Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

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Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:20 pm

I don't plan on doing a full-scale review of the run so far (because that's a time sink; also we're only like 3 issues in), but since no one else is talking about it I thought: "meh, what the hell?"

It's fine. Not great--not up to Priest's usual quality. But it's fine. I'm mostly reading it for the name-recognition over any real desire to see where the story is going though, which isn't a good thing. After more or less saying "goodbye" to mainstream superhero comics, I started reading the other stuff that Priest has put out: "Quantum and Woody," what little bits of "The Crew" I could find, then his DC/Marvel work with Deathstroke and Black Panther, etc. He's got a lot of talent and tells good, regularly challenging stories (I do like stories that make me stop reading and wonder which character I'd actually throw my support behind in the real world), so seeing what he can do with the League--even if his opening arc isn't necessarily gripping--felt like a good plan to me. But, well, that's not exactly a positive endorsement of the storytelling, is it?

Problem is that there's a sense of "we've been here before" to the story, at least as it's been presented so far. He's made some interesting points--like, for example, how Diana and Arthur are representatives of sovereign nations and/or have an overarching goal beyond just the League, and the nature of their Charter might conflict with the League's politically ambivalent status--which are, so far as I can tell, unique enough that I haven't seen them brought up before. And I think as time goes on that this will sort of take precedence in the narrative. But right now, with the first few issues, it's mostly focused on public perception of the League and their relationship to the law. I'm getting BvS flashbacks, and that's never a good thing.

There's not as much decompression in this book as in others (read: King's Batman run), but it's still noticeable, and this makes Priest's otherwise excellent talent for characterization seem scattered. We get some insight into Batman every issue, but for the rest of the League it's mostly been "a bit of Diana here, bit of Supes there, some Aquaman, none for this person just yet," which means it'll likely read good in the trade, but not so much in serial installments. Its also not really telling us anything new about the characters yet, but then again, if I compare the amount of content in one issue of a DC comic to, say, the amount of content in a comic penned by James Roberts or John Barber or Mairghread Scott (there's a trend there), then we'll probably have to wait another three issues for any serious character work to take place. Roberts in particular is excellent at penning a character-heavy story that's done in only an issue, and Scott is excellent at fleshing out a large cast in a consistent way issue to issue. Priest is usually just as good in those aspects (maybe not the large-cast aspect, since he mostly deals with a small group of characters), but the pace is pretty slow-going in Justice League, more so than Deathstroke, I would argue. It's leaving every issue feeling a bit "thin".

I also feel like the entire planet overreacted to what happened in Issue #1. Not in a "they didn't react realistically" way--it's very much a problem of people reacting realistically after we've had however many issues of cartoony, "don't care" interactions between the League and the public. It's not Priest's fault that he's bringing a more deconstructivist approach to the League on the heels of...whatever the hell Hitch was trying to do, but it'd be like reading 30 run-of-the-mill issues of Swamp-Thing and then getting thrown into Alan Moore's postmodern take on the character. Bit of whiplash there; kinda makes the whole thing seem odd.

That being said, Priest is still one of the few writers in comics that actually knows how to use subtext in both storytelling and, especially, dialogue; he also doesn't string the story out by only having 3 panels per page or, on a different end of the spectrum, try to use the 9-panel grid but in a wasteful, generally poor way (again, calling King's Batman run out there; doesn't make sense Tom, you have a handle on that sort of thing for most other comics you do). So that's all good.

The art is also fine, if standard.

So, yeah, it's OK. Not terrific, but I get the feeling that it'll probably read well in trade as opposed to in serialized installments. Granted that depends on the story taking an interesting turn soon, which might not happen, but whatever. Could be worse.

Could be James Robinson's Wonder Woman run.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:05 pm

I am with you so far with Priest but I am willing to give it time as I don't immediately hate it. At least the dialogue doesn't make me want to beat my head against the wall (James Robinson).
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:37 pm

I agree that Priest's work hasn't been anything special judging by the first 3 issues. It's fine, and the way the conflict started was not as heavy handed as I had feared, so that's a plus. I'm still waiting for Priest to hit his stride and for the story to pick up the pace before I decide whether I like it or not. As you've mentioned Priest is a great writer, so I believe that he has a plan in mind for the book.

What I find interesting is the possibility that this books will somehow tie into Doomsday Clock. The fact that Doomsday Clock takes place at a time when anti-superhuman sentiment are widespread, with the public losing faith in masked Superheroes could potentially point to Priest's JL being the precursor for the events in Doomsday Clock. Otherwise it's one hell of a coincidence that both Priest and Johns are building their stories around a similar premise.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:04 pm

DaisyJane wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:05 pm
I am with you so far with Priest but I am willing to give it time as I don't immediately hate it. At least the dialogue doesn't make me want to beat my head against the wall (James Robinson).
Preach: there's cringewrothy dialogue, and then there's Robinson's. I can't for the life of me understand why he has to bold every second word for every single character. It makes everyone sound like Mr. DeMartino, and that's a recipe for a headache if I've ever seen one.
ARB wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:37 pm
I agree that Priest's work hasn't been anything special judging by the first 3 issues. It's fine, and the way the conflict started was not as heavy handed as I had feared, so that's a plus. I'm still waiting for Priest to hit his stride and for the story to pick up the pace before I decide whether I like it or not. As you've mentioned Priest is a great writer, so I believe that he has a plan in mind for the book.

What I find interesting is the possibility that this books will somehow tie into Doomsday Clock. The fact that Doomsday Clock takes place at a time when anti-superhuman sentiment are widespread, with the public losing faith in masked Superheroes could potentially point to Priest's JL being the precursor for the events in Doomsday Clock. Otherwise it's one hell of a coincidence that both Priest and Johns are building their stories around a similar premise.
Yeah, patience is probably the best idea, I agree with you on that. Kinda unfortunate that that's how modern comics operate, but what can we do, I guess? You're right that the conflict isn't that heavy-handed either: Priest is trying to thread some other, more typical superheroics through the storyline as well, so that's nice. Not sure how much I care about the mystery, but it's still something.

I've been purposefully avoiding any issue of Doomsday Clock after the 2nd one like its the Canadian Airborne Regiment, but that would make a lot of sense if they're trying to link the two together. Though at the same time, it might end up just being a coincidence that Johns none-the-less uses to his advantage. I get the feeling that a lot of what Priest is writing about is stuff that he wanted to do before he got more-or-less blacklisted from comics, and, well, the "public loses faith in spandex-people" storyline is pretty common, but that doesn't mean it can't be combined with Doomsday Clock after the fact, for sure.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:17 pm

Well Selina finally made an appearance outside the Batman book. She hung out with Jessica Cruz in the last arch of Priest's JL. Sorry but the whole run kind of sucked and almost felt like the Nu52 in the interactions and Diana felt like Nu52 WW. Glad that it is over. Hopefully No Justice is better. Brave and the Bold is the only good WW at the moment.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:10 am

Yeah it was really bad, the whole Fan takes down the Justice League story really sucked. Now what is really weird is Selinas reaction to Jessica telling her about kissing Bruce. She didnt give a single fuck haha.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:55 am

Yeah Selina seems to not be threatened by or care about any of the women in Bruce's life or past the exception being WW. Selina showed a little jealousy and unease when BM and WW returned from Gehenna.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:27 am

I didn't read the issue, but writers usually like to portray Selina as totally blasé to exemplify that she's more experienced and progressive than most people due to having seen and done it all. Thus being both a very down to earth person AND a totally outrageous person at the same time.

Or you can just believe taking from King's run as example that she's so confident she has Bruce wrapped around her fingers and utterly dependent on her emotionally that things like that just doesn't phase her.

Was the issue any good, or was the whole Bruce x Jessica subplot very stupid? I wish they had kept the marriage thing confined to the Batman book, but i knew that eventually they'd start referencing it.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:31 am

ISAK wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:27 am
I didn't read the issue, but writers usually like to portray Selina as totally blasé to exemplify that she's more experienced and progressive than most people due to having seen and done it all. Thus being both a very down to earth person AND a totally outrageous person at the same time.

Or you can just believe taking from King's run as example that she's so confident she has Bruce wrapped around her fingers and utterly dependent on her emotionally that things like that just doesn't phase her.

Was the issue any good, or was the whole Bruce x Jessica subplot very stupid? I wish they had kept the marriage thing confined to the Batman book, but i knew that eventually they'd start referencing it.
Nah it was an issue where Deathstroke beat the whole Justice League and killed a guy and the JL did nothing. The Bruce/Jessica plot wasnt even really relevant. Jessica came to Wayne manor to be greated with Selina who told her she knew Jessica kissed Bruce becuase he told her. Then she invited her to watch real housewieves and that was that.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:50 am

Got it, so the stupidity was elsewhere. Priest's boner for Deathstroke is really obnoxious, despite him writing the character well. The whole Titans/Teen Titans cross-over that ended with him getting Speed Force powers and leading those meta teens that should have been smart enough to not follow Slade was all kinds of stupid. Now you've the current arc about Damian's parentage on the Deathstroke book where Slade my be Damian's real dad, because of course he banged Talia too. Everyone seems to want to write their favorite anti-hero as having banged Talia. I remember when Selina received that treatment as well, with everyone flirting with her because that was something Batman did.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:08 pm

ISAK wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:50 am
Now you've the current arc about Damian's parentage on the Deathstroke book where Slade my be Damian's real dad, because of course he banged Talia too. Everyone seems to want to write their favorite anti-hero as having banged Talia. I remember when Selina received that treatment as well, with everyone flirting with her because that was something Batman did.
Yeah I 'member that, Bane did the same thing and Azreal too what is it with people and de-faming Talia for some reason? I never really completely mind because I don't like Selina or Talia a love interest but the frequency at which it happens is just weird.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:49 am

Now that his run has seemingly concluded, I have to say I'm glad it's over. Priest had some interesting ideas, but he cannot execute them to save his life.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:58 pm

His ideas just don't work with the Justice League in my honest opinion. His time on the book felt more like an Avengers book than a Justice League book.
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:43 pm

yeah the main problem was his tried to be too realistic ,like if the JL existed in real life but the league looked useless, Bruce looked worse (seems everyone ignores that Snyder had him be revived at physical peak). The science talk was so much and ruined the story, No one knows what to do with Jessica so they try to hook her up with everyone even if they are seeing someone else ; first Barry in Hitch's run when he was getting together with Iris, now had her and Batman smooch ironically the issue that took place came out the same week as the batman issue where he and Diana did nothing for hundreds of years.


The Fan was a character that quickly fell into boring invincible villain territory since the only way to defeat him was to do something morally grey but they didn't until they apparently let Deathstroke kill the fan (our heroes). And my god this arc proves that Priest doesn't know how to control his boner for Deathstroke. First he squandered the x-over with both titans to Jack over how dangerous slade is, had him be more of a threat to Wally to faced Hermes, Hunter and other speed demons and then had a group of smart kids follow him because he said he was changed, now he had the him beat the shit out of the league.

Had high hopes that I would enjoy JL but it was sadly misplaced

5/10
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Re: Priest's Justice League Run (so far)

Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:41 pm

By the sound of it Priest should either write suicide squad deathstroke or secret six book or a version of catwoman that is single and still a thief or mercenary
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