Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Justice League of America #22 Review

When you Wish...

Written by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Neil Edwards, Daniel Henriques, Hi-Fi, and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 10, 2018

It's JLA time again and when the book pops up in my review pile, I am always wondering which one it will be that week.  Will it be the over-the-top action book with Lobo calling everyone a trib?  Will it be the SJW book that wants to point out the ills of society while trying to fix them with this team of metas of the people?   Or will it be the character-driven book that delves into this ticking time bomb we call the Justice League of America? I prefer the later, but even then, the track record has been spotty.  So, which one do we get this week?  Let's find out...

The issue starts out disproving my theory that it was Ryan who wished for Frost to be cured.  It was all Frost...well, the Might Beyond the Mirror had a little to do with it.  After doing her best Willy Wonka impression (see below), we finally get a name to put with the Might...It's Tsaritsa or the Queen of Fables, a Mark Waid creation that fought the JLA back in the early 2000s.  

We then get the initial aftermath of the whole wish-a-me-do which in this book means some wonky explanation and nonsequitors from Lobo.  The explanation of why Batman trusted the JLA with fighting the Might Beyond the Mirror over, say the Justice League, kind of throws out the fact that the Queen picked who she went to.  She didn't go against Frost or the Justice League because that's who Batman wanted, but that's certainly the way it is presented here.

We then get another mention of Nightmare Batmen and while Frost tries to spin things anyway but the truth (she was dumb and messed up big time!), she falls, bumps her head and Tsaritsa is back in business.

We then get a big fight.  It's nothing special, but I can't get over the fact that Caitlyn somehow continues to hold onto the idea that Tsaritsa shouldn't be hurt because then she might not be cured.  This is a straight-up villain that has caused trouble in this book for a year and Frost just looks like a selfish jerk.  The fight ends with the destruction of the Sanctuary before Orlando sends the reader off to Vanity.

Vanity means the Ray and we get a continuation of his grudge against the Three Devils, only this time with 100% less humor.  It's all to show the wide berth of wishes going on before going back to Rhode Island to lay heavy with explanation told through ridiculous dialogue.  The JLA (except Frost) are in shackles, something about Woodsman and untarnished thighs and Mount Justice.  Rhode Island surely hasn't seen anything close to this exciting since the time of the Cowsills!

After more Dark Knights explanation (why didn't the people wish for them to just go away and end Metal right here, huh?), Mari escapes by ripping off her own hand before getting attacked by the Paul Bunyan wannabes with Tsaritsa and then...blowing up in an atomic explosion?  Maybe?

The issue ends with the Queen throwing major shade at Lobo before a very non-cliffhanger cliffhanger.  It's just the Queen saying she is going to be Queen.  Come on!  Make me excited for next issue with a reveal or a dangling thread, not the villain saying the same thing she did on every page of the issue.

I may have been a bit harsh above, but this issue and this series is just not good.  Poor pacing, worse dialogue and a team that must have looked more interesting on paper brings everything down and throw in the fact that Caitlyn seems to have forgotten everything that led to this point and now I am getting angry.  Things just happen because that's where Orlando wants to push the story and because of that, it never feels natural or earned.  He does like classic characters and while it's cool to get Tsaritsa back fighting the JLA, the track record of Orlando and this book only has me waiting to see her as a lesser version of any we've seen before, ie: Prometheus.  Neil Edwards' art is decent, but there were some rushed panels and a couple moments that were confusing due to poor transitions.

Bits and Pieces:

We finally see the true face of the Might Beyond the Mirror and it's the return of a classic character that has fought the JLA before.  Unfortunately, nothing seems to be able to lift this series past mediocrity.  Maybe if we all wish really hard...

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  1. God, they should just let this series die already! If not, at the least give it to a better writer.


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