10 July 2012

Faster than a DC Bullet: The End of Green Arrow, Part II: Justice League: Cry for Justice

Comic hardcover, n.pag.
Published 2010 (contents: 2006-10)
Borrowed from the library
Read June 2012
Justice League: Cry for Justice

Writers: James Robinson / Sterling Gates / Len Wein / Mark Waid
Art: Mauro Cascioli / Scott Clark / Federico Dallocchio
Additional Art: Ibraim Roberson / Sergio Carrera
Additional Pencils: Mark Bagley / Don Kramer / Ardian Syaf / Scott McDaniel / Ivan Reis
Additional Inks: David Beatty / John Dell / Michael Babinski / Andy Owens / Oclair Albert / Vicente Cifuentes
Colorsts: Mauro Cascioli / Siya Oum / Giovani Kososki / Federico Dallocchio / Pete Pantazis / Alex Sinclair / Ulises Arreola
Letterers: Steve Wands / Sal Cipriano / Travis Lanham / Ken Lopez / Rob Clark Jr.

At the end of Green Arrow and Black Canary: Five Stages, Hal Jordan summons Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance up to the Justice League headquarters for an important meeting; Cry for Justice opens with that meeting. Hal's point is that too many heroes have died recently and what he needs is some JUSTICE.  JUSTICE apparently being a more proactive approach, where the League hunts down criminals before the commit crimes.  Notwithstanding that the characters in the first chapter use the word JUSTICE at an implausibly high rate, I'm not sure this premise makes sense.

(Can we talk about the hilarious panel where the Atom shouts "Yeah... JUSTICE!", which makes him sound like a member of the Tiny Titans, which I somehow doubt was Robinson's intention?)

Are you telling me that the League knows where (for example) the Toyman is, and just sits around doing nothing? Even if he's not currently up to criminal mischief, he's a wanted man, surely? To imply that superheroes just sit around waiting for crimes to happen makes them seem like incompetent chumps most of the time.  Anyway, Hal Jordan says he's gonna form his own JUSTICE League, and even though moments before they beamed up, Oliver and Dinah renewed their commitment to one another, Oliver takes no time at all to leave with Hal for completely nonsensical reasons.

So, even if the premise did make sense, it gets abandoned after about 22 pages.  Hal and Oliver go proactive in Gotham (why? isn't it kind of mean of GA to leave Speedy protecting Star City all by herself?), teaming up with the Atom, who is apparently a giant asshole, and soon discover that the villain Prometheus has a plot to destroy the world which they need to stop.  Okay, so just like every other Justice League title, then.  What was the point of this special team?

Oh, right! It's the torture. This is done in the heavy-handed way that every superhero comic handles torture, which is to say that the characters do a lot of it, then one of them shouts, "My God! We've gone too far!" for no readily apparent reason. If this comic actually examined the seductive aspects of torture, that would be one thing, but it just has a lot of it up until the point where it doesn't.

It's also the violence. This is famously the story that kills off a five-year-old girl to prove the situation is serious. Charming.  Also, Star City gets blown up. Again, for those of you who remember Winick's five-years-ago run on Green Arrow.  Oh geeze.

The worst part of this book is, of course, Prometheus. Seriously, has a worse supposedly-awesome-but-actually-lame villain ever existed? His power is that he has a power to stop any superhero's power. Does that even make sense? Some of his powers are so powerful that he should just use them all the time. He can chop off Arsenal's arms-- why doesn't he do that to everyone? Or he has bullets forged by Mercury to use on Supergirl-- surely that would kill anyone he came across? And for some reason the Justice League fights him one at a time. I am pretty sure that if anyone was jumped by Supergirl, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Stargirl, Black Canary, the Atom, Wonder Girl, Starfire, Green Lantern, Doctor Light, Starman, Plastic Man, Zatanna, and the freaking Flash all at once, there's no way he could be fast enough to win.  He was lame when he first appeared in Grant Morrison's JLA, and he's lame here.

There's also the art, which starts out nice, if stiff-- Mauro Cascioli does some good sub-Alex-Ross painted stuff. But time goes on, he gets rushed, and we get bad fill-ins and a never-ending stream of butt and boob shots.  Both at once if we're lucky!  The storytelling, too, is lacking.

Is there anything to like about this book?  Even the humor's B-grade sexist stuff. So apparently not.  Poor Green Arrow-- why'd you have to get sucked into this crap?

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