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Justice League of America #44

Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010
By: Shawn Hill

James Robinson
Mark Bagley, Hunter & Rapmund (i)
DC Entertainment
“Devil in the Details”

Plot: A strange green meteor hits the satellite on its way to Germany and Etrigan the Demon wants it. The Justice League says no.

Comments: Brightest Day tie-ins mean I get a free ring at my LCS, but otherwise...yeah, I’d buy it anyway. The cover gives away the surprise return at the end of this issue, unless you’re color blind. Bagley’s male and female forms are highly differentiated. I also like how his Batman just isn’t Bruce and the mix of JSA characters on the cover (including the fallen Allen Scott) also hint about the reveal.

Inside we have to deal with the whole Etrigan thing before getting to the whole glowy green thing and Robinson does a nice job of keeping the Demon’s rhymes both varied and barbed. When the new team descends upon him, he mocks them as, “Rabble, more like substitute heroes,” because he’s seeing only “zeroes.” And this is where Bill the Ape and Starman start to shine, taking blows from Etrigan but also fomenting the beginnings of teamwork.

The issue begins in a training session on the satellite with “Batman” putting everyone through his or her paces in a fairly jovial and productive way. When the green asteroid nicks the space station (unlikely, but it makes more opportunities to introduce our characters and their powers) their deck decompresses. In short order, they’re going up against a major threat like Etrigan, which is the best news Donna has had all week. She’s really looking to unleash a major hurting and with her teammates at her side, she does.

Then we swerve to JSA headquarters, where it’s all subplot exposition, “what the, huh?” time, but then we finally found out something that, while it is good news, is also sort of a non-starter, as the character has been a yo-yo of mediocre writing for most of his or her history. But maybe Robinson has plans, as he does for rest of his ersatz, imitation big leaguers team. I’m all for the imitations if it means we’re going to get character development from them. Robinson is trying hard to give each character distinction, and Bagley is working overtime to sell drama with wideshots and splash pages galore, but the story hasn’t quite caught fire yet.



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