Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Incarnations #2

JLA: Incarnations #2

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 13, 2001

Cover date: August 2001

Writer: John Ostrander
Penciller: Val Semeiks
Inker: Prentis Rollins

Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito (

The JLA (of presumably 9 years ago DC time) is just outside Gotham City taking care of an attack by what appears to be a sentient dinosaur by the name of Fire Eyes. Batman shows up to save the day after the JLA (consisting of Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern, Manhunter, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Black Canary) drop the ball and lose control of the situation with Fire Eyes. A key element to Batman's plan involves brute strength that Manhunter is expected to supply. However, after a blast of heat vision sends J'onn to the mat, Superman shows up and puts the icing on the cake, effectively sending Fire Eyes back where he came. After the battle Batman ducks out and the JLA and Superman are swarmed on by the press. Facing press pressure (HA!) Superman joins the JLA.

Days later Batman discovers that Gorilla Grodd is out on the lamb hitting up Zoos along the East coast "liberating" his fellow primates. At the same time in Smallville Clark attends the funeral of an old friend of his who was killed in the line of duty. Clark vows at the funeral that he will never let anything like this happen again.

A few nights later Grodd, and his monkey legion, attack Washington DC and manage to take the whole city with little resistance. The JLA leap into action to save the day, but are surprised to find Batman has already started without them. Batman takes control of the situation directing the league to take down Grodd's mecha controlled monkeys, because a frontal attack on Grodd would be fruitless at this stage. The League falls into line and does as they are told. With the exception of Superman who rushes into battle Grodd despite telepathic warnings from Manhunter.

Superman lays waste many-a-monkey and then faces off against Grodd, who uses his telepathic ability to trick Superman into believing he [Grodd] has a large chunk of Kryptonite. In come Aquaman and Manhunter to save Superman's tail, unfortunately Grodd is too strong for them. While Grodd is distracted he loses his mental control over Big Blue and Supes manages to lay waste to the murderous monkey with one blow.

All is not well in Washington though. Confrontation ensues between Superman and Batman over Supes' rash decision making. When confronted with the realization he's not so great a team player, Superman asks to be put on reserve status with the JLA. The team in turn offers membership to Batman. Which he accepts.

2Story - 2: This title is trying to recreate the magic of "JLA: Year One" and it's not doing a very good job at it. The only purpose this miniseries serves is to clean up more Crisis questions (15 years after the fact) and capitolize on the current JLA popularity. There's one point in this issue where some character development is attempted and Ollie whines about how the League should fight "injustice" and not just "evil". Well that's great, but its the only hint of personality we get from anyone in the League really. Aquaman has one line the whole issue and the same goes for Hawkman the acting Chair Man. Flash complains that Superman is some what condesending in the way he treats the JLA members, and Lantern defends the Man of Steel. But in year one it was the other way around.

Also the pacing of the story was off. It didn't flow. For instance Clark goes to a funeral in Smallville for an old friend who was killed in the line of duty. First off, murder in Smallville?!?! Ridiculous. Second, Clark vows over that casket, "I'd have given anything for this not to have happened. To make sure it never happens again... Ever." Ok. What's that have to do with the story or the way he rushes into battle? And then when confronted with his foolishness he just blows it off with a smile. Not very Superman.

Then at the end when Batman tells Superman off, it doesn't work, for two reasons. Batman NEVER talks that much in public, and he would never make a scene like that infront of other heroes. He sounds like a high school student telling off a teacher for being hipocritical. It's silly. Even sillier is how Grodd is built up to be so dangerous and unstopable but Big Blue lays waste to him with one good sucker punch.

What really gets me is how expensive this book is and how little entertainment value it has. It's a "JLA: Year One" wanna-be without the great character interaction and self doubting/concious super heroes.

4Art - 4: The only redeeming quality about this whole book is its art. My only gripes are with classic continuity. For example Batman is wearing the yellow around the Bat symbol on his chest, but Batman didn't start with the yellow until after he started his partnership with Robin (according to Dark Victory). And in JLA INCARNATIONS #2 it's obvious by comments Batman makes (ad nausiam) about not being a team player, that Robin hasn't hit the scene yet in Batman's life.

2Cover Art - 2: Not as well drawn as the interior, and Fire Eyes isn't the main villian of the book. Why is he on the cover?

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.

January 2001

February 2001 March 2001 April 2001 May 2001 June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 Annuals

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