Justice League: Cry for Justice
Written by: James Robinson
Painted art by: Mauro Cascioli
Published by: DC
Justice League: Cry for Justice is a seven-issue, fully-painted miniseries that will lead into noted writer James Robinson’s run on the flagship book alongside Mark Bagley. It’s supposed to be the kick-off of a major event for DC next summer, something of a reboot for a team that has slipped since the glory days of Grant Morrison’s run. And yet, for a book with such expectations, it’s disappointingly slight.
In this miniseries the heroes — let by fan-fave hothead Green Lantern — isn’t really out for justice at all. They’re out for good-old fashioned revenge, this time against Morrison-created JLA foe Prometheus. And, as I’m sure we’ll find out, revenge and justice aren’t the same thing.
Cascioli’s art is impressive, right enough. DC fans will recognize his work from the Trials of Shazam miniseries, and his lantern-jawed, tough-talking heroes leap off the page. The problem is, there’s little so far to back the art up.
We get that heroes have lost: Starman has lost his boyfriend, Congorilla has lost his tribe (but we’re freed of the awfully-named hero Freedom Beast, so this may be addition by subtraction...) and the Atom lost his psychotic wife and his pals. And Green Lantern? He seems to have lost his manhood, though I hear there are pills for that.
Get it? It’s a bit too easy to make fun of this stuff, and that’s a problem. I understand DC’s desire to reclaim turf that Marvel has staked out since the 1960s — after all, the X-Men don’t have a patent on brooding and tormented. Yet, in this book, so far this take on the JLA doesn’t feel right.
Robinson’s normally light touch seems to have been drowned in Cascioli’s oils. And the dialogue is painful in parts: The Atom intoning: “He’s a hero. I’m Ray Palmer. Welcome to pain.” actually made me spit coffee I was laughing so hard. (Frankly, the problems begin on page one, with GL announcing “I have something to say,” which is both superfluous and leaden.)
Maybe subsequent issues will flesh out a story that right now seems predictable and leaden. One can only hope: This team is certainly capable of better.