."

Really, GL?? Really???

Is Green Lantern's ingratitude only exceeded by his misogyny?? Or is his misogyny only exceeded by his ingratitude????

Let him die next time, WW.
Let him eat yellow death & die!!!

lol

Anonymous said...

http://rjacreations.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/james-linckes-misfortune-superman.html

Russell said...

RE: Green Lantern's comment: whenever he is wrapped in the Lasso of Truth he has to say exactly what he is thinking. That's why the word balloon is drawn the way it was.

Although I liked the issue more than Rob did, I do basically agree that the story seemed stagnant.... THIS is five years after the previous issue? Are you sure? It seems like we haven't moved ahead at all. And the JLA hasn't added any new members in 5 years? That also seems odd.

I didn't realize ("get") that the villain is David Graves. I only thought he was using the guys' sources. Hmmm....it looks like he whoever he is is being set up as a new "Prometheus." Ho-hum.

David J. Cutler said...

@Russell--it is 5 years later. The first caption box is "present day." The only things in the actual story that make it seem like time has passed is the Justice League satellite and government infrastructure, as well as Aquaman's haircut and leaving his necklace at home. (5 years and he's the only one who felt like tweaking his look).

I had the same reaction you did, Rob. I kept getting the feeling that Green Lantern was being set up as a villain. You know that isn't true, but he doesn't follow orders, he resents being saved by a woman, and he abuses power in his hoarding the resources the government sets aside for the team and then demanding more immediately.

I would hope it would take more than the Justice League stopping some aliens a few times for the world to turn its back on democracy and beg the Justice League to become dictators as well.

Orin's dad said...

Honestly, if Aquaman wasn't in this book, I don't think I'd buy it. I wasn't terribly impressed with the first storyline, and like everyone else, don't really feel like there's been any character progression in the last 5 years. But, since Aquaman's in it, and I want to support him as much as possible, I'll continue to buy it...

r duncan said...

Not my cup of tea either, but I'll keep getting it. It's got Aquaman and at least the real Justice League. Not like the last couple of incarnations.

Shellhead said...

I think you guys are taking this way too seriously. The line with GL was FUNNY. Of course a superjock, fighter pilot like Hal doesn't want to be saved by a woman. Heck, I'd be embarassed to be saved by a woman, and I don't have nearly the ego Jordan does. I don't think it was out of character at all.
As far as the other stuff goes, yeah, it wasn't exactly a stellar issue. Didn't care for the art, either.
And the farther we get from the superfriends, the better we'll be. Let the silver age RIP.

Earth 2 Chris said...

The colors on that cover make my eyes bleed. Ugh.

Chris

Anonymous said...

super friends was a lot of fun and the characters seemed like cool folks. this group is just a bunch of snarky a-holes with one-note "personalities." batman is "grim." green lantern is "cocky." ho-hum. can't wait till they cancel this crap and bring back the vibe-gypsy league for another try.