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Review: Justice League of America #45

You always know you're getting a good book if these names are on it.

No Caption Provided
Supergirl battles a crazed Power Girl while Germany's Rocket-Elite tries to bring Jade in to custody.
 

The Good

I've been a fan of Mark Bagley's since his first run on Spider-Man. He's the quintessential superhero artist, in my eyes. Modern-era costumes, Golden Age-era costumes, even future costumes from Kingdom Come - - he makes them all fit together and look so cool, with angles and poses that are so dynamic, every single time. He gets the chance to do a lot more splash pages than usual in this issue and it was so great to his talent shine with such blockbuster scope. I especially liked the double spread of Power Girl torpedoing through the JSA's jet. Now, that was in your face! Robinson knows how to work with an artist - - how to make the dialogue set the context well enough that even when he steps back for some wordless panels, his authorial voice is still felt. I was glad to see the sometimes-byzantine continuity surrounding the Starheart get straightened out here for a surprise ending that brings this all closer to Kingdom Come. I wonder where this will go?

The Bad

The tricky thing about having Batman on any incarnation of the JLA is that it's never really been too natural to Bats' character to be a team player. I think Morrison's take for his JLA run was the best in that his Batman always kept his cards close to his chest and only really seemed to work with the JLA when it was absolutely necessary. Even though this is probably supposed to be Dick Grayson (I think, at least. Sometimes you need a chart to keep up with all these mantle passing), I still found Batman to be little too... eager, here.

The Verdict - 4/5

Robinson's return to DC has been fantastic. Whenever I see his name on a cover, I know I'll be getting a superhero book that's a cut above the rest. He does a great job of honoring and integrating DC's complex past into his stories, but in a way that moves them forward rather than bogging them down. And what else can I say about Bagley? He's excellent here, as he's always been.