Meet the Junior League! And When Can We Send Them Back? (Justice League #27 Comic Review)

Justice League #27

Author:  Bryan Hitch

Penciler:  Fernando Pasarin

Inker:  Oclair Albert

Colorist:  Brad Anderson

My initial read-through of this issue left me fairly unimpressed.  Reading back through, looking for details, didn’t help things.

Previously:  So, the Justice League have kids years from now:  Hunter (child of Wonder Woman), Dory (child of Aquaman and Mera), Nora (or Cruise), Jenny and Jason (all 3 are kids of Flash and Jessica), and Cube (son of Cyborg).  The kids came back from a bleak future to stop their parents from doing something that may inadvertently cause that future.

Currently:  The Justice League brings the Junior squad on board the Watchtower so that Cyborg can perform all sorts of scans to determine their authenticity.  Meanwhile, there’s plenty of apprehension, especially from Mera and Wonder Woman.  In fact, while Flash and Jessica seem to be warming up to their kids (including a fun little nod to the fact that Flash is often romantically involved with Iris which kind of makes things complicated), Wonder Woman confronts Hunter about his issues he seems to be having with her.

We find out that Wonder Woman abandoned Hunter right after he was born.  We’re not given a concrete reason, only one told through the eyes of a hurt child.  The conflict stresses out Jenny but she’s calmed down by her future mother (or past mother? Stupid time travel).  Just then, Cyborg announces that the kids really are theirs.  So we get some scenes of the kids interacting with their parents, but the only one of note is Superman and Hunter.  As it’s revealed, Hunter is not Supe’s son, but he was taken in by Superman and lived with Jon as a big brother.

Of course Simon points out how he doesn’t have a kid and turns out that he becomes head of the Yellow Lanterns after he kills Sinestro.

Then, they decide to discuss why the Junior League is there.  And Cube shows them images from the future (but the Junior League’s past) of how they all grew up together, developed powers together, lived together, even got moved to Mount Olympus together (after all the gods had left) when a massive war broke out between super-powered beings.  But the Justice League never returned to raise the kids.  They were just gone.  And when the kids returned to the real world, they found it in ruins.

Then things got worse when Sovereign appeared and took over Olympus, placing it on Earth, forcing the Junior League from their home.  And so the Junior League discovered a way to travel to the past to get the Justice Leage’s help.

Of course, Batman is doing his own thing, his own investigations and discovers a link between the Kindred and the site of the massacre last issue.  He tries to alert the Watchtower of his findings, but the signal is jammed.  A gas canister lands at his feet and through the fog, a metal arm smacks him in the face, breaking his nose.  As Batman lies on the ground, bleeding, the Aquaman/Cyborg amalgam steps out.

Thoughts/Reviews/Snide Comments:  It’s hard to know where to start with this.  Whenever I review something, if I have certain criticisms, I at least try and think of how I might improve on it.  So as I read this, I kept thinking that “oh Hitch should have done this” and “Pasarin should have done that” and I found myself doing a lot of that.  Since the art is generally the first thing people notice, I’ll go there first.  Parasin’s art in this issue is just dull.  It really is.  The details and shading aren’t interesting here and most people are just shown as if through a medium camera view (which really isn’t terribly exciting).  And while some of this may be Hitch’s fault, since the writer will typically give the artist the inspiration of what to draw, the lack of close ups on facial expressions, maybe little hints of things to come, people seeming to just stand around leaves a very bland taste in my mouth.

Pasarin’s stuff wasn’t all bad.  Just like last issue, the giant poster shot (this time of Aquaman) was pretty epic.

But it’s Hitch’s story that left me really not caring for this issue.  I mean, first of all, the interaction between kids and their parents is just…not interesting.  Cyborg, Flash and Jessica seem to adapt way too easily.  Mera doesn’t seem to care.  Wonder Woman’s is perhaps the only intriguing aspect, but Parasin’s art does nothing to really convey that emotion to me.  Then, Batman, Superman, and Simon are left without kids, but Flash/Jessica somehow get three?  And her twins get to harness the entire spectrum without rings?  That kind of makes them both Mary Sue characters and it gets into the bigger problem I’m having with Hitch’s writing.

He seems to be forgetting that the Justice League is not alone in this universe.  During the previous issue, I thought maybe one kid was the child of Hal and another the child of Guy (because during the War of the Green Lanterns, Hal used a Yellow Ring and Guy used a Red one).  I don’t mind being wrong, but to give them each a color and not run with that?  Hitch missed a big opportunity here.  Even the visual of the huge battle had only the current League members fighting.  Really?  Nobody else was available?  It seems like he’s forgetting that the whole point of the League is that they are not alone.  I mean, good grief…if you’re gonna tell a story about kids from the future, you’re welcome to have gratuitous cameos!

Final Thoughts:  I already don’t like the Junior League.  I’m seriously unimpressed with Hitch’s storytelling here.  I’m hoping it gets interesting, because I think there’s something going on with Hunter and he’s the only one I really care about at this point (which is odd because Wonder Woman and Superman were never my favorite of DC’s heroes).  If I weren’t stubborn, this book would be enough to make me stop Justice League.  But I know they all have bad issues and bad arcs.  I’m just hoping this isn’t indicative of what’s to come.

Rating: 4.5/10

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