This story wraps up pieces from the very beginning of James Robinson’s run, and also paves the way for where Robinson goes from here. Robinson’s stories have a way of not always running parallel, with plotlines ending while others seemingly dangle, only to be picked up on at a later point and satisfactorily wrapped up. Along the way in this issue, Robinson brings back Congorilla and Starman –following their exploits in “Starman/Congorilla” — and folds them back in with their teammates. Robinson sows some doubts around Grayson Batman’s ability to lead, leaves the door open for a return from the Crime Syndicate, Omega Man or both, and has given himself the opportunity to throw the League on some interdimensional adventures whenever.
This is Mark Bagley’s final issue, and while I enjoyed the consistency he brought to this title through “Blackest Night,” “The Dark Things,” and “JLA: Omega,” I am not the biggest proponent of Bagley being the regular artist on “Justice League of America.” His work has always seemed a better fit for a comic that isn’t under such a bright spotlight, and he excels at drawing characters of slighter frame. Justice League’s loss will certainly be “Ultimate Spider-Man”‘s gain. I wish him the best over there and look forward to seeing how DC replaces him on this book. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Justice League of America” needs to be the crown jewel of the DC Universe each and every month. Bagley’s consistency ensured “each and every month” happened, but “crown jewel” eluded him. I’d like to see Jamal Igle given a chance at this book, I think Igle could definitely build upon what Bagley leaves behind and Igle would be a masterful co-creator with Robinson.
The decks have been cleared in this issue, and Robinson continues to shore up his roster, allowing Donna Troy and Blue Jay to narrate the story for us. Robinson also uses the narrative boxes to provide thoughts from Supergirl and Jesse Quick, a motion that seems like a stretch back to the thought balloons of yesteryear. Thought balloons really wouldn’t feel out of place in this book, but Robinson uses the dialog boxes an awful lot to go adding another visual device to the page.
Over a year after the new creative team of Robinson and Bagley took over this title and exactly twelve issues after locking in a new roster, the book is left to change once again. The roster, as it stands now, is left with Grayson-Batman, Supergirl, Donna Troy, Jade, Jesse Quick, Congorilla, and Starman. Other members that have an ambiguous status at this point are Cyborg (he is on the final page) and Red Tornado. I’m interested to see how Robinson changes the roster from here and what choices are made to play to the strengths of the incoming artist, Brett Booth. There’s no denying the fact that Robinson is putting a stamp on the history of the League. What size, shape, and color that stamp takes from here remains to be seen. For now, though, I remain tuned in.