Monday, July 31, 2017

Mister Miracle (vol.2) #1 (1989)

Mister Miracle (vol.2) #1 (January, 1989)
"Be it Ever So Humble"
Writer - J.M. DeMatteis
Artist - Ian Gibson
Letterer - John Costanza
Colorist - Frances Gibson
Assistant Editor - Kevin Dooley
Editor - Andy Helfer
Cover Price: $1.00

Heyyy, we're just a week and change away from a new volume of Mister Miracle... so, why not check out an earlier Mister Miracle #1?  This is going to be an unconventional take on the character... with a heavier emphasis on sitcom elements, not unlike the Justice League International.  Let's take a look.


We open with Oberon napping in an easy chair... which is surrounded by a whole lotta ooga booga demons.  With a *poof* he wakes up, believing to have just had a nightmare... perhaps about some ooga booga demons.  He kvetches a bit about his present state and stomps outside... passing a framed portrait of the first Mister Miracle Thaddeus Brown along the way.  Outside he runs into Barda, who is carrying an entire laundry room over her shoulder... he complains about the Free's moving to some nothin' happenin' Leave it to Beaver 'burb, rather than staying at the JLI Embassy.

Oberon stomps away again... this time onto the sidewalk where he is run over by a couple of bike-riding kids!  They mistake him for a Smurf before realizing he wasn't blue.  Whoops.  "Uncle" Oberon starts reading them the riot act before Scott steps in and snatches him up by the collar.  Man, I knew Oberon was small, but he looks like an infant next to Scott!  Like, barely comes up to his knee!

The kids recognize Scott as the new owner of Herb's Fixit Shop in town, and as it happens... that's where we're going to head next!  Scott and Oberon hop into the car... where the latter lectures the former on his backstory, which is a great way to provide exposition for newcomers to the character.  Rather than an info-dump, we get some Oberon-sass... a lot more fun than you might expect.  Also, direct references to the early Kirby stories!

Inside the shop Scott is irritated by the sight of a Mister Miracle poster Oberon had pinned to the wall.  He tears it down, preferring their suburban life to have none of the stresses nor responsibilities of the super-powered set.  Oberon isn't pleased, but figures he'll let Scott have his fantasy world... at least for awhile.  As they leave the shop, more of those ooga booga demons show up... and a boom tube pops open!

Back at the house, Barda is leisurely reading in the front lawn.  That is to say, she's out on the front lawn wearing a bikini... which is probably a novel sight in Bailey, New Hampshire.  Especially when you take into consideration that Big Barda's well over 6-foot and built the way she is.  Anyhoo, this is where we meet the Free's sitcom-nosy neighbors, the Ferbels!  They invite Barda and Scott to dinner that evening, and Barda graciously accepts.

Back at the Fixit Shop, the boom tube fully opens and we learn that our inaugural threat is Doctor Bedlam!

We shift back to the Free home, where... uh, it looks like Scott and Barda are enjoying some afternoon delight.  While basking in the afterglow, Barda provides some expositional dialogue to bring us all up to speed on their present sorta-semi-retirement, while also covering a bit of her origin.  Another nice way to infodump without actually infodumping.

Before dining with the Ferbel's, Scott heads over to the Fixit Shop one more time for the evening.  Once inside, he finds himself attacked by a bunch of sentient half-broken appliances!  He uses a convenient magnetic repulsor to shut them down... just like Scott to always have the right gimmick for the job!  He heads into the backroom to find... Ooga Booga Demons!

Finding himself surrounded, he "Miracles" up and readies for a fight.  Before he knows it, a boom tube opens and hundreds of "animates" (ooga boogas) pour out.  It isn't long before he's overcome.

We rejoin Barda and Uncle Oberon on the Ferbel's stoop.  They are greeted at the door and swept in for their little dinner party... and a surprise guest!  The Ferbels excitedly reveal that an old friend to the Free family arrived at their doorstep a few minutes earlier... the family doctor, even!


It's been many years since I first read this, and was a bit nervous that the lighter/unconventional tone wouldn't age terribly well with me, buuuuut, I had a lot of fun with it!

This is certainly a product of its time... in the shadow of bwa-ha-ha era Justice League International, the sitcom theme might not have flown at any other time.  Well, it might've... but this was probably the best time to try such an approach.

While certainly different, this volume pays homage to what came before.  We even get footnotes to the first volume... which I'm sure was iffy at the time, since these volumes launched on different sides of the Crisis.  DeMatteis/DC could have very easily not referred to the earlier stories... or hell, even contradict them, and it would have been excusable.  Being a fan of lore and "everything mattering", I'm glad that they didn't.  I mean, we get a Steel Hand name drop here!  Love stuff like that.  Unnecessary for the present story, but such a neat callback to older/obsessive fans such as myself.

If you were new to the character, the exposition provided in this issue could very easily catch you up... if you're a seasoned reader, the way the exposition is delivered is entertaining, and (as mentioned above) never really comes across as an info-dump.  It's all very readable and engaging... and feels organic.

If I were to pick any nits about this issue, it would fall to the art.  It's, I dunno... uneven?  We get some pages that are really beautiful, and others that feel stilted and unnatural.  If we look at the cover, Scott looks like he's built like... I dunno, Kurt Angle?  His neck is super thick, and his head sort of looks like a toe.  Inside, Scott looks incredibly (almost too) lean in certain panels.  I dunno, it's probably splitting hairs... but it's just something I noticed while reading.

Overall, I have avoided any advance images/information on the upcoming Mister Miracle (vol.5) because I don't want to be spoiled before getting my grubby hands on the thing... so I couldn't even guess what direction Tom King and Mitch Gerads will be taking Scott and the gang.  Will we be getting straight superheroics, or family man Scott?

If you're interested in an earlier take on the latter, the 1989 Mister Miracle series might just be right up your alley.  Well worth your time, and available digitally... and, if you're like me and digital makes your teeth itch, the individual issues (not floppies!) are very easy to come by in the cheap-o bins.


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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Justice Society of America (vol.3) #10 (2007)

Justice Society of America (vol.3) #10 (December, 2007)
"Thy Kingdom Come - What a Wonderful World"
Story/Writer - Geoff Johns
Story/Painted Art - Alex Ross
Penciller - Dale Eaglesham
Inkers - Ruy Jose & Drew Geraci
Colorist - John Kalisz
Letterer - Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor - Harvey Richards
Editor - Michael Siglain
Cover Price: $2.99

Time for another Society-Sunday... which I wasn't planning on, but if one day, you review Justice Society of America (vol.3) #9, and see sitting behind it in your longbox a cover that looks like this... ya sorta have to give it a go.  I don't make the rules.


We open at the brownstone with Ma Hunkel showing a bit of uncertainty as to the true identity of their current "house guest" while holding aloft a semi-familiar stylized Superman costume.  Who might she be talking about?  Welllll, inside the conference room sits a man who looks a whole lot like an older version of Superman... not entirely unlike Kal-L of Earth-Two.  This is another amazing two-page spread... just showing the Man of Steel drinking some tea, but there's a feeling of isolation and trepidation that the empty space provides.  Excellent work!

This Superman, we'll just call him Superman... tells the Society's elder statesmen that he saw them all die.  They try and wrap their heads around what's going on... is this Kal-L resurrected?  I mean, that'd be a quick turnaround, even for comics!  Is this Superman from the future?  Wait, did somebody say future... because that's Starman's cue!  He, and several other members, enter as he explains that this Superman is his friend from Earth-52 minus 30... so, Earth-22 then, who he (somehow) ran into while making his way from the 31st Century.

And then... we see Earth-22 in all its Rossian glory.  I mean, as if the art in this book wasn't already bananas-excellent, this just puts it over the top.  It makes you feel like you're holding something special... something that should most definitely not cost only $2.99.

Stargirl turns to Power Girl and asks "what gives?"... following Infinite Crisis, they were led to believe that the multiverse had been wiped out... again... or something, leaving Pee Gee as the sole survivor.  Welp, not exactly, I guess.  Anyhoo, Superman refers to Cyclone as "Red Tornado" and shares with the group that the Justice Society on his Earth disbanded and never reformed... because, ya know... Kingdom Come and Magog.

The Society decides to back off for a bit, and leave Superman to relax... and so, they leave him in the conference room... and lock him in.  Talk about an exercise in futility, right?  Especially when you consider that he can hear you locking the door...

Speaking of super-hearing, the Society chats about their house guest in the hallway.  They worry as the last time an "older Superman" showed his face Infinite Crisis happened.  Power Girl suggests bringing the Justice League in on the case... which isn't the worst idea.  Wildcat questions why they felt the need to leave the room to have this discussion because... ya know, if he is Superman, he can most certainly hear every word they've said.  Inside the conference room, Superman is visited by our security system... Obsidian!  They chat, and Superman scans this Earth... seeing hope.  He sees the Kents, heroes acting heroically, and criminals in jail rather than executed on the street.  Obsidian tells him that hope and learning from mistakes is what the JSA is all about.

We shift scenes to the burnt paint factory from last issue... ya know, where Goth was killed.  Mr. Terrific and Dr. Mid-Nite are investigating and trying to figure out who might benefit from killing some lame rock star bad guy.  Dr. Mid-Nite begins coughing... which he waves off as being from the dust, but we know Chekhov's Cough when we hear it... or something.  The pair leave, and we can see the letters GO carved on a wooden beam.  Hmm...

Back at the brownstone, Superman shares more tales of Earth-22 with Obsidian, when suddenly... his super-hearing picks up a weak and hopeless little voice.  With urgency, he rises... and beats his way through the locked door.  He switches into costume and makes a run for it.  The Society dogpiles him, and Starman increases the gravity.  Initially, this appears to have worked... however, it's not long before Superman shakes them all off and escapes through the roof!

He soars across the city, where we see a young girl just about to step off the top of a building.  Before she can go splat, however, he swoops in and catches her.  With her in his arms he tells her that giving up is never the answer... which is probably something he wishes someone had told him all those years ago.

We're winding down, which means... vignette time.  We hop over to the Batcave where Batman is watching the news of this new Superman... while holding the Kryptonite ring.  In Central City, the Flash and the Flash... er, Wally and Jay are at the Flash Museum looking for the Cosmic Treadmill.  Elsewhere, Choma is being chased through... I wanna say, a sewer (?), and Power Girl is knelt before Kal-L's grave... for reals this time.

We wrap up with the Flashes finding the Treadmill, and Jay revealing that he plans to use it to travel to a parallel Earth... the Justice League arriving to the brownstone... and Chroma being killed by a shadowy figure proclaiming itself to be a God!


Alright... who wants to hear more of me gushing about the Justice Society?


Nobody then?  Okay, I'll get the gushing out of the way early.  This is a great run, and I would say this is must-reading if you're a fan of DC Comics.  The writing is excellent, and the art is insanely good.


So, the issue itself... it's crazy that what we get here feels both like a "down time" issue, and one where so much happens.  We "officially" meet the Superman of Earth-22, and learn a bit about where he came from.  For Kingdom Come fans, this isn't new information... for a guy like me who hasn't read Kingdom Come in almost 20 years, I was glad for the catch-up... and, c'mon now... Alex Ross art in a $2.99 comic book.  I had to double-check the cover price... seems like today (or most definitely across the street/country at Marvel) they'd have tacked one at least a buck for that.

Superman saving the jumper is important... and not just for the act of saving a life.  The Earth he comes from... he lost hope, and exiled himself allowing Gog and the gang to run amok.  On this new-to-him Earth, he sees things like hope... like family.  He sees the Justice Society as a force for good, and perhaps through that drew inspiration to be the best (super)man he can be.  It's not exactly subtle, but it really doesn't have to be.  It's also not exactly breaking any new ground, but again... it really doesn't have to.  A man without hope is inspired... and uses that to be the inspiration for others.

I appreciate how the Justice Society is shown as having different generational tiers of membership.  We see the "big guns" in the old-timers (Chairwoman, Power Girl would have likely been present too, if she wasn't so affected by seeing a man who might be her dead cousin)... there are the young adults who are out and about on Society-business... and then there are the adolescents.  Seeing Maxine not quite know how to conduct herself in front of Superman was great.  I like knowing that a new member of the superhero community can still become nervous (or star-struck) and not be over the top with it.

I really dig how we wrap up with vignettes... this is something that's happened a few times in this series, and really does a lot to make me chomp at the bit for the next issue.  We don't just get a cliffhanger... we get three!  Let's parse 'em out a bit.

The Justice League arrives at the brownstone... which means, we're just about to get a Superman-Superman face-to-face.  That's always a good time.  I even remember being super-psyched when I read the solicit that promised the post-Crisis Superman meeting The New-52! Superman... then being really ticked when they pushed the meeting back a few months.

We get a distrusting Batman fondling his Kryptonite ring... which is fair enough.  Batman is always great as the group skeptic... except for the fact that he's almost always right about everything.

Then, we get Chroma.  Chroma is a villain from... somewhere in the pre-Crisis Roy Thomas corner of the DC Universe.  I can't say that I have a whole lot of interest, but I do appreciate the fact that we're using like an inversion of the bits that started this volume.  Shadowy villain going around picking people off... we opened with Vandal Savage trying to chop down heroic "family trees", now we have another taking down B-list baddies.

Overall... I said it before... and I'll say it again (and again, and again), this volume is worth your time.


DC Nation:


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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Justice Society of America (vol.3) #9 (2007)

Justice Society of America (vol.3) #9 (November, 2007)
"Thy Kingdom Come, Prologue"
Writer - Geoff Johns
Penciller - Dale Eaglesham
Inker - Ruy Jose
Colorists - Jeremy Cox & Hi-Fi
Letterer - Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor - Harvey Richards
Editor - Michael Siglain
Cover Price: $2.99

It's the weekend... and it seems like I talk about the Justice Society on weekends.  Not something I planned, just something I've noticed.  I guess the old-timers from Earth-2 really put me in a weekend-y mood.

Today we're going to discuss an issue that featured one of my first "jaw drop" moments as a DC Comics fan.  Let's get to it.


We open up with Power Girl standing at the gravesite of Kal-L... that is, the Superman of Earth-2 who died during (the recently-ended) Infinite Crisis.  The narration keys us into Kara's origin(s)... and suddenly an arm reaches from out of the grave, revealing this scene to be... a dream!  Kara sits up in bed and thinks on it... Kal-L died reminding the heroes what they ought to be, and as Chairwoman of the Justice Society, she will keep his words alive.

The next morning, in Brooklyn... the Justice Society is taking part in a ginormous pancake breakfast at the Fire Station.  It's quite the scene!  The Chief thanks Green Lantern for supplying them with a new fire engine... if you'll recall, the other one hit a wild Vandal Savage.

In the back Citizen Steel is whipping up a massive stack of pancakes while surrounded by children who'd rather pummel each other with the ingredients than make breakfast with them.  He's ultimately successful... and the kids manage to make one helluva pancake.  I mean, it takes like four of them to carry it.  I have trouble making anything bigger than a silver-dollar, how in the world did they flip this thing!  I'm guessing it's pretty mushy in the middle... and burnt around the edges.  Why am I still going on about a pancake?  It's morning, and I'm hungry.  Anyhoo, Power Girl informs the crew that "the fight" is about to begin, and so...

We shift to a boxing ring where Wildcat is about to face-off with... Wildcat!  It's a father and son boxing match for charity... and it's occurring in a ring erected in the middle of the street!  In a somewhat shocking display, Wildcat (the first) teaches his son a lesson in the ring.  I was totally expecting the young "whippersnapper" to totally school his old man... that's usually how these things go.

Ted tells Tom that he's telegraphing his next move with his tail... to which, Tom says he's cheating.  Ted's all, "you think supervillains play fair?".  I have it on good authority that no, no they don't.  We only get one round in (which Ted wins on points) before the fire bell sounds... before we know it, the F.D.N.Y. and the J.S.A. are off to fight a fire... and save some trapped firefighters!

Upon arrival, Power Girl tells Citizen Steel to hang back... since he's mostly made of metal, he'll be of little use in this rescue mission... after all, he'd get far too hot to save anybody.  Inside, the group comes across the dead body of... Goth?!  Oooooh boy... Goth was a bad guy during Devin Grayson's run on Titans back in the late 90's... and was basically Marilyn Manson (his introduction in Titans Secret Files and Origins is literally a tracing of the album cover for Manson's Mechanical Animals!).  He was a rock-singer who could control his audience on sort of an exponential level... like, first he'd control one... then two, two became four, four became eight... and so on.  Anyhoo... he is now dead, with a hole in his chest.

Turns out that much of this heat is emanating from whatever power it was that Goth possessed this time around... it's so powerful that it's effecting Alan's ring... and burning Kara's skin!  At this point Starman has the idea that he might be able to create a black hole... and send the fire into it.  Power Girl makes the executive decision to let him at it... and takes the rest of the group outside, as to not get sucked in themselves.

From outside we see that the fire has been extinguished... and a man begins to lumber through the smoke.  It's definitely not the man anyone was expecting to see, however...


And that sound you just heard was the me of ten years ago's jaw hitting the ground.  Having been a post-Crisis kid... actually, having been a Marvel kid, and a post-Crisis teen... I didn't really get to experience a whole lot in the way of seeing multiple (or infinite) Earths.  (Outside of Zero Hour anomalies) I think the closest I ever got to seeing someone who didn't quite belong was during a Superman storyline where WildStorm character Mr. Majestic popped in... so seeing the Kingdom Come Superman lumbering through the smoke was just wild!

It had been hinted that Kingdom Come was going to be folded in via Starman's ravings earlier in the series, but actually seeing that Superman... I dunno, just felt so wrong and right... and really makes you feel like everything is on the table.  I loved it... and, I'm not even that big a fan of Kingdom Come itself!  Though, to be fair... I read it when I had far less affinity (and knowledge) of DC Comics, I'm very likely due a reread.

For the rest of the issue... I love that the Justice Society is taking part in a pancake breakfast/luncheon.  It just seems like something they would do.  While I always look at the Justice League as co-workers, and mayyybe friends... the Justice Society is all about family.  I couldn't see Batman in the back making pancakes unless it's being played for laughs.

The Wildcat/Wildcat bout was fun to see as well.  I was really expecting the younger to dazzle the older with his moves, and was pleased that was not the case.  Too often the younger heroes get the better of the older despite not having nearly the experience.  I was glad to see Ted teach Tommy that experience and tactical prowess actually means something in battle.  His line about the bad guys not playing fair was well taken as well.

Power Girl... gets to make one of her first big decisions as Chairwoman... and, it could be argued that it was a bad one!  I love this!  She has no time to think about options, and allows one of her own to remain in a burning building while trying to concoct a black frickin' hole.  On paper, that sounds like a terrible idea!  They're treating her leadership position as one she will need to grow into... which, not to get too controversial, is definitely not how she would be written had this issue come out today.

Power Girl, despite her pedigree and longevity, has never truly led the team before... it stands to reason that she would make a mistake or two... or make a few questionable decisions.  I appreciate that Alan deferred to her (as he should at this juncture), and really appreciate that her decision was more a lesser-of-two-evils than "the perfect plan".  Now, as luck would have it, the decision she makes to allow Starman to work his hoo-doo was the right one (or was it?)... but it very easily could have went the other way.

The art continues to amaze... I swear I could read an entire book that consists of nothing but Dale Eaglesham two-page spreads.  Somehow when he does it, it never looks like a waste of space or filler.  Just incredible work here!

All this, and we even get to throw a horrible (dated as all hell) villain (literally) on the fire.  What's not to love?  I say it every time we cover the Justice Society... but, ya gotta read this run.  Ya just gotta.  It is available digitally, and has been collected as part of Thy Kingdom Come, Part One (available at a pretty deep discount at InStockTrades).


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Friday, July 28, 2017

Justice League: Cry for Justice #1 (2009)

Justice League: Cry for Justice #1 (September, 2009)
"The Beginning"
"The Origin of Congorilla"
Writers - James Robinson & Len Wein
Artists - Mauro Cascioli & Ardian Syaf
Inker (back-up) - John Dell
Colorist (back-up) - Pete Pantazis
Letterers - Steve Wands & Sal Cipriano
Associate Editor - Adam Schlagman
Editor - Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $3.99

Here's another one from my post-unemployment return to comics in 2010ish.  I went to the shop and asked a guy I talked to from time to time to catch me up on a few things DC.

He told me that Cry for Justice was the sort of thing that needed to be seen to be believed.  He said the art was ridiculously good... and the rest was, just ridiculous.

As luck would have it, the shop had the entire seven-issue series bagged up for like... ten bucks.  I figured why not?


We open on board the Justice League Satellite, and Hal is being kind of a pill.  He's upset that during the latest (Final) Crisis they lost two of their number, Martian Manhunter and Batman.  He asks Superman where they go from here, and receives the reply "We start again."  Hal ain't diggin' the sound of that.  Nearby, Ollie knows some stuff's about to go down.

Wonder Woman shows a bit of concern... this isn't the Hal she's used to.  That tells me she doesn't know Hal all that well, or she hasn't seen him through temper tantrums toward the Guardians... but, to be fair... that was the pre-[Green Lantern] Rebirth Hal, not Arthur Fonzerelli with a ring like we have here.  She asks Hal to clarify his beef, and he gives the ol' Cable-circa-X-Force reply that they need to be more proactive.  The League needs to stop waiting for bad things to happen... and be on the offensive.  Ollie's got a funny feeling...

Superman suggests Hal settle his tea kettle for a moment, but he ain't having it.  He says the heroes are too focused on the "League" and "Society" aspects, but have all but forgotten about Justice.  And so, we have our first hero "crying for Justice"... get used to that, I don't wanna bury the lead, but that's the theme.

Superman says he can't let Hal go all Justice-Crying-Vigilante, and Hal reminds him that he is "the law" in Sector 2814, which is something he tends to bring up whenever it's convenient.  Before he stomps his feet and storms out (in a construct bubble) his old pal Ollie decides to join him.

In the bubble, Hal and Ollie have a... strange conversation.  The kind of conversation that doesn't exactly look weird on paper, but I couldn't imagine these words coming out of any human's mouth.  I mean, Ollie asks "Remember back in the day... when I lost my millions and became liberal--" Eh?  That just doesn't sound like a sentence a human would say.  Anyhoo, the jist is... they're friends till the end, and ooh boy is Dinah gonna reem Ollie out for this one later.

We shift scenes to what looks like an old timey saloon.  In it, Atoms Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi are beating up Killer Moth and his gang.  After the fight, the Atoms start interrogating the Moth.  Turns out "Time Pool" technology had been stolen, Palmer's buddy Mike Dante was killed... not sure if any of that matters, but it facilitates this scene.  When the moth won't talk, Palmer threatens to shrink down, climb inside him... then begin to grow.  Moth ain't scared because the Atom is a hero.  Palmer corrects him... claiming that Choi is the Atom, and he's just Ray Palmer.

Annnnnd, he does just what he threatens.  He climbs into Moth's noggin and starts to grow.  Killer Moth decides it might be best to come clean, and so he provides a name... Prometheus.  Afterward Palmer sends Choi back to Ivy Town, because he is going on a hunt for... Justice!  There's our second hero "crying for Justice".

We shift scenes again, this time to Opal City.  We see the early bits of this aside from the point of view of our character.  He is visiting a funeral home to view (who I'm assuming to be) his boyfriend.  He is about to be referred to as Starman, but he corrects the director.  On his way out, he blows up a car.  There's no Justice, I tells ya!

Finally, we head to the Congo, where we see a golden gorilla sitting among dozens of dead primates... and an older man named Bill.  This is Congorilla/Congo Bill, of course... and if I'm reading this right the gorilla form has become separated from the human "host".  It's not entirely clear... or, perhaps I'm just too dense to see it.

Congorilla is approached by Freedom Beast, who I think was a successor to B'wana Beast, but I'm not sure if I'm remembering that right.  He says that he "tried to stop them" before dying.

After thinking for a moment... you'll never guess what Congorilla is about to cry for...

We get a back-up feature so we might learn the origin of Congorilla... which is appropriately titled "The Origin of Congorilla".  Let's see, Congo Bill was an explorer who was given a ring by his dying friend Cheif Kawolo... and is told that if he were to rub the ring, his mind would be transferred into the body of the "Golden Gorilla" of the Veldt... and it does!


Well, chalk one up for truth in advertising!  The cover promises crying for justice... and damned if the story didn't come through.  Not gonna lie folks, this was not an easy read.

I will say that I received it... differently this time around.  Back in 2010ish, I thought this was laughably bad.  Like one of the worst things I'd read in quite some time.  Fast forward the better part of a decade later and, I dunno... it's still pretty cringy, but at the same time I can't deny that there is a certain level of comfort.

I mean, let's take a look at that opening bit with Hal.  Now, he's acting like a jerk... sure.  But... we can see that there is a history between the members of the League there.  There's a long history that we experienced with them... not just told about.  Even now in our post-Rebirth DC Comics landscape, I still don't feel like we've entirely got our "history" back... and I'm doubtful that we ever will.  At least to the extent that I'm looking for.

So, in that regard... just nods to the past and an almost tangible feeling of "history", I can't downright hate this book.  Even if we jump ahead... we have the Atoms, so the post-Infinite Crisis "legacy" lives on, which I love.  Also, Mikaal Tomas, a character who came from obscurity to be a strong supporting character in the second volume of Starman... and Congo freakin' Bill.  These are pretty deep cuts... and illustrate, at least to me, how much the DC Universe means to Robinson.  Can't hate that... though, I know for a fact I did my first time through.

Now, let's cry.  It almost feels like a rib, doesn't it?  It's like we readers are being messed with... these characters are literally "crying for justice".  I get that justice is one of those primal needs (sometimes one of the more primal) but how weird is all this?  It's like nothing bad has ever happened to them before, and now all at once... they crave the justice, and actually vocalize their desire!  Like I said above with Ollie's "becoming liberal", these are sentences that, when said aloud, really sound silly.

The proactive team approach... has been done before.  This is almost Extreme Justice 2.0, which proved (at least to me) that you can't really do "X-Force" with the Justice League.  Not every super team can pull this sort of thing off... and the way I see it, characters like Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen are just too iconic to be put into the "Cable" role.  It doesn't feel right...

Speaking of not feeling right... what the hell is the Atom doing threatening to pop dudes' heads off?  I mean, I get it... you're angry, but threatening to expand inside a bad guy... and then starting to do it?  Yeesh.  Maybe he got some of his ex-wife's Eclipso on him or something.  Also, Mikaal Tomas exploding a random car on the street... while looking for justice?  I'm guessing the owner of that car might want some too!  Eh, maybe it was his car... either way, it's dumb.

The art... is amazing.  That was like the "big draw" (pun!) to this book.  It's just gorgeous to look at.  I can't remember if there were shipping delays on this one, but with the level of detail and quality being put in, I wouldn't be surprised.

Overall.  Hmm.  This really isn't for everyone... the story is weird, the characterization is all over the place, and a lot of it borders on cringy... but damn is it pretty!  It's available digitally... for $2.99.  I wouldn't spend three bucks on this regardless of how much I dig the art.  I don't think it would be too difficult to come across this in the cheap-o bins... which is always your best bet!




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