"The Tornado's Path (Chapter Three: The Brave & The Bold)"
Writer: Brad Meltzer
Artists: Ed Benes (p), Sandra Hope & Mariah Benes (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Finally, some movement! That was my reaction at seeing the DCís much hallowed TRINITY (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) making an actual contributing move. Although small and coming near the tail end of this third issue of the new Justice League of America series, it did have them doing something other than providing filler service between the various subplots. Not to belittle their team selection exercise, but at this point, after almost three issues, even a bathroom run (by either of the three) would have been a welcomed as an "action move." I do not know how long this arc is going to be, but I sincerely hope that it does not stretch through until the end of Brad Meltzerís twelve-issue long run.
What I do know is that I could use a little dialing down on the drama-to-the-max routine going here. It is just too reminiscent of Identity Crisis, even more so when one sees the character similarities between the two. Then again, this feeling of mine might have something to do with me not caring the least bit for a quarter of the team, one whole subplot, the one with Green Lantern, Arsenal and Black Canary in it. Despite whatever reasons for having them here, I am not (or will be) sold on the idea of having either Arsenal or Black Canary in this specific group, other than Meltzer just wanting to use them. It is even more so in the case with Black Canary than Arsenal; after all, it wasnít like she was just sitting around twiddling her thumbs. She already is a member of another team, the Buds of Oracle a.k.a. the Birds of Prey.
Even the dynamic among Green Lantern, Arsenal, and Black Canary, both in the way they communicate and in their battle against the Tornado robots, clearly harks of an effort to recreate the trio of the Ring, the Arrow and the Cry, only this time instead of Ollie, Roy has the bow and arrows. So what is this? Trinity-2? Trinity-Junior? The Backup?
Moving on with Black Lightning and as seen in the last issue, his run in with the Parasite takes a turn for the worst with Trident and Dr. Impossible Boom-Tubing in. The expected fight scene ensues, and even though this one isnít as elaborate as the one with Green Lantern and his Ollie-lite crew (and letís not forget the Tornado robots), it does provide for an opening for the entry of yet another member of team: Hawkgirl. Although an interesting enough advancement, her entry isnít that much of surprise here and not just because of the rumors already abounding about who will be part of this NEW JLA. That cat has been out the bag for just under four months now (with the very first issue of The All-New Atom, back in July). Still, this does lead to a rather STARRO-ing revelation.
That leaves Red Tornado and Vixen..., well..., pretty much Red Tornado for Vixenís part here is limited to her digging out the rubble left behind after the explosion caused by Plastique (last issue). Even Reddy does not get that big of a chunk with his big thing being the realization that he got chumped and that it wasnít Boston Brand (Deadman) who ďhelpedĒ him out.
Lastly, like what was provided in the previous two issues, the excellent artwork in this issue isnít so much a surprise as it is a welcome experience.
Conclusion: With a special appearance by DCís newest "Pops-Up Everywhere" character, the Phantom Stranger, the League finally starts to get its act together. Still, with Hal Jordon, Dinah Lance, Roy Harper (standing in for Oliver Queen) and Kendra Saunders (standing in for Carter Hall), Meltzer has brought back more than half of the seven of his Identity Crisisís "Justice League of Mindwiping."
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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