Green Lantern Hal Jordan lays down the law to the Justice League, annoyed that the team isn't proactive enough in terms of going after villains and ending their threat for good. He reminds them that as the local representative of the Guardians of the Universe, he is the law. And he's going to step up before more heroes such as Batman and the Martian Manhunter get killed. So, with the ever-loyal Green Arrow, he exits the League satellite to do ... something. If you're not with him, you're against him, apparently, and Ollie so wants to be against him. Rubbing.
The reduced version: GL throws a hissy fit and tosses his toys out of the pram. Ollie is gay for Hal.

Let's look at this again. While Hal has in the past told the Guardians where to stick their rules, and led segments of the Corps in battle, he is at heart a company man. Not only does he follow regularly stupid Guardian orders, he's a disciplined member of the USAF. Yet here he's unhappy with his third team and rather than properly talk the whole thing over, quits after a discussion that must take all of two minutes. It's not convincing - either he's a man who respects rules, or he isn't. While claiming to be the former, here he's demonstrably the latter.

I'd say he was showing uncharacteristic disrespect here for Black Canary, one of his oldest friends and current League leader, but writer James Robinson ignores her status here. Rather than being front and centre, and calling Hal out, she's whispering in the background to her husband as Hal addresses, basically, Superman and Wonder Woman. As for what Ollie - not even a current League member - is doing pledging his loyalty to Hal, rather than standing by his wife, heaven knows. I'm also not sure why Supergirl and Plastic Man are, silently, on hand, although the former is slated to join Hal's new team.

The rest of the issue features vignettes of GLJL members to be - there's Ray Palmer, teaming up with former Atom placeholder Ryan Choi; Starman Mikaal Tomas visiting a funeral home; and Congorilla facing his own tragedies. Each scene ends with the formerly mild-mannered heroes deciding that they want . . . JUSTICE. Say it loud, JUSTICE! Their reasons are, to be honest, rather contrived. Starman's boyfriend has been murdered, Congorilla's old pal B'wana - sorry, Freedom - Beast has likewise been slaughtered and, er, a scientist pal of Ray Palmer's that we've never heard of has also been killed by criminals. Gawd, couldn't they get his old lab assistant Enrichetta Negrini out of mothballs and kill her? I always liked her, how can she still be alive?

Like Hal's outburst, these heroes' reasons to be cheerless are less than compelling. Heck, if losing not one Jean Loring, but two (>ahem Countdown<) weren't enough to make Ray Palmer shrinking violent, the death of some acquaintance isn't going to to do it. And never mind his having debuted in comics in 1940, in the DCU Congo Bill has been active in Africa for many a decade, so why would a bunch of poachers suddenly get his gorilla dander up? As for Mikaal, wasn't he meant to be a lovely hippy space alien?

Will we have more of the same next issue? The team members sure look annoyed in the banner house ad currently adorning DC message boards. Is this going to be Grrreen Lantern, Grrreen Arrow, Supergrrrl, Congrrrilla, the angriest Leagrrrs of them all? I do hope not - if I wanted scowling, ill-motivated maverick heroes I'd dig out my old issues of Extreme Justice. As this is Robinson, I actually have extreme optimism, I am the Super-Pollyanna. But next issue needs to be a lot better than this one if I'm going to stay on board. No more unconvincing motivations. No more 'we-don't-care' editing. No more horrible sub-Superman/Batman (who knew that was even possible?) back and forth man-crush dialogue involving the Atoms. And a reminder that these characters have smarts as well as guts.

Mauro Cascioli's illustrations are impressive, realistic and intense, perfect for a grim and gritty throwback title such as this. It's more natural than much painted art, with no obvious model shots a la Alex Ross. I prefer more traditional linework in my superhero comics, but he's put an awful lot of work in and I'll certainly be looking at this book again and again.

I'll give issue #2 a try, but a word to the wise - if Ollie Queen calls Hal Jordan 'baby' again, I'm out of here.

Views: 146

Comment by Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man on July 7, 2009 at 7:50am
I never thought about just how much "bromance" occurs in this issue. You're absolutely right. It will be interesting to see what makes Supergirl and Batwoman so "angrrrrry".
Comment by Martin Gray on July 7, 2009 at 7:53am
Oh yes, it's almost as if the cover logo designer had that in mind when writing CRY like that . . .
Comment by Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) on July 7, 2009 at 11:06am
Y'know, if I hadn't been on vacation last week, I would have been weak and picked this up. But now? Not a chance.

The most convincing explanation I've heard for its universally recognized badness comes from Kevin Huxford, who suggests that since this project was postponed for so long, the first issues was probably written and in the can back when Robinson had just returned to comics and was still rusty. (Apparently he's since shaken off the cobwebs and his Superman is much improved lately; I cut it last year for budget reasons, but I hear good things.) Huxford hopes CFJ will improve along a similar trajectory, though I'll probably wait until he takes over JLA proper to actually spend money on it.
Comment by Alan M. on July 7, 2009 at 11:21am
It hasn't been universally recognized as bad; Comic Book Resources gave it five stars out of five.
Comment by Doc Beechler (mod-MD) on July 7, 2009 at 12:23pm
It seems that reviewer liked the extra stuff much more than the actual story, though...
Comment by Chris Fluit on July 7, 2009 at 2:57pm
if I wanted scowling, ill-motivated maverick heroes I'd dig out my old issues of Extreme Justice.

Or Justice League Elite. scowl, grrr.
Comment by Chris Fluit on July 7, 2009 at 2:58pm
Apparently he's since shaken off the cobwebs and his Superman is much improved lately; I cut it last year for budget reasons, but I hear good things.

I would say so. I wasn't impressed with Robinson's initial issues and dropped the title. But I picked it up again after the World of Krypton and I'm very happy with it. It's probably my favorite Superman-family title right now.
Comment by Martin Gray on July 7, 2009 at 6:11pm
Alan M said:It hasn't been universally recognized as bad; Comic Book Resources gave it five stars out of five.


Mmmm but I'd suggest that with lines like this 'What seems like a lifetime ago, I was working on the "Hawkman Companion" and had the privilege of interviewing James Robinson.' Robinson would have to kill the reviewer's pet bunny's teddy bear's kindly aunt for him not to like it.
Comment by Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) on July 8, 2009 at 5:11pm
Well, I flipped through it today at the comic store, and what can I say, but...

JUSTICE!
Comment by Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) on July 8, 2009 at 5:14pm
And from the "damning with faint praise" department, I've heard/read a reviewer* state that while it wasn't as good as Justice League Elite, it was at least better than Extreme Justice.

*I believe one of the guys on the House to Astonish comics podcast.

Comment

You need to be a member of Captain Comics to add comments!

Join Captain Comics

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2020   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service