Last month, CBR reviewer Doug Zawisza gave the first issue of this series a perfect score. He seemed to be reviewing a different comic than the rest of the internet, as most comic book pundits (including nearly the entire array of Savage Critics) found “Justice League: Cry for Justice” to be laughably bad. Twitter feeds filled up with hilarious, supposedly serious James Robinson lines of dialogue. A gorilla wept.
I certainly wouldn’t have given “Cry for Justice” #1 a five-star review, but I could understand where Doug Zawisza was coming from. He appreciated Robinson’s serious take on these characters, and he loved the hyper-slick painted artwork from Cascioli. And, perhaps most importantly, he liked it as a comic book package, filled with back matter by James Robinson detailing the origin of this series. All the stuff he loved about issue #1 is present in issue #2.
But I tend to find the whole thing incredibly campy. It’s campy in the purest sense — straight-faced, overly serious, played at the level of the highest drama, but goofy as hell underneath. I like the camp factor, though. I enjoy seeing Cascioli’s ultra-realistic Congorilla spout lines like, “Friends are nice. As I said, mine are dead.” You might feel for Congorilla’s pain. Me, I see it as a kind of Michael Kupperman comic. A Kupperman comic that’s illustrated by the love child of Alex Ross and Duncan Fegredo.
It’s not all absurdist delight, though. Green Lantern and Green Arrow get into a bit too much frat house bonding in the opening pages, and detective Jason Bard shows up with too much Snapper Carr in his voice. On second thought, that is ridiculously absurd, but its not as much straight-faced fun as Jay Garrick’s speechifying: “The world hasn’t even begun to see the greatness of Ray Palmer, the Atom,” he declares. Or the simultaneous response the Atom and Captain Marvel give when asked, “what brought you two here?” “Justice,” they say, in unison.
So it’s not so much crying for justice as it is providing a choral response for justice.
Oh, and Helen Slater appears at the end, which is nice.
Honestly, though, I can’t get enough of this comic. This issue isn’t as riotously campy as the first installment, but it’s an entertaining read, full of self-important proclamations and characters who pose and ruminate while standing atop piles of defeated villains. It’s goofy and silly and kind of wonderful. But it’s not very good.