JLA or New Teen Titans?
The Justice League of America (JLA) boasts the sub-title of "World's Greatest Heroes." Lately, though, the JLA has seen better days. Tie-in events of Blackest Night, Cry for Justice, and Final Crisis have left the League dismantled, losing several members to death, dismemberment and mental health issues. Issue #41 finds the JLA hurting, seeking meaning and rebuilding itself.
James Robinson and Mark Bagley continue their run with issue #41, telling tales of a League worn down by trials and loss. A physically broken Vixen laments her role in letting Prometheus escape without punishment following the events of Cry for Justice and decides to leave the team. One problem - Cry for Justice has not yet been concluded. Zatanna, Gypsy, and Plastic Man are out as well, tending to wounds both mental and physical. Red Tornado is still active, but lies on a table literally in pieces following his run-in with Black Lanterns, Vibe and Steel (see issues 39 and 40). This leaves a disheartened Dr. Light as the sole remaining, semi-functional member of the League.
The rebuilding begins with Donna Troy. A visit from Wonder Woman prompts Donna to engage in a few recruiting trips and soon after, Starfire, Cyborg, and Dick Grayson's Batman (with tag-along Robin, aka Damian Wayne) join the roster. The team expands, adding Guardian, Mon El, Green Lantern and Green Arrow.
For me, #41 feels a bit rushed. During the past few months, the League has lost several key members, split into two teams, and seen each character enter some pretty dark territory. Reconstructing the "World's Greatest Heroes" in one issue with grown-up Teen Titans feels too simplistic.
On the flip-side, it is nice to see the new Batman involved with the League. With his addition, Dick Grayson becomes one of the most experienced and well-respected heroes on the team, along with original Leaguers, Green Lantern and Green Arrow. The inclusion of a rage-filled, bloodthirsty Green Arrow seems destined for nothing but trouble - and really good, emotion-rich storytelling!
I have always been a fan of the Justice League, but #41 leaves me with that hang-in-there feeling one gets when watching a favorite sports team enter a rebuilding season. I am intrigued by the inclusion of Batman, Green Lantern and Green Arrow. However, it is like having a few varsity players on a JV squad. I am still a fan, but am waiting to see how this "rebuilding season" plays out.