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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Scary Monsters #2

JLA: Scary Monsters #2 [of 6]

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 16, 2003

Cover date: June 2003

Writter: Chris Claremont
Penciller: Josh Hood
Inker: Sean Parsons

"Cold Front"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (baileyn@attbi.com)



At Black Spirit Lake, Martian Manhunter telepathically scans the critically injured Flash and Green Lantern in an attempt to figure out what has happened to them. He learns of the confrontation with the fire jumpers, and then collapses in fear of the fire made manifest in their visions.

Batman asks how long it will be until they can be scanned again for more information, and Manhunter tells him that he cannot until they are fully recovered.

They take Wally and Kyle to the resort, which we learn was builtby Abel Carmody, and built out of solid stone.

The doctor of the resort takes Wally and Kyle on, with Linda and Jade, their significant others, at their sides.

Wonder Woman and Superman have the manager call in a state forensics team.

Martian Manhunter, as John Jones, interviews the head of the fire jumping team, who insists that she killed her teammates by running. She sees through his disguise, somehow, and knows that he's green.

She allows him to probe her mind, and when he does, she turns into a being of flame and warns him of the coming evil. He retreats, but she doesn't realize anything has happened, and in fact, the room is back to normal.

Wonder Woman admires the valley, and the manager tells her that there is an emergency out on the lake. She agrees to go help, but the manager reveals, after she leaves, eyes without irises.

At the bottom of the lake, she finds a boater, and releases him from some ropes. She sees something strange.

Meanwhile, Superman convenes with Batman about the occurrences in the fire. Superman observes that there is no animal life at all in the vicinity, and Batman notes that the plants are growing back at spectacular speed.

With the boaters safe (they hit a strange rock), Wonder Woman goes back down to see what caught her eye. She finds civil war relics, and strange skeletons.

Superman and Batman surmise that though the forest is designed such that it would go up with even an errant spark and burn hotter than phosphorous, it hasn't in over a hundred years. They both start getting cold...even Superman, invulnerable to cold. Clark tells Batman that these are old growth trees, though, with the fire, that's impossible. It starts to snow.

Underwater, Wonder Woman is attacked by the skulls. She gets stabbed in the arm, but keeps fighting. She starts to escape to the surface, then runs into the ice on the surface without realizing it, nearly breaking her jaw. Her arm is growing spikes.

Superman, sensing something coming, tells Batman to get his grapple and throws him far away. A monster attacks Superman, hitting him hard.

In Metropolis, Lois feels like she's been stabbed. She realizes that something has happened to Clark.

Superman throws a tree at the monsters and lights it on fire with his heat vision. Superman is bleeding rather heavily.

Batman catches the tier of the lodge, barely, and swings down to see Superman doing battle with the monster.

Superman flies through the air and lands at Batman's feet, bloodied terribly and warning of a legion of monsters. He tells Batman he can barely handle one of the creatures. Batman calls the doctor, and asks what happened to Wonder Woman.

We see her, with a monster arm, struggling at the bottom of the lake.

5Story - 5: This was a fun issue. I enjoyed seeing this series go from crusty civil war introduction to action packed JLA action. All of the characters were well used, and used to potential, and the villain is not an amorphous mass now, but a distinct magical villain with powers and characteristics beyond those of the JLA.

An interesting story, and well put together. I think Manhunter was well used as a lens to bring us back in an as a focus.

Batman and Superman's banter was truly well written, and Manhunter's fire fear was exploited to its fullest.

All in all, this issue did a 180, and I'm really liking it now, whereas before I dreaded the second issue. It's really turned around. Good.

5Art - 5: Can't complain here. All of the characters are really well drawn, in dynamic poses, and strong of form and character. Everyone is distinctive, creative, and right. I think the lone exception is that Batman's hood looks off, but then, couple that with the great, exaggerated capes that Joshua Hood has, and it's a really great issue.

4Cover Art - 4: Four because it doesn't happen in the book, in senses. Batman isn't there, Superman doesn't become one of the monsters. But four as well because look at that monster, and look at how much it fills the format and adds to the cover. A really well drawn, strong, fierce cover. It really drew me in. Exemplary work here, with a minus only because of its reliance on "buy me" because it has Superman AND Batman on the cover instead of appealing to what's in the issue. Very nice.


Mild Mannered Reviews

2003

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

January 2003

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