Thursday, August 16, 2007

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...

15 Comments:

  • At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow. just more proof that you can never please everyone.

    IMHO I thought the issue was wonderfully done. Also if you've been reading Teen Titans for any length of time you've probably looked up or at least have a vague knowledge about the "Judas Contract" (heck its one of the few SA stories they put in a trade)

    But hey to each his own, I've liked the run, its not perfect (nothing ever is) but I thought it was some darn good storytelling all things considered.

     
  • At 12:59 AM, Anonymous uss_titans said…

    So JLA going to steal Deathstroke from us TTitans fan. It isn't enough they take Red Arrow(Arsenal). I am a total TTitans Diehard fan, I dont care much about the JLA. Bought the first issue, have'nt touch JLA ever since. I like the review of JLA #12. From a pure TTitans fan...Keep your hand off Deathstroke. Get your own villian. And keep your hand off the rest of the Titans. Once a Titans always a Titans. Nuff said.

     
  • At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    While Deathstroke has been predominantly a TTitans villain he has also challenged just about every other superhero out there. There's plenty of him to go around. Personally I'd like to see the Titans tangle with some other villains for a while before ol' Slade comes back.

    As to the Red Arrow "thievery" c'mon the character finally gets some spotlight and you're complaining? Yes he's on the JLA but how much you wanna bet that if something happened, for instance another Doctor Light type of "Titans Together!" or something along the lines of the "Technis Imperative" that he would be back helping the Titans in an instant.

    Baseline: They're trying to bring some of the new younger heroes into the Titans to work on character growth, therefore it only makes sense to push some of the older ones onto the JLA and whatnot so that they can still have some limelight of there own.

     
  • At 4:48 PM, Blogger Tony said…

    I agree, tho.

    What exactly DON'T they know about Deathstroke by now? Between Terra, Brion, Rose and pretty much anyone who was ever a Titan they should know what color boxers he wears.

    I didn't HATE this story arc, I just found it rather boring and long-winded and nothing really adds up.

    Vixen can't channel animals, but it's not really explained, we are just supposed to know (after 1 issue of it being dropped like an afterthought).

    UGH

     
  • At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If I remember correctly, Hawkgirl having a daughter was revealed in the not-so-good "JSA All-Stars" miniseries from a while back. I don't recall it coming up since then, so it's pretty much been a "throw away" plot point.

     
  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger universalperson said…

    Continuity errors galore!

    Aquaman, last time I checked, in the latest issue was "Superman dead". This still precludes him from appearing.

    Hawkgirl's daughter was mentioned in an issue of JSA all-stars. However, she was alive and adopted, last I checked.

    Vixen's powers are a slight to Grant Morrison.

    Not to mention Meltzer's loose ends. If he's only on for 12 issues, shouldn't he wrap them up? I hope McDuffie balatantly contradicts him.

    I hate to use this as an insult, but the only thing missing from this 'JLA' and a bad fanfic is a Marty-Stu.

    I'll remember Reddy in Peter David's Young Justice, which Meltzer tried to run over.

     
  • At 1:15 PM, Anonymous uss_titans said…

    Hey anonymous,
    There's plenty of supervillians in the JLA history that Meltzer can use and improve. There no need to take someone else villian's. Deathstroke belong to the TT because his link with them. He is not a hire for gun that will work with any organization. I hate to see him showed up in every other DC book just because no other writers willing to use their own resourse villians in their book. Same with Staro/TT arc coming up for the Titans. Staro is a JLA villian. Why TT fighting him when JLA know how to take care of him. And I will bet that there will be alot of complains from the JLA fan about how the wrong knowledges of Staro were use in the TT story. And what happen to Green Arrow's son. Wouldn't he fit better in JLA. Why didn't they give him a chance before Red Arrow. Too many other good DC heroes goes waste side.

     
  • At 1:49 PM, Blogger Nightwing said…

    I don't mind Meltzer or anyone using Deathstroke. What I MIND is the WAY he is being used.

    First, Deatshtroke is just plain OVERused in the last 4 years. Between the DC mega-crossovers, Green Arrow, JLA and Teen Titans.... enough!

    Second, the way he is being characterized makes no sense. Read Wolfman's Deathstroke.. he's not a cold-blooded super-villain... he's a merc. Wolfman, Jay Faerber and Devin Grayson understood him. No one else seems to.

    Third, the plot makes no sense. Meltzer should know this; One of his favorite stories of all time is "Judas Contract." So why is his Slade all wrong? And why does Batman act like they need intel on him? More importantly, why do fans swallow this kind of sloppy writing???

     
  • At 1:43 AM, Anonymous Brian said…

    I've actually enjoyed Meltzer's run on JLA, and I don't usually like any JLA book.
    Maybe it's just me..

     
  • At 4:14 AM, Blogger Lewis Lovhaug said…

    I'm assuming the intel on him is to see what they can do to arrest or foil his plans, like learning where he gets intel from, who his contacts are, etc., etc.

    But it's not surprising. Ever since Geoff Johns had Jericho kill Wintergreene, Deathstroke has moved from "Merc with ethics" to "Badass ninja sword guy with no ethics whatsoever." The character's been called on it twice, even - once in Infinite Crisis and again in Green Arrow.

     
  • At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Mike said…

    I guess I'm in the minority in that I enjoyed the issue. When's the last time we actually saw Lian anyways?

    -Mike

     
  • At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey uss_titans, I understand what you are saying about Deathstroke beinga Titans villian and Staro being a JLA one, but fans scream for continuity in comics all the time and I doubt villains of Deathstrokes importance would only fight certain heroes and never cross others. Slades smart enough to figure out how to takle the League and who to rope into sideing with him to do so. I can't see why more exposure in books other the Titan's can be a bad thing for and hero or villain.

    As for Green Arrow's son, well Ollie has two 'son's' Roy still his son even if he's not biologically Ollie's and he deserves to be on the JLA as much as Connor does. Roy's just as good a fit, and as for giving Connor a chance to be on the League before Roy, thats already been done, Connor has been on the League before, he's has a turn, now it's Roy's time.

     
  • At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Mike said…

    Man, I completely forgot Conner was on the league. Speaking of him, when is he gonna get a real superhero code name that's, ya'know, NOT Green Arrow?

    -Mike

     
  • At 2:21 AM, Anonymous uss_titans said…

    Hey Anonymous,
    You dont get it. It's not about exposure that I care about. It's how that writer understand about the real use of Deathstroke. If Metzler want an badass assasin, he can creat JLA own assasin. There are so many un-use supervillians in DC universe that need to be revises and updates. But Nightwing also said that Deathstroke is being overuse and probably overexpose. Deathstroke been used in Nightwing, Green Arrow, Outsiders, Robin, now JLA who next Legion, Blue Beetle, Supergirl, Superman, World Finest, Batman?
    And I also hate cross continuity. After the Amazon Attack unreadable crapola crossover. I really do not want to see anymore stupid crossover and I think there are plenty of fans out there who scream no mas on stupid crossover. Crossover are designs to sell more comic book for comics publisher. If you are stupid to fall for that gimic then go right ahead.

     
  • At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really enjoyed Brad Meltzer's run. I have not enjoyed the Justice League this much since the 70's. Not that I like everything, because I never do, but it was one I actually looked forward to reading. There are very few writers that hold my interest in comics right now but Meltzer did.

    As for Deathstroke going against the League, I think it's great! He is supposed to be a major bad a$$ and should not be limited to any single team or hero. I like when writers shuffle up the villain deck a little, rather than just Batman against Joker, Superman against Lex Luthor, etc.

    Just my 2 cents.

    ~ Rick

     

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