Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Justice League of America's Vibe #2 (May, 2013)

"You are going to get eaten! Or stabbed. Or blown up. Or erased from time. Or, if you're really lucky, just plain old-fashioned gut shot... Why else would they have you in the Justice League of America other than cannon fodder? You're the red shirt, man. They can throw you at super-villains, and while they're distracted debating on how to kill you, the JLA can swoop in and save the day." Clearly, Dante Ramon wasn't supportive of his brother Cisco becoming a super-hero, especially on a JLA "b-team" whose other members had yet to be revealed to him. Vibe was showing off the costume he'd been given by A.R.G.U.S., including the glasses that were only supposed to record his activities while on duty, but through which Amanda Waller and Dale Gunn were viewing this breach of confidentiality.

Vibe heard a call for help and went out on patrol, and in a scene paralleled in another comic, caught a little boy who had merely stolen a candy bar. "Look... um... Promise you'll never do it again and it'll be our secret, okay?" Dante questioned whether the League had confused Cisco with another, more competent Vibe, and worried about losing "the only brother I've got left." Cisco paid the shopkeeper for the candy bar. Agent Gunn was dispatched to confront Vibe about his frivolous use of power when he was desperately needed to protect the Earth from invasion, and dressed him down for confiding in his brother, a designated "unreliable factor." Vibe put Dante's question to Dale, who explained "you have a power no one else does." Dante continued to mock the "Vibe" moniker and teased tattling on Cisco to their father.

On the streets of Detroit, an odd looking alien was roaming the streets menacingly. A television in a store window discussed a terrorist situation involving the terrorist Sons of Adam taking hostages at Stagg Industries, and the alien reacted badly when possible intervention by A.R.G.U.S. was mentioned. Vibe sensed the creature's presence, and A.R.G.U.S. asked him to track it. Dale referred to it as a "breacher," referring to "interdimensional beings that breach our world." The breacher had taken a cop hostage, turned invisible, and scaled a building. Vibe used his powers to knock over a light pole and scale it to the building's roof. Vibe zapped the breacher, who promptly surrender and tried to give Cisco a document written in an alien language. Agent Gunn shot the breacher with an energy weapon, claiming it was still a threat, and that his message was a declaration of war.

At the Circus, Amanda Waller had the document, and gave it to one of her prisoners to translate. "...It has your name on it, doesn't it? Written in your language. It's a letter. Someone went to a great deal of trouble getting this to you..." The prisoner asked after the fate of the courier, and explained that the letter was a request from her father to come home. "You seem to prefer a more nomadic existence. That makes you something of a trans-dimensional... Gypsy." Waller wanted the girl to tell her father that she was safe and well cared for, but if he decided to try to take his daughter back, he'd share her "accommodations." Gypsy felt that Waller had no right to keep her, and Amanda agreed, but also noted that some of her superiors would prefer that her holding facility become an abattoir. "I want out! I'll take my chances out there! Please..."

A day later, Cisco was the first member at the new Justice League of America headquarters in Washington, D.C. In a phone call, Cisco was debating quitting before proving himself "a sucky Justice Leaguer," but Dante finally supported him. At a press conference before the Capitol Building, President Barack Obama introduced the press to Katana, Vibe, Stargirl, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkman. Cisco whispered to Courtney that he wished his brother could have been there, then Colonel Steve Trevor told him to "Can the chatter." Steve confided to Waller that Vibe was wide-eyed in awe of the spectacle, and worried for his safety in times to come. To better vet the kid, Director Waller informed Agent Gunn that she wanted to see how well Vibe could establish a connection to the Speed Force...

"Why Me?" was by Geoff Johns & Andrew Kreisberg as writers; Pete Woods & Andres Guinaldo on pencils; Sean Parsons, Pete Woods & BIT on inks. The issue felt very much like a placeholder or series of deleted scenes, weaving in and out of sequences from Justice League of America #1 & 2, advancing subplots without a true core story of its own to tell. Woods' art improved, but since he was sharing chores with so many other hands, the overall quality of the book was inconsistent. I'm not at all keen on Gypsy's new backstory, Cisco remains a calculatingly inoffensive bore, and how many reminders do we need that Amanda Waller is in a shady business?

New 52's Day

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