Friday, March 27, 2009

Second Opinion : Justice League of America #31

Sometimes I get too caught up in a particular problem with a comic and miss the big picture. I think this happened this past week with Justice League of America #31. Here are my new thoughts :

After talking to some other comic fans and re-reading the issue, I realize that I missed the point of this book. First off, let me address the first page. It seems that instead of Zatanna calling Wonder Woman by the wrong name, that this is not supposed to be Wonder Woman but Black Canary, which makes more sense within the story. Probably just a script or artist error, no happens.

Now, on to the story. Hal and Ollie basically sum up, very well in fact, the fan's feelings about Justice League over the past two years and change. The League, as a book and as a team, has been thoroughly ineffective since the new volume began. And they're completely right. In my opinion, a book like JLA should be a flagship book, meaning that it should have the highest caliber writers and artists working on it to keep the team interesting and the stories spectacular. It should be on every DC fan's pull list. But the team in the past two years has equated to corporate middle management, just putting out fires here and there in order to keep the status quo. We need bigger, more epic stories in a book like JLA. If you look at it another way, basically the characters in the book are blaming Black Canary (aka writer Dwayne McDuffie who seems to offer himslef up as a scapegoat) for the problems with the league, and don't want to play her game anymore. I don't blame McDuffie for the problems though. For some reason DC treated this book as an advertisement for other books and filled it with way too many crossovers and tie-ins. Continuity is one thing, but tying everything in at the expense of the story is not cool.

Lastly, in this book, some Final Crisis threads were addressed such as Bruce and J'onn's deaths, Hawkgirl's injury (thought she was dead, but oh well) and we also get a preview of James Robinson's version of Justice League which has now been changed to a mini-series coming this summer.

I'm looking forward to Robinson's Justice League and I truly hope that it rekindles the fan's love for team books. Because the Justice League, in whatever incarnation, is a great team and deserves great stories. We'll see what happens, but #31 will be the last issue of JLA that I'll buy until something really impressive happens.

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