Justice League of America (vol.2) #48 (October, 2010)
“The Dark Things, Part Five”
“Cogs, Part 3”
Writer – James Robinson
Pencillers – Mark Bagley & Pow Rodix
Inkers – Rob Hunter, Norm Rapmund, Don Ho, Derek Fridolfs, Rich Perrotta & Ruy Jose
Colors – Ulises Arreola & Zarathus
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor – Rex Ogle
Associate Editor – Adam Schlagman
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $3.99
Remember when your parents would wake you up for school in the morning? Remember pleading with them for “five more minutes”?
That’s kinda how I’m feeling right now.
We open on the Moon with Alan Scott and the amalgamated Jade-sidian threatening our heroes. We then jump to Earth where Mr. Terrific has Supergirl and Power Girl “science” their way into a schematic to counter the Starheart. Karen understands “the science” and Kara….’s mother was part of the Science Guild, so that’s good enough.
Back on the Moon, Dr. Mid-Nite returns the chest-gem to Mikaal Tomas.
On the battlefield, Dr. Fate casts the spell of restraint on Jade-sidian, and successfully separates the siblings.
Ohhhhh yeah, this is a Brightest Day crossover. Jennie stays all White Lanterny for a moment… but it fades pretty quickly, at which point… Obsidian suggest that they combine again. Before it gets too weird, Jade recharges Kyle’s ring… who then snags Todd, and takes him as far away from Jennie as possible.
Then… more constructs. Six (more) pages of construct battling. Worth noting, that Power Girl and Supergirl cracked the schematic… and have brought the Earth-bound heroes into battle. As the battle rages, we get that one scene we knew was coming the entire time. Jennie is able to draw the darkness from Alan… who finally begins to realize who he really is.
Who he really is, is… Green Lantern. Duh.
Hoo-hah, everything’s cool again… and we jump into our “epilogue”… well, the epilogue of the issue. There’s an issue-long “The Dark Things, Epilogue” issue in our future.
We wrap up with Supergirl wondering why she was never corrupted. She suggests she just “got lucky”… but she should really know better, nobody involved with this story… readers included (and especially), can be considered “lucky”.
There’s also the back-up… which I’m going to give as little thought as the Robinson seemed to. Cyborg is able to bring Red Tornado back from the brink… and doesn’t even have to resort to the big “risk” we were cliffhung with last issue.
We’ve covered our share of stinkers here at the blog, but this one might just be the stinkiest. I really want to apologize for perhaps a less thorough/pleasant than usual “outing” here… but really, it was all I could do to push through. Odd, I don’t remember hating this quite so much back in 2010. I must’ve just been in comics nirvana or something.
You know when you’re cramming for a test… and you reread the same pages of text over and over again… and each time, it becomes more and more muddled? That’s how this arc has felt for the past few days. I had to read… and reread, because there was just nothing there to keep me entertained and engaged. Don’t even get me stah’ted on the back-up either.
For the past week the blog has become something of an assignment. Something I “had to” do, rather than something I had some fun doing… and I can’t promise that that didn’t come through in my writing. That is not what this site is all about… and, from this point on… if we start an arc that absolutely sucks, we’re not going to force through it. I think we’ll all be happier that way.
For the issue itself… Supergirl and Power Girl use “the science” to counteract the Starheart… kinda? Then, just like we’ve all seen coming for the past few days, Jade draws the darkness from her father… who is finally able to break through. Yawn.
There’s a sort of interesting (and creepy) deal between Jade and Obsidian. It ends pretty quickly… and leaves us in a position where… I don’t think we want to know what happens next? When Kyle dragged Todd away, I’d have been happy never to see him again.
I haven’t mentioned it, but for this entire arc anytime Jesse Quick or Hourman were on panel, there would be a narrative caption about how much they love one another. I didn’t mention it because, really… there isn’t all that much more to say about it. We could look at it as a feverish codependency… or we could contrast the lack of “love” in everyone else’s narrative captions and see just how alone/unlucky in love the rest of their teammates are. Either way… it’s not terribly interesting.
Did we really need this many issues to tell this story? Hell, did we even need one entire issue to tell it? Like I said the other day, this story would struggle to fill an annual, much less eight whole issues. We all saw the ending coming from a mile away… the whole magilla could’ve been sorted out in the amount of pages the Cyborg/Red Tornado backups got.
I think I actually had more fun with Superman: Grounded… at least I could muster the interest to get mad at that piece of garbage. This was just an exercise in boredom… an insanity test, which I’m not sure I passed!
Overall… you don’t need this arc in your life. I have trouble reconciling in my mind that this is that James Robinson. The James Robinson who captivated a generation of DC Comics readers over the course of 80 issues of Starman. Bagley’s art is still quite good… though the fact that there were like 30 inkers on this issue made things look rather uneven. I’m gonna freestyle that the inkers just kept falling asleep on the job. And if that was the case, I can’t say that I’d blame them one bit.
We’ll epilogue this one tomorrow… then put it behind us forever.