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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League: Cry For Justice #5

Justice League: Cry For Justice #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 25, 2009

Cover date: January 2010

"The Lie"

Writter: James Robinson
Penciller: Mauro Cascioli
Inker: Mauro Cascioli

"The Origin of Shazam"

Writter: Len Wein
Penciller: Adrian Syaf
Inker: Vicenete Cifeuntes

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

"The Lie"

Starfire and Donna Troy spend some time with Buddy Baker and his family when Mikkal and Congo Bill arrive to ask for Buddy's help in chasing down Prometheus. Buddy is hesitant until they assure him that their sense of justice does not include killing Prometheus. Donna and Starfire offer to help but Bill points that they will need the help of the Justice League.

Meanwhile on the Watchtower there is brief argument between Dinah and Ollie before tensions ease and the team gets to work. Hal reveals that Prometheus is up to something no good. While it is nothing new the occurrences of villains attacking a new city is on the rise. Suddenly a communiqué comes in from Gotham and Batwoman tells the League about her encounter with Endless Winter. After defeating the villain Batman woman interrogated her, but Endless Winter died before she could reveal too much. The Atom asks Batwoman to bring the body to the satellite but Batwoman suggests that someone come to her instead since she can't leave Gotham unattended.

In Keystone City the Shade reveals that Prometheus is sending villains to various cities as diversions for a greater plan. Jay is summoned by the League and suggests that Shade come with him. After some consideration the Shade agrees.

Back on the Watchtower the Atom examines Endless Winter's body and recognizes Suicide Squad tech. More reports come in of random super-villain attacks when Hawkman tells the group about a device found by the Guardian in Metropolis. Moments later the Guardian arrives with the device. Soon they are in the communications room and the best and brightest of the heroic community determine that the device is part of a system that could teleport whole cities, though what they have is not a working model.

Ollie and Dinah have a tense conversation before Animal Man arrives with Donna, Starfire, Mikkal and Congo Bill. Congo Bill catches a scent and discovers Roy Harper with most of his right arm missing. He has Supergirl cauterize the wound before falling under attack himself. Moments later the others find Roy. Ollie is determined to get the person responsible.

Elsewhere Shazam fights a fiery eyed Supergirl as Congo Bill and Flash lay unconscious in the background.

4Story - 4: In all honesty I liked this issue.

I had a few problems with it mostly revolving around the fact that it felt repetitive. It seemed like the same conversation kept happening over and over again with the same news report coming over the wire with a different hero and villain. It wasn't bad but at the same time I started to zone certain parts of the story out. Also the introduction of the Guardian to the story seemed to come out of left field. On one level it made sense, but it also felt a little forced and less organic.

My main beef was how easily the League accepted Hal and the rest back into the fold. With the cliffhanger from last issue I expected more of a debate if not an out and out fight. Here there are two seconds of tension followed by, "Welcome back, Hal." The issues between Dinah and Ollie seemed to be downplayed as well despite their two "arguments". The tension between them feels a little weird now considering they're married.

They are still married, aren't they? Did that happen or am I wrong?

Despite those misgivings it was a solid issue overall. I liked the introductory scene and thought it was neat that Robinson mentioned the Forgotten Heroes. The scene with Shade and Jay Garrick was the highlight of the issue for me despite only taking up about three quarters of a page. Even if it was only through a communication it was nice to have the entire cast together at last, though I would have liked this to have happened before issue five.

The ending was a bit wonky but effective on a shock level. The revelation of Roy sans most of his right arm was shocking though I am getting tired of this sort of thing happening. Yeah it was dramatic but what ultimate purpose does it serve to cripple Roy unless they plan to heal him either through magic or science. The pacing was a bit off but the last page of Supergirl and Shazam fighting was a good cliffhanger ending and had me excited to read the next issue for the first time in several issues.

4Art - 4: The art in this issue continued to be very good.


There's always a bit, isn't there?

Did we really need to have Donna and Starfire in their bikinis at the beginning of the issue? I know, I know. Starfire is usually in nothing but a glorified bikini as it is, but still. This was gratuitous. I like the female form as much as the next person that is attracted to women but for some reason I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with the over-sexualizing of women in comics.

Outside of that I rather liked the art. The two page spread of the League was very nice and I liked the little touches, such as the Atom hanging out on Shazam's shoulder. There were plenty of neat little action shots, such as the Flash punching Dr. Spectro and Batwoman pinning Endless Winter against the wall with her boot.

In the end everyone looked good and the art continues to be strong in this series, which is nice to see.

"The Origin of Shazam"

Freddy Freeman was an innocent bystander in a battle between Captain Marvel and Captain Nazi. After doctor's informed Captain Marvel that Freddy might not survive the night Marvel took him to the Wizard Shazam who imparted some of Marvel's power to Freddy. Years later, after completing the Trials of Shazam Freddy is now ready to fight evil no matter what form it takes.

3Story - 3: This is the first origin that I didn't care for. They are leaving a lot out of this, such as Freddy fighting as part of the Marvel family. It seems that Captain Marvel facilitated Freddy getting his powers and from there he went right into the trials. That's skipping over a huge section of the character's history. I realize it was only two pages, but still. I also wish they would have mentioned the Power of Shazam series in the Essential Storylines section.

4Art - 4: While the writing left me a bit cold I liked the art. That is one awesome looking Captain Marvel and Freddy looks pretty good too. Syaf and Cifeuntes did a really solid job with these two pages.

5Cover Art - 5: This is a really striking cover. The lack of a background makes the image pop a little more and I like the combination of Supergirl and Shazam's symbols behind them.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2010

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