Wow. How the mighty have fallen. Am I talking about the actual characters or the quality of this book? Both.
The JLA was the premiere super-team for years in the 90's, but now it really is a shell of its former shelf. Due to editorial fiat and guidance, the current team is Vixen, Red Tornado, Dr. Light II, Firestorm II, and Plastic Man. By any stretch, that is a pretty bad team. The worst part here is that they know it. Rather than play up any sort of effectiveness or build anyone up, James Robinson treats these folks like the scrubs they've always been. I suppose having Despero knock the crap out of them for awhile will make Robinson's new team look better when they take him out.
And another huge problem. Blue Jay, who has been in 0 comics in like 5 or 10 years, gets killed on the title page. C'mon. DC writers are using the DCU Who's Who as a victim list to establish a tough feel when they take over a book. This is exactly my pet peeve of character killing. James Robinson spent NO time with Blue Jay. He just took a character someone else created and killed him off to make his own bad guys seem tougher. Robinson used to be one of my favorites, but now I find myself disliking the tone of his comics.
Mark Bagley does a decent job with the art. His clean lines could even make that scrub lineup seem legit, and Blue Jay looks pretty cool in the opening sequence. He's about as solid an artist as you could want.