Justice League of America # 50
By Koppy McFad
October 23, 2010 - 05:19
Writer(s): James Robinson
Penciller(s): Mark Bagley, Pow Rodrix, Rob Hunter, Norm Rapmund
Cover Artist(s): Ethan Van Sciver/ Jim Lee/ Mark Bagley
$4.99 US 56 pages
The Crime Syndicate of Amerika, (the evil, other-dimensional counterparts of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the JLA big-names) attack the Justice League-- which in this case is made up of ex-sidekicks and also-rans like Supergirl, Dick Grayson, Donna Troy, Jesse Quick, et al. The Justice League B-team have to step up their game to battle bad guys who are as powerful as their mentors.
Since most of this issue is devoted to action and combat, it is fairly exciting and engrossing. It also manages to surprise us with some plot twists and clever characterisation of the Crime Syndicate members.
The lengthy, sometimes muddled dialogue that has weighed down recent issues is kept to a minimum here, although there is one exchange between Dick and Donna that just goes on and on, yet still ends up going nowhere.
At the same time, there are a lot of things that weigh this issue down. The fight versus the Crime Syndicate and the League is lacking in drama. Instead of being intimidated or troubled, the heroes don't react at all to the fact that they are fighting evil versions of their old partners. Moreoever, there is no cleverness in the fight scene. The heroes don't try to use their powers creatively and instead, just start punching and blasting.
This issue also highlights a major flaw of the JLA comic book in recent months. The overuse of huge panels which don't really tell much of a story. An entire two-page spread is used to just show two characters exchanging three punches. Jack Kirby or Wally Wood could have told half a story in that space.
The art is suitable for the action-packed tale. The characters look recognisable and their movements are easy to follow, despite the huge cast which is often in flight or moving at super-speed. At the same time, there is nothing particularly eye-catching or memorable about the art, not even the scene of a naked Superwoman.
There is also a scene where Jade's power pulse suddenly begins reciting free-verse poetry while Jade is sucking the energy out of an opponent. Those scenes just show that the writer simply can't write good poetry.
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