Posted by: Graeme McMillan on July 2, 2009
JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE #1 really is very Jeph Loeb, isn’t it?
I mean, I’m not just talking about the tendency to emphasize words in an unexpected and unrealistic manner – Although, come on; parts of the dialogue here read as if James Robinson has never heard any real human being have a conversation – but the whole thing reads like someone at DC has actually kidnapped the real James Robinson and replaced him with a James Robinson clone actually made up of defective Loeb DNA: Splashy art masking a story where little happens? Check. Completely unconvincing dialogue? Check. Attempt at thematic cleverness that, in execution, comes across as laughable (I refer, of course, to the fact that in this series subtitled “Cry for Justice,” each of the members of the upcoming new Justice League team literally cry for justice at some point in the issue. Well, except for Green Arrow, but that’s because he’s still embarrassed at having to say things like “No, baby, I’m with you. You and me. Old times, new times, all the time” and “Remember back in the day… when I lost my millions and became liberal – -“)? Check! There’s even, in the Atom scene, a rip-off of the duelling-first-person-narration of Loeb’s Superman/Batman.
And yet, the comic it reminds me most of isn’t a Loeb one. I’m convinced that this is, instead, the DC version of Secret War. Remember Secret War? Not the 1980s one with the plural title, the early-2000s one by Brian Bendis and Gabrielle Dell’Otto that was, like this, painted and self-important, bringing together unlikely characters (including one that clearly doesn’t belong there – Hi, Congorilla!) to launch a new version of the company’s flagship superhero title. Whether that means that Cry For Justice will end up being as light, storywise, and ultimately inconsequential as that series did remains to be seen, but it’s not a good thing to finish the first issue and think “Oh, great, next thing they’re going to end up invading Latveria.” Awful, in a way that makes me wonder if I’ve been wrong in liking Robinson’s recent Superman issues.