Sunday, May 14, 2023

Justice League of America #38 (December, 2009)

As of this writing, the comic book with the most Vixen appearances is the 2006 volume of Justice League of America launched by Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes. After a lengthy tease, the intended final line-up included "Red Arrow" Roy Harper, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Black Canary, Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders,) Red Tornado, Black Lightning, Geo-Force, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and The Lady Fox. Dwayne McDuffie took over writing duties after the first year, and DC immediately started limiting access to the marque characters. African-American representation was upped by swapping in John Stewart and the Jason Rusch Firestorm, and the run ended with a team-up involving the Milestone characters. Vixen had been one of the central characters for three years, and her visibility had never been higher to that point. Then the writer of the much-maligned Justice League: Cry for Justice took over the title.

Echoing Aquaman's attendance complaints that lead to the reconfiguration dubbed "Justice League Detroit" in fan circles, Vixen calls a meeting at the old Secret Sanctuary, and only Plastic Man, Dr. Light, and Red Tornado showed up. After Arsenal was "disarmed" and Vixen had her leg broken in Cry for Justice, there was a real question of whether this Justice League was still solvent. Also recalling the Detroit years, Despero showed up to put this incarnation to this test. "Nice. I get to play with the JLA of today in this place of better days. Irony. It's one flavor of Earth I do enjoy the taste!" The lightly redesigned Kalanorian, whose fin now ran down his back, had stopped having fun with another errant Detroit alum, Gypsy.

Revenge? You flatter yourself. I've traded blows with J'Onn J'Onzz and Sodam Yat. I've battled champions. YOU'RE NOTHING!" Despero sometimes literally tears through the team, but is saved herself, at least briefly, by a revived Gypsy's chameleon powers. Then Zatanna shows up, fashionably late, but very welcome. Through means unknown, Despero vanished, and Zee explained that this pity party was ill-timed. At the Hall of Justice, the dead had risen from the grave and begun to kill and turn others into their army of darkness. With a spell, the haggard, hobbled lot were whisked away, where long thought resolved threats await... By James Robinson, Mark Bagley, and Rob Hunter.