Apparently Wein got the memo
McDuffie having gotten booted off JLA for telling it like it is, DC passed the baton to Robinson, but he was still too busy with CRY THAT THE WRITING'S SO BAD FOR JUSTICE to jump on right away, I guess, because they've got Len Wein doing a filler arc about the Royal Flush Gang.
Which I'm actually rather liking, for reasons which are probably fairly obvious under the cut.
Some mooks in the lower tiers of the Royal Flush Gang (which has reinvented itself as a full organized crime syndicate using the card theme - think Checkmate, but evil) have hit a diamond exhibition, and the League shows up to clear them out. The team being fairly ramshackle at this point and not real great at teamwork, it's not the clean takedown that it should be.
That's okay, though, Mari called in some backup.
Diana totally breaks her promise here, because they've all got suicide chips implanted in them and get picked off by remote control before they can spill. Which doesn't seem to perturb Diana or the League in the least; Lein's got the same really stiff writing style going here that I usually associate with Willingham, where the characters seem to be reading their lines off cards and nobody appears at all emotionally connected to what they're saying or what's happening. It does keep the plot moving, though.
Lein takes about half the issue past this to explore the backstory of the Flush Gang and how they decided to go global, as well as show us more of the battle between Roulette and Amos Fortune that apparently underlies this whole storyarc (the League being Roulette's players, unbeknownst to them). It's quite well-thought-out and straightforward, but also the meat of the story, so I won't post it here. Go buy the ish.
Anyway, back on the Watchtower.
Turns out the Flush Gang has gone active all over the US. The team assembles quickly.
And off they go, and then we get DC Nation'd.
I'm not sure if it's just that McDuffie and Wein both like her, or if there's actually been some kind of deliberate push at DC, but between JLA and her recent mini it seems like there's a real effort to give Mari some respect and prominence. I can't say I object. And it's no sloppy rush job; she's been coming across really well from Anansi on out, particularly in her resolve to keep some kind of League going and the way she's been handling her fractious mess of a team. She's not magically perfect, either - frex, the way she divides the League here is less than optimal, as Light-Reddy and Plas-Diana would be more effective field teams - it's a very good balance of competence and struggle.
(Speaking of Diana, I love her here. She's very mentor-y senior Leaguer with Mari when they're alone, then flips completely to quite deliberately and effectively bolster her authority once the others show up. And then Mari tells Kimyo to shut it but asks Diana to help with a "please." Eheehee. Thanks, Wein.)
My only complaint is the lack of Zatanna. She's listed active on the cast page, but nowhere in sight in the issue. John's absence makes sense, he's got zombies to worry about, but why no Zee? ;_;