Justice League of America #45

The mystery of Jade and her emerald meteor is addressed in part this issue, as the connection between a green, glowing meteor and the Starheart that powers Alan Scott --the original Green Lantern -- is drawn out for the rest of us by Jade herself. Besides, this story gives us yet another chance to bear witness to Supergirl and Power Girl duking it out. It's been a few years since the last time that's happened, so we're due.

Bagley gets a chance to deliver some pin-ups right away on the second and third pages of the book which feature Alan Scott and Jade, respectively. Beyond that, there are more than a few widescreen moments, from Power Girl's attack on her teammates, to the actual fight between Power Girl and Supergirl, to the further revelations of the Starheart. The pages in between are a variety of traditional panel arrangements and a more jam-packed, chaotic composition with panels ranging across the spread, but not completely.

Bagley turns in a strong effort considering the sheer number of characters in this issue, but some of his group shots come across as really weak, with characters drawn as little more than warm-up gestures while others are expressionless in the heat of battle. This is, however, yet another oversized issue -- thirty pages -- that was delivered on a (near) monthly schedule, so I can certainly cut Bagley some slack there.

Jade's aura, under Bagley's pencil, looks less like an aura and more like a skunk stench wafting off of poor Jade. I understand the need to create new energy signatures for different embodiments of power, but this one just seems poorly designed, as it shares the same ambiance as when Pepe le Pew was in disguise as a cat.

This issue is soaked in green, which is appropriate considering the nature of the meteor that drives most of the action in this issue. Arreola deftly changes up palettes from green to a lavender tint during the fight between Kryptonian maids of might.

James Robinson continues to namedrop in this series, giving us glimpses of Firehawk, Shango, Jason Woodrue, and Zachary Zatara. Glimpses like this help validate the shared universe for this team, but this League still feels like a group of placeholders to me. Placeholders or not, Robinson is using this team to populate new corners of the DCU while also illuminating relationships between heroes and teams, as with Congorilla and Supergirl in this issue.

Robinson's narrational character of choice this issue is Batman, but it is pretty clear that one of Robinson's favorites among this cast is Congorilla. Robinson does of good job of sharing the thoughts of several characters in this book, and spreads the spotlight around rather than locking in any one specific character.

This is nowhere near my favorite iteration of the Justice League, but it also is not my least favorite. Robinson gives me little pieces in every issue that make it seem worthwhile, but he hasn't given me a complete issue filled with one big moment. I'm waiting for that to happen still, and am intrigued enough to stick around.

flash forward wally west x-men avengers
The Flash Just Defeated DC's 'Avengers' and 'X-Men' - All By Himself

More in Comics