Thursday, August 24, 2006

Justice League of America

I just finished reading it, I still hate the Red Tornado, but the story seems worth finishing on the first read. We'll see how it holds up on a second read. I'm getting more and more attached to the idea of Arsenal as a member, I hope this one isn't a fake-out. The interior art was good, Benes is very talented, but I still have one overwhelming complaint about it...

Mild Spoilers
(Mild Spoilers)

I hate the Platinum redesign. It's gaudy, unbalanced, and overaccessorized. Please change her back immediately.


  1. I had two art complaints:

    1. Kathy Sutton looked too much like Dinah.

    2. Roy having the "R" on his belt on the cover. So is he switching his name to "Red Arrow"? "Arsenal" is a cool name. "Red Arrow"....isn't.

  2. I agree about the Platinum redesign. I've always loved the Metal Men and Platinum was my favorite. I know they want to try to update the look, but the look seems to take away the soul. They look too robotic to me. But, at the same time, I'm loving seeing the Metal Men in books again!

    Speaking of redesigns I'm not crazy about, I don't like Black Lightning's bald look. It kind of makes me think that they didn't use John Stewart, but since John Stewart was bald in the animated series and he's black, let's make Black Lightning bald. He's one of my favorite characters in the DCU and so I'm sad to see a total overhaul on a look I liked. Then again, I'm glad that Black Lightning is finally getting the role he deserves by finally becoming a member of the Justice League.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this first issue. I thought there was enough in there to pull me in and want the second issue now.

  3. Tha'sss Platinmm? That's sooo bad I has to gets drunksty.

    So, uh, was it any good?

  4. Ah, I do so love Red Tornado. I'm actually a little curious as to where your distaste for the character originates. Maybe you didn't read enough Young Justice :).

    As far as the Metal Men go, they're shapeshifting robots. The next time a different artist has a go at them, they'll be back to their Silver Age standard, with no explanation necessary.

  5. I was totally expecting a Hawkeye "The...what!?" moment from Green Arrow.

  6. For a comic whose main theme seems to have been "this robot has a soul!", there's a whole lot of soulless robot-bashing (in the vein of "all THESE thinking, feeling, emotional robots are just COLD MECHANICAL DEVICES, but YOU, Red Tornado, have a SOOOOUUUUUULLLL!").

    This, of course, simply contributes to a wider trend of robot-bashing in the DCU. It's always bugged me that Superman has sworn to never take a human life, but has never had a problem with destroying intelligent machines which appear to possess all the mental capacities humans do, because, y'know, they're just robots.

    Also: is there an actual reason why they'd pick Arsenal and not Green Arrow? Why not just skip Batman and leave it to Nightwing while you're at it? Sidekicks are always second-rate.

  7. Of course, Platinum's "chest plate" has some well placed nipples, uh, ....rivets.

  8. I have to say, I liked the issue quite a bit...much more than I thought I would based on the Michael Turner cover.

    Meltzer definitely has a story to tell, and a reason for including the new members in it. Anytime perpetual 3rd stringers like Red Tornado and Vixen can come off as intriguing, interesting characters, chances are there's a good writer behind it. The mystery element was a bit of a surprise, though I suppose it shouldn't be considering Meltzer's big hit (Identity Crisis) was also a mystery.

    The best part about the issue (to me, at least) was the last couple of pages. The narrative and visual pacing was very suspenceful, almost cinematic. Add to that the threat of "Anti Mr. Miracle" (or whoever he is), and the looming tragedy of the newly-human Tornado, and Meltzer's got me for the rest of his arc.

    At the very least, it certainly wasn't the usual "by the numbers" first issue of a team title. I'll give it a "B".

  9. Anyone who criticizes Brian Michael Bendis for excessively wordy dialogue needs to read themselves some Meltzer. My God, there were so many captions and shifting narratives in each panel I almost couldn't see the art. :)

    With that said, it's a nice beginning to what promises to be a good story. I'd like to see how and why they chose Black Canary, and why Arsenal got the nod over Ollie.

    The logical explanation is that Ollie's duties as Star City mayor simply don't allow for the time commitment of being in the JLA. It's different from Bruce Wayne (who's a multibillionare and can flake off whenever he wants) or Clark Kent (An investigative journalist who's expected to disappear frequently).

    And here's hoping that "Mr. Impossible" will lead to the return of Scott Free to the JLA ranks. :)

  10. I haven't read the issue yet, but that scene with Platinum seems like a nice nerd touch.

    I love it how Platinum never misses a chance to get some good sweet human loving with Doc Magnus.

    I mean, there is this woman crying about her dead robot husband and Platinum just says "Yes, that sounds very sad... but can we go back to the human with robot horizontal mambo thing? Do you have some paper? I need to take some notes. Did he prefer to be on top? You don't mind if I record this conversation, right? Can you make some drawings? Yeah, some drawings or at least a diagram. TELL ME YOUR SECRETS, FEMALE FLESHY ONE!"

  11. Well, the story was ok, but I did
    enjoy the butt shots of Hal. Actually what I liked best was the cover that had ALL the Green Lanterns in it! Woohoo! I also
    know next to nothing about Red Tornado other than that he gets blown up a lot, so picking a human body seems to be a poor choice on his part. Especially since Batman seems to be planning to use him for cannon fodder already.

  12. I love Platinum. She's so sweet... y'know, for a CREEPY ROBOT bent on scoring with Doc Magnus.

    I agree on her outfit. I don't like it either. It's way too buisy. But once she started probing a grieving woman for tips on how to score some robot/human loving I forgot all about her outfit and geeked out a little.

  13. Arsenal, Red Arrow, Speedy, whatever: Roy has an R on his belt, so he can find his pants on the floor in a hurry.

  14. It looks like Meltzer might be going somewhere with the robotic intelligence. "Skeets told a Superman robot who told it to us." I wonder where Skeets heard it in the first place, and it all sounds like an AI network in the DCU. Hopefully they will be moving on to a storyline with a little better AI rights recognition. The more robotic appearance of Platinum might be to help emphasize her inhuman nature for an upcoming arc.

  15. Its all about Jocasta, because she had some banging robotic (.)(.)s. What else is a robot good for?

  16. I agree about Platinum. I'm thrilled about Roy. I hope he keeps the Arsenal name because Red Arrow would tie him too closely to Ollie and not let him be his own man but I loved the R on his belt as an homage (or that's how I see it, although it did make me think "Robin" when I first saw it), I loved the art, I always liked this version of Red Tornado and I thought Kathy looked a lot like the original art for her. I'll have my review up soon. I've read it twice now. I read a lot of other stuff I need to review. I still have more to read. It was a great week for comics on my pull list.

    --Shelly, still stuck posting anonymously

  17. You know, I liked the Platinum design just fine until I realized something.

    It's almost exactly like The Engineer from The Authority.

  18. i really disliked the issue. that's all i have to say i guess.

  19. I haven't read the issue yet, and knowing nothing about Platinum, um... is this scene supposed to be funny? Because when she asks that question, the background makes me thing she's angry or something.

    Sometimes I think mainstream American comics would benefit from having some of the visual vocabulary from shoujo manga.

  20. Sandicomm -- There's no need to import from Japan her, because American comics have a visual vocabulary all their own. You just might not be used to the language. The cross-stitch style shading in American comics doesn't mean anger. And the colors are earthtones -- black and tan. The shading around her is to add seriousness and sincerity. It's a weighty moment, but a calm one. Anger tends to be jagged lines and reds.

  21. For anyone who criticizes Meltzer as a comic book writer, they should try reading his prose. Why would he (and DC) want to include a preview of his new novel? It's oh so terribly written. Maybe they wanted to make his scripting look better by comparison.