Friday, March 5, 2010

Review: Justice League: Cry For Justice #7

Justice League: Cry For Justice #7 (of 7)

Writer: James Robinson
Artists: Mauro Cascioli, Scott Clark, & Ibraim Roberson
Inkers: Cascioli, Clark, David Beatty, & Roberson
Released: March 3, 2010

Alright, let's just get it out of the way upfront; Lian dies, apparently from being crushed by debris, and Green Arrow kills Prometheus with an arrow through the head. There. Dirty business done, now on with the rest of the issue.

'Whoa, whoa, whoa!', I hear you say. 'That's it? You're just gonna gloss over the big shocking revelations, the 'unexpected ending that will fundamentally change the lives of the World's Greatest Heroes forever?' (this a line from the DC solicit for this issue.) My answer? Yes. Why shouldn't I just simply gloss over what were seemingly completely unearned moments in a mini-series filled with such moments? Shocking ending? I saw it coming from page one, when Oliver Queen shouts at a chained up Prometheus, "...I'LL KILL YOU!" Subtle foreshadowing, this is not.

That is the truly disturbing part of this whole series and this finale specifically, that the moments that should be powerful and heart-wrenching and shocking are made lifeless because the writer has simply decided to not earn those moments. Let's look at the death of Lian, Oliver's granddaughter. She is killed when Star City suffers it's slow-motion implosion, apparently the victim of falling debris, but more aptly, she is the victim of negligence, as we learn that Mia, her charge, has inexplicably left her home alone. Huh? She left a small child home alone during a massive catastrophe, to chase after a F-level villain?? And then it seems to take being clobbered by rubble herself to realize the child is left unprotected. So, the collected heroes race back home to find the lifeless, bloodied body amongst the rubble and exposed foundation. A moment that should be reeking of pain and anguish, the sad senseless death of a young child, is made mute and limp by a ridiculously shoe-horned contrivance to make it so. UNEARNED!

Another example, you ask? Certainly. While the various cities of the DCU begin to crumble at the hands of Prometheus and his doomsday devices, The Atom interrogates our antagonist, pleading with him to show some humanity and stop the carnage. As a last ditch effort, Ray Palmer decides to employ the telepathic powers of Miss Martian to invade Prometheus's mind to retrieve the codes that will diffuse the devices. As she begins to 'enter' his mind, she reels back in extreme agony! What has happened? Well, apparently, our super-genuis villain Prometheus anticipated this gambit and prepared a defense against the mind-reader. What defense exactly? How did he repel a telepath whilst being strapped to a chair in the JLA satellite? It's not explained, because in this world, those little details are not important. All that we need to know is that he figured out SOME WAY to stop a telepath, something no one has ever figured out before, including the writer of this comic. UNEARNED!

And what about that final scene, that 'unexpected ending'? In order to stop further destruction the JLA decide to free Prometheus. Let that sink in. They just let him go, and then apparently don't follow him or put a tracker on him, or anything. They just let him go in exchange for the codes. Then, back in his secret lair that exists "in a place between worlds, between dimensions" according to the captions, Prometheus proceeds to have a conversation with a man he has turned into a drooling imbecile, and then LO AND BEHOLD, enter Green Arrow, longbow drawn, who proceeds to fire an arrow through the front of Prometheus's skull. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the invincible Prometheus, who up to this point had figured out a defense and attack against every single power possessed by the collective heroes of the DCU is done in by an arrow to the head. Someone call William Tell! So, it would seem that with all his planning, Prometheus seemed to forget how to keep his inter-dimensional, other-worldly super-secret lair impenetrable from a hero with no super-powers dressed in bright green carrying a huge longbow. UNEARNED!

Oh, and how does the destruction of Star City, Opal City, Fawcett City, Keystone, and Central City all fit into the greater DCU proper, right now at a time when Coast City, Gotham City, Metropolis, and all of Earth in general, is dealing with zombies and a little thing called Blackest Night? That's easy, all of this happens "Later". Yes, according to the caption before the assassination of Prometheus, this scene happens "Later". And for good measure, Prometheus himself gives a shout-out to Blackest Night, just so we all understand how this event fits into DCU continuity. It all has happened "Later" and "between worlds".

So, what are we left with, when all the dust has settled? Simply, the rubble and debris of some interesting story elements brought down by a poor and carelessly lazy execution. Harsh criticism? Certainly, but unfortunately, well-earned. Later.


  1. I could not agree with you more. Everything in this issue (and the four issues prior) felt forced and contrived. AND I felt nauseated by the extreme cornball factor.

    I would have liked it much better if Donna Troy had just gone ahead and beat Prometheus to a bloody pulp. But alas, we wouldn't have the ridiculous circumstance of all the cities in peril due to devices that did what exactly? Take them to another dimension? No. Just randomly destroy them? How?

    They killed a kid in this issue, and I was not even remotely affected...and I'm a mom. Usually ANYTIME a kid is harmed/killed, I'm bothered. And really, Supergirl had it figured out the entire time? Barf. The dialogue between Ollie and Dinah wanted to make me claw my eyes out. It would have been better than Dinah whining to her husband, and him acting like a douche. Grrrrr.

    Then when Congo Bill shows up talking about being a friend to Starman. "Lost too many friends already...not about to lose you too." I think I caught an eyeball cramp because they rolled so far back in my head.

    So. Many. Things. Wrong.

  2. You know what else is UNEARNED!?

    James Robinson's Eisner Award nomination for Best Writer on Cry For Justice.