Rise and Cry – A Look at the Worst of DC Comics Part 3

Death is coming

There’s no turning back now.

Last month, in a MAILBAG question, friend of the Geekery Kenny asked me if The Rise and Fall of Arsenal – the 4-issue miniseries from 2010 – was DC Comics’ “lowest point.” There’s no better way to examine that question than by going issue-by-issue of that miniseries and the one from which it was birthed, Justice League: CRY FOR JUSTICE.

Time to dive in to the third issue.

Justice League: Cry For Justice 3
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mauro Cascioli

The membership of this Justice League offshoot so far is a pretty powerful bunch. Green Lantern wields maybe the most powerful weapon in the known universe. It’s often been said that, with the proper training, Supergirl could be even stronger that her Kryptonian cousin.  CAPTAIN SPARKLYFINGERS Junior wields the powers of six gods. The Atom can alter his mass and the force with which he can hit an opponent.

And, of course, Green Arrow is there, too.

That’s a lot of power coming together in this issue, but they are definitely not the smartest group in the world – even with Palmer being one of the greatest scientific minds in the DC Universe.

The five heroes, each seeking “justice” for their own reasons, somehow manage to capture PROMETHEUS, the man who they believe has orchestrated their troubles of late. We don’t see HOW they capture him, of course. One minute, the five are waxing philosophic about their teaming up and the next, they have Prometheus tied to a chair with a Lantern construct, with Palmer shrinking down to give the villain a serious migraine from the inside.

This is, by the way, not all that long after Ray Palmer’s ex-wife Jean Loring took Palmer’s size-changing belt, shrunk down and inadvertently killed Sue Dibny in the hopes of getting back together with Ray.

Lantern and the others treat Prometheus as the joke he was portrayed as while being a lackey for Hush. But that wasn’t the real Prometheus. It a pretender, who Prometheus eventually captured and killed. And the man the Vengeance League have chained to a chair isn’t Prometheus, either. It’s Clayface, and he’s embedded with a bomb that he sets off.

Can’t really blame the guy after all the torture.

Speaking of the torture, the only man who speaks up against what Lantern and Atom are doing to Prometheus, not surprisingly, is lefty loudmouth Green Arrow. Lantern dresses him down pretty quickly, though. And the principled liberal just says, “alright, fine, whatever,” and just lets them go ahead with the interrogation. So much for Arrow’s principles.

Meanwhile, Congorilla and Starman Mikaal Tomas are flying back from Blackhawk Island and get attacked by robots. They tear through the robots pretty easily. So dominant are the pair that they even manage to make the robots bleed! Why did the robots attack them? Is that really important?

The issue also gives us the classic villain monologue from Prometheus, as he lays out his plans to one of his associates, who subsequently gets turned into a vegetable by some poison.

To close things out, writer James Robinson revisits some of the supporting characters from his acclaimed Starman run, as the Shade and Jake Bennetti pay a visit to psychic Charity O’Dare, who wants to get a message to the Justice League that “Danger – Death – it’s coming” as we end on a montage of heroes of the DC Universe. It doesn’t really take a psychic to know that there’s a coming darkness within the DC Universe at this point. It’s been permeating through the comics for years at this point!

The third issue of Cry For Justice was definitely the most disjointed so far. Scenes and times hopped around with little explanation. Congorilla and Starman are taking a leisurely trip to being included in any meaningful way, and the full collection of heroes in the new Vengeance League just feel thrown together at random. And we’re not even at the half-way point of this series. There’s so much more to come!