So I don’t want to spoil people – well, actually in this instance I really don’t give a fuck whether I spoil people or not, but you have to say “I don’t want to spoil people,” it’s a thing – but Cry for Justice is definitely a contender for worst comic of the decade only three months into it.1
For those of you who have not been reading Cry For Justice, here is a brief summary.
Green Lantern has a hissy fit about superheroes dying and being ineffective so he quits the Justice League to go form his own Justice League with hookers and blackjack. Green Arrow follows him because, well, that’s what Green Arrow does, or something. The Ray Palmer Atom tortures some guys because they know who killed some guy he knows and he’s gonna find the guy who killed the guy he knows. Congo Bill and Mikaal Tomas team up to find people they think murdered their loved ones (and Freedom Beast!) in a sequence of scenes that barely have anything to do with the majority of the comic and are, not surprisingly, the only even slightly entertaining parts of the whole comic. Green Lantern and Green Arrow beat up a bunch of badguys and then Atom joins them for some reason and then Captain Marvel and then Supergirl show up and they’re angry about… something. So they all have a big team-up. For justice. They capture Prometheus, but it turns out that it was really Clayface2 and Prometheus turned Clayface into a bomb to kill all the superheroes, except that he wasn’t expecting Captain Marvel to stop the bomb with magic sorta so everybody lives. Finally they all meet up at the JLA satellite where it turns out Captain Marvel was Prometheus all along and he beats up the Justice League and rips off Roy Harper’s arm, but then Donna Troy beats him up and they catch him. Prometheus is all “well I needed to get to the satellite all along to use it to teleport all of your cities to someplace you’d never find them moo hoo ha ha” and then it turns out whoops his devices don’t teleport anything, they just blow shit up kinda somehow, and he’s all “well, crap, they were supposed to teleport stuff, oh well,” and the superheroes can’t figure out how to deal with bombs, so thousands of people die, including Lian Harper, Roy’s daughter (who is five!) and Prometheus all the time is all “hey if you let me go I’ll give you the disarm codes and people will stop dying.” But basically most of issue seven is the superheroes trying to beat Prometheus and failing miserably and a shitload of innocent civilians die until a light goes on in Green Arrow’s head and he says “hey, crazy idea, how about we just let the villain go free so he stops killing people,” so they do and he does and then, in an epilogue, Green Arrow somehow tracks down Prometheus in Prometheus’ secret otherdimensional lair that nobody else knows about and murders him with an arrow to the forehead and says “justice.” THE END.
I honestly have no idea how this comic got greenlit, let alone produced. It’s so bad on every possible level that it’s not even entertainingly bad. You just have to look at it and kind of stare. I mean, I know there are going to be some fanboys who are all “no I want gritty and realistic comics about people in tights who fight crime,” and sure, those have their place I guess, but seriously, this is a comic where they kill off a five-year-old girl for added drama. Who the fuck writes that comic? Who the fuck even thinks that comic is a good idea? How many people at DC must have gotten hit in the head with a sledgehammer to have them all think “gosh, this superhero comic isn’t exciting enough… let’s kill off the cute little girl!” Was it a really fucking big sledgehammer? Because I can literally not think of a single person on the entire planet, who, when asked to tell a story, goes to the “let’s kill a little girl” well. They avoid killing children in slasher movies because they think that it’s tasteless. That’s what Cry for Justice is: it’s the comic book for people who think that slasher flicks aren’t edgy enough.
But killing off Lian Harper (and this isn’t some fanboy vendetta from someone who’s designated Lian Harper as their favorite character or anything – I really don’t care about her specifically, it’s just that they’re killing off a five-year-old-girl in their story for cheap heat and what the fuck, DC, what the fucking fucking fuck) is just the worst sin of a comic book that is so filled with stupidity and hackery that it instills a sense of shock and awe. People thought Ultimatum was bad, and it was really bad, but this is actually kind of worse because Ultimatum was written by Jeph Loeb, who hasn’t written a good comic in forever. Cry for Justice is supposedly written by James Robinson. I say “supposedly” because I’ve heard more than once that a lot of this got, ahem, extensively rewritten by People Who Shall Remain Nameless, and that rather than James Robinson it should say “Alan Smithee” in the “written by” credit. But I don’t know for sure, and frankly Robinson has written so many bad or even terrible comics since his return to DC that he’s more or less exhausted the massive benefit of the doubt he’d earned after Starman and The Golden Age and his other DC work, which is really kind of impressive when you think about it.3 Besides, Ultimatum at least had a reason for existing: to remind people that the Ultimate Universe still existed. I’m not sure why this story exists.
Here are just a few things that annoy me about this comic.
– Mikaal and Congo Bill set out to kill the people who murdered their loved ones, but when they find them (Penny Dreadful and Arak from Helix? Really, James Robinson?), Mikaal suddenly decides that he doesn’t want to kill anybody and then convinces Bill of that in less than a third of a page. This is moronic.
– Prometheus doesn’t seem to know who the Shade is or have any plan for fighting the Shade, but the bomb he built for Opal City is specifically designed to stop the Shade’s powers from fucking with it. This is moronic.
– The Justice League mostly gets beaten up by Prometheus because they decide to fight him in classic “forty ninjas versus one samurai” style, each taking him on one at a time. This is moronic.
– Prometheus, after having a super-awesome-bullet that can incapacitate Plastic Man and another that can wound Supergirl and another that can take out Red Tornado and blah blah blahdy blah makes this stupid speech about how Hawkman is “unpredictable” when Hawkman goes into a crazy battle rage, like somehow “unpredictable” can beat shooting bullets at a guy who doesn’t wear body armor or anything. Hey, Prometheus, here’s an idea for you you might want to program into your hyper-battle-computer: they’re called regular fucking bullets. This is moronic.4
– Prometheus, who is armed with super-awesome-guns and has absolutely no reason to not kill superheroes – whom he hates, remember – does not kill superheroes when he is shooting them with special bullets that can, presumably, kill them. Why does he not do this? Because if he kills them, then there’s no issue seven! This is moronic.
– The Atom tortures people repeatedly over the course of this series. When Green Arrow objects, the Atom basically says “WELL WE AREN’T FRIENDS ANY MORE.” This is moronic.
– Green Arrow murders Prometheus after spending the entire series saying stuff about how heroes should be heroic and not, you know, torture and kill people. Presumably this is meant to be ironic, and stuff, but clearly somebody had to get revenge for the dead five year old girl and it’s not like she was related to a professional assassin or anything OH WAIT. This is moronic.
– And of course there’s those bombs of his, the teleporting bombs which turn out to not teleport anything but instead just make, I dunno, little temporary black holes or something. See, the heroes can’t do anything about these bombs, because they’re immune to Freddy Freeman’s magic Shazam powers, and they’re immune to Hawkman’s mace (no, really, he says that), and they’re immune to the Shade’s shadow-powers, and when the Flashes try to create a waterspout in the river between Keystone City and Central City so they can get a better look at the bomb that Prometheus put in the river, that makes the bomb… go faster, or something like that. To repeat: Prometheus is such a good planner that he planned for super-speedsters moving away water from a bomb in a river with their super-speed. Nowhere in the comic does anybody suggest “hey, we’ve got a bunch of guys with super-strength, what happens if we just throw the bombs into outer space” but presumably Prometheus planned for that with, I don’t know, an anti-throwing-into-space-device. I mean, if he came up with a device for making water that super-speedsters are pulling away from his bomb into something that makes the bomb go faster, he totally has to have an anti-throwing-into-space-device, right? This is moronic.
I’m just pulling out a few of the high points here, because everything about this comic is so fucking stupid it makes my teeth hurt. The art is bad (the last issue has three separate artists, at least one of whom is below fanart-quality), the dialogue is frequently atrocious on a Manos The Hands of Fate level, and the plot doesn’t just fail to make sense but in fact is actively antithetical to the concept of superhero comics generally considering that this is basically a comic where the superheroes spend seven issues steadily losing, and the big triumphant finish is Green Arrow murdering a guy. And remember, this was supposed to be a Big Event Comic. DC promoted the fuckballs out of this comic. A lot of people thought this comic, which is so stupid that it could have been written by Brick Tamland from Anchorman and made more sense, was something worth publishing.
This is a colossal embarrassment on every level. It’s one of the worst comic miniseries I’ve ever read. Everybody who has their name attached to this should be ashamed for producing such horrendous crap.