Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Total Justice #1

Total Justice #1, October 1996, DC Comics
writer: Christopher Priest
penciller: Ramon Bernado
inker: Dick Giordano
letterer: Gasper
colorist: Gene Dangelo
editor: Ruben Diaz

Today is Thanksgiving Eve, but more importantly, tomorrow is The Day Before the Busiest Shopping Day of the Year, and to commemorate the occasion, tonight I read Total Justice, a comic that boasts, “Based on the Kenner Action Figures.” I remember the Total Justice action figure line as Super Powers’ second coming, with an expanded Justice League roster that included the Huntress, Black Lightning, and even Young Justice rookie Impulse, all of whom had never seen such mainstream plastic appeal before (or really, since). However, these figures’ limited articulation and obscure bodily proportions didn’t appeal to collectors like me, so although I proudly display the whole of the series on my toy shelf, I’m grateful that Justice League Unlimited has handled the franchise more capably and comprehensively. In case you’re wondering, I’m spending more time on the action figure angle of this review than usual because this issue was fairly terrible, depicting the world’s most popular superheroes in a rather annoying light. Robin is a spoiled brat, Flash is an embittered egomaniac, Aquaman puts the “a” back in a-hole, and Kyle Rayner/Green Lantern is a helpless novice that whose only power seems to be a definitely twenty-something aimlessness. I know I’m probably reading too much into a comic book inspired by toys, but that’s my point – why instill these characters with any noticeable traits at all, particularly these pessimistic ones? Kids interested in the action figures wouldn’t much care for these heroes after this read, and like so many now valuable Super Powers figures, would probably offer their Total Justice guys to their parents for yard sale fodder. Yeah, this comic book doesn’t do our characters justice. I only hope that Thanksgiving’s read is more satisfying – as fulfilling as the meal will undoubtedly be . . .

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