Icons and Milestones

Justice League of America #27

Well, there’s really just one reason I bought this one: the return of characters from Milestone Media and their integration into DC Comics’ continuity. Milestone was a comics imprint that was published through DC, but it had no connections to the regular DCU. It was probably the most successful comics publisher to specialize in fully multicultural comics. Its lead characters included Icon, Static (who made his new re-appearance in the pages of “Terror Titans” a week or two ago), Hardware, the Blood Syndicate, and the Shadow Cabinet. In this case, we’re getting re-introduced to the Shadow Cabinet, with the idea that they’ve somehow existed in the DC Universe all along, but somehow, few DC characters have ever met them before. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I guess it’s no more outlandish than Spider-Man making a deal with the Devil to end his marriage, so I guess we’ll roll with it.

Anyway, we start out focusing on Dr. Kimiyo Hoshi, the second Dr. Light, the one who wasn’t a supervillain. Her powers have been working only sporadically for years, so she’s mostly retired to raise her family. She is confronted in her apartment by the Shadow Cabinet, a clandestine, black-ops superhero team, including Hardware, Donner, Blitzen, Iota, Payback, Iron Butterfly, Starlight, Twilight, and Gloria Mundi. She tries to give them the slip, but is captured easily. Luckily, she has time to activate her old Justice League International distress signal.

Meanwhile, back with the current JLA team, the relationship between Red Arrow and Hawkgirl hits a major stumbling block because Hawkgirl keeps having dirty dreams about Hawkman. Oh, come on, Red, you’ve fathered a child with a supervillain — you got nothing to complain about. Elsewhere, Vixen’s powers are back to normal, and Black Canary finds out that Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman have been having secret meetings about the future of the League because they don’t trust her as the leader. She very sensibly tells them to get over themselves.

But back to the Shadow Cabinet. When the Justice League shows up to investigate Dr. Light’s distress call, they find that everything seems okay. But Batman quickly realizes that the Cabinet has disguised themselves as Dr. Light, her kids, and her babysitter. And other members of the Cabinet are attempting to infiltrate the Justice League HQ. All this means there’s gonna be some fightin’.

Verdict: A conditional thumbs up. I like seeing Milestone’s characters again. I loved these guys, and it’s wonderful to see them back in print. (But where’s the Blood Syndicate? SYNDICATE RULES FOREVAH!) It’s also nice to see the return of the “scrib,” a scribble in the word balloons that Milestone used to indicate profanity. And I am very fond of Black Canary’s characterization — of course, she would absolutely rake Supes, Wondy, and Bats over the coals for trying to undermine her leadership of the team, and it’s way past time that their secret meeting room got exposed.

On the other hand, the stuff about Vixen, Hawkgirl, and Red Arrow is completely useless soap-opera crap. And someone really needs to take artist Ed Benes aside and tell him to cut back on the gratuitous butt-shots. It gets really, really creepy after a while. I’m still not a big fan of Benes’ art — seems fine if you’re looking for something glossy, plastic, and Liefeldesque, but there are a lot better artists out there who should be drawing DC’s flagship series.

No Comments

  1. swampy Said,

    December 17, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

    Red Arrow is such a player….lol