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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League: Cry For Justice #7

Justice League: Cry For Justice #7

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 3, 2010

Cover date: April 2010


Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Mauro Cascioli, Scott Clark and Ibraim Roberson
Inker: Mauro Casscioli, Scott Clark, David Beatty and Ibraim Roberson

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Green Arrow demands that Prometheus tell them how to stop the destruction of Star City or he will kill him. Prometheus remains unfazed and coolly informs the hero that nothing can save Star City now. A large group of heroes mobilizes to help the people of Star City and in the destruction the body of Lian, Green Arrow's granddaughter, is found. The League tries again and again to discover how to stop the other devices planted around the country but Prometheus is prepared for every eventuality. Finally the League concedes to his demands and allows him to leave in exchange for Opal, Fawcett, Central and other cities being spared. Prometheus returns to his lair and is surprised by the sudden appearance of Green Arrow. Ollie fires a single arrow which hits Prometheus right between the eyes. Green Arrow utters the word, "Justice," and leaves.

1Story - 1: I was trying to keep an open mind and accept the story on its own terms and to a large extent James Robinson was succeeding in giving us a very exciting and emotionally driven Justice League story. Even after maiming Roy Harper I thought, "Well, that sucks but he'll get some kind of bionic arm and come back as Red Arrow." I am of the opinion that if you read a DC book in this day and age you are reading books produced by a group of people that believes that because we live in a post 9/11 world that the stories featuring super-heroes should reflect that world and thus the stakes need to be raised in terms of violence and consequences. Basically if you commit to a DC comic in this day and age you realize that it's going to have moments intended to shock you and a character or group of characters is more than likely either going to die or be horribly injured in some way. So Red Arrow's fate, while upsetting was par for the course.

Then Robinson not only wiped out a good portion of Star City's population but also killed Lian, Roy's daughter and, through adoption, Oliver Queen's granddaughter.

In that one moment the entire series was ruined for me because I realized that there was absolutely no point to this series other than to make these characters miserable and take them, especially Oliver Queen, to the depths of despair and push him (and them) to the limit and then eventually bring them back to the light and if this was the first time I had seen that or if this was a rare storytelling tool in today's marketplace I probably would have had a different reaction but it wasn't the first time and it is far from rare.

When I realized that...when I had that epiphany my feelings towards CRY FOR JUSTICE as a whole changed and I saw it not as an exciting and engaging story meant to cast certain heroes of the DCU in a new light but as something that was done simply to shock the audience and that there wasn't much of a story at all. It was gratuitous and fills me with disgust.

Look, I know it's not the seventies or the eighties or even the nineties anymore. Comic book story telling has constantly evolved over the past seventy-five or so years. The knee-jerk reaction I have to stories such as this is to say, "Why can't comics be like they used to be when I liked EVERYTHING that was coming out?" and that isn't a realistic viewpoint to have. If every fan from every era said it should be like the "good old days" then comics would never grow as an art form. Every fan thinks their era is the best which means in another ten years when another group takes over as the new powers that be and changes everything the guys and gals reading comics today (if they are still reading comics) are going to say, "It should be like it was when Dan DiDio was in charge." It is also unfair to tell people that produce comics as a living to bow down to what the older generations of fans want in their comic books because it is a competitive and more importantly shrinking marketplace and DC Comics as a company needs to try new things and keep their line fresh not only for the comic book reading audience but also to create buzz in terms of licensing to make as much money off of these creative properties as they can.

I get that. I know that. It makes sense.

It doesn't mean that I have to like it.

This last issue boils down to Prometheus having the upper hand, Star City getting destroyed, Lian and a whole bunch of other people dying, the League having to let Prometheus go and Ollie taking matters into his own hands to exact final justice. If I was of another mind and really bought what DC was selling today I might have had a different reaction to this issue. I might have loved the story and this review would consist of me gushing on how much impact all of the shocking events and the twists and turns had on me and how that last page was just freaking awesome.

But I'm not that person. I can't be that person and once I realized that I realized how much I didn't like this issue and the series as a whole because I just don't see the point to it.

I really don't.

It's not that the writing was bad. Robinson did write a story that for the most part engaged me and this issue ended that story in the only way it could have ended. The internal logic remained consistent throughout the seven issues and had what could be called a satisfying resolution. So my problems do not involve nuts and bolts of CRY FOR JUSTICE, just its tone and what it represents.

4Art - 4: The art was decent enough and like the writing was consistent to the end. CRY FOR JUSTICE may have bugged me in many ways but I did like the look of the series. The continued use of the two page spread was slightly annoying because while it gave the series a widescreen look I am of the opinion that these sorts of pages should be held in reserve for something truly special or a scene that had more impact than the others in the book. When it is widescreen page after widescreen page the effectiveness gets lost.

But maybe that's just me.

5Cover Art - 5: I liked this cover. A lot. This is a great group shot and I dug the image of the laughing Prometheus in the background. Like most of the other covers this would make a nice T-shirt or poster.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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