Justice League: Cry for Justice #1
James Robinson and Mauro Cascioli’s first issue of Justice League: Cry for Justice was released this week. Initial interviews with Robinson stated bluntly that this series will be about “justice and seeking justice, rather than responding to emergencies, letting the problems come to them and being almost entirely reactive.” In this first issue we see Hal Jordan putting Superman in his place and stepping up to be the law enforcement officer he id supposed to be. Although in this first issue I just found myself getting sick of the word ‘justice’.
In the second part of this issue we see Ray Palmer and the new atom in for lack of a better term, a bar fight, with a D-list Batman villain. We see Robinson attempt to do a back-and-forth inner dialogue the likes we’ve seen in Superman and Batman. It didn’t quite hit home and was just a tad annoying to read the same text from both characters. And to be honest I’ve never read anything involving the new atom and after his unmemorable portrayal here, I could care less if he’s around in five years.
Next the readers are introduced to Mikaal Thomas, from Robinson’s Starman series. And although this had the same feel as the rest of this poorly narrated book, you felt like this scene was a bit easier for Robinson to write, it flowed a lot better than the rest of the scenes. And finally; Congo Bill/ Congorilla, I have no idea who this character is, and I have a hard time imagining that a man in a gorilla’s body is going to be able to keep up with the strength of a Green Lantern. It made it even more obvious that Robinson knew that no one knew who this character was, when they threw in a last minute origin at the end of the issue. As for the back matter I really liked it, not only did we get to see some of the unfinished pencil’s for the book but we get to hear Robinson’s take on this book and what’s going to be coming from it.
I understand that in a first issue there has to be a certain amount of set-up, but this is only a 7 issue mini and after the first issue we’ve only seen five members of a team that hasn’t even formed yet. The price tag with this mini seemed a bit steep too. Sure the back-matter was great but it was only what, a 22 page comic.
I’m new to James Robinson, but from what I’ve read so far of Starman, and also to a lesser extent his work on Superman, he is a phenomenal writer. But I can’t help feel some of his grandeur is behind him with his “Justice” one-liners just getting lazier as the issue progressed. In fact alot of the dialogue felt off from the aforementioned Atom scene to Green Arrow being stuck on an “oh boy” loop. It really felt like he knew that fans were going to love this team because of the characters and just phoned-in the rest.
The premise of the story itself is interesting enough, Green Lantern feels that the Justice League doesn’t actually do anything except wait around get attacked all the time. He wants them to actually go out and stop the villains instead of just reacting to attacks like they are currently. And when Superman doesn’t listen he takes Ollie and leaves the tower. I always love Green Arrow and Green Lantern together and this was no exception, it’s great to see a character that has the other’s back no matter what.
Mauro Cascioli is an outstanding artist and this is my first encounter. His attention to detail and his Iconic designs of the characters were engrossing. I found myself drawn to the art; I have a monumental flaw of breezing through a comic in five minutes and not appreciating the art, not the case in this issue. The flashback panels of the deaths of Batman and the Martian Manhunter were notably some of the best work I’ve seen recently. The red over-tones separated these panels from the rest of the page and spoke volumes for the emotional depth they were trying to convey. We don’t see much on the scale of what Cascioli is capable of as this first issue is a lot of basic talking scenes, and is lacking in any sort of action. I’m interested to see what else this fantastic artist is capable of.
Despite my many criticisms’s of this fist issue, this book has major potential and is light years ahead of what McDuffie has been producing in his recent tenure on the book. I really felt this could have just been the start of Robinson’s run on JLA rather than just a mini, but as it stands DC has managed to make me pick up another title of theirs for the time being at least. It’s unfortunate this book didn’t live up to my expectations, but thanks to the hype and the high standard I hold Robinson’s writing I don’t think it could have. Justice League: Cry for Justice, is an average step in the right direction, but it might be enough to make me care about the justice league again.
Overall - 7.25
I Haven't been around much lately, busy times but I always try to make time for the review group at least once every two weeks. Wednesday comics next week is going to be interesting. It'll probably get a lot of mixed reviews, with the title having a lot of different writers. But this is one title that I'm really looking forward to.