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.