Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Justice League of America #31

Overall- Dwayne McDuffie, allow me to give you my most heartfelt apology and ask one question. WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN??? This comic was f###ing great! I had to double check the front cover to make sure I was really reading an issue of the JLA! That's how good this comic was! This issue blew away EVERYTHING else Dwayne has done on this series by a huge margin! I mean that. I absolutely loved this comic, and this issue has(for now)restored my confidence in Dwayne's writing skills. Here's the review.

Dinah calls Ollie and Hal to a private meeting, where before she says one word, she totally decks Ollie! That, right off the bat set the tone for this comic. Dinah tells Ollie that was for embarrassing her by deciding to join up with Hal's version of the Justice League(which is coming out in July!). Hal tries to joke about things, but Dinah shoots him right down and rips Hal for forming his own JL. She even goes so far as to "forbid" it! Oh baby, this is heating up! She then rips Ollie for running off with his "boyfriend" Hal to do the "Hard-Travelling Heroes" thing again! OUCH!!! Ollie doesn't appreciate the homophobic tone Dinah is taking, and I'm now officially laughing my ass off. Dinah tells Ollie that as her husband she would have expected him to stick with her instead of running off with Hal. Ollie admits to Dinah that his time working with Hal were some of the best days of his life, and since he's getting older, he wants to try to relive those great times before it's too late.

Ollie also tells Dinah that she has John Stewart to fill in the Green Lantern role and Roy to fill in the archer role. Ollie then says what I've been saying for months now when he tells Dinah that her Justice League just isn't working out. Hal then chimes in and states that since the League reformed, they haven't exactly been setting the world on fire with their recent track record. Hal tells Dinah that the League hasn't saved or protected the Earth. The man's got a point. Just look at Final Crisis and the Sinestro Corps War... Hal also points to the fact that the League couldn't even take down the Shadow Thief without the help of those Shadow Cabinet "second-stringers". Hal then says that the League couldn't even save J'onn or Bruce. Dinah tells Hal to stop and Hal tells her that's exactly what he's going to do. Stop the villains, because Dinah and her League couldn't. Wow... That was powerful...

We move from there to Dinah and Oracle discussing what Dinah sees as a lack of respect for her authority. Oracle asks if it could be sexism rearing its ugly head, but Dinah dismisses that and says that the problems with Hal are just the tip of the iceberg.

Next, Dinah heads to see Roy, who is still hurting badly due to his break-up with Kendra. Roy tells Dinah that Hawkman told him that once he and Kenra are better, Hawkman has agreed to take Roy's spot on the team. Before Dinah can ask Roy to stay on, Roy begins to list a bunch of people who could fill his role on the team. Dinah shoots down each person, and Roy finally tells Dinah that he would do anything she asked him to do, so he is begging her not to ask him re-join the team.

Dinah leaves Roy and goes to Keystone City to see the Flash(that would be Wally West, NOT Barry Allen!)to ask him to join her League. Wally explains that between his kids, the Titans and the crimes in Keystone, he just doesn't have the time to join up. Before Dinah can finish making her pitch to Wally, he receives a police call and has to take off.

At the Fortress of Solitude, Superman and Wonder Woman are sparing and reminiscing about Batman. Supes admits that he wishes he'd spent more time with Bruce, and WW tells Supes that Bruce treasured his time with Supes. Supes then has a flashback about one of the last times he saw Bruce, just after Supes lost his father. Bruce gives Supes some kind words, telling him he should look at his time with his father as a gift, as opposed to dwelling on the loss. Supes then tells WW that under it all, Bruce was really a kind man.

Dinah arrives at this time to confront Supes and WW about their decisions to leave the League. WW tells Dinah that her obligations to Themyscira out way everything else, but says she will return to help whenever she can. Supes tells Dinah that likewise, he'll be spending most of his time on New Krypton, but whenever he's on Earth, he'd be willing to help out. Dinah tells them that isn't good enough, stating that with Bruce gone, WW and Supes ARE the League. She reminds them that everybody else looks up to them. She tells them that Hal's the only founding member left and he's decided to go off on his own. Supes tells Dinah that she should try to patch things up with Hal, and right there Dinah realizes that nothing she says will convince either Supes or WW to change their minds, so she just leaves.

Dinah finally heads to the Hall of Justice with the only JLAers she has left, John Stewart, Zatana, Vixen and Dr. Light. Dinah tells the group that Red Tornado isn't responding to any summons and that Atom is joining Hal's "b-team". John takes offence at Dinah taking shots at Hal, which leads to Vixen making a racially insensitive comment about Hal and John's relationship, which offends John. Zatanna and Dr. Light begin to argue about the Justice League Detroit, and Dinah just turns her back on the whole ugly scene. Dr. Light finally tells Dinah that they should find Hal and force him to follow the JLA charter. Dinah, fed up with the bickering, and at her wits end, closes this issue by stating that as far as she was concerned, Hal could go out and represent the Justice League, and that this branch of the League was closed down, effective immediately.

I can't even believe this was the same Dwayne McDuffie who wrote those terrible stories about Vixen's totem and that annoying God, or the terrible junk with the Shadow Cabinet. The scene with Hal, Ollie and Dinah was one of the best written and dialogued scenes I've read in quite some time. Hal was BRUTALLY honest with his feelings about Dinah and her poor leadership of the League, and it's important to note that while Hal was practically blaming Dinah for J'onn and Bruce's deaths, Ollie stood by and said nothing. To me that silence was the most damning of all. Granted, some of Hal's accusations weren't exactly fair, but for the most part, Hal was dead on. This comic has been bad. The JLA has looked like a joke. Sinestro DID invade Earth with little trouble from the League. Darkseid DID conquer the Earth and almost destroy the universe right under the League's nose. Could Hal have been more tactful with HOW he told Dinah these things? Sure, but that's not Hal. I'd recommend this comic just on the strength of that one scene alone, but the rest of this comic was top notch as well. This was really a great comic book. It was so great, that for a score, I'm going to give this issue a 10 out of 10. I didn't want to give this comic a perfect score, but in reality, there was NOTHING I can say I didn't like about this issue. Do yourself a favor, read this comic, if for nothing else just to check out that great scene with Ollie, Hal and Dinah. Dinah calling Hal Ollie's "boyfriend" was just classic!


  1. Just read and enjoyed this issue, too. Shame it's one of McDuffie's last; his League picked up in Worlds Collide, and I'd have been curious to see in one more collection whether the quality continued.

  2. Yeah, Dwayne's JLA run was pretty up and down, but he definitely showed some flashes of brilliance. I tend to wonder how Dwayne's run would have looked if he had a few more big name characters on his roster.