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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To
Kyle Bastian

Subj: Re: My Review of Justice League United #7
Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 at 08:10:42 am EST (Viewed 387 times)
Reply Subj: My Review of Justice League United #7
Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 at 12:00:25 am EST (Viewed 7 times)

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I hope everyone had a happy New Year. Just before New Year's Eve, I bought two copies of Justice League United #7, the December 2014 issue that continued the Infinitus Saga.

We start off on the Moon of Ryngor in the Polaris system. We find Ultra summoning orange wraith-like characters which attack the Justice League of Canada. But these heroes luckily get help from Legion Lost, which compromises Chameleon Girl, Tyroc, Wildfire, Tellus, Timber Wolf, Gates, and Dawnstar. Green Arrow tells Tyroc not to kill their fellow teammate Hawkman (still under the influence of Byth), but Tyroc is incapacitating the Winged Wonder. It appears the Legion knows the Justice League members (Green Arrow believes his identity is not public, but Tyroc reminds him it will be one day). Equinox tells Ultra to stop whatever he is doing, but Byth attacks her in time. Dawnstar saves the day by fighting Byth. Byth tells Black Mass to teleport themselves, Ultra, and Hawkman to the inner temple, where they take the spacecraft. All of a sudden, the four of them are teleported, courtesy of Black Mass. More of the orange characters begin to attack our heroes, but they are teleported to Rann, where the other heroes are.

Animal Man asks if more superheroes can be cramed into Rann, but Phantom Girl tells him to be thankful Duplicate Girl isn't present. Martian Manhunter tries to telepathically contact Ultra, who is on Byth's ship. All of a sudden, Byth comes to take Ultra away from him. This leads to a tug-of-war between Byth and Martian Manhunter, which follows with J'onn collapsing. Green Arrow suggests that they should talk about the whole situation. Stargirl suggests another idea. While Brainiac 5 works on a plan to attack the wraiths, Green Arrow calls for action to rescue Ultra, which the Martian Manhunter agrees. Supergirl suggests finding Byth in order to retrieve Ultra. During this plan, Animal Man and Timber Wolf sniff at each other.

On the Moon of Ryngor, Byth, Black Mass, Hawkman, and Ultra board the spacecraft. Back on Rann, Saturn Girl asks who can't survive in the vacuum of space on their own. This leads to another Green Arrow/Animal Man joke. Saturn Girl gives the Justice League members flight rings. Alanna is worried about her beloved Adam Strange and they might be warped again. Sardath gave Adam a ring in case. Mon-El, Supergirl, and Wildfire suggest attacking the incoming wraiths and the assembled heroes do that. Sadly, Brainiac 5 is left on Rann's base calculating plans for attacks. Tellus and Green Arrow team up to fight a group of wraiths (as a joke, Green Arrow calls Tellus Telvus), while Animal Man and Timber Wolf fight another group. Mon-El, Martian Manhunter, and Supergirl chase Byth's ship, while Black Mass teleports himself out of the ship. Hawkman pilots the ship to hyperspeed. He tells Martian Manhunter that the end is here.

And the story continues in this week's Justice League United #8.

Personally, I enjoyed this issue since we see several members of both the Legion of Super-Heroes and Legion Lost. However, I was hoping the JLU could regain Hawkman as a member. I was also hoping that more LOSH members would join the fight. Maybe the next issue will have that.

Sad news for all you JLU fans. There will be no JLU in April and May due to Convergence. However, there are comics about Green Arrow and Hawkman coming that month. Also, you might catch Stargirl as a member of the JSA. But the comic will resume in June. For the comic's return, I'd like to see the following:

1. Hawkman returning to the team as an active member
2. Adam Strange and Alanna reunited on Earth
3. More action in Canada
4. Maybe an Injustice League of Canada, with Despero, Count Vertigo, Shadow Thief, Shiv, Shaggy Man, Blockbuster, Blackstarr, and Chronos as the members.
5. Having the Atom, Starfire, and Black Canary be members of the group (so the line-up will be Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Stargirl, Adam Strange (with Alanna), Animal Man, Supergirl, Equinox, Atom, Starfire, and Black Canary).
6. A crossover with the mainstream Justice League.

I'm hoping to get Justice League United #8 some time this month.

I wish I could say I enjoy this book - it has the Legion of Super-Heroes in it after all, it has the youthful dynamism of Green Arrow, Stargirl and Supergirl. It has a cosmic 'end of the universe' plot with a suitably cosmic foe. Adam Strange appears as a central character. It has art which while lacking the energy of Ivan Reiss or Dan Jurgens is perfectly servicable to the needs of the story unfolding. There is a moral dilemma in the form of the infant Ultraa and his link to the danger affecting the future and now the present. It has the subplot of Hawkman and his mysterious past, the appearance of his kinsman and archfoe Byth...
Yes, there is a lot going on in Justice League United, and yet none of it is gripping me as a reader.

Jeff Lemire is writing an unapologetically old fashioned team book, one can make the comparison here with that grand old Gerry Conway JLA story where the League were pulled into a massive gambit orchestrated by Mordru and encompassing the Legion of Super-Heroes and Justice Society. That three part story was, and still is, an entertaining collision of three distinct universes and a threat which shifts and changes, the story never stops moving. And on the face of it Jeff Lemire's tale follows much the same formula, with its cosmic villain and the colliding of two universes and more... why is it that this epic then feels so flat. Lifeless?

Upon considering the problem It can be seen that a flaw in the entrtainment value comes in the fact that despite a cast of characters with long and distinguished histories the nature of continuity at DC comics today means that that now vetoed history lacks the weight needed for the reader to fully invest in the drama and characters flowing through. Supergirl, Green Arrow etc are now characters with clean pasts and no prior connection to the other at all before meeting here in this Justice League book. A group of names which are well known to us, yet paradoxically we must accept the imposed reality that these people have never met the other. A new Justice League team, but eight issues old, their mission statement is vague, their sense of identity not yet apparent, but already they are thrown into an epic which collides them with the world of the Legion of Super-Heroes... a well established DC mainstay to which, again, none of these people have ever heard of.
But to compound this feeling of dissassociation from the reader we can see plainly that this Legion bears only passing connection to the group we have read about these last four years. Members are present who couldn't be there, a team at full strength and quite at odds with the Legion series which concluded just last year.

All of thse things are distracting. But it is also unfortunate that because of the lack of any one clear focus on a particular character the narrative instead reads as a disinteresting aloofness, it is not possible to feel for such an odd charactr as Ultraa so the threat and its emotional power is reduced purely to the tinsel and fizz of the approaching Infinitus. If this storyarc proves anything it is the folly of undertaking such an epic and ambitious story before the main cast has even had time to settle and become comfortable to the audience... there is little or no one to care about much within these pages as after but eight issues we don't actually know anyone. \:\-s

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