Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just Read: Justice, Vol. 1 by Krueger, Ross & Braithwaite

OK, help me out here, folks -- I'm not as up-to-date on long-underwear dudes as I could be. Is the "bunch of supervillains hatch Really Kewl, counterintuitive plot and capture and/or put in jeopardy every member of Super Hero Team" plot as tired and lame as I suspect it is?

(If it's somehow new and exciting, I'll take back all of the snarky comments I'm going to make here.)

This first collection of Justice collects the first third of a twelve-issue series, and thus is a twenty-dollar hardcover that's all set-up. There's not even any middle, let alone an ending. And the plot is, well, that a bunch of supervillains decide to both save and take over the world, at the same time, by combining forces, defeating the good guys (though not quickly killing them, which villains never do because they are secretly privy to the sales figures and so know enough not to kill the golden goose), and doing amazing world-dominating good deeds.

Presumably, the issue after the ones collected here will feature the writer's favorite member of the team (for Grant Morrison, the other time I saw this plot done, that was Batman; I suspect it will be Superman for Krueger and Ross) showing how Wicked Awesome he is and breaking free so that he can go around and free all of his teammates for the big battle at the end. Alternatively, either the Spectre or Dr. Fate could just waltz in and set everything right by waving their hands, but I don't expect that. We'll also see that the villains don't have anyone's good fortune at heart, and end with some sort of sermon that superheroes have to let the world go on as it is, because, gosh darn it, that's the way things are, and so bad things will continue to happen.

Why are people so stupid? Superhero comics are an inherently unstable medium -- they only make sense as long as you don't call too much attention to the underlying inconsistencies. Yes, a world with superheroes would quickly diverge from real history. Yes, that will never happen in a mass-published comics universe. So stop picking at that scab, already. Either do a full-blown alternate universe story or leave those plot points entirely alone, because you're not convincing anyone with the Heisenberg version of the story (half-alive and half-dead).

Oh, and I should also admit here that I got this book free at BookExpo, so complaining about it is possibly unmannerly. My apologies to the fine folks at DC if this is so.

Um, one last thing; I forgot the credits. The story is by (Jim) Krueger and (Alex) Ross, with script by Krueger and paintings by Ross over (Doug) Braithwaite's pencils. It is a sign of how little I understand how art works that I'm not sure why painting over someone else's pencils saves time or is helpful. (Though it clearly does, and is.)

1 comment:

Nadine said...

One comics blogger describes this comic as "Alex Ross getting paid to read JL fanfic". Sounds pretty accurate to me. There is some good long underwear stuff-the new series by Warren Ellis Black Summer,seems interesting-but I don't think this is.
(if you mean more traditional heroes the same reviewer likes Jeff Smith's take on Shazam)

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