circularlogic's Justice League International #9 - Into the Firestorm review

Another member? or what?

I think the main problem with this book is the tendency to force in characters at the most awkward moments. First there was Bat-wing, who was forgiven by the fact that his ties with Batman make his involvement feel much more natural than they otherwise would have. O.M.A.C. wasn't so lucky, and really derailed issue 8 towards the end, and now, out of nowhere, Firestorm is shoved in? Maybe it's because I haven't been reading Fury of Firestorm, mostly out of my dislike for the very poorly executed racial tensions from the first issue, but I was more than a little confused. At least O.M.A.C. was saved by the fact that appearing out of nowhere and destroying stuff is kinda his thing, but this is a bit out of place. I can't help but feel this might be the result of editorial decisions, such as the need to include some characters who have lost their own titles, but this is becoming tedious at this point. At the very least there does seem to be a deeper connection between these characters, with a reference made to how O.M.A.C. was being controlled in some way when he first leaped into this story, but still it's hard to ignore this when it's happened 3 times in 3 books now.

With the elephant in the room addressed, The book still is saved by it's strong points, mainly, rock solid characterization and a great team dynamic. I really like how everyone is fitting in together as a group, and most of all how they work together. Even with O.M.A.C. getting crammed in, he still immediately has common ground with August-General-In-Iron, and these things are what makes this title so damn likable. Art is also really good and fits the tone of this title quite nicely. The villains are fine for now, they seem to be trying to represent basic stereotypes of modern day "revolutionaries", from the hippy/anarchist leader, to the douche who just wants to play Call of Duty instead of truly devoting himself to the cause. I'm withholding judgement for now, but hopefully these guys will get a little deeper insight to make them a more impressive group, though I will say that a group of anti-government activist villains does make the perfect villain for a team organized by the UN. The only real complaint I have is that, especially since Bat-wing is on the team, Batman needs to gracefully slink back to the shadows and let the team go on as is.

So, was this a good issue? Yes, but it's really getting grating how many characters are getting shoved in, leaving the plot a bit messy, but at least they made the O.M.A.C. thing easier to swallow by having it tied back to the main story. I believe it's to be continued in Fury of Firestorm, which I'm sorry, but I'm not reading since it's just not a very good series. I also dislike how a story building for several issues gets finished or continued in another title. Cross-overs should be done at the start of an arc, so people can decide if they're willing to buy the shared title, or if they can just skip this brief story until the focus is returned. Hopefully next issue faithful readers of this series won't have missed too much and the story can continue on it's merry way.

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