It was a very busy week for the Super-titles with four books coming out on Wednesday. World's Finest, Superman, Superman Secret Origin, and Justice League Cry For Justice all came out. It was a difficult choice deciding which title to review first. And while I feel that Superman Secret Origin was the best of the lot, Cry For Justice #5 had a couple of big moments which made me decide to review it first.
Of course, as a Supergirl fan, I have been interested in reading about her growing relationship with Captain Marvel. It has been a while since Kara had a legitimate love interest and Freddy seems like a natural fit. So when I saw the cover for this issue, I thought that their relationship would go from one of coy flirting to something more significant.
Unfortunately, this is the classic "tease cover" since this kiss does not happen within the book.
As has been the case throughout this miniseries, James Robinson's script has a few odd and off-putting moments in it. It is as though he feels that some moments that could be played in a quiet manner need to be exploded into something super-dramatic.
And, as has also been the case throughout, Mauro Cascioli's artwork is unbelievably spectacular. One thing that bothers me somewhat is that he seems to favor two body types: overly muscular men and very sexy women. Almost every man has 20 inch biceps. And while his artwork nears cheesecake at times, it is lovely to look at.
The issue opens with Congorilla and Starman visiting Animal Man's house. Congorilla had teamed with Buddy in the past when they were part of the Forgotten Heroes. Knowing that Prometheus is planning something so huge and realizing that his trail had gone cold, Bill turns to Animal Man to see if he and Starman can get some help.
As luck would have it, they arrive at the house on the same day that Starfire and Donna Troy are visiting and frolicking by the pool. I do like that Robinson is acknowledging the fact that Starfire and Buddy have a special relationship given the time they were alone together in space in 52.
The poolside scene seems like a convenient excuse to let Cascioli paint the two Titans in their bathing suits. That said, there was nothing overly sexual or prurient in their positioning or this scene. They look the way two beautiful women would look at the beach. I applaud Cascioli for this. I can only imagine how this scene would have looked if someone like Ed Benes did this book.
When Congorilla explains what he has uncovered, the decision is made to go straight to the JLA.
Hal and Ollie also realize that their group needs help with this Prometheus plot. So they decide to go to the JLA for help. The current JLA agree to helps this splinter group.
Supergirl is definitely painted quite lovely in this miniseries. But her dialogue is so wooden. Remember in an earlier issue she said "I'm not bad. I'm good." Here she gets to say the awful line "Yeah, plus he's gotten his hands on weaponry and science." Supergirl being in this book is the dreaded double-edged sword. I am glad that Supergirl is represented here as it exposes her to new readers. And from an action point of view, she actually has been shown to be quite strong. But that dialogue... yeesh.
Anyways, the actual JLA has also noted that something isn't quite right. They have noted that some super villains are acting strangely. They are attacking different cities and different heroes. The Justice League has wondered if there is an underlying pattern.
During this discussion, we finally get a Batwoman sighting. I had forgotten that she was supposed to be featured in this miniseries.
She joins the discussion saying that she stopped a super villain named Endless Winter in Gotham. Unfortunately, before this 'Killer Frost wannabe' could answer any questions, she was killed from afar with a Suicide Squad embedded brain bomb.
I guess that Batwoman telling Supergirl that she saw the Cry For Justice group in Gotham but was not seen gives her a little bit of street credibility. She is that good.
As reports of B-list superheroes fighting C-list super villains pour into the satellite, one catches everybody's attention.
The Guardian has stopped a villain named Plunder from setting up a device in Metropolis. As this whole plot involves super-technology, the JLA decides to bring the machine on board for further study.
The League's scientists decide that the machine is a massive teleporter that could dump a large area, even city sized, anywhere in time, space, or other dimensions. But it would require a massive amount of energy and computer power to work.
Where do you think Prometheus will find that amount of energy and computer technology? Maybe on the JLA satellite? It seemed to me almost immediately that the Justice league are getting played here. They are bringing the big weapon to the only place it would work ... their own headquarters.
And as if to pick at a scab that was just healing, we get to see another headless Supergirl body shot.
While this huge conspiracy of super villains is being uncovered, Robinson decides to show us the more human side of being a superhero.
He shows that Black Canary is still hurt by the fact that Green Arrow left with Hal. She feels betrayed by him.
He retorts by telling her how productive his group was. His group actually caught a number of villains. Still, she seems stung by the whole incident, even more so when he reveals that he would not have come back if not for the Prometheus plot.
It does seem like an odd time to begin this discussion but I suppose that if Dinah is hurting that much, she would bring it up then.
Before the conversation can continue however, Animal Man arrives with Congorilla, Starman, Starfire, and Donna Troy. Almost immediately, Congorilla smells something he doesn't like it goes off. At the same time, Supergirl has gone off looking for Captain Marvel who has gone missing.
Unfortunately, while Supergirl noted Freddy's disappearance a few pages earlier, he is shown in the middle of a group shot right after animal Man arrives with his comrades. It is those small gaffes that bother me.
Supergirl and Congorilla meet up in the hallway and join together in their hunt.
There was really no reason to post to this panel other than to show how fantastic Cascioli's Supergirl is.
Unfortunately, before they find Captain Marvel or whoever Congorilla sensed, they come across Red Arrow whose arm has been ripped off!!!
Well I have to say that this was a big surprise. Grisly. Shocking. Almost unbelievable. And I suppose that is what Robinson was hoping for. It certainly grabbed my attention.
Of course after that initial shock, the continuity nerd in me took over. I am trying to figure out exactly where this miniseries takes place. It is after Final Crisis. It is obviously before Blackest Night as multiple people who have been killed there are present in this story. So now I'm trying to remember if I have seen Red Arrow with a robot arm or no arm in Blackest Night. I know... I know... I shouldn't be so hung up on things like that.
Still, it was a shocking moment ... a good moment in this book.
Congorilla makes sure that the two heroes stabilize Roy before tracking down whoever did this to him. Kara quickly cauterizes his arm with her heat vision.
Bill lets out a loud battle cry and that you take off. His scream alerts the rest of the League that something has happened. They go to investigate and come across Roy's body.
This is where one of those odd moments really took away from the issue.
When Ollie discovers the body, he is obviously distraught. He clutches the body and initially he states that he won't leave it. Dinah convinces him that they need to find the person responsible.
So that part I can understand. Roy has been like a son to Green Arrow. Of course, seeing him like this would stun anyone. I can understand why he would momentarily pause before taking action.
But would the rest of the heroes just stand there while Ollie dealt with his grief? Wouldn't they continue on to find whoever dismembered Red Arrow? And as if to hammer home the point, we actually see a shot of Starman, Starfire, Hal, and Donna standing there with their arms crossed. Wouldn't that group be fanning out looking for the villain? Even if that moment was only 5 seconds, isn't that 5 seconds too many?
These are veteran heroes who I think would realize that while Dinah and Ollie should stop, that they should move on.
The issue ends with a great cliffhanger.
It looks as though the villain is Captain Marvel! Or at least someone who is disguised as him.
I love this shot of the Supergirl about to engage with Freddy, Congorilla and The Flash battered behind them. Supergirl looks furious, eyes glowing. I love it! I can't believe it's actually Captain Marvel. So is it Prometheus? Or one of his agents... someone like Black Adam or maybe another shape shifter?
There is something almost nostalgic about this ending. Here was Supergirl's love interest who suddenly turns out to be the villain. As someone who has read a lot of Silver Age Supergirl stories, that was an ongoing theme. If she fell in love with someone he usually was some space criminal.
Too bad, I was actually looking forward to a Freddy/Kara relationship.
So we are nearing the end of this miniseries and the overall technology plot has been moved forward a bit here. There are some dramatic moments. There are some overly dramatic moments. Supergirl plays an important part in this issue. She also has some pretty lousy dialogue.
And, the artwork is just stunning. I can understand why DC would be willing to wait for Mauro Cascioli to complete the artwork here. The finished work is wonderful.
So I guess this is another up and down issue in an up-and-down miniseries. But I think this one was more up than down.
Overall grade: B