Justice League: Cry for Justice #1


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Justice League: Cry for Justice #1


  • Words: James Robinson
  • Art: Mauro Cascioli
  • Colors: Mauro Cascioli
  • Story Title: The Beginning
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jun 27, 2009

The villains have gotten off easy one too many times and now the gloves are coming off for one group of heroes.

James Robinson is best known for his critically acclaimed and immensely popular run on Starman.  In the years since he has handled many of DC’s best-known heroes including Batman, Superman and the Justice Society of America.  Now he’s taking a team of Justice League members mixed with a few old faces and a few new ones and taking them down an admittedly familiar path.

With the recent losses of Martian Manhunter and Batman, Green Lantern – Hal Jordan – calls for the League to stop playing nice with the villains.  He wants justice for the deaths of his friends and colleagues… even if that means using harder methods.  Meanwhile, elsewhere, Ray Palmer (the former Atom), Mikaal Tomas (the alien once known as Starman) and Congo Bill, also known as Congorilla, all face terrible personal losses and begin to think of justice… not necessarily the law…

This idea of having heroes who are willing to get a little dirty, willing to pursue justice by stepping outside the law, is not new.  Most recently it was tried at DC with the maxi-series Justice League Elite.  So Robinson already has a bit of a hurdle to overcome with readers who feel like they have “been there, done that”.  One area where he is ahead, though, is being allowed to use some “A-list” characters for this mini-series in the form of Supergirl, Batwoman, Green Lantern and Green Arrow.  Still, for an only seven-issue mini-series, this first issue seems more set-up than anything else.  There are also sequences which are melodramatic and overwrought and lead to eye rolls instead of dramatic tension.  Despite what feels like the slow pace and the over emotional sequences, there are still some really good lines of dialogue and there is also the art…

Mauro Cascioli is not a well-known name here is America but he should be.  His painterly style is amazingly detailed but what really catches the eye is the way he plays with light, shadow and color.  He blends all three – giving color to both his lights and his shadows using them to highlight not just the characters but also their setting and moods.  It results in a fascinating whole which feels like just that – a whole which cannot be separated.  Looking at Cascioli’s work it seems impossible to separate the various elements out.

While Justice League: Cry for Justice is off to a slow and sometimes over-emotional start, Robinson has put together an interesting bunch of characters and promises that this will not be a mini-series occurring in a vacuum – that the story told here will have an impact on the main Justice League title in time.  For the $3.99 price tag readers also get some nice backmatter from Robinson and a lovely two-page “Secret Origin” style story for Congorilla written by Len Wein with lovely pencils from Ardian Syaf.  There is a lot of potential here but there is no guarantee the potential will pay off.  It will take another issue or so to see if Cry for Justice will bring shouts of joy or the silence of apathy.

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  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jul 5, 2009 at 9:17am

    With Robinson the new regular writer on JLA I guess this book takes on a greater significance. I thought there were enough hooks to interest the casual reader here although I do agree we've been down this road before - EXTREME JUSTICE anyone?

  • Fletch Adams

    Fletch Adams Jul 5, 2009 at 4:23pm

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  • Fletch Adams

    Fletch Adams Jul 5, 2009 at 4:24pm

    For a springboard issue, I was digging it...even with Starman, I enjoy Robinson's tales as a larger "chunk" as opposed to single issue...I liked his text piece and the origin backups

  • Lee Newman

    Lee Newman Jul 6, 2009 at 11:39am

    I really enjoyed this issue, despite it being half of the set up, it is clear the next issue will be more of the same... the only thing besides "JUSTICE!!!" that bugged me was the Atom sequence, it was a little too clever for its own good causing mass confusion and also why was Ray in street clothes when he got big?

  • Tonya Crawford

    Tonya Crawford Jul 6, 2009 at 8:10pm

    Andy, yes, in the back matter Robinson says that "Cry for Justice" WILL have a far-reaching impact for his Justice League run.

    And Lee.... What was so confusing about it? Don't you know your Silver Age Atom? It was always a point of the Silver Age Atom that Ray had designed his costume so that it was invisible when he was at full-size yet visible at shrunken size...... Yeah, yeah, I know, DON'T try to understand how that works your brain will explode. It's the same comic book physics that goes along with the Fantastic Four's "unstable molecules" costumes that stretch and turn invisible and catch on fire but don't burn up... Same stuff that lets Wolfsbane of the X-Family be fully clothed in her human form and yet essentially naked in her full lupine form, etc....

    I, for one, LIKED the Atom sequence since Robinson seemed to be implying that Ray DID know Ryan and they had been pen pals and Ray HAD asked Ryan to take over at Ivy U -- essentially retconning Rick Remender's stupid run on "The All-New Atom" which had stated that Ray had never known Ryan and it had all been a set-up for decades and Ryan had never really been pen-pals with Ray.... Which in turn was a stupid retcon of Gail's original run since Gail had EXPLICITLY had Wonder Woman say that Ray had often spoken about Ryan at JLA meetings.... Now, if someone could confirm that Panda was never killed we'll have pretty much wiped Remender's run out of existence... which will make me happy.

  • Lee Newman

    Lee Newman Jul 7, 2009 at 7:19am

    I knew I could count on the BF gang to explain it to me.
    No, I liked the feel of the Atom piece, the things you like about it, I liked... the problem with the scene is that the call and response type internal monologue is clumsy and poorly written, it doesn't flow very well and as a result the sequence required multiple readings for me.
    Other than that good book - and Robinson should have explained silver age tiny guy either on the page or in the back matter - pulling me from my suspension of disbelief not helpful when the writing is muddy.

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jul 7, 2009 at 7:59am

    It's interesting you say that about Ray/Ryan Tonya as I thought that as well and nearly mentioned it in ATDCU but couldn't make up my mind if I was reading too much into it or not.

  • Tonya Crawford

    Tonya Crawford Jul 7, 2009 at 7:32pm

    Robinson has said that Ray Palmer IS going to be a part of the JLA run so we might get even more clarification there but for me, personally, I'm taking it as a retcon of Remender's retcon. While I like Remender's creator owned stuff what he did to the All-New Atom after Gail left was a crime. He took a book that had been happy-crazy and turned it into angsty death-y.

  • Tonya Crawford

    Tonya Crawford Jul 7, 2009 at 7:33pm

    Also, I almost mentioned the retcon thing in my review but then figured not because it was decent into fangirlism and there are probably a lot of people out there who are thinking about picking up "Cry for Justice" who have never read ANYTHING featuring the Atom and could care less about whether Ray officially named his replacement or not.

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jul 7, 2009 at 7:56pm

    I was never the mega-fan of ALL-NEW ATOM that I know you (and Eric) were Tonya but I can totally sympathise on the retcon thing. We've all certainly been there at one time or another with beloved runs on books. I will keep a close eye on that for our weekly DC feature.

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