Thursday, April 22, 2010

Justice League of America #44

You see, James Robinson? I knew you could do it! You set things up nicely by having some German heroes show up to battle Etrigan this issue, and Etrigan took them down hard, but they lived! In Cry for Justice they would have been ripped bodily and bloodily apart, but the story is the same with those guys living! And now you've added to the DCU rather than taking away! Well done!

This is another strong issue, I think Robinson was saving his best stuff for this title. By focusing on a small core team (NightBats, Donna Troy, Mikaal Starman, and Congorilla) it really lets those four characters shine. Mikaal is a lot of fun as he gets more and more confident as a mainstream hero. Congorilla has confidence to spare and I really wish we could see him meet Gorilla Man from the Agents of Atlas. These two have a very similar outlook, don't they? Donna Troy is wonderful as a hero who just wants something to punch. She's been a sad-sack for so long that I love seeing her as a powerhouse who just needs to cut loose. Giving her a blue lasso of persuasion is neat too, especially since she explained that it only persuades those with a lower will than hers (setting things up nicely to both upgrade and downgrade future villains by their resistance levels). Robinson writes a great Etrigan too, his rhymes are awesome and he does a great job of mixing up brawling and magic.
The involvement of the JSA seems unnecessary and confusing, especially considering the off-handed way the Fourth Reich storyline gets mentioned here. I'd think Robinson would need to build up the JLA before including guest-stars, but I bet he'll actually take some JSAers onto the League. I always like seeing Sebastian Faust (from the 90's Outsiders) show up. He's so 90's looking, it always cracks me up.

Mark Bagley draws a great Demon. He doesn't look like the Kirby version or the Semeiks version of the character, it is clearly a Bagley take, but it looks right. I'm really enjoying Bagley's version of the DCU. I'm looking forward to seeing an unshadowed version of the JSA, all their pages are really dark in this issue.


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