Matt Kindt continues to delve into the psyche of Satrgirl and Martian Manhunter as they attempt to free the Justice Leagues from the Crime Syndicate’s living prison.
Tom Derenick and Eddy Barrows’ artwork seems to get better and better with every issue of Justice League of America they pencil. Though not as crisp or edgy as, say, Jim Lee or Doug Mahnke’s work, Derenick and Barrows have such a good grasp on facial expressions and body language that it’s hard to fault them for the art looking a little rushed at times. In fact, that rushed feeling almost compliments Kindt’s story about Stargirl and Manhunter’s frantic mission to free the Justice Leagues.
Stargirl’s narrative this month is generally enjoyable. Readers finally get to see exactly how she came out her powers and why she decided to be a superhero in the first place.
Matt Kindt is moving very, very slowly with this arc. The last two issues and this one are all about Stargirl and Manhunter trying to figure out a way to free the Justice Leagues, but then again, they kind of aren’t. Neither hero knows what to do, only that they need to do something, and this non-direction makes for a series of issues that just don’t feel all that memorable. Sure, Kindt revealed last month that the Leagues were trapped within the Firestorm matrix—which was a pretty cool twist—but that hasn’t played into the story at all.
Many readers have been interested in Stargirl since she appeared on promo images for Justice League of America around this time last year, but delving into her origins smack-dab in the middle of Forever Evil seems a bit superfluous. The crux of the Firestorm matrix prison is that it’s a prison of the mind. The Crime Syndicate has manipulated Firestorm so that each Leaguer is caught in an endless loop wherein there greatest mental weakness is exploited.
Thus far, the only weakness readers can glean from Stargirl is that she is somewhat upset about how she treated her stepfather when she stole his personal belongings? Whether this was the direction Geoff Johns intended for Stargirl or not, that’s a pretty weak origin. How are readers supposed to relate to Stargirl when Kindt reveals that she’s just a brat who stole something and refused to give it back? It cheapens the character and makes her less likeable.
While the story has been enjoyable so far, Kindt’s post-“Trinity War” Justice League of America is beginning to get long in the tooth. There’s only so much to be mined from a team-up between Stargirl and Martian Manhunter, and Justice League of America #10 taps that vein.