The mini series, Cry for Justice, reflects a wonderful theme of heroics and what the obligation of heroism entails. The comic starts off with a collective meeting of super heroes including Hal Jordan, Superman, Supergirl, the Green Arrow, the Flash, and others. With despair over the friends they have lost in the battle against evil this body starts to fracture about how they should push back and take the fight to their enemies; obviously with Superman taking the side of protecting and "fighting the good fight," so to speak.
The Green Lantern and the Green Arrow splinter off to take the fight to their enemies instead of waiting and responding. James Robinson does an excellent job of painting the camaraderie and friendship between the two Green Heroes, and alludes to a collective past history. Issue 1 of Call for Justice shines in the character relationships and interactions but it falls short in direction and plotting. By the end of the issue there has been little to no development of the master plan of the apparent antagonist Prometheus. The storyline jumps all over the place and follows several heroes and their personal call for justice and gives a little insight into how each character ticks. These scenes include the opening scene with Green Lantern and Green Arrow, Ray Palmer and the Atom, Starman, and Congobill.
While the plotting and direction drags in this opening installment there is definitely a feeling of the larger scope of good versus evil on the horizon. On its own right, the storyline is certainly not the strength of this issue, but the cast of characters and the way they interact with each other is the shining beacon. The illustrations by Mauro Cascioli are beautiful and realistic. For readers that enjoy the realistic touch with the edgy feel this is a good comic to fall into.
In addition, Cry for Justice issue 1 is packed with additional materials including writer James Robinson's commentary on the series, some panel sketches, and an origin story of CongoBill. While the Origin story is extremely short (only two pages) it contains a nice short story of how CongoBill came to be supplemented by some beautiful illustrations of the golden gorilla. Robinson makes it clear that he is interested in spotlighting some less famous heroes in this series so there should be some expectation for future Origin stories in the remaining issues. Interestingly enough, Robinson states that his desire with CongoBill is to bring him more mainstream and get him known simply by Bill; which becomes apparent in Issue 2 when Bill introduces himself. The commentary really adds to the entire experience.
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They’re all heroes. They all want what is just, but do they need to continue to “wait for villains to do wrong and then go after them” as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern suggests that Superman feels the Justice League should, or should they “track down…all the villains, all the evil…” and “hurt them back” as Jordan himself believes? This is the debate that opens Justice League: Cry for Justice. It’s not really a debate, though. It’s more like Jordan telling Superman and Wonder Woman that he’s fed up, and instead of being a reactive hero, he’s going to run off, and form his own Justice League that is proactive. He’s not alone. Oliver Queen/Green Arrow is with him, and the ranks of Jordan’s League look to swell pretty soon, judging from the events surrounding several other heroes in this issue. They all cry for justice, and Jordan’s approach will appeal to them.