Sunday, December 6, 2009

Justice League of America #39

Wow, the current league never seems like anything more than victims in this Blackest Night tie-in. The team is supposedly out to try and wrangle some of the super-villain zombies, but man, the way the group huddles and cries as they wander through their darkened headquarters really makes them seem like the victims in a horror movie. Zatanna's spell-battle with her Dad is pretty cool; I loved them repeatedly countering each others' spells. I'm not usually a fan of the character, but she comes across well here. Vibe sure seemed pretty lethal. He took out Red Tornado and Plastic Man really easily. It seems we can add Plastic Man to the list of deaths in Blackest Night. I'm sure Red Tornado can just be rebuilt at this point. (Incidentally, the lack of emotional color for Red Tornado was great, as was Vibe's comment that he's worthless to the undead lanterns.)

The Doctors Light of course have to face off, and the issue closes with the predator Dr. Light showing off his grossness once again. Dr. Light II (the hero) finds the undead version of the original quietly licking Firestorm's girlfriend's head (she'd been killed in an issue of Blackest Night). Dr. Light even comments that she tastes delicious and salty. Hey kids, comics! After the villain drops the heroic Dr. Light, the cliffhanger shows him leering over her unconscious form wondering what she tastes like. Oh my. I never would have pegged James Robinson as writing this type of stuff, it's like he's graduated from the Geoff Johns school of shocking comics, his methodical pacing and characterization has been reduced to an undercurrent of the story.

Mark Bagley is a great JLA artist. His classic hero-stylings are a perfect fit for the heroes, and he can handle the horror elements just fine too. The Red Tornado/Vibe battle is short but looks absolutely vicious. It's my favorite use of Red Tornado in years, I think, his powers actually look intimidating. This is a schlocky package, but it actually fits for a Blackest Night crossover. It doesn't hurt that I don't really like anyone on the current team, so I don't mind seeing them treated like victims for the crossover.


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