Monday, June 4, 2018

Justice League: No Justice #4

Justice League No Justice #4 came out this week, wrapping up an extremely fast-paced miniseries where different teams need to fend off universal energies and Omega Titans. It was a fun, quick read showcasing a cross-section of the DC Universe. Interestingly enough, Green Arrow came out as as the biggest hero, holding his own as a force of justice.

It also planted the seeds for future comics including a new Justice League, a cosmic League, and even (it seems) a new Outsiders team. For me, the biggest bang in the book was the return of Vril Dox. If you set the WABAC machine, you will hear my love of the fascist hero back in my R.E.B.E.L.S. reviews. So for a book I barely was able to follow (I didn't read Metal), I have to give this miniseries a thumbs up.


Of course, this is a Supergirl blog, so I kept wondering where Supergirl was. I didn't expect her to have a big part in the book, but the interlude story in  DC Nation #0  made me think she would have some role, perhaps as a last guardian at the gate, trying to hold of the Omegas until the heroes arrived.

Alas, that didn't happen.

It turns out that Supergirl appears in exactly 2 panels.

Now one is a graceful half page done by the always excellent Francis Manapul. She is working with Batgirl and that is always a plus. She is trying to find Green Arrow.

So far so good.

Then she is immediately and easily taken out by Vril Dox who is trying to destroy Earth as well as reclaim all the data Brainiac had.

I am not a big fan of Supergirl being a 'yardstick', a character someone else gets measured by. "You know how tough Vril Dox is? He took out Supergirl." But she has played the role for some time.

Kind of a bummer she had absolutely nothing to do with this series.

Vril was never a nice guy. He was an arrogant, 'I'm the smartest guy in the room', narcissist. But I always thought he was closer to being a good guy than he was to being a bad guy.

Here in No Justice, he seems to have decided to fight on the wrong side. Blow up Earth? Avenge Colu? Live up to the villainous family name. All makes sense.

It is a bummer. I liked him in R.E.B.E.L.S. I don't think I can like this guy.

The book itself is gorgeous with wonderful Manapul art. I had to include my Manapul commission from 6 years ago. I love this piece and lays up a bit more innocence in the character.


Anonymous said...

When I first heard about this event, I didn't expect Kara to show up. I told myself "Don't get your hopes up. She's been missing from most events since Convergence, at least".

Then I read DC Nation #0 and I was excited. "Hey, maybe she plays some role after all! Like in Final Crisis!".

Yes, no. She showed up only to be gunned down by Vril Dox, who is a bigger jerk than ever. I guess I should be glad to see her teaming up with Batgirl, but... Why was she even in this series? And what happened after she bumped into the Omega Titans in the beginning?

How disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Lord knows I've tried to reconcile DC Nation #0 with No Justice #4.

And just maybe this timeline works - what do you think?

Let's say Supergirl meets up with Green Arrow before he leaves for the Arctic, then flies off into space (against his protests) and runs into the Omega Titans, who are just arriving, ahead of the Justice League.

She backs off, and apparently flies some laps or takes a nap, because by the time she returns to earth, Green Arrow has reached the Arctic under Batgirl's direction; gone through a lot of stuff with Waller; and been frozen by Waller's High Tech Freezing Device. (Most of that in Green Arrow Annual #2.)

On her final descent back to earth, she's sent by Batgirl to the Arctic, but she can't detect Green Arrow because he's busy being frozen.

Vril Dox has teleported in by then, just after the Omega Titans but before the Justice League, and he clobbers Supergirl.

Maybe all this is obvious? Gah!

But to your larger point: Supergirl does get put out of commission pretty often. I griped about her treatment in the Superman: Revenge arc. She was portrayed as foolish with Power Boy (that one goes waaaay back), manipulated by Darkseid, and duped by H'El.

But she was effective in New Krypton (thank you Sterling Gates), and a strong presence in The Brainiac arc and The Final Days of Superman, etc. (I'm skipping around my versions of Supergirl, but if the point is how DC approaches the character, I think that's fair.) She's been a strong teammate in JL United, JL 3001, Legion of Superheroes, and Crucible. And much else.

Recently, she's doing well in some "elseworlds": Had a really terrific arc in Gotham City Garage, and comes out okay (so far, the story isn't over yet) in Injustice 2.

So it's a mixed bag.

While I thought No Justice was a lame story, certainly devised just to move pieces into place for the spin-offs, it has taught me to be cautious when approaching greenery.

Martin Gray said...

Yeah, that was a terrible waste of Supergirl, and that was too far from previous Vril Dox's to be acceptable - why even bother having him wear the LEGION armband?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and really nice commission. Looks a bit older to me, like Matrix.

Anj said...

Thanks for comments.

That timeline is wonky. But it puts everything in the right order.

I am disappointed Vril is just a sneering villain now. I liked his more ‘I’ll force good onto people, even if through Machiavellian law’ approach. Maybe this is brief.

Anonymous said...

I can only concur with everyone. Disappointed with how they used Kara, disappointed with the story overall.

I don't know if the editors chucked Kara and Babs on an unwilling Snyder, to lure out our money for the No Justice series, but this felt very minimum effort.

Anonymous said...

"Jobbed Out Again"....when is this meme gonna get discarded? Anyone else remember a golden era in the 1970's when an appearance by Supergirl outside her feature all but guaranteed a well drawn good read with The Maid of Might depicted to advantage even if in a supporting role?
I do...


Red Forever said...

At this point Im not even surprised they do this at all with Kara. I mean, after you make Batman the spawn of the literal transdimensional incarnation of evil throughout the multiverses, where can you go, who can you use anymore? It's done, everyone gets jobbed out unless you wear plot armour or you're an overcompensation of a writer that tries to outdo Kirby in the cosmic stuff which is already very tiresome and overused.

At this point it really feels like people just choose a superhero they like to work on and just superimpose their fanfiction on them while they drag characters nobody but the fans like and have to reinvent them again because they really can't think of what adventures someone who's been in comics for nearly 60-70 years as a character can do anymore. And the irony is, they have already rebooted the damn thing so many times and still have problems.

Kara is just another one of the victims but it's not like the newer guys are any better, John and Damian's EXCELLENT adventures got cut and when you try to look at new stuff, they basically copy Marvel at this point except with different powers and don't even try to be imaginative with the powers.

At this point it might be better to take a break from new comics and focus on expanding the side-digital comics and collect the older issues we're missing from our collections. Perhaps even scavenge hunt for the Supergirl animated series that never fully got into production, that would be interesting.