RandoMonday: Justice League of America #59

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Justice League of America (2006) #59 by James Robinson (writer), Daniel Sampere (pencils), Wayne Faucher (inks), Andrew Dalhouse (colors), Rob Leigh (letters), Rex Ogle & Eddie Berganza (editors), and Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, & Andrew Dalhouse (cover)

I almost didn’t read this story arc. I had been pretty excited about the Titans characters taking over the Justice League, but the execution of that premise was way off the mark (and part of that blame goes to DC editorial, if you take Mr. Robinson’s word for it). However, for some reason, I stuck with the series, but I recall thinking that this was it if the book didn’t improve. It ended up not mattering because of the New 52 reboot.

The plot is pretty simple: half of the book was Eclipso recounting how he “won” in his fight against the JLA and other heroes, and the rest of the book is showing us the actual fight, and SURPRISE! Eclipso loses because of some confusing reason. Near the end, the Atom makes a speech about how these new Justice Leaguers did good and should remain together as long as they want. Turn the page, and we get a splash page announcing that it’s five weeks later and Batman is announcing the disbanding of the JLA.

I found the writing distracting (especially in the first half, and in the second half, Dick calls Donna “Don”–what?) and certain parts extremely repetitive (why all of the timer narration pieces?). The art is serviceable superhero fair, but nothing all that noteworthy, though preferable to Brett Booth’s work on the title in earlier issues.

RandoMonday: Justice #5

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Justice #5 by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross (story), Jim Krueger (script), Doug Braithwaite and Alex Ross (art), Todd Klein (lettering), Michael Wright (assoc. editor), Joey Cavalieri (editor), and Alex Ross (cover)

This is a series that I must reread. I remember thinking at the time that this bimonthly series was coming out that either I had missed something important about the plot or that the story was seriously flawed because I was confused along the way. Granted, the title was filled with the pretty pictures by Misters Ross and Braithwaite, so I was enjoying that aspect of it regardless.

The Justice League is still reeling from the attacks by the super-villains in previous issues, especially Superman, who is rescued (for the moment) by Captain Marvel. Of course Superman gets to return the favor by rescuing Billy Batson from a mind-controlled Alfred holding a batarang to Billy’s throat–that was kind of chilling. Also spine-tingling was the brief, one-page appearance by Green Lantern, who is lost in an unknown part of the universe. He asks his ring for ways to get himself home, and when the ring is of no help, he asks it, “How much longer before your charge runs out and I die?”

RandoMonday: Justice League #12

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Justice League #12 by Geoff Johns (writer), Jim Lee (pencils), Ivan Reis & Joe Prado and David Finch (art on 5 pages), Scott Williams, Sandra Hope, Jonathan Glapion, Mark Irwin, Matt Banning, Rob Hunter, Joe Weems, Alex Garner, & Trevor Scott (inks), Alex Sinclair, Gabe Eltaeb, Tony Avina, Sonia Oback, & Pete Pantazis (colors), Patrick Brosseau (lettering), Katie Kubert (asst. editor), Brian Cunningham (editor), and Jim Lee, Scott Williams, & Alex Sinclair (cover)

What a mess. First, there a bajillion artists on this one issue, which usually means it will be bad, and while messy, it still manages to adequately tell and complete the second storyline of DC’s premiere title. Second, and eclipsing anything else published that month (I’m guessing), is the cover depicting The Kiss, i.e., Wonder Woman and Superman kissing, which actually is just a few panels at the end of the story. While many have decried this as a stupid idea (hence being labeled as “messy”), I thought it was one of the more interesting departures from the previous continuity. (If you want to read a title that explores, with some deft, the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship, read Charles Soule’s Superman/Wonder Woman, at least until the “Doomed” story took over the title.) One noteworthy aspect of the story is how mature Green Lantern is shown in the story by volunteering to be the scapegoat so that the League would avoid more public scrutiny, however, the premise of the second storyline was just weak from beginning to end, and such a disappointment compared to the first six issues of the series.

RandoMonday: JLA: Earth 2

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

JLA: Earth 2 (2000) by Grant Morrison (writer), Frank Quitely (artist & cover), Kenny Lopez (letterer), Laura DePuy & Wildstorm FX (colors), Tony Bedard (assoc editor), and Dan Raspler (group editor)

I really enjoyed this clash between the JLA and the Crime Syndicate of Amerika, mostly because of the futility that both groups encounter in their struggle against the very nature of each other’s worlds, i.e., the evilness and hopefulness of each world. Morrison plays with the idea that each universe fundamentally affects its inhabitants, similar to how gravity subtly and profoundly affects everything in our universe.

Morrison also breaths life into these “evil” doppelgangers, making them more than just two-dimensional bad guys that our heroes must defeat. In fact, both groups end up being defeated, at least strategically. Plus, the look on Batman’s face when he realizes that even he can’t inspire his father to change his baser nature was unnerving. For all of Batman’s bluster, at his core he is merely a man who survives on the hope for a better world.

JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time

Did you know about this movie? I didn’t until the other day when I’m reorganizing my DC movie collection by release date (you know, as you do) and couldn’t recall if Green Lantern: First Flight came before or after Wonder Woman, so I went to Wikipedia and saw that JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time was listed as having been released on January 21, 2014. WHAT?! I said to myself, and apparently aloud so that my wife could hear me. How could I have missed this? I told her. And a Target exclusive on top of it?! We were just at a Target the week before! Drats! Anyway, jump to now, and I brought this home.

Compounding this lack of notification on DC’s part (of course I blame them, why do you ask?), is that this story features the Time Trapper, Karate Kid, and Dawnstar! If I had known that this movie was coming out, I would have been very excited to see the Legion of Super-Heroes being represented (finally!) in a DC animated movie. Notice too that Robin is shown on the cover (always a plus), and while Superman is sporting his New 52 outfit (though with the Man of Steel S), Batman still has his shorts. Wonder Woman’s uniform looks pretty cool, too.

I have a feeling this skews to a younger audience than normal for DC’s animated line; regardless, I can’t wait to watch this with my girls.