“A League of Their Own: Rubber and Glue”
Plot: In their continuing search to locate Connor’s kidnappers, Ollie and Dinah must deal with Plastic Man, the London underworld, and some C-list killers.
Commentary: Diminishing returns have set in with this title. We still don’t know who killed Connor, or where he is. We’re still putting up with C-list villains (a very unconvincing “League of Assassins” and B-list guest stars (Plastic Man and some kid with a mace). Ollie and Dinah’s lives are still on hold since the horror of Connor’s execution. And none of it seems to unfold with any sense of urgency at all.
Part of the problem is the art. Cliff Chiang was capable of real pathos amidst a polished, cartoony, cel-shaded look. He had a flair that was simultaneously retro and fresh.
Mike Norton does not. He’s fine, but he only gets as far as cartoony, making the moments of pathos ring false, with no impact at all. We’re being served a diluted product from the initial launch.
Worse, everything is subsumed by this assassination / vengeance angle, which is a pretty bitter pill that has tanked all the momentum from the title duo’s wedding. That quick return to normality may be realistic, but it’s not entertaining. This is the marriage that had bachelor and hen parties galore, that had several special one-shots to sell it, that had the whole JLA and JSA chiming in … only the groom was a fake, and the last gasp of this couple’s potential for fun died on Amazon Island, where it was revealed the Amazons had kidnapped Green Arrow in order to turn Black Canary to their cause. Very un-sisterly bit of business, that, and once the underwear jokes were over for the captives so was the fun of this title.
No amount of fake aliens, British accents, silly disguises or pointless guest stars has helped. Well, maybe Batman can goose the proceedings, as he’s the first A-lister to grace these parts since the lost, and his relationship to Ollie is an interesting one. And Speedy continues to be a fun and complex character in battle, and in the Queen family dynamics. But things are way off without Connor. It’s past time to solve that first quest and get on with showing us just how exciting Ollie and Dinah can be together.
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