Monday, March 31, 2014

Justice League of America #9

"Dark Art"

Matt Kindt – Writer
Tom Derenick – Pencils
Tom Nguyen and Allen Martinez – Inks
Gabe Eltaeb – Colors
Rob Leigh – Letters
Rickey Purdin – Associate Editor
Eddie Berganza – Editor
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster by special arrangement with the Jerry Siegel family

The cover is by Doug Mahnke with Eltaeb. It's an alright, although rather generic cover. Mahnke's work is decent, but I would have preferred to see what Tom Derenick could have done — he's not a bad artist. And if you want to get technical — which I do — this cover misleadingly shows the exact opposite of what happens inside the issue. That really bugs me. It's one thing to show something that doesn't happen, but completely reversing the plot for the cover is a sin in my book.

The story continues with Martian Manhunter making his way through the various psychic prisons holding members of the Justice League. He comes across Madame Xanadu, who has creepily turned to black magic to try to save herself.

Stargirl has found a way out of the prison, so she ignores J'onn's orders to stay put and begins looking for him. But as she journeys through each prison, she becomes increasingly distracted with her own memories.

Martian Manhunter enters Aquaman's prison, where the oceans have evaporated and all the sea life has died. J'onn then finds himself in his own prison — a fiery place, where he battles himself.

Stargirl keeps working her way through all the prisons (flying right past the Flash) until she finds J'onn and saves him. But as soon as they escape, Martian Manhunter becomes stuck inside Stargirl's head, and they are surrounded by several super villains.

The Good:

I really don't have a lot to say about this issue. There weren't any major developments for the Flash or other characters I care about, and we only got to see three new prisons. Mostly, this issue was devoted to setting up Stargirl's origin, which is perfectly fine, since she hasn't had her own New 52 series yet — unlike Vibe, Katana, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Catwoman, and even Simon Baz in Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter in Stormwatch. So Stargirl definitely deserves to have some space in Justice League of America devoted to her, but I'm just personally not interested in her.

The Bad:

A couple of incongruities. I know the people in the psychic prisons are acting irrationally, but I can only handle so much of that. My first problem was Stargirl marveling at Wonder Woman's height. Did you forget that you've already met her during the Trinity War, like yesterday? My second problem was Aquaman declaring that "anything that walks on two legs WILL DIE!" Umm ... how many legs do you walk on, Aquaman? I guess I could be talked out of this complaint because of the whole psychic prison thing, but that, combined with the lack of Flash, will make me give this issue a below average grade.

Final score: 4 out of 10

Next issue: All in your head!

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