Justice League of America >> View Post
Post By
Omar Karindu

In Reply To
Captain Spanky

Subj: That's probably not Robinson's fault...
Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 at 10:47:46 am EST (Viewed 9 times)
Reply Subj: Re: To those who dislike James Robinson's writing: What don't you like?
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:45:00 pm EST (Viewed 24 times)

Previous Post

He gave us all these great characters for one arc that I was interested in reading about as JLA members and them pulled the bulk of them out in exchange for a monkey and some blue guy I've never heard of. He's relied to heavily on guest stars. He's done very little character development. Its mostly been Batman and four female characters who all react very similarly to him. It seems to me that much of his writing just seems so forced. In the last issue, Congorilla is all, "I give you, the Justice League of America" and all I can think is, "No they're not." Its like all he has tried to do is convince you this is the JLA.

I think the problem is, that he pulled to many characters that could have been interesting out too early, replaced them with characters most people don't care about (Congorilla, Jesse Quick, Starman), and didn't have any familiar characters to still give it a sense of familiarity. The JLI, when it started, added tons of new characters, but still had Batman, Martian Manhunter, and Black Canary in it, to still make it feel like Justice League and it worked out.

Based on statements by past JLA writers like Grant Morrison and the late, great Dwayne McDuffie's, it does seem as if DC puts the JLA writer at the mercy of every other DC book's story decisions. If Geoff Johns doesn't want Hal in the JLA, Hal goes away. If the Titans book wants Cyborg back, or just wants him gone, he's gone.

Bruce-as-Batman was killed off and has been "busy" since his return, so Robinson was only allowed to use Grayson. Martian Manhunter was yanked because DC would rather give him to Johns for Brightest Day. Black Canary "belongs" to the editors of Green Arrow and JSA, and can be pulled from the book at any time.

Grant Morrison, for example, didn't want to use Electric Superman or to replace Wonder Woman with Hippolyta; he also seems to have plotted the "Rock of Ages" Injustice Gang storyline with the classic Big Seven, but then John Byrne temporarily killed off Wonder Woman, leaving Circe with precious little to do in the entire story-arc. He was also apparently given some restrictions on using Batman due to the No Man's Land storyline in the Bat-books.

Dwayne McDuffie was quite vocal about having storylines rewritten and vetoed by editorial, often at the last minute. The most ifnamous example is around Final Crisis -- McDuffie was told that the Hawks were dead int hat storyline, and wrote (and had pencils for) a good chunk of a JLA issue dealing with the team's reactions. Then the deaths were undone by a late editorial; decision, meaning that a third of a completed issue had to be redone at the last moment.

That seems to be DC editorial policy, not the decisions of the JLA writer. If Robinson' using obscurities, it's likely because obscurities are the only characters he can safely use on a regular basis. DC handles the JLA the opposite of the way Marvel handles the Avengers, where Brian Michael Bendis seems to get to make status quo changes and keep characters regardless of the lower-selling solo titles' writers. That approach has its own problems, though.

Having said all that, I think Robinson has not handled the situation as well as McDuffie and Morrison did, and that his plots have been quite lackluster regardless of which characters are in them. That, to me, has been the real problem of his run -- it's not delivering good characterization, nor is it making up for the shallow characterization by providing crazy cosmic scale or clever plotting. Robinson just doesn't seem cut out for this title.

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