Justice League of America 21

Ooh look, this has one of Dan Didio’s brand, spanking new Sightings banners across the top. That means it’s important . . .

. . . OK, ‘important’ seems to equate to ‘start grabbing readers for a crossover’ with this being a Final Crisis prologue; which is fine, but why not just put Final Crisis And Possibly A Trinity Prologue on the cover? If you’re gonna shill. shill well I say.

Anyway, this was an odd fish, but a tasty one. It’s almost like the two story issues we’ve had of late, as the issue is basically two halves: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman chat about League business in the first part of the issue, Red Arrow and Hawkgirl fight obscure rubbish villain the Human Flame in the second, before obscure villain headed for adequateness, Libra, introduces his new Injustice League.

The so-called Trinity (oh I hate that term, they’re not gods) getting together for a secret chinwag in a room built for them in hyperspace by John Stewart was a surprise – I thought the interminable first few issues of Brad Meltzer’s run had established that contrary to their egotistical assumptions, they’re NOT the League. I rather liked that while they were trying to decide on a JLA membership, Hal Jordan and co were out there putting one together. Yet here they are again, acting like concerned parents.

Which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the sequence; writer Dwayne McDuffy did a sterling job showing us Superman and Batman point scoring in a friendly manner, with Wonder Woman mostly refereeing. The dialogue was a delight, with all three sounding spot on. We really saw how well they know each other – there’s no point any of them lying to the others. And guest artists Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino did well with a very static sequence (I’d far rather Bruce, Diana and Clark had chatted while sorting out some disaster than just sat down in a hidey hole).

The reintroduction to the DCU of the Human Flame was well done, he’s really not very impressive, is he? What Libra wants with him, I don’t know – it’s not like his fire can do much damage to J’onn J’onzz, given the fire weakness has long been established as a psychological one. Or could it be that the flame is so hot it would mess up JJ’s psychic defences and bring on a cardiac or something. We’ll see soon enough.

It was good to see Red Arrow showing what he can do apart from shoot straight, here using a car aerial as a weapon, but Kendra was not so much pretty bird as pretty useless, forgetting that her flight comes not from ruddy great wings but from an Nth metal belt. (How is ‘Nth’ pronounced, anyway? To me it sounds like straining to beat constipation.)

All in all, this was a thoroughly entertaining read. I still want to see what McDuffie can do with JLA when not constrained by crossovers, though.

3 thoughts on “Justice League of America 21

  1. I have to agree with you on one thing for sure, LEAVE DWAYNE MCDUFFIE ALONE! Why would they hire someone who could finally do the JLA justice (lol), and keep saddling him with tie-in after crossover after plot dictate? The book didn’t tie into things half as much before he took over.Oh, and please, don’t refer to Roy as Red Arrow…I HATE that! He is Arsenal, the R on his belt stands for Roy. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…


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