Friday, May 7, 2010

Comic Book Review: Justice League of America #44

Book Information
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagely
Colored by Ulises Arreola
Inked by Rob Hunter, Norm Rapmund
Lettered by Rob Leigh
Cover by Mark Bagely

My All-Inspiring Opinion
No doubt this is the worst transitioning point the League has ever seen, especially with its 12+ month time span.  Issue #42 began to portray a new league, one that could work together as a cohesive unit and communicate well.  The following month in #43, the established League had already lost a chunk of its members, once again leaving the League in a state of uncertainty and confusion.  In a desperate attempt to reestablish his current line-up, Robinson selects four individuals to focus on, Batman, Donna Troy, Congorilla Bill, and Starman. 

The battle with Etrigan was fierce, full of drama and humor.  I wonder if Bill will in fact be stuck with a running gag of “Send Bill in first to soften them up.”   But most importantly, Robinson was able to bring the League (or at least part of it) together to successfully bring down one of the universes most powerful beings.  I quite appreciated having both Starman and Bill in on this battle as many people wonder if Congorilla Bill was a good choice for the league as well as Starman.  But no doubt, these four are clearly the more focused and driven out of everyone on the League and their establishment as such will only help the future of this title. 

I can’t be certain, but it seems like every title James Robinson is on, the more predominant the two page spread becomes throughout each book.  Superman, World of New Krypton, and now Justice League are all contaminated with the two page spread layout where the first page spills over into the next.  There is nothing completely wrong with this approach, but when overdone, the repetitive nature with almost every page turn every month can become meaningless, which I think it has.

Mark Bagely is nothing if not a brilliant artist whose talents have been put on the same level with the big boys.  There isn’t a page in this book that isn’t gorgeously done.  His ability to create wonderfully penciled artwork is only enhanced by the newly added colorist, Ulises Arreola.  Together they present one of the most colorful and explosive pieces of art I’ve seen in a while.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
While this issue isn’t the greatest JLA installment to date, the work put into it can not be denied.  Robinson is trying so hard to make his League work for readers despite the random and odd heroes within.

Writing: 8
Themes: 8
Art: 10
Overall: 8.67

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