Thursday, January 28, 2010

Comic Review: Justice League Cry for Justice #6

Cry for Justice has been a confusing little mini-series for many people. It got off to a bad head start by, first announcing that it was the beginning of a second Justice League on-going series, and then reversing that decision and making it a mini-series. It was announced way too early who was going to be in this new Justice League team - the end result not exactly being what was originally promised. Then it finally came out, and while the art was gloriously fantastic - the writing fell a bit short. See, this is James Robinson writing this book - the man who reinvented Starman and revived the JSA! So imagine many fans displeasure in reading a brand new, colorfully illustrated first issue where virtually no adventure takes place and the characters just stand around talking about "Justice". Not exactly a good start for the series, huh?

Well, now issue #6 has come out, and things have changed. It's like the evolution of this story was taking place right before our eyes. Now a mini-series, this story now served a vehicle for Robinson's upcoming run on the main JLA title. Some characters, who many fans where previously so excited about, suddenly found themselves taken out of the story or reduced to guest appearances. This issue, in particular, explains how Bat Woman was suppose to appear as a member in the series, but was relegated to making glorified phone call to the Justice League last issue. As for whether this was for the best of not, I suppose it's up to fate. Robinson first choose Bat Woman to be in the series just to have the "Bat" symbol on the team, so perhaps it turned out for the best.

In the text piece Robinson writes in the back of this issue, he tells about how he loves to find forgotten gems in the back issue bins. Despite this whole series' shaky beginning, I think this series qualifies as one of those gems. The story has finally begun to coalesce into an engaging narrative, as the main villain, Prometheus not only becomes a truly fearsome foe for the Justice League, but becomes a foe able to completely defeat the Justice League. Robinson set out to make this second stringer villain into the anti-Batman, a villain so well prepared he's be able to beat the entire Justice League. And he does just that. Now that might not be a very exciting concept for the single mini-series, but this story immediately shows promise of being followed up in future JLA issues. If you read JLA #41, which came out the same day as this issue, than you probably have a clue as to how it's going to end, as Robinson is writing one story taking place after the events of Cry for Justice and Blackest Night. Robinson didn't actually spoil things, but actually whetted your appetite to find out what happens next issue. Suddenly this flawed mini-series has taken on a new life of it's own, and now if featuring a major crisis for the DCU.

Suffice to say this issue was very good, and I loved how, even though everything seems to be going Prometheus' way, he's not getting off that easy - like a dramatic last minute tackle from Donna Troy. We might now know how this series dovetails into the regular JLA book, but we still don't know what's going to happen to all the characters, which I'm very excited about. Congo Bill, Robinson's new built-from-nothing character, showed a lot of promise in this mini-series, but sadly got sidetracked during the narrative, not even appearing during this issue. Luckily he's one of the new members of the regular JLA - so we'll still get to see him develop in the future.

The only real problem with this issue, as with many of Robinson's recent comic books, has been his inability to throw off his English accent and phrases. Sometimes you can just tell the writing isn't quite Americanized, leading to a bit of confusion. Not a big problem, but something an editor might want to look out for in future scripts.

A good issue, and I hope this leads to a dramatic finish for this mini-series. Perhaps, after all is said and done - years from now somebody will run into this series, in the back issue bins, and be excited to have found such a good gem of a mini-series.

1 comment:

  1. Good review! I must be one of the few readers who's been enjoying the heck out of this series -- but I didn't come to it with a lot of expectations. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Robinson does with the main JLA title. It promises to be a lot of fun!