Justice League of America: The Dark Things – Graphic Novel Review
TITLE: Justice League of America: The Dark Things
AUTHOR: James Robinson
PENCILLER: Mark Bagley
COLLECTS: Justice League of America 44-48, Justice Society of America #41-42
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASED: March 16, 2011
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
I must be a glutton for punishment. When this story was being published in single issue form, both Justice League and Justice Society were $3.99, in contrast to DC’s current “Drawing the line at $2.99″ initiative. This means I paid more than $27 for THIS.
I’ve come to realize that the current status/roster of the Justice League isn’t so much James Robinson’s fault. It’s DC in general. They took all their big guns and sent them elsewhere, so this is what we’re left with. Superman’s doing his Grounded storyline that seems to never end, Bruce Wayne is busy with Batman Inc., Wonder Woman is undergoing some weird continuity shift thing, Green Lantern is almost always off on some cosmic journey, and Aquaman, Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter are all busy in Brightest Day. So we’re left with a Justice League that lacks that epic feel, because all pillars of the DCU that usually make up the team aren’t there. By God, this sounds like the PERFECT time to team them up with the Justice Society, who are in the midst of a transition themselves! In fact, let’s just throw a bunch of random heroes in there and see what happens!
No wonder Bagley went back to Marvel.
When Jade returns to Earth after the events of Blackest Night, her presence somehow messes with her father, Justice Society founder and the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott. Scott gains his power from a magical force called the Starheart. When the Starheart starts taking control of some of Earth’s heroes, both the League and the Society are needed to save the planet. But the biggest threat will ultimately prove to be Alan Scott himself.
This is one of those stories you think is never going to end. The whole thing just seems hastily thrown together as an excuse to cram a bunch of superheroes into a book because they couldn’t come up with anything better for the League to do.
Mind you, I understand that Robinson is trying to build up this new team from a group of individual heroes who have very little experience working together, to the damn Justice League of America. And having Alan Scott in the story naturally plays toward putting Jade on the team. But just because you have Alan Scott in the story, doesn’t mean you have to throw the whole Justice Society in there. Even when you take into account that one of the Society members joins the League at the end, you still didn’t need Jay Garrick, Dr. Fate, Mr. Terrific, and all those heroes. Heck, some heroes simply show up randomly! Kyle Rayner pops up for no apparent reason! He serves no purpose to the story other than being Jade’s ex-boyfriend. Mr. Miracle also pops up to help the team do something, but then just sort of…hangs out.
Though the story is something of a mess, Bagley’s art is still top notch. We’ll see one more Justice League book from Bagley later this year. It’s just a shame that his run at DC ended on a book of this quality.
All in all, if you’re a huge Justice League fan, or a huge Jade fan, I’d recommend waiting to pick this book up as a trade. From a continuity perspective, this book is significant because Supergirl, Jade, as well as a certain JSA member join the team. Some of the action is pretty cool, and the art is great, but the rest of it? Stinkaroonie.
Front page image from comicmegastore.com.