Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Stop Me If You've Heard This One... A Superhero Walks Into a Trap..."

I want to like Dwayne McDuffie's run on Justice League of America.

I really do.

But something just isn't clicking. I mean, the first issue of his run, the JLA Wedding Special, was really good: strong characterization, a good sense of humor, and action and the sense of a moving plot.

But three issues in and, while the humor and characters are still there, the plot has totally stalled.

The Injustice League's whole plan seems to be bait the heroes into a trap, wait for them to arrive in two and threes, beat the crap out of them quickly and then disappear with as many of them as possible. And they've successfully done this FIVE TIMES!

It makes the story repetitive and the Justice League look like morons. Which is only made worse by Superman shooting down Black Lightning's suggestion that after Batman AND Wonder Woman have been captured, it's time to call in some reinforcements, before rushing off to get captured like everyone else.

The story is basically in the same place it was at the end of the Wedding Special, in that I have no further insight into what the villains' ultimate plan is nor have the heroes done anything to reverse their misfortunes. And it's never a good feeling when you have to ask yourself why did you have to read the previous two issues.

The art's also been off. Mike McKone on the Wedding Special was alright, if not spectacular. And Ed Benes in issue #14 comes through with his usual flaws (all the men have the same over-muscled body, all the women have the same over-sexualized body, and if he can slip in an ass or panty shot, he will). But Joe Benitez on issue #13 was just awful. The women aren't just over-sexualized, they looked like poorly constructed Barbie dolls and the men, particularly back in the spotlight John Stewart (Green Lantern), had teeny tiny heads on huge bodies.

I mean, there still is a lot of stuff to like. Black Lightning, at least, is being portrayed as a competent hero and GeoForce's best feature (according to Gorilla Grodd) is a hoot, as is most of the interaction of the Injustice League. So I'll stick it out to the end of the first storyline (as I did for Meltzer) to see if he can turn it around...

But seriously, if one more supposedly brilliant hero walks willingly into an obvious trap only to get sucker punched, I quit.


SallyP said... its favor, they DO beat the crap out of Geoforce, which at least made me smile. But yes, it does seem to be spinning its wheels a bit. I'm getting a little tired of always having every story be five or six issues long, and so much of it filler.

Jacob T. Levy said...

Agreed all around-- both on what's right (hee, Geo-Force) and on what's wrong (the Benes spread of the super-heroines in shackles almost made me go try to return the book, in order not to have contributed money to it).

Since when can Dr. Light knock Superman out of the sky?

Tom S. said...

Is it possible this isn't Superman and Black Lightning? If perhaps what we are seeing is some sort of elaborate plan on the Man of Steel's part? What if this is one of his robots? If he still has robots, that is?

I am interested in seeing how the fight ultimately plays out and I am willing to give McDuffie the benefit of the doubt. So far he has given me a decent story with some nice characterization all around.