Justice League of America (vol.2) #46 (2010)

Justice League of America (vol.2) #46 (August, 2010)
“The Dark Things, Part 1”
“Cogs, Part 1”
Writer – James Robinson
Pencillers – Mark Bagley & Pow Rodrix
Inkers – Rob Hunter, Norm Rapmund & Belardino Brabo
Colors – Ulises Arreola
Letters – Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor – Rex Ogle
Associate Editor – Adam Schlagman
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $3.99

Okay, so the Prelude to “The Dark Things” kinda left me cold… and confused.  We could pack it in right now… but that’s not the way we do things here (unless we’re reading The L.A.W., then all bets are off).

Today we will continue to soldier on through the Brightest Day… in hopes that maybe this will all make sense when we come out the other end.

We open with Supergirl and Batman (Dick Grayson) on patrol of Gotham City.  If you recall, since the whole Starheart thing went down, all of the magic/elemental/chaotic metas have been corrupted… among them, water elemental and former Primal Force member Naiad.  I gotta hand it to Robinson, he’ll pull some obscure characters, I tell ya what.  Dick takes aim at Naiad while Supergirl quells the tsunamis she’s brewing in her wake.  Seems like these two make a pretty good team.

Meanwhile in Tokyo, the oddball team of Congorilla and Jesse Quick are able to subdue the Samurai… as in the fella from the Super Friends cartoon.  What a way to make “a splash” in DC Comics.  Of note, Congorilla tells Jesse that he had worked with her father back in the long ago.

We catch single-panel vignettes of other Justice team heroes taking down some corrupted threats, including Blue Devil and Klarion the Witch Boy… before flashing back to just moments after Alan Scott and Obsidian decimated the heroes and took their leave.  It’s a pretty contentious little meeting, with Wildcat accusing Jade of causing all of this with the Starheart… he even goes so far as to suggest that she’s not actually who she says she is.  After all, Jade’s dead, right?  Nevermind all that Brightest Day stuff going on… Lord knows by now we’ve all forgotten that that’s even going on in the background!  We also learn that Power Girl was corrupted because she’s a “solar battery”, which doesn’t explain why Supergirl wasn’t… but, at this point are we sure that even matters?

The team decides to split off to tackle the disparate corrupted threats… and we join Donna Troy and Jade as they fight off a twisted Klarion the Witch Boy (with his cat Teekl).  Once the subdue the brat they proceed to plan their next move.  Jade thinks maybe the answers lay within… a lantern.

And so, we follow them to the home of Alan and Molly Scott (Alan’s wife and former Harlequin… not that one, and not that one either)… where Jade requests use of her father’s lantern.

Jade holds the piece aloft and… with a Black Lantern logo in the sky behind her (eh?) scans the cosmos for her father and brother.  After reciting the Golden Age Green Lantern Oath… she’s found ’em!

Before we know it, Mikaal Tomas is already en route to the location provided… the Dark Side of the Moon.  Thankfully, instead of finding Eclipso… he comes across an emerald construct swirling with a whole lotta Alan Scotts.

The construct Scotts notice his presence, and they attack.  Amid the distraction, the real green deal is able to sneak up close and nyoink the gem from Mikaal’s chest!

That’s the story… but not the end of the book.  My friends, we have… a back-up.  I’m not sure what we did to deserve this, but we’ve got several pages of Cyborg and Red Tornado team-up ahead of us.  We open with Kathy Sutton asking Vic if she’s crazy to have fallen in love with the Red Tornado.  Which… I mean, they’ve been together forever at this point… why ask that now?

The above scene is actually a flashback.  Presently, Vic and Reddy are duking it out… with Tornado pleading with Vic to figure out a way to destroy him once and for all.  Annnnnd, that’s it.

Well, this was better than last issue.  Damning with faint praise, perhaps… but, it’s a start!

Let’s talk about some of the good points.  I really enjoyed the interpersonal dynamic between the paired off heroes.  I always say that you can really test your strength as a writer if you were to lock two characters who (on the surface) had very little in common in an elevator.  Ya follow?  They’d have no choice but to talk and share and learn about one another.

That’s sort of what we get here.  Dick and Supergirl haven’t ever been a “thing”, especially not this Supergirl.  It was pretty cool having them together, and seeing a tentative team-up breed mutual respect between them.

Congorilla and Jesse Quick was a neat little team-up I never knew I needed.  Adding the wrinkle that Bill and Johnny Quick had worked together on an African documentary back in 1953 was a fun idea too.  It gives them some common ground, which could’ve been built on if DC hadn’t… well, you know… one year later.

Donna and Jade is an interesting team-up… and with their history, I assumed it would’ve been a bit more standoffish.  I mean, it wasn’t too long ago we discussed the two of them fighting over Kyle Rayner.  Jade mentions the Donna/Kyle relationship in a narration caption… but they don’t speak of it aloud.  Feels kind of like a missed opportunity… but, who knows?  Maybe I’m just a sucker for Green Lantern drama?

Another item in the “plus” column is Robinson’s use of some oddball characters.  I always appreciate it when a writer pulls from the past… and, while this story hasn’t exactly been rocking my socks, I will definitely give Robinson his due… he lovingly uses bits and pieces from DC’s past, seemingly with every opportunity he gets!

The “Dark Things” story gets a little forward momentum… we discover where Alan and Obsidian are camped out… and that’s about it.  Not really bad for a “Part 1″… hell, it’s certainly more progression than we get today.

The back-up… just sorta “happened” to us.  Don’t quite know what the point of it was… feels kind of out of place.  Unless this is a way to facilitate Vic joining the League a few issues down the line, I just don’t see a reason for it.  You know me though, if a backup doesn’t consist of Clark Kent writing in his diary… or feature Mr. and Mrs. Superman, I could care less.

Overall… ehhh.  It’s an okay issue, featuring some pretty fun character interaction.  I’m less confused than I was yesterday… but unfortunately not a whole lot more intrigued either.  This is probably a far more satisfying read as a collected edition.

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