jhags's Justice League of America #42 - Team History review

All About Ollie

A new team and a new direction. James Robinson and Mark Bagley present their latest work in the monthly installment of Justice League of America, issue #42.

While I felt this issue was better than the last, I am still not a huge fan of Bagley's art. Some panels, I really enjoy. Others, feel too bubbly and cartoon-ish, mostly evident in his depictions of female characters - and Donna Troy, in particular.

On a more positive note, the action is well-paced and engaging. However, it is the story of individual dynamics within the new group I find most appealing. Perhaps the most taken-for-granted storytelling device in Justice League is the lettering. This often overlooked element, featuring different colors and lettering styles for each character, allows us to know at first glance whose thoughts we are privy to. In #42, we see a changing of the guard, so to speak, with both Donna Troy and Batman internally referring to "my" League while, Green Lantern thinks it "their" League. We see the awkwardness of new leadership and chain-of-command between Dick Grayson and Hal Jordan, the unresolved romantic feelings between Grayson and Starfire, continued concern from Green Lantern and Black Canary for Green Arrow, and a budding friendship between Cyborg and a body-less Red Tornado.

Bookending issue #42 is Green Arrow. It opens with a prologue featuring Oliver Queen making a seemingly ominous, 'no-turning-back' request of a shady character. The story ends on a cliff-hanger, depicting Oliver returning to an empty Hall of Justice, walking in on unsuspecting super-powered burglars - and a really bad situation! Don't get me wrong, the story of the new League coming together and confronting the mysterious alien technology angle is cool and all, but I think the real story is about Oliver Queen. I'm intrigued to see how this story arc will launch DC's much hyped Rise and Fall Special coming soon!

In my view, #42 is a solid issue, but lacks some of the magic of previous incarnations of the League. Still, I'm interested to see how this team and story continue to progress.    

1 Comments
Posted by AirDave817

Cool review. I think James Robinson's writing is as much an acquired taste as Mark Bagley's artwork. It took a while to get used to Tony Harris' sharp, jagged lines that seemed to go on into inifity on Starman. I'm willing to give them both a little latitude here, because, toward the end of Robinson's run on Starman, he had brought together Ralph and Sue Dibney, Black Condor, Phantom Lady, Bobo Benetti, The Shade and The O'dares to protect Opal City. He had weaved such an intricate storyline from issue 0 to 80, that taken individually stood pretty well on their own - but taken as a whole fit together amazingly well. And, he managed to resolve and tie up all the other Starman storylines. He resolved Will Payton and Prince Gavyn, Ted, and Mikaal. He even managed to draw in Sylvester Pemberton as part of the Starman line. It looks like he's building something epic here. I want to see where he goes with this. I noticed that the Oliver Queen from the prologue looks a little different from the one that shows up for the cliffhanger. That makes me go "Hurmmm." 

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