A Review: Justice League of America #12
My review! Warning: I haven't much enjoyed Meltzer's JLA....
Pages 1-3: Nice Eric Wight art. Still endlessly confused by the captions. Why do they do this to us? GL's caption is a slightly darker green than MM's. I need a decoder ring to figger out who's talkin'! Red means Superman-- no, psych!! It's Flash!
Pages 4-6: So now Red Tornado the android has a HUMAN face, but his torso and chest are the Red Tornado costume? Was he rebuilt with a human face? If so, why is his body the RT costume? He's like an action figure with Prof Xavier's head. Seriously, why did they do this? It's kinda silly. Was it always like this?
Page 7: "Mysterious pervy shadow guys" watch Reddy and think he may still be under Amazo influence. We later find out it's Aquaman & Martian Manhunter. Why are they keeping this their little girly secret to themselves? The Brad Meltzer League is like a buncha teenage girls.
We already endured 6 issues of Bats/Supes/WW going through who to invite to the League like a meta-human "My Super Sweet Sixteen." Now these guys. Is this how superheroes talk about other superheroes? All judgemental?
Page 8: Hawkgirl has a daughter?
Page 9: Why doesn't Hawkgirl know that Roy has a daughter? Isn't this common knowledge in the super-human community? How did this not ever come up?
Page 10-11: More from pervy shadowed guys. Is this a camera? Why does this footage of Hawkgirl randomly flying show up on their ... let's call it the "Kirby TiVo"? What is this device? How are they seeing all these super-secret places, and then, allathusudden, "pin-up poses"?
Why is Lian wearing a Speedy costume? Weren't the super-tragic events of IDENTITY CRISIS supposed to make the heroes protect their IDs and families even more? Who wrote that again...? ...? ...? Oh yeah, Brad Meltzer. Yep, sure, Roy, bring your 5 year old kid to a prison dressed like a hero, just in case some of the inmates might not know you are Red Arrow.
Also, why does the Brad Meltzer League ALL refer to each other by secret IDs? It's all, "I just talked to Diana and Hal, and they agree we need to send Roy and Kendra in. I wonder what Ollie and Carter would say about those two?" Even on missions it's like this. Secret Identities much? Also, God help a new reader that may not have all the heroes-ID score cards. Between the switching narration color-coded (sorta) captions and the referring by real names... new readers, begone! We don't want you here!
Page 12-13: OK, I actually thought this scene was OK. I like the idea of Canary protecting Roy. But really, Dinah, Roy isn't some naive 15 year old kid either.
Page 14-15: Take C-level villain from the 70s and make them all real and ****. "Wow, that's genius. A triumph! Meltzer does it again!"
Pages 16-18: Vixen with the power glitch that makes no sense. She can channel meta-human people not NOT animals? Aren't people mammals? Huh? More girly secrets. The new League is like watching "Mean Girls" with spandex. More pervy shadowed guys. Again, they know stuff they ain't sharin'! N'yah!
Pages 19-21: We get the switch/scenes of Lex's goon and Geo-Force and Reddy. I hate when Meltzer does this. Why not just do a page with Lex's goon? Then a page with Reddy? Am I reading a "Choose You Own Adventure" book? This isn't 'building suspense", it's pretentious storytelling. Seriously, all this flop-flop paneling only makes me read every other one...
Also, now Reddy is a voyeur perv. And no one seems even somewhat alarmed by Reddy's odd behavior. Except Aquaman and Martian Manhunter... but no one invited them so they ain'ts tellin'! And I'm missing whatever the obvious "bullseye" joke ... "What did the Archer say when the creepy android watched him screw the bird girl?" I'm at a loss here...
Pages 22-23: Omigod, Geo-Force is being blackmailed by Slade! Shades of "Judas Contract"! But, God HELP you if you don't know that story, because Terra is alluded to, Slade is there, but Meltzer never connects the dots. Just "brrrr" panels for people that have been reading this stuff since 1980. You should already have the 23 years old story memorized, beeee-otches!
Oh but wait, Geo-Force isn't really evil, silly. He told the League after Slade approached him -- 6 minutes after, b/c the Batman is TOTALLY Geo-Force's new BFF. So much so, Batman was able to strip Brion down to wire him in a minute. In a rush much, Bruce? Got a train to catch? What a show-off. Everything with thsi League is all about how super-fantastic-awesome everyone is. Batman wired Geo-Force in one minute because HE CAN. There's sorta a big fanboy-ish thing with the way Meltzer approaches his characters. I think that's why people love his stuff. We are always told how this the bestest, most fantastic League evaaah! To me, tho, it's so silly to read all the Leaguers gushing over each other and their 'progress'. And they all get these 'money shots' where we see how kick-butt-to-the-extreme they are. Batman wiring Geo-Force in one minute... why? We are supposed to think it's cool and all.... I laugh, because it's just so silly.
But then again, this is the bestest, most spectacular, greatest League evaah!!!! And we'll keep telling you that. They are all BFFs that are so perfect and great at what they do -- except when they are little beeeyotches keeping secrets. Watch out, or they will steal your Hello Kitty hair clips! And then go save the world.
The kicker... THE KICKER... is that the purpose of this wiring of Geo-Force is -- get ready -- "The more Slade thinks he's learning about us, the more we can finally learn about him." Finally? Learn? Bruce, you Bat-Fool, Drop a dime to Dick Grayson. They know exactly how he became Deatshtroke. They fought him numerous times. They teamed up with him numerous times. His son was a member of their team. His daughter IS a member of their team. Jericho, who is back, could tell you about his whole adult life. What DON'T they know? The Justice League of Freakin' Idiots.
Pages 24-29: Pervy shadow guys are Aquaman and Martian Manhunter! wow! Except, we still have no idea where they got this Kirby TiVo.. that allows them to see everywhere and anywhere -- and Batman in the crapper, probably, if they want? Does BestBuy carry this Kirby TiVo, I wants one!
And why is "Aquaman" acting like he's Arthur Curry, who founded the JLA? Isn't he a squid-face thing now? And they -- what? -- got together to talk smack about the current JLA members, withold information that could prove dangerous to the team, and declare, "oh, they'll call us eventually..." Seriously, how petty was it of MM & AM to say how important they were to the team, and how "they'll be on it again. Just you wait and see!" When they collect enough Bratz trading cards, the League will let them in!
The art was pretty, tho.
I think the thing that's weird to me, is that Meltzer goes for this 'realism' in his stories. And I think the contrast of the uber-silly with the self-important realism is what I find so ridiculous! He goes to great lengths to inject a sorta "comic veritae" in his work. Like, this is serious business! We get this sorta CSI or ER type dialogue, and then we get Aquaman and MM spying on everyone with a weird device that is never explained, even in simple comic book terms. It's like I'm watching I CLADIUS merged with XENA. This 'movement' to take all the childhood contrsucts of the 70s and merge it with ultra-realism... with a dash of uber-violence, sex, rape, gore.... I'm just not a fan, I guess...