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Cranky! Hibbs mutters about 1/25

Brian Hibbs

Cranky Cranky Cranky!

JUSTICE LEAGUE #5: Well, at least it finally came out.

Like I had said, I was liking each issue a little bit more than the one before, but that ground to a stop on this issue. Screeeeeeeech!

Part of it is surely the dumb presentation of Darkseid.  To me, at least, Darkseid is a master planner, a manipulator, and while, yes, he CAN surely kick your ass, why would he bother sullying himself on a “gnat” like you?

This one, though… hrf, he has one whole line (his name), and he’s just smashing things up otherwise. Where’s the depth? Where’s the grandeur of Kirby’s Fourth World?

Why the hell do his Omega Beams not work?!?! They hit Superman and, like, not much happens? Huh?

Darkseid isn’t Doomsday, and it’s frustrating they’re playing him that way, essentially turning one of the darkest villains in the DCU into an one-dimensional cardboard cutout.

I also can’t for the life of me figure out why Cyborg is on this team, at all. Hell, or even what Aquaman and Wonder Woman were doing for most of the issue?

There were things I DID like: I don’t know that it makes any sense whatsoever, but I really liked this Batman dropping his defenses (and mask) like that to GL; and I liked the “We got this!” “You call that a battle-cry?” thing… but those are beats, not cohesive elements of the story, and none of it elevates over an “EH“.


SECRET AVENGERS #21.1: Actually, what I mostly really want to talk about is how the hell much I hate that new Hawkeye uniform — I mean, I get how they want to appeal to people who see the Avengers movie, or whatever, and this is pretty much the costume there, but, damn it, that’s not Hawkeye’s costume, and that’s not even a “costume” per se anyway. The only bit you couldn’t buy in a store is those funky shades, and it really doesn’t make Clint look like a Hero at all.

I don’t know, gross.

The comic itself was, I thought, fairly bad — yet another new made-up crime-driven nation (what’s wrong with Madripor, then?), and it’s got Captain America running around in a flag, lecturing Hawkeye on stealth. Yes, that’s kind of a hot mess. Pretty AWFUL.


OK< all I have time for today — what did YOU think?



20 Responses to “ Cranky! Hibbs mutters about 1/25 ”

  1. To be blunt, Cyborg is on the team because they needed a token and Cyborg is the token Geoff Johns likes most.

    It was a big mistake to have Cyborg’s origin shoehorned into the story of the formation of the JL. At the very least, his origin should’ve been tied in to whatever Darkseid is up to on Earth.

    “This one, though… hrf, he has one whole line (his name), and he’s just smashing things up otherwise. Where’s the depth? Where’s the grandeur of Kirby’s Fourth World?”

    Did you really expect find ANY grandeur, much less Kirby grandeur, in the New 52?

  2. Although I enjoy Remender’s X-Force, one look at Hawkeye’s uniform was enough to make me not want to pick up SA. Seems like I made the right choice.

    And honestly, if anyone decides to buy Avengers comics because of the movie is any one of those persons going to care one whit that Hawkeye is in a different costume.

    Brian, how do movies based on on-going series affect sales? I can imagine some persons seeing the movie and then picking up a related tpb on a whim when they happen to be in a book/comic store afterwards. But it’s hard for me to believe someone saw Captain America or Thor and made a special trip to buy a CA or Thor book, or followed up by buying more later.

  3. DanielT,

    The store I shopped at for ten years noted that movies based on a single book (V For Vendetta, Ghost World) or a finite series (Scott Pilgrim) drove people in to buy those books, but that a movie based on a series (Spider-Man, Thor) didn’t do anything for the books.

    And it’s hard to pick a first book to hand to a, for example, Spider-Man movie fan. Masterworks 1? Ultimate 1? Miles Morales Ultimate 1? Brand New Day 1? Big Time? A definitive Green Goblin story? Which one? (There isn’t one.)

    I bought a store a few months ago, and suspect this model will be the same for my shop.

  4. I cringe for anyone who wants to go buy an Avengers comic after seeing the movie.

  5. “And honestly, if anyone decides to buy Avengers comics because of the movie is any one of those persons going to care one whit that Hawkeye is in a different costume?”

    I find this question interesting from a person who didn’t buy a comic purely because Hawkeye was wearing a different costume.

  6. If I had to recommend an Avengers book to the uninitiated who just saw the movie I would suggest the Ultimates 1 and 2 by Millar and Hitch. Especially in light of the fact that the Samuel Jackson Nick Fury is the same in the movie and the Ultimates. Imagine the confusion though. “Why are they called the Ultimates and not the Avengers?”

  7. They should have kept Steve in the Commander Rogers uniform for SECERET AVENGERS. As you implied, Brian, it’s utterly counter-intuitive to run around in a star spangled costume while on black ops missions. Anyway, I came on with Ellis and I left with Ellis.

    The Hawkeye outfit is horrible, but there are no comics he’s currently in that are of remote interest to me so I’m already over it.

  8. Justice League…

    Your criticisms are applicable to a lot of current comics from the Big Two: some good moments, but not a compelling (or even sensible) story. This ish of JL especially falls apart the more you try to think about it. (Where did Darkseid go? Where were the others when Batman and GL had their little heart-to-heart? Why did Darkseid appear then and there anyway? Something to do with Cyborg downloading the data from a motherbox or something…? Wasn’t it suggested that the motherboxes were searching out superhumans anyway? What the crap is going on?)

    Part of me is cutting Johns some slack, thinking that maybe he’s letting things be mysterious for now to set something big up for later. This arc ends next ish, right? I don’t think things can possibly be explained/resolved in a satisfactory manner by then, but they could be if the ‘resolution’ is a bit of a dangler, setting up some huge event for this summer or next summer or whatever (ie, Darkseid comes and goes and we don’t really know what he was up to… yet. But the newly-formed JL stands ready for whatever! Cue cliffhanger-y musical cue.). Am I justified placing that kind of confidence in this creative team?

  9. @Chris Brown:


  10. I suspect that cyborg is getting a lot of play in JL because he’s the only character that a writer can do much with – i.e. he doesn’t headline his own book so he can be developed and worked with without having to deal with continuity issues. (I seem to recall such strictures being talked about while Dwayne McDuffie was on JLA – people were bothered that he spent so much time with Vixen, while he wasn’t able to really do much with any of the more major characters on the title without affecting their own books.)

    Anyway, I thumbed thru JL #5 and decided that it was a perfect jumping-off point. Glad to see I made the right call.

    And though I wasn’t as bothered by SECRET AVENGERS, not a whole lot happened to keep me interested there, either. I’m off with Ellis, as well.

  11. “The store I shopped at for ten years noted that movies based on a single book (V For Vendetta, Ghost World) or a finite series (Scott Pilgrim) drove people in to buy those books, but that a movie based on a series (Spider-Man, Thor) didn’t do anything for the books.”

    I know the periodical sales don’t move much, but how do the Ultimate Spiderman volumes move post-Spiderman movies? I remember that Joker book selling post-Dark-Knight, or at least… didn’t that book sell? I’m curious what the distinction is (besides the obvious Dark Knight factor).

  12. @Steve D.:


  13. Think the most surprising thing to be done with the New Gods would be having them “apparate ( as Paul Levitz would say) in the Marvel line of books; showing up in the LeeJohns JL after “Final Crisis” really is adding insult to injury.

    After the global “Meh” response to Johns’ “Green Lantern” treatment(apparently sort of like spending 2 hours in the Star Wars cantina and calling that a movie), is there anyone who can rest him for a few years?

  14. I kinda liked Justice League #5, despite thinking a lot of Brian’s criticisms are valid. (The Omega beam thing being most annoying at all – if it was meant to say how tough Superman is that he can survive an Omega Beam, it didn’t work, and otherwise, it just makes Darksied into cyclops with heat seeking eyes.)
    What I’m hoping Johns is going for with Darkseid, is that rather than doing away with the master manipulator side, it’s that Darkseid wasn’t expecting superhero resistance on Earth, so just expected to come in smiting (for whatever reason), and it’s in future invasion attempts/shenanigans, that we’ll see a more manipulative Darkseid, rising to their challenge.
    But y’know, I can be a fanboy – Flash outracing Omega beams, Batman unmasking/being the one who wants a Justice League, Wonder Woman wanting to cut out eyes, and Superman and Batman on Apokolips… all wrapped up in Jim Lee art?
    It works for me.

  15. It was like Bruce had this moment of insane vulnerability–like pathologically so. I mean, the guy cultivates the urban legend thing in a contemporary setting and then he likes the Magic Wishring guy so much he decides to unmask in the middle of an alien invasion in broad daylight.

    It’s kind’ve sweet but completely daft. I don’t see how a grown man indulging his inner child when the chips are down would make you want to join a team where you take on peril head-on. If anything, the Batchild would scare the shit out’ve me.

    Could you imagine at the first sign of stress he has an awkward way of reverting to a child and telling his life story and his favorite things and then takes his armor off and surrenders.

    I can feel myself getting stupider reading this comic.

  16. @Tim – He cultivates the urban legend to fight common criminals.
    In Justice League, it’s the first time the world has ever seen anything like, let alone had to combat, a giant demonic god tearing up a city with it’s flying parademons.
    Everything we’re seeing is meant to be well out of their realm of experience, so the stakes are higher than they ever have been before (!!!) – and in Geoff Johns comics nothing motivates either character more than childhood trauma – so I think it works, it’s just a shame Batman still grows up to be a grump, as seen in the books set in ‘present day’.

  17. @ Ben – Sorry Ben, still not really feeling it. I would think would Bruce Wayne feel more threatened he would become more protective, not haphazardly trusting. Unless of course, the myriad news and military helicopters and every piece of surveillance equipment that picked up the battle got Bruce coming clean as Batman and that became that. Could be one way to just Millar it up and get on with the post-Flashpoint Batman Inc. already.

    Nice work with the No-Prizing though.

  18. If there’s anything Geoff Johns doesn’t need, it’s slack.

  19. One solution to thinking Hawkeye looks stupid is to never read a single comic in the history of comics that has Hawkeye in it, because come on

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