Believe it or not, Justice League of America didn’t make me want to rip my hair out this week! I’m not going to go so far to say that the issue is good, but the worst moments of this issue are still better than the best moments of the last few issues. There are even some pages I thoroughly enjoyed… Go figure.
First off, the immediate improvement you’ll notice compared to the past two issues, is the art! Jamal Campbell steps in for the art, and quite frankly, I wish he’d stick around! (Are you reading this DC? You could use some additional, good artists on your roster). His work is quite good, and helps raise the quality of the book overall. Unfortunately, no matter how good his art is, it’s not going to do much to save the train wreck that is JLA.
The narrative takes a step away from its “arcs” (There’ve been two within six issues) this week to attempt to build some type of foundation for this book. Orlando desperately needs to do something to course correct JLA, and I honestly believe these are the best steps in doing so.
The characters with the spotlight here are Frost and Ryan. The two have had a “budding relationship” (I use that description lightly) over the past few months, and Ryan is determined to help cure Frost. This results in the two taking a field trip to research a potential lead that could advance their research. Since this is a comic book though, nothing can go according to plan.
Feeling very reminiscent to a “monster of the week” television episode, this issue features a villain by the name of Terrorsmith. I’m willing to bet most readers won’t be familiar with Terrorsmith prior to reading this, and, honestly, I don’t think many will care to remember him after. The problem is that Orlando doesn’t do anything to elevate him from a D-list villain into anything more interesting. On top of that, the plot surrounding him is poorly structured, not to mention a total snooze.
I don’t know why Orlando/ DC insists on having this “set-em up, knock-em down” approach lately. These types of stories doesn’t allow for enough depth for people to become invested. With roughly twenty pages per issue, all anyone can really expect to get is the bare minimum.
The only redeeming aspects of this issue are some character moments. Unfortunately, Ryan and Frost’s moments aren’t that great either. Their conversations are awkward at best, and don’t seem to resonate. The enjoyable moments of this issue all fall onto the other team members, and most of these instances only last for one page or so per character.
As expected, Lobo has the most entertaining scene as he gets into a brawl at a New Jersey casino… Sounds fitting, right? The most inspiring interactions occur between Vixen and Ray, as well as Black Canary and Killer Frost. Both scenes touch on some of the themes that were featured during the Justice League of America: Rebirh one-shots. More than anything though, these moments just serve as a reminder as to what this book could be if the creative team were able to consistently deliver every other week. I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath though.
- You’re down read any Justice League of America issue that’s better than what’s come before it.
- You should check out Jamal Campbell’s art.
Overall: Don’t assume that because I’m not completely trashing Justice League of America this week that we’re in the clear. This issue is far from good, but there are some decent moments at least. Now if Orlando can keep this is a minimum quality standard and manage to create engaging arcs on top of this, we might actually get treated to a good book in the future.