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Synopsis "The Game"
Previously: The supervillain Prometheus had used a legion of c-list super villains to steal fantastic technology from across the DC Earth. Intentionally or unintentionally these thefts have killed people close to several superheroes. They separate crusades for justice have brought them together as a Justice League splinter group led by Green Lantern Hal Jordan. However, Hal’s group was forced to turn to the main Justice League after they realised that they were running out of time. A conference was convened on the Justice League Satellite, but it now appears that there is a traitor among them.
It’s great that it’s Supergirl who finally works out that Prometheus has been posing as Freddy Freeman’s Captain Marvel. He wants access to the JLA Satellite and needs to be escorted there by a member of the League as he couldn’t otherwise bypass their improved security. Supergirl has come a long way since she was reintroduced and you can tell that Batman’s had a hand in her training. Once unmasked Prometheus has to take down the entire Justice League and their new allies. However, there is no strategy to their counter-attack.
The League keep trying to individually rush Prometheus while his suit keeps whispering to him the correct counter-attacks – shoot Zatanna in the throat, magic bullets for Kryptonians, even when to duck so that one hero inadvertently shoots another. Compare these tactics with those the JLA used against Amazo at the end of “The Tornado’s Path”. Okay that particular game plan wasn’t so successful, but you would have thought that Batman would have made sure that they were drilled on how to respond to a Prometheus type of attack. Particularly after Ra’s Al Ghul used Batman’s own notes to do some pretty similar.
It’s Donna Troy who finally takes Prometheus down. He’s staked her to the wall and tricked Green Arrow into shooting her, but she’s still strong enough to beat him to a bloody mess. She would have killed Prometheus if the Shade hadn’t stopped her. Prometheus is happy to play the role of stock super villain and happily describes his plans to them. He’s used the stolen technology to create devices that will teleport their home cities to random places in space, time, and other dimensions. Force fields will keep the citizens safe, but the heroes have no way of knowing where the cities will have ended up and they will be tortured for the rest of their lives by knowing that those cities are still out there somewhere.
Prometheus was playing with the League – drawing out their fight and talking around his convoluted explanations – in order to give the computer programmes he has downloaded into JLA’s computers time to run. Only the JLA computer system is powerful enough to coordinate his teleportation devices. The system is now on a countdown that only he can stop. Prometheus demands that the League release him in exchange for the locations of his devices. Green Arrow angrily objects, but Prometheus informs him that a demonstration is already underway. His city, Star City, is currently being teleported somewhere else in space and time.
If I had a problem with this story it’s that it reprises Prometheus’ first appearance, this signature achievement of penetrating the Justice League Watchtower/Satellite. This is the third time he’s done it and he has yet to kill a single member of the Justice League. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t want any of the Leaguers killed off, but Prometheus is getting to be all mouth and no trousers. He’s killed a few c-list heroes and, as this issue suggests, he’s about to become a mass murderer, but he has yet to permanently harm any of his intended targets (i.e. the JLA). That’s where Cry For Justice has the potential to be different. J.T. Krul’s follow-up Rise of Arsenal and “Fall of Green Arrow” storylines may give the lasting pay-off that Prometheus’ attacks have so far lacked.
Scott Clark replaces Mauro Cascioli as the interior artist for this issue. For the most part it is a fairly seamless transition, it may be more jarring in the collected version, but it’s been a month since I read Cry For Justice #5 and it doesn’t seem too bad to my eyes. This series has really split the opinion of commentators/tweeters. People seem to either love it or hate it and I think that one of the big draws for the people who liked it was Cascioli’s art. How their opinions will change with Scott Clark’s art remains to be seen.
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