Review: Justice League of America # 0-12

Today Justice League of America #12 came out and with its release ended Brad Meltzer‘s run on the book. When I first heard he and artist Ed Benes were relaunching the book after the God awful Infinite Crisis I was excited mostly due to Meltzer’s previous DC work, Identity Crisis. Issue 0 was mostly about situations from the past and potential situations of the future for the League and seeing what could happen made me impatient for this run to begin.

Issues 1-6 were entitled The Tornado’s Path, as Red Tornado successfully became human but it turns out it was all a set up by Solomon Grundy and his cohorts. The story had it’s fair share of action, but the big three (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) spent a lot of time deciding on members (most of which never even join). The highlight for me was the joining of Roy “Red Arrow” Harper as one of the Titans had to graduate. Reading Meltzler’s Archer’s Quest you just knew he had a soft spot for him. Issue 7 was a stand alone which featured several great moments including Roy’s transition from Arsenal to Red Arrow and his recognition of Dinah for taking care of him when Hal and Ollie abandoned him. Also Black Canary being selected as chairperson was somewhat of a pleasant surprise. Geo-Force also shows up for some reason.

Then the series takes a nosedive. Issues 8-10 are dedicated to The Lightning Saga which features a team up with the Legion of Super Heroes and the Justice Society. Although it was cool to see the three teams together, the story was a bit confusing and the payoff not big enough. Following the meaningless, crappy death of Bart Allen, Wally West returns as the Flash seemingly summoned accidentally by the Legion. He then joins the team in issue 10. A little late for that don’t you think? The whole thing seemed to fit into Countdown which sucks because I would have loved for Meltzer to tell his story.

Issue 11 is where Meltzer truly shines. Assisted by artist Gene Ha he delivers the best single issue of the year (thus far) with a story of entrapment featuring Roy and Mari. The art added to the claustrophobic effect and Roy proves just how much he deserves to be a Leaguer. Meltzer’s final issue is also a stand alone that works as a closing statement for him. I was prepared for a “shocking ending” but didn’t see one. The identities of the two heroes observing the team the entire issue was a nice touch and proof to how much Meltzer loves the League.

In the end there were too many dangling plot threads (Mari’s powers, Geo-Force, Wally’s return, the future stuff in issue #0) that I would have loved to see Meltzer address and not Dwayne McDuffie (who has yet to impress me with anything he’s done). Also the middle part of the run is rubbish and really bogged down the entire run. Rating: 6.5/10

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