[Note: This post contains spoilers for the Civil War storyline.]
Maybe I'm an easy mark, but with Justice league Of America #0, Brad Meltzer has instantly won me over. I wasn't expecting much from this zero-issue lead-in featuring "An All-Star Cast Of Artists", but it delivered in a way these fillers often don't. Meltzer obviously has a good grasp not only of the events of DC continuity, but a feel for the character transitions that goes beyond aping the conventions of the time. Ably assisted by some wonderfully appropriate artists (I particularly enjoyed Dick Giordano's work, and enjoyed finally seeing the Kubert Brothers even if they seem strangely out-of-place in the DCU), he captures the various eras of the League and the Trinity in just a few strokes. This sets the table damn well, and I'm looking forward to #1.
One continuity point that stands out: are we operating in a multiverse, and just not being told? Wonder Woman obviously features a Donna Troy Wonder Woman, Justice League Of America is clearly about Diana in the role. There's a sequence where in this issue where the JLA discovers a parallel earth, and though it smacks of "The Flash Of Two Worlds" it is clearly set "tomorrow". Combine this with the Donna-centric "strange deviation in realities" seen in this week's 52 ...
You know that horrible sinking feeling you get when you realize maybe everyone else is right? I've enjoyed Mark Millar's work a damn long time, back to Aztek and Superman Adventures. I've ignored those who say he runs roughshod over characterization when the plot demands it. I've ignored those who say his politics are hamfisted and strident. I've ignored those who say his work is increasingly a series of F*@% Yeah Moments with little stringing them together.
Then comes Civil War #3, and it's like the scales fell from my eyes. Since Tony Stark is obviously becoming more and more a villain, I can almost accept the idea of a devious trap being set. But Spider-Man trash-talking Cap? Coordinating strike force snipers? "Just a little tranquilizer to make sure nobody gets teleported away, kiddo"? Now that the world knows who's underneath that mask, I'm not sure who's wearing the costume anymore. Certainly Spidey's had his share of "misunderstanding-fight-teamup" days, but there's no misunderstanding here. It feels incredibly out of character for him to not be playing peacemaker at this point. I suppose it all drives the plot, and we certainly get a nice F*@% Yeah Moment on the closing page (yet another Millar habit), but this doesn't feel very much like the Marvel Universe to me.