Justice League of America (vol.2) #44 (June, 2010)
“Devil in the Details”
Writer – James Robinson
Penciller – Mark Bagley
Inkers – Rob Hunter & Norm Rapmund
Colorist – Ulises Arreola
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor – Rex Ogle
Associate Editor – Adam Schlagman
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $3.99
Ooh, who doesn’t love a Justice League/Justice Society team-up?
Well, don’t get your hopes up just yet… the cover miiiiight be a tad on the misleading end. But that’s okay, cuz it’s still…
… and we’ll eventually get to the actual JLA/JSA team-up.
For now, though… let’s meet our new League and lay down a bit more of that foundation.
We open up with the familiar scene of Batman fighting the Joker… because, of course we do! It’s not like there are other, more interesting or original ways we can open the book. Especially considering the whole thing is a simulation in the Justice League’s answer to the Danger Room, “The Kitchen”. Dick Grayson, who is Batman at the moment, decided to randomize their training targets (and still somehow wound up fighting the Joker). Here we meet the rest of the League… Donna Troy, Starman, and Congorilla. Suddenly JLDetroit doesn’t seem so weird. Gotta remember, this new order was kinda spit out of the “epic” Cry For Justice miniseries.
They fight off the sims for awhile while sharing information about their powers and origins (for Starman’s and Congorilla’s origins, click the covers below)…
… until the Satellite is rocked by a giant green meteor. Mikaal Tomas manages to save Donna before she is sucked into the vacuum of space (and before the Satellite’s “Monitor Whom Auto-Defenses” kicked in). Since Tomas didn’t know if that was even something he could do, this depicts him as pretty altruistic… putting his life on the line just for the opportunity to save his teammate.
The League collects themselves quickly, then rushes to the monitors. They can see that the green meteor has just touched down in Germany… where the Rocket Elite (Die Rakete-Auslese) are already on the scene. Think Rocket Reds… but in Germany!
They don’t get to poke their noses in for all that long before… Etrigan the freaking Demon shows up. Yawn. He rhymes at them for a bit before League of Substitute Heroes shows up.
They fight for a few pages until Donna manages to snag him with her blue lasso… that’s the Lasso of Persuasion, apparently. This forces Etrigan to release his control over Jason Blood.
Meanwhile, at Happy Harbor… the Justice Society stands vigil over a comatose Alan Scott. Dr. Mid-Nite is running an exhaustive batterty of tests on the Green Lantern… but it’s to no avail. What’s more, the weaker Alan grows… the more green light he seems to emit!
Mr. Terrific pops his head in to tell the team about the green meteor that landed in Germany… and suggests there may be a connection. He’s then interrupted by the arrival of Sebastian Faust… the son of jerk-ass Felix Faust. He reveals that this is an omen of the “end of the world”. If you only knew what was going to be announced on Memorial Day, 2011 buddy!
Back in Germany, Blood tells his story. He had been working on some occultiness in Budapest for Baron Winters… ya know, the Night Force guy… when his more demonic side noticed the green meteor entering Earth’s orbit. He then suggests that not only was he possessed by Etrigan… but that Etrigan might’ve been possessed by something as well! He then thanks the League… and compliments their teamwork. My wife teaches second grade… when her class gets a compliment, they get to pull a stick from their giant KerPlunk game (when enough sticks are pulled and the balls drop, they get a party). I wonder if Dick has something like that back at the Satellite? If not, he might wanna think about it.
Alone with the meteor, the League tries to figure out what to do with it. Congorilla notices that there’s a thin fissure in it… and so, he and Donna get in there and attempt to pull it apart (more teamwork!).
We wrap up with the reveal… inside the meteor is, Jade!
Not a bad little issue… even with the Etrigan bits!
I keep forgetting that the first half of Brightest Day came at a time before DC “drew the line at $2.99″… so, it was weird seeing that this was a four-dollar book. It sure didn’t feel like one… then again, they rarely do. Seems like all the books that feel like four-dollar books, are now $4.99 anyway.
That aside, this was an okay read. It allowed us to meet our “new look” League, and watch them get to train alongside one another for the first time. The line-up here is a bit mind-boggling… it feels like one of those threads at CBR or something where a group of folks list off their “wouldn’t it be cool, if…” lists for superhero teams… and they all list a member or two whose only purpose is to “out-obscure” or *shudder* “out-geek” the poster above them. It’s like, “Oh yeah… you think Lady Cop is obscure… well, I think Jerry Lewis’s nephew Renfrew would be great as a member of the Outsiders!” “Oh yeah… I take your Renfrew, and raise you a Doc Scary from the original Outsiders!” Always hated those threads, man…
That said, I kinda dig the relationship Robinson is building between Congorilla and Starman. Seems like one of those “just crazy enough to work” sorta things. They even get their own one-shot a few months down the line, which I remember being decent enough fun.
I like seeing Dick as Batman… I feel like this didn’t last nearly as long as it should have. Really like seeing him as Batman in non-Batman stories too. I mean, here he is… leading the Justice League! How cool is that? Nice to see Donna step into Wonder Woman’s spot on the team as well. Over the next few issues, we’re going to see more like that… Supergirl will join, taking Superman’s spot… and Jade will step in as a Green Lantern. I feel like once that goes down, the odd Congorilla insertion (that sounds gross) will be less of an eyebrow raiser… though, just barely.
The cover here is a bit of a tease… we barely get to see the Justice Society… and when we do, they’re not crossing over with the League. Of course, we’re writing for the trade there, so it’s hard to be all that mad at it. It’s not as though we aren’t used to this kinda thing by now.
Mark Bagley’s art here is really good… my only sticking point with his work is… the same sticking point I always have with his work, the noses! I’ve never liked the way he draws noses… especially on women… they almost look part-bird.
Overall… a pretty good issue, though one that definitely shouldn’t have been four-dollars. Worth snagging if you come across it on the cheap. This issue is available digitally.