They’re all heroes. They all want what is just, but do they need to continue to “wait for villains to do wrong and then go after them” as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern suggests that Superman feels the Justice League should, or should they “track down…all the villains, all the evil…” and “hurt them back” as Jordan himself believes? This is the debate that opens Justice League: Cry for Justice. It’s not really a debate, though. It’s more like Jordan telling Superman and Wonder Woman that he’s fed up, and instead of being a reactive hero, he’s going to run off, and form his own Justice League that is proactive. He’s not alone. Oliver Queen/Green Arrow is with him, and the ranks of
Jordan’s League look to swell pretty soon, judging from the events surrounding several other heroes in this issue. They all cry for justice, and
Jordan’s approach will appeal to them.
The choice of Hal Jordan to be the hero to go all dark and militia-like on us, and for Green Arrow to go along with him, in spite of the fact that they are best friends (especially since Jordan, quite derogatorily refers to Green Arrow as once being a “knee-jerk liberal”) is rather odd. As Jordan himself states in this issue, “I am the law.” Last time I checked the job of a lawman is to “protect and serve,” not “seek and destroy.”
Jordan once did a great deal of seeking and destroying as Parallax, albeit not quite willingly, since he was under the influence of the Parallax entity. Even so, it would seem
Jordan would not be quite so comfortable with the path he’s choosing, since it seems extreme in nature. He’s been the victim of extremism before. Nevertheless, it is Jordan who breaks up the Justice League. Everything “Green Lantern” is gold right now in the DCU, and has been for a few years, so perhaps that’s why the editorial choice of having
Jordan lead this new splinter group was made. It might not have carried the same weight if it was Green Arrow, Hawkman, or even Wonder Woman filling this role.
So, with the League now split, and its members falling on opposite sides of the philosophical divide, will we see an eventual DCU version of a Marvel Civil War? Series writer James Robinson states, in his afterword to issue #1, that, “This series has grown into something bigger than could possibly have been imagined. And something that will have a resounding effect on the DCU.” It’s really going to depend on how far he ends up taking things with this series, and the amount of conflict he allows the heroes on the opposite sides of the divide to engage in. It looks like Jordan’s group will be relatively small compared to the remaining members of the Justice League proper and Justice Society. He may attract members away from the Society as well, though. They recently went through a bit of their own type of civil war during the Kingdom Come Superman/Gog storyline.
Wherever this series goes, and however seriously its “resounding effect” is, it’s going to be a visual treat with Cascioli’s art to look forward to. His art is reminiscent of Alex Ross’, but Cascioli’s heroes don’t look like they’re all in their 50’s, like Ross’ do, much of the time. His human and animal anatomy (Congorilla is featured!) is exceptional, and his facial detail is just as strong. The series would be worth reading based upon his artwork alone.
Overall, whether or not we end up with a DCU Civil War, or just a Dark Justice League, whatever ramifications this series ends up having on the DCU could be interesting. Hopefully, they will actually be something worth reading this series for.