Saturday, March 06, 2010

Cry For Justice#7: When The Joke Stopped Being Funny

"I wish I could laugh
But that joke isn't funny anymore
It's too close to home
and it's too near the bone."
- The Smiths

Due to a busy week at work, I didn't get a chance to hit the local comic shop until Friday. While perusing through the titles, I read the 7th and final issue of James Robinson's Cry For Justice miniseries, and here was my opinion of the issue in a nutshell:

I fucking hated this comic.

I mean I really hated it. Had I not been in a public place (the comic shop), I would have flung this little piece-of-crap comic as hard as I could at the nearest wall. Again and again.

Not too long ago, I had a good laugh about how hilariously bad the Cry For Justice mini was: heroes acting wildly out of character, other characters getting killed (Tasmanian Devil, Penny Dreadful) or maimed (Roy Harper) for mere shock value, schedule delays, the constant cries of "Justice!", the works. I even joked about how the comic's delays had spoiled all the surprises in CFJ issue#7.

God, I wish I'd been right. Unfortunately, Robinson had two more unpleasant shocks in store. The first was this:

(The dead body belongs to none other than Roy Harper's 8-year-old daughter Lian, who was killed in the Star City disaster.)

The second was this:

This comic represented virtually everything wrong with modern-day superhero comics. Supporting characters treated like nothing more than cannon fodder to ratchet up the angst levels of the (usually male) lead hero with no respect or regard for that supporting character's history or meaning. So-called heroes rendered impotent in the face of Earth-shattering disasters. All in the name of some cheap shock value or, worse, a springboard for the next "Big Event".

I expected better than this from James Robinson. What the hell happened to him? He was wonderful on Starman and JSA, and even did great work on the recent Superman books. The main Superman book only featured its title character once in the last 11 issues and Robinson still managed to keep me riveted. He still can be a great writer. But he was anything but that in Cry For Justice. And, Robinson notwithstanding, where the hell were the editors? This thing should never have seen print.

If I want to read about children dying needlessly and thousands getting murdered while our heroes are helpless to act, there are periodicals available to me. They're called newspapers. Comics are supposed to be more inspiring than that. They're supposed to provide, in the words of Widespread Panic, hope in a hopeless world.

This comic made me feel dirty just reading it, let alone buying it. (I didn't.) I even considered buying a copy just so I could tear it up in a fit of rage. But giving DC my money for this travesty would have felt too much like rewarding it.


At 3:38 AM , Blogger Saranga said...

its' so nice to see this comic universally panned.

At 2:46 PM , Blogger SallyP said...

Yeah, pretty much. It started out with such potential for over-the-top campiness, and it ended up with...that.

As for Robinson, my only thought is that apparently there was a LOT of editorial interference which may have had something to do with the way it ended up. At least I hope so.


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