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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #16

Justice League of America #16

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 19, 2007

Cover date: February 2008

"A Brief Tangent"

Writter: Dwayne McDuffie
Penciller: Joe Benitez
Inker: Victor Llamas

"Soup Kitchen"

Writter: Alan Burnett
Penciller: Allan Jefferson
Inker: Allan Jefferson

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

"A Brief Tangent"

Two thieves breaking into a self-storage facility containing items owned by Guy Gardner get more than they bargained for when a lantern from another reality leads to one of the would-be criminals switching places with a man calling himself the Atom. After one of the responding police officers disappears the Justice League is called in and soon Black Canary, Red Arrow and Green Lantern (John Stewart) arrive on the scene. After getting briefed on the situation John tries to call Guy but gets "hung up on".

Canary and Arrow confront the Atom and are told to leave. Black Canary tries to disable the man but the Atom fights back and causes her to phase through the floor all the way to the basement. After composing herself she is joined by John and they once again try to contact Guy. They finally reach him and find he knows nothing about the lantern. One quick call to Kyle Rayner later they use the lantern to return Atom, who had been taken down by Red Arrow, to his proper universe.

Standing on a nearby rooftop a girl known as the Flash watches as the two thieves are sent to jail and the Leaguers climb back into their Javelin and leave. She muses on the fact that the missing patrol woman was never found, but the Flash is pretty sure she knows what happened to her just as she is sure that her adventure is just beginning.

"Soup Kitchen"

An old enemy of the original Teen Titans attacks Roy at a soup kitchen. One long chase later Roy finds out that all that the now reformed criminal thought Roy was going to try and bring him in. Despite the chase Roy lets the matter go and walks with the former Gargoyle back to the soup kitchen.

3"A Brief Tangent" Story - 3: Part of me feels cheated by this issue.

When you look at the cover you would think that this issue was going to feature a big crossover between the Justice League and the characters from the Tangent universe. I mean just look at that cover. I see five Tangent characters (including the Superman of that reality) and the little Tangent logo.

This excited me as I am a big fan of the Tangent stuff not only as a concept but in execution as well. When DC had their whole Fifth Week Event thing going on most of them were spectacularly unexciting, but the two Tangent weeks were entertaining and you could tell the creators were having a lot of fun with the characters.

So having them appear alongside the Justice League appealed to me on several levels. I had hopes that this would be something like the JSA/JLA team-ups of old. I wanted to see the characters again and used well after their disappointing appearance in ION. I just flat out wanted this to work.

But it didn't. Not only did it not really work but this issue turned out to be one big ad for another DC Comic.

Shock. Surprise. Gasp.

Now don't get me wrong. This wasn't a bad story for what it was. I don't blame McDuffie for writing it or DC for producing it. They are in this to make money and if they can use one book as part of their overall plan for the direction of their company then more power to them.

It doesn't mean I have to like it.

So this story gets a three, not because I thought it was poorly written. McDuffie did his usual solid job of writing and there were bits of humor that reminded me why I like him as a writer and why I like him on this title.

I'm just getting really tired of EVERYTHING being connected.

4"Soup Kitchen" Story - 4: This was a cute little holiday story. Seven page stories are tricky, especially in the current writing climate, but Burnett makes the most of the space. It's easy to see here Burnett's history at writing animated shorts where you had to get a lot done in a limited amount of time.

3"A Brief Tangent" Art - 3: I wasn't much on the art. It wasn't bad. I didn't hate it, but at the same time I really don't like the way Benitez and Llamas draws the characters. It all comes down to personal taste and I didn't really care for it.

I have to give kudos to DC, though, for putting in a guest artist to keep the book going on a regular schedule.

Now if they could only do that for all of their titles.

4"Soup Kitchen" Art - 4: Unlike the main story I was rather fond of the art in "Soup Kitchen". It had the right look and feel and added immensely to my enjoyment of the story. Good job!

3Cover Art - 3: On a design level this was an interesting cover. Five Justice Leaguers all in near solid colors with five Tangent characters fully colored. The thing is like the interior art I just didn't care for the way the Leaguers looked. It just wasn't my bag.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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