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Mild Mannered Reviews - Justice League Unlimited

Justice League Unlimited #39

Justice League Unlimited #39

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 7, 2007

Cover date: January 2008

Writer: Sholly Fisch
Penciller: Gordon Purcell
Inker: Al Nickerson

"Get a Clue"

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Ralph Dibney and Batman land the Batwing to meet a mystery contact for a special mission. The duo are greeted by Bobo, Detective Chimp. Their mission: to find Gorilla City. Bobo seems more than a little perturbed that Wally West, The Flash didn't come to aid him though...

Batman immediately reads off a list of subjects likely to steal an entire city.

Brainiac. Mordred. Felix Faust.

Detective Chimp dismisses their theories.

Gorilla Grodd was the culprit. Solovar head of security had him captured and imprisoned after his jaunt with the Legion of Doom, but Grodd managed to escape and vowed revenge. Detective Chimp was tracking him when he watched the city vanish!

The trio investigate the site where Gorilla City ought to be and suddenly the city defences pop up and attack Bat & Elongated Man. Rushing to hide, an injured Ralph rests and recuperates with Bobo while Batman deactives the human triggered defences. Ralph relates to Bobo how he feels overshadowed by Batman as a detective and Bobo reveals his motivation to mystery.

They joke about how mystery novels inspired Bobo to don a deerstalker and how rubber men in circus sideshows had inspired Ralph. This is all Ralph needs for a little inspiration. A Sherlock Holmes novel once said:

"The best hiding place is in plain sight..."

Bobo watches as Ralph and his rubbery fingers slingshot a rock into an invisible wall!

Batman arrives and Ralph reveals he figured it out. The city is always cloaked from Homosapien eyes with technology and somehow this time it was altered to hide it from apes too!

Grodd had made a stupid mistake. Though the city was an invisible prison now he hadn't hidden it from passing birds who were able to perch on it. Batman and Ralph spring to action, they have to reverse the effects of the generator and capture Grodd - at which point Bobo blindsides them! Detective Chimp was Grodd in disguise all along!

Grodd basks in his glory, he had wished to pulp The Flash but his ingenious plan and the deaths of the JLU detectives would be consolation enough. Deciding however he doesn't want to get his hands dirty he pits the two colleagues against each other with mental control. A smoke bomb from Batman blocks Grodds view and as he swipes away to watch the killing blow he receives a dual kick in the face!

Batman and Ralph are unaffected by Grodd! The ape is devastated and perplexed. How could they possibly win? Ralph reveals Flash had asked Batman and Elongated Man to take his place on the mission and it was a "detectives only" trip. J'onn however is also a detective and the Martian Manhunter appears from invisibility to knock out the villain.

J'onn mindlinks with Solovar and projects this to our flexible friend, helping him through the invisible maze till he finds the shut down switch.

The real Bobo is impressed at how they foiled Grodd but Ralph revealed they knew it was the villainous gorilla all along! Grodd's powers can mentally mask his appearance but it can't alter physical evidence... like... footprints!

As an extra test he had quoted earlier from a Sherlock Holmes novel - however it wasn't from Sherlock Holmes! It was from The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allen Poe! No true detective would EVER make a mistake like that!

As the trio leaves Ralph enjoys his moment - sure Batman is a detective, and Plastic Man can stretch, but there is only one man that can do both and that's Elongated Man!

(Though he doesn't notice J'onn making a joke with Bruce!)

5Story - 5: Good to see him back in action. This book is definitely what Adventures in the DCU should have been. Cleverly thought out and fantastically executed story. An absolute joy to read and it's a great one for the kids, the fans of the show or adults to read. If only this wasn't under the babyish header maybe more people would respect and enjoy it.

5Art - 5: Purcell's brilliant character designs are right on the money and beautifully rendered. It oozes appeal and makes you wonder why they don't order more episodes of the show if the book can be this good!

3Cover Art - 3: Ugh! It's the weird nose thing again!

Seriously though the interior art is spot on but like last month the cover seems a little... off. Detective Chimp has become devoid of style, Batman has eaten all the Twinkies in Wayne Manor and there are just too many words splashed around the place. Plus point is that it has Ralph on the cover before his 52 swan song. Great to see him take centre stage instead of the big seven.

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

January 2008

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