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Dave O'Neill said on March 4th, 2010 at 9:15 am

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.

>>I’m probably in the minority here, but Loeb’s output post Ultimatum has been shockingly good.

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Eric TF Bat said on March 4th, 2010 at 9:31 am

Wow.

That is all. Just wow. Because nobody ever made any comment about Women In Refrigerators being a fundamentally fucked concept for any writer without extensive brain damage to call upon, and so nobody would ever notice that sticking a five-year-old girl in the same metaphorical refrigerator SUCKS HUMONGOUS DONKEY BALLS THE SIZE OF THE TAU CETI STAR SYSTEM.

James Robinson: get a real job.

And MGK? For reading this and reporting on it, rather than simply transwarping into the pitiful remains of the Heroes universe expressly to get the Haitian to erase your memory of the experience: I award you four Purple Hearts, which is more even than John Kerry. You are truly a hero of the people, and your sacrifice will not be forgotten.

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See, this is why I’ve kind of given up and now get almost all of my superhero fix from TV and the occasional movie.

You know they show re-runs of Static Shock on Disney XD? And X-men Evolution? Back to back every night.

Also – Batman Brave and the Bold. The other night there was an episode where Batman and Black Canary team up with the Justice Society to fight Per Degaton and his army of not-really-Nazis-because-we-can’t-put-Nazis-in-a-kid’s-cartoon-without-feeling-like-we’re-trivializing-Nazis-but-you-know-they’re-really-Nazi robots. And, just to underscore this, no five year old kids were killed during this episode.

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If the bomb was specifically designed to be immune to Hawkman’s mace, did Hawkman ask what would happen if he came back with some other large melee weapon? Like, say, the sledgehammer which made this series possible?

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Soo…you liked it?

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and then, in an epilogue, Green Arrow somehow tracks down Prometheus in Prometheus’ secret otherdimensional lair that nobody else knows about

We’re probably going to see more on this later, but it likely involves the Green Arrow-Shade team up seen we see in JLA. (Yes, I follow JLA. I’m a horrible person. This will be a recurring theme.)

The above isn’t really meant to be a defense of Cry For Justice. I think the series is better than Ultimatum, but only sort of barely. I agree the last issue is weird, even compared to the rest of the series. Is it supposed to be parody of Identity Crisis? (Which is plausible given that it hits similar beats, but with different takes on them.) Or is it just something that went off the rails?

That said, I’m disappointed any chance McDuffie had of having a JLA run on his own terms was derailed for this. (That’s not the complete story, and given the choice between Blackest Night and McDuffie getting a chance to do his JLA stuff on his own terms I’d choose Blackest Night. But then, I’m a horrible person.)

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I had high hopes based on James Robinson’s name and that lineup (Congo. Bill.) But, man, this sounds remarkably terrible. Maybe they should have put Garth Ennis’s name on it instead?

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‘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.’

Funny you should say that this week. If you have the same programming in Canada, check out Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Adult Swim this coming Saturday. That episode is on.

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I can accept that Green Arrow somehow found a way into Prometheus’ Crooked House, but the fact that Prometheus, Mr. “I am the evil Batman and have ridiculous backup plans for [i]everything[/i]”, doesn’t have some kind of protection versus an arrow to the face, is also moronic.

And I’m glad that I’m not the only one outraged about them killing off Lian (and made it seem like an afterthought even.) I was actually looking forward to the Arsenel mini (I’ve always liked Roy, sue me), but now I’m not so sure.

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drmedula said on March 4th, 2010 at 11:30 am

You shouldn’t insult Brick like that. He’s trying his best, darn it!

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They killed Lian?!!

Well I guess after Sue Dinby, she was the next-best “well-liked supporting cast to a tertiary character” they could find.

At least they didn’t try and work in some backstory about the Toyman abusing her or something*.

*If that turns out to be a plot point of the new Arsenal miniseries, then I am officially done with comics.

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The comparison isn’t Loeb. It’s Meltzer. Identity Crisis was a major turning point for DC Sales-wise. They’re trying to recapture that lightning with a story as dumb and shocking. And hey, it might even work, because the direct market is dumb that way.

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Oh, forgot to mention. Neither here nor there, but the last two issues of Justice League of America have actually been pretty good and I think Superman (post-Superman actually being in the book) is one of DC’s best comics. James Robinson is fine so long as you don’t have him do anything weighty like this.

Just let him write about Mon-El learning about coffee and going around the world meeting Superheroes from Basque and learning to love baseball and what have you and it’s great.

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malakim2099 said on March 4th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Obviously Compassion in the DC Universe means torturing people. Who knew (besides Dick Cheney)?

Does this mean we might be able to look forward to a “50 Reasons Why I Should Write JLA” at least? It would be nice to know there is a silver lining here.

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You know, every now and then I get the urge to go pick up a comic book. Then I read something like this and the impulse thankfully passes.

People with no fucking clue. Yeeish.

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Thank you, MGK. I’m sure there are people out there who think that killing Lian is really edgy and great motivation for turning Roy into a badass, but as the father of a young girl, it just bothers me and makes me kind of sick. Like, actually sick to my stomach. I’m sure it came from a similar editorial edict that doesn’t like superheroes being married. At least they didn’t have Roy sell her to Neron so Jonathan Kent could come back to life or something. That doesn’t make what they actually did any better, but still. At least it wasn’t that.

And I’d bet good money that we’re going to see the “Roy falls off the wagon and starts using again because Lian was the only thing that kept him off the junk and now he also hates Ollie because Ollie killed Prometheus when Roy totally deserved to do that and now he can’t even avenge his little girl and he can’t shoot arrows anymore and oh boy heroin” plotline.

And then he’ll crawl back up out of the gutter and replace his arm with, like, a machine gun that shoots little arrows and then in ten years someone will give him his arm back and bring Lian back from the dead and then he’ll be Green Arrow because Oliver Queen is in jail for raping Speedy and oh my god why am I still reading these things?

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It occurs to me that as well as feeling sorry for McDuffie, I possibly should feel sorry for Krul, who has to pick up the pieces of this mess. Of course, Krul probably knew what he was getting into when he took the assignment.

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Wait, you’re telling me that even among all the other crap this mini has pulled, now I can’t pitch my Helix revival story? Fuckin’ A, even Geoff Johns wouldn’t have scooped me.

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I have a five year old daughter. She loves superheroes. She dresses up like Wonder Woman and Supergirl. She has a poster of Spider-Girl on her wall and a Powerpuff Girls blanket.

Imagine if they did cool things with characters like Lian and Sin, if they used them in ways that would inspire my daughter. Instead they kill them or shove them into obscurity.

Screw you DC.

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@PMMJ, nah, even Ennis wouldn’t stoop that low for a cheap emotional moment. Read the Mother Russia and Long, Cold, Dark arcs of his Punisher MAX series if you don’t believe me.

This comic is like the anti-Ennis in its adoration for superheroes who have to make “Hard Choices,” have dramatic speeches about how difficult their lives are, and get suckered along by their own stupidity. If this were an Ennis comic, Green Lantern and Arrow would’ve died in the first issue, and the rest of the miniseries would be the SAS tracking Prometheus down and killing him in Northern Ireland.

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Do you think Marvel and DC make shitty comics on purpose so that fans will complain about them more?

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not-really-Nazis-because-we-can’t-put-Nazis-in-a-kid’s-cartoon-without-feeling-like-we’re-trivializing-Nazis

I thought it was not-really-Nazis-because-we-want-to-air-this-show-in-Germany-and-they-have-laws-about-this-stuff.

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What Matt D said goes double for me. I’ve liked all of what Robinson has been doing on the Superman titles. Well for the most part, I’m still not sure what the hell is going on with Zatara.

But I kind of think Prometheus needed to be gotten rid of in some way – there never needed to be an exact opposite of Batman, from origins on. I suppose the idea has potential but beyond the original story the execution of the character has been shitty.

Also the daughter will come back somehow. Just let Gail work on it.

Finally, thank god they aren’t calling him Red Arrow any more. That’s like calling Batman “black fist and foot”

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This sounds awful, but there was one plot point in the summary which moderately intrigued me: the city-teleporting bombs. Of course, them not working and just blowing up the cities is… moronic, but if they had actually worked that sounds like a cool plot point for some comic that is less moronic and has fewer 5-year-olds dying.

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Yes, yes, yes, yes. Lian? REALLY? LIAN? Gah.

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Like Matt D, I’m inclined to give editorial the lion’s share of the blame for this… thing. There’s been a pattern across DC the past few years that has transcended writers, and in every instance, a handful of editorial names — all right, two — have been involved, and left fingerprints. Those prints are all over this series. As our former President sort of said, “Fool me once, won’t get fooled again.”

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To go further on what I said before, I really don’t think this is a case of Robinson not having “it,” anymore. I think it’s much more of a case of us not realizing exactly what “it” was fifteen years ago.

Throughout the 90s, he was an incredibly protected comics writer (a whole lot like, let’s say, Gaiman is).

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Of course, them not working and just blowing up the cities is… moronic

Over in Adventure Comics 8, we learned that Brainiac has been mucking up time travel for some reason. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was what caused Prometheus’s devices to fail. That would strike me as a fairly in-character way for Prometheus’s teleport bomb plan to fail (because of a factor he didn’t consider because he had no reason to consider it; it’s similar to how Catwoman helped defeat Prometheus the first time around.)

I can see why they didn’t mention that idea in Cry For Justice, since it’s unclear Prometheus could have figured out that Brainiac was the problem.

I’ll take my free no-Prize.

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I actually enjoyed Identity Crisis when I first read it; I honestly thoght Deathstroke’s fight with League was awesome (though to be fair, he is one of my favorite villains). However, it was also my intro to the modern DCU and I had no knowledge of Sue Dibny and such, so the absurdity of what was done didn’t hit me till later (though even then I thought the ending was total bullshit). But the point is well made that IC set the course for crap like this.

Back on topic, what exactly has Prometheus been up to since the end of Morrison’s JLA run? So far as I knew, he hadn’t been heard from since then, and I’d been hoping they’d bring him back.

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I really don’t understand the visceral disdain for the generic “a young child dies” concept. Superhero comics kill off parents and mentors all the time (typically in backstory or in the prelude or prologue) to give a character purpose and that extra push towards crime fighting.

That said, if this particular character death was executed (pun!) badly, I can definitely see the cause for the backlash.

I also honestly don’t have a problem with “anti-Batman” because there are more of those guys than you give credit for. Lex Luther and Kingpin leap to mind, just for starters.

All that aside, yeah this sounds like a fucking horrible comic.

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Ryan Beariot said on March 4th, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I’m pointing this review out to my one friend who liked Cry For Justice.

and i second malakim2099 on the “50 reasons i should write the JLA.” Reasons 1-28: Batman. No other explanation, just Batman

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Katzedecimal said on March 4th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I’m so glad I’m not the only person whose forehead is bloody from headdesking over this clustersprock. Captain Compassion is torturing people? Oh DC, and you were doing so well in the “finally figuring out what the left hand is doing” department. In truth, this entire series hasn’t been about ‘cry for justice’ so much as ‘cry for revenge’, a huge difference which these writers need to learn. “Batman and Robin” already dealt with this issue *properly* with the “Red Hood and Scarlet” storyline.

I won’t even touch Lian. Others have said it far better than I ever could.

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lance lunchmeat said on March 4th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

How many DC cities have been destroyed since the Crisis? Like, a running tally? Green Lantern’s city, Bludhaven, Star City, Atlantis, Black Adam’s entire country….

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lance lunchmeat said on March 4th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

So, some of the themes of FC were Morrison asking people “this is where cape comics are heading, do we really want to go there?”

The editorial response in a resounding “HELL YEAH!”

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Mary Warner said on March 4th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Whenever I think that maybe I should start looking at DC again, I hear about stuff like this.

So am I correct in my understanding that they blew up several major DC cities in this, thus screwing up all the other series that would’ve featured them? Maybe my criticism is a little unfair here since Marvel has been destroying major landmarks and towns in recent years, too. Don’t these publishers understand the concept of overkill? Once you kill more than a few dozen people, the deaths have LESS impact, not more. And it shatters all since of realism when things go back to normal within a year or two.
As for killing little girls, that really gets to me, too. But I don’t think it’s as rare as you seem to indicate here. I know I’ve seen books and movies where they do that just to jerk with your emotions, and it almost never works the way they want it to. It tends to turn you against the story entirely.
I remember Scott Lobdell killing Illyana Rasputina with that stupid Mutant AIDS several years ago (and since then they somehow managed to bring her back as a teenager again).

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Another unnecessary child’s death to build heat: Toyman stabbing Cat Grant’s son Adam to death in 1993.

Because Superman needed to fight crazy people who abduct and murder children and then say to the grieving mother, “You were a bad mommy. I’m glad I killed your son.” Which in addition to making Toyman far more horrible than he needed to be, made Cat Grant just about unusable for nearly twenty years.

But luckily Geoff Johns has informed us that it was just a wacky Toyman robot with a screw loose who killed her kid. So, she’s over it now and has returned to The Daily Planet with breast implants and a sexxxay new attitude! Watch out Clark & Lois! Kitty Cat’s got claws… and massive breasts.

Ugh.

Also, why did they even go to the trouble to reveal that the Prometheus who has been appearing outside of Grant Morrison’s JLA wasn’t the real Prometheus and build him up just to kill him at the end? In one year they’ve killed two Promethei? What was the point of any of this?

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Good f***ing G-d this was terrible. “Better, Brighter” DC my a**.

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Your repetition is vaguely reminiscent of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. This, of course, is impossible.

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solid snake said on March 4th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Watch out for snakes!

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Sean D. Martin said on March 4th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Haven’t read Cry For Justice. Haven’t heard much about Cry for Justice. (Haven’t paid any attention to any mega-crossovers for several years.) Have never been happier this is the case.

Since I’m not following them nor looking for info on them I hear very little about “event” stories. But what little I do hear never seems to contain even a nugget of “Gosh, that was good.”

Soooo much more enjoying picking up Fables, Ex Machina, 100 Bullets, Invincible and Strangers in Paradise as trades than making any trip to my comic shop for the latest slugfest. So glad I switched how I buy comics.

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Sean D. Martin said on March 4th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Seriously, I got to your post-synopsis “No, really.” and STILL had to ask “Really? The published that story? Really?”

It isn’t just nostalgia talking for the comic joys of my younger days. Mainstream comics are truly not what they were. And in a very bad way.

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To paraphrase comedian Eddie Izzard…
DC’s diary must look odd:”Death, death, death, death, death, death, lunch, death, death, death, afternoon tea, death, death, death, quick shower…”

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@Graham: Ennis totally had those zombies from Crossed rip a girl in half while her parents were being sodomized. Never say “Ennis wouldn’t stoop that low”, he’ll just prove you wrong.

(And just for the record, I loved his Punisher MAX and what little I’ve read of Hitman)

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In theory, you can get away with having a child character die. Old weepy melodramas did it a lot, FRANKENSTEIN did it (both the book and the 1931 movie), JAWS has the Kitner boy’s death, etc.

But yeah, this does not sound like they pulled it off. And blowing up Star City not only sucks because that’s one less fictional city to use (guys, you’ve already nuked Bludhaven and Coast City is barely getting back on its feet), and fictional cities are useful and fun, but because- well, it’s the same plot beat as when Coast City got exploded. It’s been done. You can’t claim you’re going in new and edgy directions when you’re ripping off plot twists from yourselves over a decade ago!

Though I do wonder- maybe Lian’s death would be viewed better if the series up to now were considered any good. It’s almost like it’s more insulting that she’s being killed off to serve a crappy attempt at rebooting the JLA or something, than if she died in a well-written and heartrending issue.

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Ennis totally had those zombies from Crossed rip a girl in half while her parents were being sodomized. Never say “Ennis wouldn’t stoop that low”, he’ll just prove you wrong.

Ennis did that in an [i]explicitly-rated horror story,[/i] where he was attempting to portray exactly how horrific the world had become and how useless fantasizing about salvatory rules was. This is a [i]superhero comic[/i], where Ennis’ worst crime is that he likes to take the piss. He wouldn’t have written that scene in [i]Cry For Justice[/i] in a hundred years, because Ennis is a really good writer.

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Dan Coyle said on March 4th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

So, everyone jazzed about Little Boy Lost becoming DC’s new CCO: you realized who gave Geoffy his first job in comics, right? You think he’ll let his buddy go hungry, even after this?

Fuck DC.

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SmileyTops said on March 4th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I first looked into Cry for Justice for one reason, Congorilla. A super-powered gorilla wasn’t enough to reel me in completely though. I decided against it after browsing the first two issues.

Reading how it turned out, wow, sounds like a train wreck. Hopefully it will end up being one of those things the characters don’t mention and it gets swept under the rug.

I think I’ll consider the entire thing just a bad dream. and

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Whoa. This post singed my eyebrows off.

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Scavenger said on March 4th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

So Robinson steals the plot of Drax planting super-hero proof bombs around the world from the Wonder Twins intro in Superfriends #7-9 for his new JLA launch? Seriously?
Wow.

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“Also, why did they even go to the trouble to reveal that the Prometheus who has been appearing outside of Grant Morrison’s JLA wasn’t the real Prometheus and build him up just to kill him at the end? In one year they’ve killed two Promethei? What was the point of any of this?”

This bothered me as well, but I suppose Prometheus could have some contigency plan in place. Like if he’s killed, his body is teleported into a Lazarus pit he’s found somewhere.

“What was the point of any of this?” really sums up this entire miniseries when I think about it.

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I agree with every single thing this post says with the exception of anything in it about Hawkman. :) (YMMV, I assume… he’s my favorite DC character, as the alias would cause you to assume.)

Ultimately, the thing that gets to me isn’t that this was this terrible… it was that anyone’s SURPRISED it was terrible. Robinson and the Justice League do NOT mix. Anyone remember the truly terrible JLE issue of Starman? Because this mini was pretty much exactly the same thing only stretched out over several issues. (And the thing with Prometheus at the end was basically the same destruction as the female Mist took at the end of Starman, when you think about it.) Still, the world would be a better place if someone had just stepped up and said, “No!” when this mess got proposed… and I’m genuinely so irritated at the complete destruction of Roy and Lian Harper by this… horror… of a miniseries that I can’t find the words.

One other thing? Ollie deciding to kill Prometheus after all of this is the first glimmer of the guy from the Grell GA run I’ve seen since Kevin Smith brought him back. I’m no longer at all sure if that’s a good thing or not, but it’s pretty in-character for THAT Ollie Queen.

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What was the point of Cry for Justice. That’s simple it was to make us cry over the future of the Justice league.

Remember this book start off to kick off a new JL spin-off book but the DC fired McDuffie and so Cry for Justice was to hype Robinson’s run on Justice League.

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I think originally this was meant to be an Ongoing.

So I truly do wonder how much rewriting went on, and how much edidiotorial put their hands in. “Oh the art takes too long. *I* Know, let’s ruin Green Arrow. I mean him having a bad writer for years hasn’t been enough.”

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Jonathan Roth said on March 4th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

I’m actually curious as to whether or not MGK followed the Robotech: Macross series. There is one bit (from a supposed kid’s cartoon back in the eighties, aired during a kid’s timeslot and all that) which shows the Zentradi fleet hitting the Earth with everything they’ve got. One segment shows a soldier talking to an adorable little kid (“How old are you?” “Two.”) right before they both get atomized. I’m not sure whether or not one is supposed to see this as a “war is horrific” moment or as black comedy.

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Do you think Marvel and DC make shitty comics on purpose so that fans will complain about them more?

I don’t think anybody sets out to make a *shitty* comic, but, like, FOR WHATEVER REASON, a quick Google search shows issue #5 was the 27th ranked book of the month it came out in sales-wise, and that’s up against Blackest Night.

Frankly, DC has no reason *not* to publish such a book, except for perhaps … good taste?

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Again, I think the last two issues of Justice League of America were surprisingly good. He had the voices down pretty good and had some interesting stuff going on. Whether or not you like Bagley’s art is an issue but some of my favorite runs ever are New Warriors and Thunderbolts, so I don’t mind him.

They certainly haven’t been bad. Certainly nothing like this. Superman and WoNK remain good. The Jimmy Olsen and Guardian one-shots from last year were great. That this wasn’t good is more because putting James Robinson on Identity Crisis II is a frigging terrible idea to begin with. He’s still James Robinson, though. On the right project, he’s still going to give the sort of work he did with Starman and the Golden Age and Leave It to Chance. This was just NOT the right project.

The weird-ass line-up and lack of pathos so far in Justice League of America means that it’s too early to say whether that’s the right project or not.

I think for people looking for something painfully dreadful in our near future, Green Arrow is the way to go. Krul’s a perfectly harmless writer but I can’t imagine he’s the one in charge of what he’s writing here.

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Five Eyes said on March 4th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I on occasion think to myself, “I really like Prometheus for some odd reason; I would like to see him in more things.”

And then they use him.

And I find myself thinking, “I really like Prometheus for some odd reason; I wish they would never again have him in comics.”

It just kind of feels like the best thing they could do for me as a fan is to never produce new material again, which is disappointing on a lot of levels.

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If I recall correctly, Supergirl (and Batwoman, was she in this?) were used because “well, you have to have someone Super and someone Bat”. Really. Tell me editorial wasn’t fucking with this.

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Christian said on March 5th, 2010 at 2:13 am

“Another unnecessary child’s death to build heat: Toyman stabbing Cat Grant’s son Adam to death in 1993. ”

this TRAUMATIZED me when i was a kid. like fucked with my head for years. i was scared of Toyman and Superman for ages. i was like 8 when i read it. i’m still scared of that plot

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Lister Sage said on March 5th, 2010 at 2:43 am

Mary Warner: If, like myself, you have ZERO attachment to any previous version, I would highly recommend Batgirl. I don’t read a lot of DC, but Batgirl is the best DC comic I’m reading. After that I’d recommend The Brave and the Bold.

As far as Cry for Justice goes: I’ve known for a long time know that trusting DC editorial is like putting your sexual organs in a tiger’s mouth. Sure there’s a chance it won’t bite, but do you really want to take that risk?

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Garfield said on March 5th, 2010 at 2:43 am

Jeez, MGK, I hope you didn’t buy this mini. I fear that all the denunciations in the world of this creepy story won’t count if the sales were decent.

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You know, I was actually pretty calm about this until Matt D reminded me that James Robinson was writing this instead of new Leave It To Chance stories.

Now I wish to hurt people. :)

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Terrific review: you’ve absolutely nailed how despicable this comic was. It’s hard to believe that there can have been a decline in editorial standards over the past few years, but here’s the proof: just when you think it can’t get any worse, it gets far worse. I started off appalled when my one of my favourite minor heroes – who of course was one of the few gay heroes in comics – got skinned and turned into a rug, and then IT GOT WORSE. Is there anyone left to kill now, anyone that won’t be more inappropriate to polish off in order to generate some reader angst?

And no matter how many people buy this book, I suspect an awful lot more are getting their coats and leaving the building. It’s not what percentage of comic book buyers are reading this. It’s how many comic book buyers are left.

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So, was there this much outrage when they killed off Donna Troy’s kid?

(Obviously nobody cared about her husband, because he was just creepy and strange.)

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Dan Coyle said on March 5th, 2010 at 11:44 am

Yeah, there was, because the death of Terry and the kids was such a painfully obvious device for Byrne’s plans to re-retcon Wonder Woman’s post Crisis history so Donna wasn’t Wonder Girl before Diana came to man’s world. This involved Hippolyta going back in time to WWII, and some other reinvention of Donna Troy. Terry and the kids’ death was just a way to get Donna out of Green Lantern. I think the death of her family is something Donna, as a character has never really recovered from.

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TB Tabby said on March 5th, 2010 at 11:56 am

DC, DC, DC…I thought you’d learned your lesson after Countdown. When will they figure out that you don’t measure the quality of a story by its body count?! Character deaths do NOT automatically make a story better, especially when they happen this often! Compare the deaths of Gwen Stacy, Supergirl, Barry Allen. Their deaths were shocking and moving because we DIDN’T expect them to get killed off, sicne it didn’t happen every other issue, and because it didn’t feel like it was shoved into the story gratuitously. You wanna make the deaths more dramatic? First step is to stop killing them off so often. Then the readers’ reaction will be “OH MY GOD, SOMEONE DIED!” instead of “Someone died again, must be Tuesday.”

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[…] way, yesterday he took to his blog to vent his frustration over JLA Cry For Justice. A series so horrible it actually managed to taint writer James Robinson’s legacy as the guy […]

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equinox216 said on March 5th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

“In a metafictional twist, the ‘Cry for Justice’ series turns out to be, in fact, one of Prometheus’ teleporting-black hole-whatever bombs itself, and is targeted at comic book readers everywhere in an attempt to stop the profusion of hero-centric comic titles.

When our reporter hypothetically caught up with Prometheus, the only response he would give us was ‘Why would I want to stop at killing ONE version of any given hero? This is far more effective than punching spacetime. … I mean, honestly, who needs that many Batman titles?’.”

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Xanadude said on March 5th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Well, the teen death march porn that is the Teen Titans was bad enough. This was just…ugh…I can’t describe just how dirty it felt to read, mostly because Robinson has done better. This whole series just seems to have been editorially mandated storytbeats, rather than an actual story. It started off as “1960s Mighty Crusaders campy” bad and ended up mean spirited bad.

The one good thing is that McDuffie comes across as brilliant to have objected to this entire storyline. Getting fired for not going along with this direction makes him my hero of the day. (Besides, I’m digging the Static Shock reruns on Disney XD. Go Anansi!)

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No, you see, the Prometheus idiot-hero bomb is a homage to the original Identity Crisis’ scene where Deathstroke magically makes every hero around him retarded.

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[…] cesspool of half cocked opinion making. And so, I link to The Mighty Godking’s take on the whole debacle. Turns out, he liked it even less than I did. […]

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Truth be told, i’m genuinely surprised they killed Lian. Kids are usually off limits as victims in comics. Funny thing is the fandom suspecting something tragic was going to happen to Roy involving Lian and I thought instead of killing her DC would pussy out and shunt her to another dimension where she would come back older and become a teen hero (i would’ve quit DC if this had happened).

Apparently they just went with the more balsy, yet just as contrived and pointless approach.

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Pans Labyrinth, The Host, Grave of The Fireflies and a heap of other movies (I admit not comics but…) all though it was perfectly acceptable to kill off the kid you’d been following for the whole story.

Don’t get me wrong there is enough crap in this comic to justify the rank of turd but killing the kid (as nasty as this may sound) is an okay plot device IF done well.

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Brian T. said on March 5th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

“When will they figure out that you don’t measure the quality of a story by its body count?!”

I used to be able to hope that DC would come to their senses some day. But then they went and promoted Dan DiDio again and gave Geoff “Superboy Prime” Johns a cushy new job.

Both of those guys seem to think “drama” really means “people dying and/or losing arms, preferably while something explodes.”

This stuff isn’t going to end as long as the inmates responsible for Graduation Day, Infinite Crisis, Identity Crisis, Countdown Titans East and too many other gratuitously violent and rape-y comics are running the asylum.

Unless Jim Lee somehow manages a hostile takeover, expect crap like this to continue being the status quo.

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gregmaddux said on March 5th, 2010 at 11:02 pm

The problem with comic books is that the main characters are not allowed to age. All of the terrible decisions of the last 20 years stem from this simple fact. Spider-man cannot be married, because that implies aging. Green Arrow cannot have a granddaughter. Wonder Girl cannot have a husband and kids. Etc, etc. I am surprised that DiDio didn’t kill off Dick Grayson in Infinite Crisis, seeing as he is the character whose aging started this problem to begin with. Any forward progress made in character development will eventually be undone. This is the constant push/pull of comics. We want the spunky young sidekick to grow into a mature hero. But if he/she ever does, then the story ends, and comic stories can never end. Plus, the sidekick growing up means that the hero is now too old. So we kill off the sidekick and compress the timeline. Rinse and repeat.

Superhero comics will never grow as a medium until they are allowed to change. And this will never happen as long as Congress keeps allowing these characters to stay in copyright forever. If Superman ever hits the public domain, then we will start seeing some good comics again.

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Rob Brown said on March 5th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

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 bigsledgehammer?

In keeping with the wrestling theme begun with the Nature Boy post, has Triple H been seen anywhere near the DC offices?

Really, though, this series sounds like shit and I’m glad you posted about it and advised against reading it. I saw a preview for the first issue in the back of one or two comics I picked up shortly before it started, and from the two or three pages I saw I thought it looked all right. Thanks for setting me straight, MGK.

On top of everything else you mentioned, what I’ve learned about Prometheus suggests to me that he was a pretty good character and he was wasted here in more than one sense of the word. Grant Morrison comes up with the idea of having a kid raised by the hippie version of Bonnie and Clyde, the kid seeing them gunned down by cops, and growing up to wage a war against authorities the same way Bruce Wayne wages a war against criminals for pretty much the same reasons. That is awesome. My expectation is that a guy like that would be sort of like Doom or Magneto, in that even though he targeted good and/or innocent people, he probably has a conscience. A warped one, but a conscience nevertheless. He did what he did not so much because he was a bad person, but because he thought the people he was killing were bad people and he was doing good by ridding the world of them.

So what do they do with him? Well, from what I’ve read, first they make him look like a punk on multiple occasions. Then they say “Hey, let’s make Prometheus a serious threat again by doing a retcon to reveal that the guy who got beat up all those times wasn’t really him, and was just his pupil. And then let’s have him burn the guy alive for being a sucky Prometheus.” If Prometheus started out with a warped conscience (and I do not know whether that’s the case, I’m just guessing, so if somebody could tell me then I would be grateful), that little story made it appear as though he had none. Then they use him in this piece of shit story, where he kills tons of people (many of whom I’d imagine somebody with his background to want to protect rather than kill, i.e. victims of police brutality or other criminals) including the five-year-old girl. They made him into just another crazy mass-murderer rather than realizing his potential, and then they killed him off.

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Please understand: I haven’t read this series, it doesn’t sound like a series I would be interested in, and I’m certainly not defending this series. However, in the grand tradition of comic book nerds everywhere, I have to point out one very very very small and completely insignificant detail in your post.

“…Prometheus’ secret otherdimensional lair that nobody else knows about…”

In Morrison’s JLA series, during (I think) the World War 3 storyline, it was mentioned—I forget by whom—that Prometheus’ crazy Dimension Without A Background is, in fact, also known as both Limbo (in the Biblical sense) and the Phantom Zone of the Kryptonians. So, what with Zauriel and Superman still hanging around, GA theoretically has at least two ways into Prometheus’ secret tree fort.

This fact of course completely redeems this series and makes it into a masterpiece of the comic form and I expect your apology in the morning.

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malakim2099 said on March 6th, 2010 at 1:19 am

@Rob Brown:

I don’t know if I would call it a conscience, but Prometheus did have a sense of honor, to some degree.

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“Superhero comics will never grow as a medium until they are allowed to change. And this will never happen as long as Congress keeps allowing these characters to stay in copyright forever. If Superman ever hits the public domain, then we will start seeing some good comics again.”

Yeah its all because of the corporate ownership of Batman that this comic sucked. Even if that is the case there are lots of other places to get super-hero stories than just Marvel and DC…

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If Prometheus started out with a warped conscience (and I do not know whether that’s the case, I’m just guessing, so if somebody could tell me then I would be grateful)

It’s not the case. Prometheus kills heroes because they exist and he has a duty to defeat/humiliate them, not because of some sense of right and wrong.

I’d argue this is actually a reflection of Morrison’s vision of Batman, who fights crime because it exists and he has a sense of duty to stop it, not because of some sense of right and wrong.

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Meh, it’s just comics.

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fsherman said on March 6th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Scavenger, the difference is the Super-Friends story was fun.
I’m glad I’m not the only one frustrated with Robinson’s recent output (and I don’t like his Superman stuff at all), though I’m not shocked by his Prometheus impersonator (it’s an old trick to get rid of stories you don’t like, like it not really being Doom in that one story where Arcade lit a match on his armor). And I was really annoyed when the text page announced that “Mikaal’s gay lover is now an important character because he’s dead! And will inspire Mikaal’s heroism!” Because we can’t possibly have a live gay lover running around (since Robinson’s the one who made Mikaal gay/bi, I doubt he has any issues with it, but it still torqued me off).
And super-hero teams that decide to be proactive (Force Works, Extreme Justice) have never really worked for me.
Oh, and much as I like Ray Palmer, I’m annoyed with killing Ryan, and irked by Robinson’s proclamation that Jean Loring has always been The Greatest Bitch EVER because she didn’t want to get married before her (and ray’s) careers were established.

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Five Eyes said on March 6th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

@Thok: I’d amend that slightly – Prometheus’ apparent motive in the original outing wasn’t killing heroes as an end itself so much as dispatching them in such a way as to take Justice as a concept down a peg. That’s why having the media there was important to him. He’s got that whole flashy Batman thing going on, which was part of why I liked him.

I think that subsequent portrayals have moved the focus too much to “hates superheros” – which would be like Batman wanting to wipe out criminals rather than wipe out crime. What the character needs is more screentime doing things not related to offing capes – an “anti-Justice” analogue to Bruce Wayne’s philanthropy, for instance. Arms dealing or something like that.

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http://philippos42.dreamwidth.org/9775.html
Linked. This one can be retconned to my greater happiness.

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Yeah its all because of the corporate ownership of Batman that this comic sucked. Even if that is the case there are lots of other places to get super-hero stories than just Marvel and DC.

Just look at this trite, pointless comment of no value whatsoever.

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Lunar Archivist said on March 7th, 2010 at 1:36 am

Most satisfying part about this? I called my local comic book store to cancel my “Justice League of America” and the clerk immediately knew why I was doing it.

Burn in hell, Robinson, you goddamn hack.

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Dan Coyle said on March 7th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

By the way, anyone who saw Comic Book Villains, written and directed by Robinson when he still had a career in hollywood, knows what he really thinks of the people who put a roof over his head throughout most of the 90s.

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Discount Lad said on March 7th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

That movie left me cold when I first saw it. Then years later I found out Robinson wrote it and I was never able to reconcile the two.

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Jonathan Roth said on March 7th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

“I’d argue this is actually a reflection of Morrison’s vision of Batman, who fights crime because it exists and he has a sense of duty to stop it, not because of some sense of right and wrong.”

I honestly don’t see a differesnce between the two.

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I honestly don’t see a differesnce between the two.

I’m probably not making myself particularly clear. Thankfully, the existence of the TV show Dexter mans I can point to that TV show and say Morison’s Batman feels like the main character of that,

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[…] the conclusion last week of Justice League: Cry for Justice, the widely panned miniseries by James Robinson, Mauro Cascioli and others, Corrina Lawson of GeekDad wonders whether children […]

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Evil Abraham Lincoln said on March 8th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Well, that was a pretty shitty post. Every time I think about paying for ocmics again, something like this comes along and reminds me that paying for beer and steak is more satisfying in the long run, and the beer and steak don’t turn my stomach.

P.S.-Cheshire showing up to get revenge for her deceased daughter is kind of… wrong. After all, she *did* make a new child for herself during the first Secret Six comic book. And as shittily as Cry For Justice has been handled, I don’t even want to know how they’re going to butcher her character in order to re-re-re-retcon her decision to procreate with Catman to replace her “beloved daughter” Lian.

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[…] the Grant Morrison issues at all, and I speak as someone who mostly understood The Invisibles. It sounds like Justice League has now gotten about as dumb as it possibly can. But at least the MightyGodKing blog got a hilarious review out of the […]

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Alan Bryan said on March 14th, 2010 at 9:25 am

I am pleased that in this Bad Economy I wasn’t able to afford this series. After each issue’s bad reviews I was happy I was too poor to waste my money.
My eyes are burning for having read a portion of 3 issues [including #7] in the comic store.
Prometheus is one my favorite villiams. I liked the JLA stories Morrison wrote.
Here he is just ‘any villian’. It could have been Brainiac doing all this stuff and it would have made more sense (12th Level science!).
There is now a Epilogue to this series and then a mini-series about Green Arrow killing the villian.
Who Cares?
Not me. I avoided this crap. Lucky Me.
DC be ashamed.

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Apparently, James Robinson narrowly avoided having to kill off AIDSgirl too.

http://www.comicsbeat.com/2010/03/14/eccc-panel-round-up/

Which is… who cares? I mean, superheroes with AIDS, especially ones who are human vigilantes with no superpowers who carry bladed weapons, don’t really work for me.

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TB Tabby said on March 15th, 2010 at 3:42 am

It gets worse…

“Ian Sattler: “I’m happy it upset people because it means that the story had some weight and emotion.”

Uh…no. Even Calvin understood that provoking a reaction isn’t the same as saying something significant. There’s a big difference between “upset because the scene was so tragic” and “upset because the scene was a hackneyed, ham-fisted attempt at cheap drama which kills off a universally beloved character.”

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This sounds like a terrible comic and it’s giving me a mental image of Devin Grayson beating the crap out of James Robinson but …

… the bit about the arrow to the forehead reminded me of how much better Identity Crisis* would have been if it had been about a bunch of heroes covering up Dr Light’s murder. Of course this sounds a lot more calculated than what would have been a kneejerk reaction of an arrow and/or mace to the face as retribution for Sue’s rape.

*Which was also an over hyped seven issue JLA mini that moved the DCU in the wrong direction and made no freaking sense.

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[…] This link will go into detail about it (warning slight not-safe-for-work language), and it would require too much back story for you non-comic fans reading this, but it involves killing a character simply for the shock value of it. […]

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[…] considering it’s been about a week and nobody’s said it yet (both Grey and John cite JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE, a more-than-reliable review available by clicking on the title), I have to assume that the good […]

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[…] for Justice, mostly owing to the fact that the comic has been met by those who have read it with all the enthusiasm usually reserved someone taking a dump on your lap, and then charging you $3.99 for the […]

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I was almost willing to accept the story in a “Ok, so it sets up the status quo for the new JLA, and it gives us a Prometheus that isn’t a joke anymore”.

And then they kill him, so that they can make Green Arrow into the Punisher. Even though when he was brought back to life he was rebooted to be “pre-killer” Ollie. *sigh* Nice to have both Roy with a missing arm, and isn’t Conner still like elastic lad at this point?

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And now Robinson’s nominated for an Eisner for writing it.

I had to revisit this post for solace.

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I think Prometheus is still alive – the dead one is a red herring.

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