Justice League of America #2 Review - Geoff Johns and David Finch

jla2 The crap detector fired up earlier than usual when picking up this month€™s latest issue of Justice League of America as I read the tagline on the cover - €œThe World€™s Most DANGEROUS Super Heroes!€. Oh boy. Vibe, Catwoman and Green Arrow? Right, whatever. It might as well say €œLeave Brain Behind Before Opening Comic€. That€™d make more sense. Alas, my brain remained inside my head as I delved into Geoff Johns and David Finch€™s latest offering. Unfortunately this comic€™s sense of hopelessness refuses to go away with a bizarre opening scene showing Scarecrow tied to a chair and being interrogated by the shadowy figure with the cane from page 1 of the first JLA issue. Johns makes the baffling decision to make Scarecrow sexually turned on by fear. Huh? Yes, Johns thinks Jonathan Crane is so into fear because it€™s his fetish. Ergh. Such a terrible way to write the character. So then we move onto the dynamic duo, Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor. They€™ve moved out of the office where they were sat reading files for the entire first issue and are now standing in the corridor. And this scene highlights one of the the worst things about this comic - the cheesy dialogue. Steve Trevor: €œYou sold out. You€™re the man you used to fight so desperately against€. Amanda Waller: €œYou follow orders or I€™ll find someone who does€. Then later in an exchange between Steve and Green Arrow, GA accuses Steve of selling out (again with this €œselling out€ nonsense!) to which Steve says €œI€™m not a sellout. I€™m the guy who rebels against authority!€. And then we get to the first meeting of the JLA. In a boardroom. And Catwoman decides to wear her one piece with the zipper down to her navel, exposing all but the nips of her cleavage - really? She couldn€™t zip up? She has to have it zipped down ridiculously low? Awful choice by David Finch. I€™ll give this comic one thing - the page between Vibe and Hawkman meeting for the first time genuinely made me laugh, as it was meant to, not because I found it pathetic. Vibe: €œAre you ok?€ Hawkman: €œWhy?€ V: €œYou€™re covered in blood.€ H: €œNot my blood.€ (Vibe looks at reader and moves chair away). Hawkman Vibe Steve Trevor walks in and announces President Obama (yes, unfortunately the President was put into this crap) will introduce the JLA to the world - which really makes me wonder, why? Why do they need a press conference? Why do they need to be introduced to the general public in their world? They€™re a superhero team saving innocent people and bringing justice to the bad guys. Isn€™t that enough? DC have this weird obsession with PR and superheroes going back at least 10 years: they seem to think the biggest thing that will bring down their superheroes is bad press. If the public doesn€™t like them, they€™re done for. Which is true in a real world sense - if we, the public, stop buying a particular comic, that comic is done, over, kaput. But DC mean the superhero is somehow defeated in the comic if public opinion turns on them. This sense of insecurity drives a lot of their plotlines and it€™s come into play in this series as well. Look at Marvel - do the Avengers need to give press conferences or do they get on with it? Exactly. Man up, DC! Post-conference, Martian Manhunter decides to peek into Green Arrow€™s mind to see how he came to wind up nearly dead and we find out who €œBatman€ €œSuperman€ and €œWonder Woman€ really were in the first issue. As Arrow wakes up, the problem of bad dialogue resurfaces. Olly Queen is easily recognisable and his disguise is pretty terrible. It€™s a hood and a domino mask that€™s got see-through lenses so you can see his eyes. In his hospital bed, he hasn€™t got a hood - the domino mask doesn€™t do anything to hide his identity. But his first question when he regains conciousness: €œWhy the hell am I still wearing my mask?€ elicits this comment from Steve: €œI thought you€™d want your identity protected from the medical staff€. I can€™t tell if Steve Trevor is the dumbest character in this book or that€™s Johns€™ attempt at humour. Either way it's a very poor scene. The issue ends with the JLA and Steve Trevor wandering about the woods GA was found in, with Steve telling everyone the importance of keeping a low profile - just pages after holding a press conference with President Obama introducing the JLA to the world! Also included is a short backup written by Matt Kindt and drawn by Scott Clark. It features Martian Manhunter at the White House out to prove the need to have the JLA around to the President (poor Obama - he didn't deserve to be a part of this garbage). This is a weird and disturbing story, not least because it€™s still unclear why Martian Manhunter is even on the JLA, but also because it confirms MM is a really shady individual. It just so happens there€™s an assassin - from the Secret Society of Super-Villains (really) - out to kill the President. MM, in disguise, manipulates all of the White House€™s security into allowing the assassin to get into the Oval Office and point a gun at the President before killing the assassin. MM even admits that had he not interfered, the assassin would€™ve been stopped by White House security long before he got anywhere near the President, but he reasons that a mind changed by free will is more effective than if he€™d manipulated the President to endorse the JLA - even though that€™s what he did anyway indirectly by creating the situation with the assassin! What a creep. JLA #2 is trashy nonsense. It's seriously one of the dumbest series in the New 52 I€™ve read - well done, DC, 0 for 2! Justice League of America #2 by Geoff Johns and David Finch is out now at your local comic book shop and online at Comixology
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