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Batman: We weren’t gathered by a third party, to be sent on a mission we were unprepared for. You don’t know your team’s capabilities. Learn from this, Booster — follow your gut and make the team yours.
Synopsis "The Signal Masters Part 2" (20-pages)
Previously: The United Nations seeks to found their own version of the the Justice League, an international superhero group, which they hope will redress the concerns that many people have over the international presence of unsanctioned and unaccountable superheroes. The new group will only contain heroes whose identities are known and go unmasked. It is overseen by UN Head of Intelligence Andre Biggs and led in the field by Booster Gold (a hero Biggs overestimates his ability to control). However, Batman is dubious about the plan and votes himself on to the team. Their first mission is to investigate the disappearance of a missing research team in Peru, but the team are scattered by the sudden appearance of a massive humanoid robot.
The UN’s take over of the Justice League name and the Hall of Justice (its old headquarters) is vocally protested by a minority in the USA. Biggs surveys the damage after a small number of conspirators burn down the Hall to keep it out of the UN’s hands. He hope’s there won’t be any more bad news, but he hasn’t heard from Peru yet. The team scatter before the massive robot, but it gives no reaction to their presence. It starts firing blasts of energy skyward, before refocusing them on the ground in front of it. It’s all Booster’s group can do to stop from becoming collateral damage. Ice is hurt in the confusion so Booster signals a strategic withdrawal against the angry protests of Rocket Red.
There is a tense meeting between Biggs and Booster’s team in front of the ruined Hall of Justice. The man from the UN is worried about the public relations disaster and how the Batman’s presence undermines his efforts to present a group without secret identities. He berated Booster for leaving Peru and even calls him a “coward”. Green Lantern Guy Gardner, who had seen Ice’s injury on TV, arrives to chime it. Booster almost walks, but the August General In Iron and Batman stand up and say that they would he “honoured” to follow him. That silences any criticism, at least for the moment.
Skeets, Booster’s robotic companion, contacts him with news that three other robot giants have appeared. Each is firing energy, a signal, into space and it appears that their agenda is more than just random destruction. Their signal is received by computer system out in deep space. That computer awakens an armoured figure who declairs that “Planet 3-147 [Earth] dies today.”
- Guy Gardner and Tora Olafsdotter have dated, but it wasn’t serious.
The reviews for this issue tend to bit a little bi-polar. Its a fairly straight forward – even old fashioned/school – superhero book, ACB even triumphes its accessibility and says that its “breath of fresh air in a reboot full of sex, violence and angst”. The counter point is put by Jeese Schedeen (IGN) who argues that it “ignores too much of what made the classic JLI stories so memorable”. Those two counterpoints show up as a string of 1-2 stars and as a string of 4-5 stars. The old JLI was so fondly remembered that anything which isn’t formula Giffen and DeMatteis was always going to disappoint a large crowd. Nevertheless, I do not think this is a bad book, but it has been missing “a little of the fun from Justice League: Generation Lost“, as Alan Rapp (Razer Fine Reviews) puts it so well.
The individual characters are starting to come through more strongly with Rocket Red gung-ho Russian nationalism nicely balanced by the August-General-In-Iron’s calm Chinese stoicism. I’ve always found the General fascinating as he is deeper character than he at first appears, unlike Rocket Red who is still something of a diamond in the rough. As a fellow Brit I concur with Mart Gray’s assessment that Godvia:
is a disgrace to the United Kingdom, with her heavy-handed flirting at a time when heroism is needed. I’ve no idea why writer Dan Jurgens would reduce a character so awesome she could turn her hair into an umbrella, complete with transparent eyescreen, into a desperate trollop, but he needs to redeem or repatriate her, and sharpish.
It is a pity that the character we say in Flashpoint hasn’t really translated into the JLI stage. Andy Kubert’s character designs for the Flashpoint Godviaï¿½ were recently posted online by DC and they have a more regal quality to them. I guess there may be a class issue here, but I don’t see why the British heroine should have to be such a damn chav. However, at least Godvia has a personality, as Minhquan Nguyen observes “her fellow females all have a sameness to their dialogue, making them exceptionally interchangeable”. Both World of Black Heroes and Grey Scherl (Inside Pulse) question Vixen’s involvement when she doesn’t actually do much more recognise Africa on a computer screen.
On the plus side, almost everybody loves Aaron Lopresti’s art. It’s big and bold, but at the same time its quite fluid and there is a hint of Kevin Maguire’s spark for facial expressions. The new villain is imposing and suitably generic – there are traces of Mongul, Darkseid, Thanos, et al in that design – so we’ll see how he plays out in future issues. The appearance of random giants around the world does ring some alarm bells for me — I remember how the Millennium Giants crossover crashed and burned — but, its nice to see that superheroes are maintaining the old tradition of standing around and talking whilst the world is in danger. If this group were to any more vocal in times of crisis they’d need to bring back General Glory.
I had fears about the quality of this series based purely on the first issue, but those concerns are shown to be groundless. The second issue gets past the team introductions that plagued last issue and gets its teeth into the start of what promises to be a good run.
|Digital Comics||Comixology||97 reviews (12/06/12)||4/5|
|Reviews Portal||Comic Book Resources||Greg McElhatton||1.5/5|
|Comics Portal||Comics Bulletin||Ray Tate||4/5|
|Comics Portal||IGN||Jesse Schedeen||5/10|
|Magazine||Inside Pulse||Grey Scherl||8/10|
|community site||Comic Vine||9 reviews||3.6/5|
|Community Site||iFanboy||728 pulls||3.6/5|
|Blogs||A Comic Book Blog||Wayland||9/10|
|Blogs||Fandom Post||Chris Kirby||B|
|Blogs||Nerdy Nothings||Rebel Rikki||C|
|Blogs||Player Affinity||Nicole D'Andria||8/10|
|Blogs||Razer Fine Reviews||Alan Rapp||3.5/5|
|Blogs||Weekly Comic Book Review||Minhiquan Nguyen||C+|
|Blogs||World of Black Heroes||World of Black Heroes||3.5/5|
|Character Site||Gotham Knights Online||Mittens2317||2/5|
|Character Site||Captain's Justice League Homepage||Jason Kirk||3.5/5|
Page 1. What is it with the Justice League and headquarters? They just can’t keep a base going for more than a single incarnation of a title. Giffen et al set-up and then broke the embassies, Jurgens moves them into a purpose built compound, that is in turn destroyed in the crossover that launches Gerard Jones’s run and his version of the Satellite. Morrison/Porter then destroy the satellite at the start of their run and set-up the lunar JLA Watchtower which Waid/Hitch heavily remodel. Geoff Johns then destroys the lunar Watchtower in Infinite Crisis, and Brad Meltzer then copies Justice League Unlimited with a satellite Watchtower and a ground-based Hall of Justice. It’s almost amazing that the Hall has survived as long as it has!.
Page 11. Rocket Red: “Russia not run from Napoleon!” Red doesn’t know his history as the one thing that is famous about the Napoleonic invasion of Russia was how the Russians retreated before Napoleon. We have to be fair here, in 1812 Napoleon was at the height of his power and had assembled the largest army ever known. In those days armies often scavenged supplies from whatever communities where unfortunate enough to lie in their path, the Russian Tsar knew this and also knew that he didn’t have a hope in hell of beating Napoleon’s Grand Army on an open battle field. So the Russians retreated before the Grand Army and burnt everything (villages, fields, stores, silos, etc) as they went. The Grand Army was entering a wasteland. In the course of several months its strength fell by almost two-thirds due the affects of hunger and demoralisation. They then had to deal with the equally devastating effects of the Russian winter. Only 1-in-6 of the Grand Army survived to return to France – a testament to the Russian’s ability to strategically retreat.
Page 12. Guy’s bartender is called Beau. This is a reference to Beau Smith who wrote Guy Gardners 1990s Warrior series.
Page 14. Ice: “We had a few dates, Guy. Don’t make more of it than it was.” There is a certain meta-textual element to Ice’s statement. In the old JLI comic they were only ever shown as having a couple of times, mainly disastrous. Their first in Justice League America #28 (July 1989) crashed and burned when Guy took Ice to see a movie at a x-rated cinema owned by an ex-villain. The dated again in Justice League America #45 (Dec 1990), but by then the title had become a little more sit-comedicï¿½ and their second date, one where Guy was earnestly trying to win Ice’s affection, was sabotagued by their friends. Guy continued to hold a candle for Tora, even after her death, but it was have been hard to describe their relationship as it was shown on-screen as a serious one.
Page 17: Skeets makes a post-Flashpoint appearance. The reference to a “Booster Cave” is a quip at Batman’s Batcave, but its a place that we’ll apparently see in a few issues time.