Following “The Dark Things” crossover with “Justice Society of America,” the JLA takes a breather in this issue. Robinson swings for the fences and tries to nail a story akin to the “New Teen Titans” classic “A Day in the Life” story for the League. Unfortunately, he ticks the ball off the bat and over the backstop. Nice souvenir for a fan, but the rest of us are left wanting that undelivered home run.
Supergirl and Batman sit down for a dinner together after taking down the Murder Maestro. Congorilla goes swinging through Central Park, Starman laments his partner, Jesse spends some quality time with Hourman, while Jade and Donna (codename please!) decide to check out Alcatraz. Robinson chooses to focus on Jade and Donna over the course of this issue.
The duo of Jade and Donna brings a lot of story potential, some of which Robinson trolls through the menace of the Bogeyman, but truly, Robinson is saving the best for later. More to the point of this issue, however, is the treatment of Donna Troy. I know Robinson is trying to establish Donna Troy as her own character, but I can’t recall her ever being as foul-mouthed and angry as she is in this issue. Yes, I understand that Robinson is projecting Bogeyman to be a creep, who brings out the very worst in Donna, but for Donna to blast him and call him a “@%$#er” more than once just struck me as out of character for Donna. I’m accustomed to Donna choosing the high road, and when she does so in this issue, it just comes across as indecision.
The “fighting a battle inside your own head” thing falls flat in this issue. It’s telegraphed early on that Bogeyman is going to mess with Donna. In light of what the poor lady went through in “Blackest Night,” this story seems more fill-in than original. Sure, there are some new revelations, like the current state of Carl Sands, and Jade’s self-doubt, but for the most part, this issue didn’t move me. I would have rather spent a little more time with Dick and Kara as they bonded over dinner.
Rodrix’s art is strong and expressive. Many of the pages push past convention and tell their story in panels that dare to cross the gutter of the book. Bagley made this a normal convention in this title, but Rodrix applies it in a more appealing, more consistent manner. I’m not sure what to make of a book that requires nine inkers and a pinch-hit at penciller, save to say something’s not right somewhere. Whether it’s a production delay on the part of the penciller, inker, or writer, it really doesn’t much matter, but eleven artists cranking out thirty pages (that tell one single story, mind you) is pretty darn excessive. I’d like to see a little more consistency and excellence in the art. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this is the Justice League. The characters in the book know this is the big Leagues. The creative talent should be aware of it too.
As far as follow-ups to major crossovers go, this issue is a bit of a letdown. Of course, it follows a crossover and is trying to keep the seat warm for a milestone (fiftieth) issue, so it was fighting an uphill battle from the start. Robinson is investigating the characters he chose for his Justice League. I just hope it gets more engaging in the months to come.