By Koppy McFad
December 17, 2008 - 03:53
The main characters of the shuttered Milestone comics line make their debut in the DC universe in a story that pits them against the Justice League. The mysterious Shadow Cabinet-- which now includes such characters as Icon and Hardware-- are looking for Dr. Light-- both the living hero and the dead villain-- and they aren't asking nicely.
Despite the cover, which shows Superman and Icon mixing it up, there is very little action in this issue. The issue basically ends with the Cabinet facing off with the League and the fighting is apparently slated for next issue.
In fact, there is a shocking lack of excitement in this particular comic. You would think that DC Comics would want the Milestone characters to make a big impression when they first come out but they barely do anything of interest. So far, if one did not know better, he would think they were just another generic bunch of super badguys like the Fearsome Five or the Emissaries of Evil.
It isn't just the Shadow Cabinet who are at fault. The whole issue is paced almost casually. More attention and intensity is conveyed in the scenes showing Red Arrow and Hawkgirl in bed or Black Canary dressing down Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman than in the scenes with the Shadow Cabinet plotting their (nefarious?) scheme. In one scene, Dr. Light activates an alarm in her house which has the Shadow Cabinet worried that the Justice League will show up in minutes. Yet instead of showing the League rushing to the scene faster than a speeding bullet, we get the Black Canary speech followed by a scene of the League setting off to help Dr. Light like they were on their way to get their drivers' licenses renewed. Not exactly the thing that will keep readers at the edge of their seats.
This has become a problem with recent issues of the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: the book has become focused on the interpersonal relationships of the team, particularly the troubled romance between Red Arrow and Hawkgirl and Vixen's fluctuating powers rather than the threats. And when they do face the threats, these menaces tend to be rather esoteric and needlessly complicated, resorting to extended speeches rather than action.
The art is again, typical for Benes: he draws posters with characters (usually female) in interesting poses rather than panels trying to tell a story. His art in BIRDS OF PREY was better. His style has actually regressed. It is like DC Comics has realised that cheesecake is the main attraction of the JUSTICE LEAGUE book and is now actually forcing him to draw panels built around Black Canary's ass.
This issue also has a dream sequence involving Hawkgirl having sex, after which we see Red Arrow leaving her bed. Yet amazingly, it still has a comics code stamp. Well, I doubt too many kids would want to read such a slow-moving book anyway.
Rating: 3 /10