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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #41 Justice League of America #41

Justice League of America #41

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 27, 2010

Cover date: March 2010

"Team History" - Part 1

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Mark Bagley
Inker: Rob Hunter, Marlo Alquiza and Walden Wong

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

On the Watchtower Vixen quits the Justice League due to the battle with Prometheus and the Blackest Night event. Kimiyo tries to talk her out of it but Mari is firm in her decision.

At Mercy Hospital Donna Troy takes down a group of costumed thugs holding the children's ward hostage. Wonder Woman arrives towards the end of the encounter and the two discuss Donna's emotional turmoil over recent events. Diana convinces her that her place is in the Justice League.

Flashback to Virginia in the year 1777; Tomahawk leads a regime in search of redcoats when they stumble upon the British camp and find all of the soldiers dead. Spotting a bizarre piece of metal Tomahawk examines it and receives a mental whammy complete with images of Frankenstein's monster and the Floronic Man. When he comes to Miss Liberty has joined them and suggests that they bring their find to Benjamin Franklin for further study.

Back in the present Darwin Jones examines artifacts at the Smithsonian and after discovering a rather peculiar relic a man in a strange costume bursts in and steals it.

Meanwhile Donna recruits Starfire, Cyborg and Batman (now Dick Grayson) to become members of the new League. She brings Starfire and Cyborg to the Watchtower and convinces Kimiyo to stay on as Dr. Light. In short order Kimiyo recruits Mon-El while Batman and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) convince Green Arrow to join the team as well.

4Story - 4: I am giving the story in this issue a four despite the two very large problems I had with it.

Overall this was a solid opening to Robinson's run proper on JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. Sure he's been on for a few issues now but really and truly this was the start to making the title his own. A number of plot points that have a lot of potential were dropped and for the first time in a while I enjoyed reading an issue of this title.

While I am not completely sold on the new roster yet I like most of the line-up. Dick Grayson has certainly earned another shot at being on the team especially now that he is Batman. I hated Damien in this issue but I don't like that character at all and hold firm to the opinion that the last time that Robin was such a little snot we voted to kill him. Donna being part of the team makes sense as well since she is a hero that doesn't get nearly enough attention though her cleavage sure did in this issue but more on that in the art review. Green Lantern and Green Arrow are also cool and give that "classic" feeling to the team. While I still kind of go, "Wha?" at the addition of Starfire, Cyborg and Mon-El to the team they serve as a balance to the characters that have their own titles. These are the characters that Robinson can really latch on to and do interesting things with.

Seeing the more obscure characters was neat as well. I like DC's historical heroes though I don't know a whole heck of a lot about them. Mainly I appreciate the effort to show a legacy of heroes even those that exist during the Colonial times. Tomahawk was always a neat character and I love patriotic heroes so seeing Miss Liberty was very welcome. Also seeing Darwin Jones gave me that, "Hey, I know him from Who's Who!" characters, which always make me smile for some strange reason. Mainly these scenes served as teases and they worked because I am definitely interested in what is going to happen with them.

My first big problem is that once again we have a James Robinson written Justice League story where the team isn't fully formed in the first issue. I realize the nature of pacing in today's comic book storytelling but this still bugs me. It's more of a "my problem" type of situation and I realize that but still. It bugged me.

Secondly, and more importantly, I HATED the fact that the ending to CRY FOR JUSTICE was spoiled in this issue. I complained about this a couple of reviews back because we saw Vixen and Plastic Man as they appear at the end of that series but that was still vague enough for me to be simply annoyed. Now we know pretty much what happens which takes all of the wind out of CRY FOR JUSTICE's sails. I almost don't want to read the final issues of that series at this point though I will because I have been reviewing that mini-series. It just feels more like a formality now and that is really disappointing.

Speaking of annoyances I think we could have done without the Blackest Night references as that series isn't over yet either. I wasn't a big fan of DC jumping ahead a year back in 2006 with One Year Later because I just don't enjoy the whole, "Hey look! Something really big happened here and you'll find out about it as we go along so for right now just enjoy the confusion because that sort of thing is supposed to fun!" mentality. Basically the endings of two stories (one more than the other) were kind of ruined for me, though to be fair I dropped BLACKEST NIGHT.

Despite all of that this was a solid beginning to what will hopefully be an interesting run on JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. Hopefully the team will be complete soon so the real stories can begin.

We shall see.

3Art - 3: There was something off for me about the art in this issue. It wasn't bad and it wasn't phoned in but there is a...blandness to the characters. Batman looked good (as did Robin, or as good as that costume can look) and I dug Bagley's take on Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. My main sticking point was Dr. Light. For one thing the reveal of her new costume was blown on the cover, a practice I am not a fan of. For another, Kimiyo looked a lot like Zatanna throughout the issue until she put on the previously mentioned new costume.

Another problem I had was Donna Troy. She looked...odd. Her chest seemed disproportionate to the rest of her body. I realize she is a character that has her front wide open to show off her cleavage and such but Donna looked as though she would topple over any second. Wonder Woman wasn't as busty as she was. I appreciate the female form as much as anyone attracted to women but this just didn't look good.

There were some aspects of the art that I liked though. The flashback sequence was fantastic, especially Miss Liberty. As I mentioned above I have a soft spot for DC's heroes of the past and Bagley had a good handle on both her and Tomahawk. Also the big battle scene in Metropolis was kind of neat. All in all a hit and miss issue for me art wise.

4Cover Art - 4: Considering both of these covers connect I figured it would be easy to review them both at once.

To be honest I am really not all that hot on these covers. It's a stunning group shot to be sure but at the same time it just doesn't do all that much for me. I appreciate that the powers that be wanted two covers to not only boost sales but also drum up interest in the new line-up but it just didn't work for me. Still, the art is solid so I gave it what I thought was a fair rating.

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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