Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Justice League Of America Retroactive!

Since I'm a veteran (read "old") fan, the current DC "Retroactive" comics have gotten my attention. But alas there's nothing retro about the price of the comics, a hefty five bucks! So the only one I've gotten is the Justice League of America entry written by Cary Bates and drawn by a blend of Adam Smith, Gordon Purcell and Jose Marzan Jr.

The story is set primarily on Earth Prime (our Earth supposedly back in the day) and features a misplaced Adam Strange who has to convince the authorities that he's a bonafide space-traveling superhero and not a run-of-the-mill raving lunatic. The League gets wind of Adam's dilemma from Rann and seek him out, not only for his sake but to help them fight off Kanjar Ro who it seems is at the root of Strange's displacement.

All in all it's not a terrible story, but I have to confess it is a rather boring one. The script and art attempt to evoke the classic feel, but fail to do so. Julie Schwartz is in evidence, reprising his role as seen in the classicThe Flash #179 (see this link for more on that). And despite the cool factor of seeing some vintage comics covers reproduced throughout the comic (see the Neal Adams effort below for the best example), the whole enterprise just never seems to rise above a simmer.

Alas, this story is never able to abandon the wretched ironic self-awareness that makes stories like this today bland bits of kitsch and not the just plain old-fashioned straight-up storytelling they were in a simpler time, and are meant to be. There's too much knowing winking going on in this story.

And I've commented on this already, but the reprint in the back of this one is pretty good visually but it's the first half of a two-part JLofA-JSofA crossover with the second half missing. Poor planning for a one-shot.

This comic is disappointing. The cover below is exciting though.

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  1. You've pretty much captured my feelings exactly. In fact, I've been disappointed in all of the Retroactive titles thus far. Been looking forward to Roy Thomas and Rich Buckler on the eighties Wonder Woman since Rich sent me a bunch of sample page scans a while back but now keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. I wish that team was on another book. I'm a sucker for Roy and Buckler is a solid talent who has a style that's well suited for any era really.

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