Review: Justice League: Cry for Justice

I don’t recall having previously reviewed Justice League: Cry for Justice despite having first read the miniseries around the time of James Robinson’s relaunch of Earth 2 as part of DC’s New 52. Obviously, Cry for Justice is written by James Robinson with art by Mauro Cascioli, Scott Clark, et al. When I first read the series, I enjoyed it. But on a second reading, I find myself not as enamored.

Justice League: Cry for Justice tells the story of Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Green Arrow leaving the Justice League after Final Crisis and focusing on preemptive superheroics. The two are successful until the villain Prometheus initiates a plan that will cost thousands of lives. To stop Prometheus, a team of heroes damaged by Prometheus’s initial moves gathers to stop him.

The story is a good one. It raises fundamental questions about what it means to be a superhero. So often, superheroes are reactive protagonists who wait for their respective villains to initiate whatever scheme they’ve got cooked up at any one time. What does it mean for a hero to take the offensive in their war on crime/ evil?

That is the question at the heart of this miniseries. The answer may very well be a darker hero, a more militaristic hero. Now compound that with a villain whose scheme absolutely negates that militarism (or does it)?

I like this. There is excitement and underused heroes are showcased. And this provides a nice “pilot arc” for Robinson’s run on Justice League of America. But I do have some serious issues with this miniseries as well.

I don’t know if there was any build up for this miniseries in the wider DC Universe, but I think there should have been. The plot is epic enough that there should be foreshadowing and hints of Prometheus’s movements long before the heroes learn of his return. Instead things proceed too quickly. Prometheus makes for a great main antagonist for a sustained run on a comic book series.

Perhaps an ongoing arc would have prevented several of the plotting missteps that plague the series.  The conclusion feels too rushed. The reveal and the fight fly by at near lightning speed without really delivering.

Furthermore, a reader must wonder why exactly the heroes do not remove whatever gadgets Prometheus has that prevents Miss Martian’s telepathy.  I’m assuming it rests in his helmet (which is miraculously repaired after being destroyed by an enraged Donna Troy).  This is a real problem that should have been caught by editorial.

Finally, the final dispatching of Prometheus is truly anticlimatic. To the point of ruining the great potential of the series’s plot.

The dialogue is unfortunately a weakness. There is a wooden quality that, while recalling the earlier periods of superhero comics, does not lend itself well to modern comics (though this does seem to be a weakness in Robinson’s writing).

Justice League: Cry for Justice  is very good, even with my criticisms and the controversy that surrounds it.


Posted on December 23, 2013, in Books and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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