Justice League of America (vol. 2) #41-60

So there’s three directions in which the Titans wind up going after the Blackest Night and Cry for Justice events: Teen Titans continues as it was, Titans becomes a Deathstroke-led villain team, and several of the founding Titans move into Justice League of America. This happened, as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, when I was out of comics, so when I came back I just picked up Titans as well as Teen Titans. I’m pretty sure that I knew that Justice League of America existed and was still being published, but among all of the attention being paid to the Green Lantern and Batman stories I completely missed that Dick Grayson (as Batman), Donna Troy, and Cyborg were part of the League’s lineup.

I managed to get a few of these issues when someone gifted me an enormous collection a number of years ago (a collection I’ve since mostly donated and/or sold off except for the few books I’ve kept) and I had intended to fill in the gaps of this particular run, but issues from this era were proving harder and harder to find in the wild. Plus, I wasn’t really much into the effort of looking for them because I had other priorities. I simply read the missing issues via DC Infinite.

The writer here is James Robinson, who is at this point coming off the travesty that was “Cry for Justice,” and over the course of this year and a half of issues, he has two big storylines: a JLA/JSA crossover where Alan Scott is corrupted and possessed by the Starheart and then “The Rise of Eclipso”, which brings the series and the team to a close. As part of the team, Robinson not only has the former Titans on the team, but Congorilla and Starman Mikhail Thomas. The latter I’m sure that he put in there because of his presence in the ’90s Starman series; the former either was there to fill a gorilla quota or because Robinson liked the character.

Thankfully, the repercussions of Cry for Justice are elsewhere in the DCU–mainly in Titans and Green Arrow–and while it’s mentioned in some capacity, he moves on pretty quickly. He also wraps up a few dangling threads from Titans, including the relationship of Dick and Kory, as Kory heads off to parts elsewhere similar to how she did before Zero Hour. Otherwise, he tries to have the characters from that series develop and mature. When it comes to Cyborg, it works fairly well. Dick Grayson as Batman is more of an accessory than a character because he was being handled in the Batman titles at the time. Donna Troy? Her efforts to make the team work and be a strong leader are portrayed well and she shows a lot more confidence in herself than when she was running the team during the Brother Blood storyline. But he’s got her angrier and cursing a lot more than expected, all of which I think has to do with Eclipso in some regard and then with her feeling burned out from being a superhero. In fact, she announces her retirement at the end of the last issue, intending to follow through on the move to Miami that she was thinking of in her solo issues of Titans.

It works in some ways and not in others. Like I said, the characterization felt slightly off, and I wonder if it was some way for him to get her “prepared” for not being around in the New 52–although that might have been a coincidence and Robinson just needed a way to end the whole story. But the adventures were decent even if they don’t all land. Robinson throughout this particular set of issues tries to do with his team what Grant Morrison did during his classic JLA run. Paired with Mark Bagley’s art, it’s superhero forward with a tone that’s a little lighter than what immediately preceded it, and read nice and fast.

In all, I’m glad I read them but am also glad that I’m going to be offloading these. Robinson can never redeem himself for killing Lian Harper, but it was a little bit of salve on the wound.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s