Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley and Rob Hunter
Well, here we are…the debut issue of the much-anticipated run of superstar creators James Robinson and Mark Bagley on DC’s most prestigious team book, and it all leads up to…another Blackest Night team-up. This isn’t a bad thing, really, but it kind of feels tacked on to a story that already seemed a little disjointed in the first place.
Justice League of America # 38 is useful in that it helps place recent events in the DC Universe timeline. Reading this issue, I am now aware that the current Cry For Justice mini-series took place before the events of Blackest Night, and that at some point during Cry For Justice, the current members of the JLA will get torn to shreds by Prometheus. The issue mostly focuses on most of the League members moaning about how badly they got messed up in that battle (which we have yet to see in the mini). Vixen, Red Tornado, Doctor Light, and a seriously discombobulated Plastic Man meet up at the JLA’s original headquarters in Happy Harbor to discuss the future of the team and are suddenly attacked by Despero, who senses that the team is ripe for the picking. They soon get some much-needed help from fellow Leaguer Zatanna, who soon brings them up to speed on the undead hordes that the rest of the DC heroes are dealing with.
This was an odd start to the new creative team’s run. As much as I am enjoying many current DC books, they do require a lot of effort trying to find out where they fit in the current timeline of the DCU. This issue at least shows that something important happens in Cry For Justice and makes me want to finish reading it, despite how much I hated the last couple of issues.
Robinson seems to be toning down on the overly jokey dialogue that has hampered my enjoyment of Cry For Justice, though he still can’t help sneaking in an awkward reference or two. Bagley’s art is pleasant-looking, if not unremarkable. It’ll take some time before I get used to his distinct visual style being used on DC heroes. Despite its narrative flaws, I’m still interested in seeing where this arc will wind up and will award this issue a cautiously optimistic 3 out of 5 incomplete Zatanna spells.