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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #40

Justice League of America #40

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 16, 2009

Cover date: February 2010

"By My Black Hand The Dead Shall Rise" - Part 2: "Reunion"

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Mark Bagley
Inker: Rob Hunter

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

The Black Lantern ring downloads Hank Heywood's memories and then possesses the former hero known as Steel's body. Black Lantern Steel and Vibe attack Vixen and Gypsy and taunt the women. Elsewhere the Black Lantern Dr. Light fights his living, heroic counterpart and uses the same psychological tactics that Steel and Vibe used. In the end the heroes are able to defeat the Black Lanterns, though in Dr. Light's case it takes all of her energy to do so. Zatanna teleports in and is distraught after the battle with the Black Lantern version of her father. Gypsy tells everyone that it will be ok.

1Story - 1: I don't think there was single thing about this comic that I liked.

I mean I liked all of the characters involved and yet I didn't like anything that was done with them. In fact, this whole story felt very forced. Usually I go in for the whole bringing back old characters and playing with the emotions that such a thing produces but because this is part of Blackest Night it felt hollow. This issue was all style and no substance and lacked the organic feel that a lot of Robinson's other work has.

I can get past the fight between the Black Lanterns and Vixen and Gypsy. It didn't do much for me but at least it wasn't mildly offensive. During the battle of the Dr. Lights, though, I actually felt disgust. I am sick to death that the only way the current regime at DC thinks that Arthur Light can be interesting is as an unrepentant rapist. It was unsettling a few years ago and now that is all the character is about. This line of thinking has turned a character that was cool under the hands of John Ostrander into a caricature.

And did Kimiyo really have to be naked at the end of this story? I mean was that really necessary?

This whole story has been a colossal waste of time and really didn't do anything for the characters involved. It reinforces to me that Blackest Night should have stayed within the pages of the Green Lantern books, Blackest Night proper and a few mini-series. The themes should be attention-grabbing but they've been overexposed to the point where all interest is lost, which is a shame.

Maybe things will pick up next month.

4Art - 4: Unlike the story I rather liked the art. I have talked in the past of liking Bagley's style and that hasn't changed. Sure I didn't dig the whole Kimiyo getting naked thing but the action was strong and I liked the way Bagley drew the characters. The art was dynamic. I wish the writing had followed suit.

3Cover Art - 3: As much as I liked the art on the inside I really didn't care for this cover. Vixen looks kind of funky and I have lost patience for the whole pseudo-zombie thing going on with Blackest Night. I'll be glad when the crossovers end for this event in general and for this title specifically.

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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