Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Pencils: Shane Davis
Superman? Busy with New Krypton. Wonder Woman? Busy with Themyscera. Batman? Busy with death.
What’s a “pretty bird” like Black Canary to do? Well, for one, she’s ticked off, ticked off that Hal Jordan has quit and is starting up his own Justice League (DC is kind enough to give us blurb about the “full story” on that coming in a new JL mini this July). She calls Hal Jordan and her husband Ollie Queen (would this be the Trinity B-Team?) to a meeting to discuss this fact, but flat out, Ollie & Hall tell her ever since the League got back together, they haven’t accomplished anything. Jordan gets a bit harsh bringing up the death of Batman and the Martian Manhunter, J’onn J’onzz, telling Black Canary he’s going to do all the things she couldn’t do as chairperson of the League. If this was The Jerry Springer Show, you’d have been hearing lots of “OOOOOHs” and “OH SNAPs” right then.
This is a solid issue, featuring the always gorgeous art of Shane Davis, which pretty much just shows the League breaking down and people quitting. Wally West and Roy Harper (Flash and Red Arrow, respectively, as if you didn’t already know) pass on sticking with the team, Red Tornado hasn’t been heard from, Black Lightning is heading up the Outsiders per Batman’s request and Superman and Wonder Woman are too busy dealing with their own people to give proper attention to the League.
So, what we’re left with at the end of the issue is a League consisting of Black Canary, Green Lantern John Stewart, Zatanna, Doctor Light (Kimiyo Hoshi, NOT the psycho rapist) and Vixen. Then, on the final page, Canary is all “potato, patattah, I’m calling the whole thing off”. Oh my!
This was all really good stuff because I’m a sucker for ‘membership drive’ and ‘members quitting’ issues. What can I say? I love the politics and drama of it all!
How will this League fare though? It seems we’ve come across that common problem of the The Big Three being needed elsewhere by DC editorial and the League roster getting watered down as a result. I’m all for experimentation though, the JLI years gave us something truly great but then we’ve also seen League rosters truly bad (JL Detroit is one glaring example, but early/mid-90s pre-Morrison was pretty bad too). I just hope the League, as a book, doesn’t get taken for granted, as has happened at time in the past when the icons weren’t present.
So far, so good though. I’m a fan of McDuffie, but his JLA run hasn’t knocked my socks off. Who knows? Maybe a roster shake-up is just what this book needed.