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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Welcome to the Working Week

JLA: Welcome to the Working Week

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 11, 2003

Cover date: August 2003

Writter: Patton Oswalt
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inker: Christian Alamy

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Marlus Randone is tied up by Wonder Woman.

Marlus Randone teleports back to Earth. The voice of Batman echoes in his ears.

Marlus Randone tells how he has a Superhero based newspaper.

He sits in a cafe, some time before, when a large alien contingent begins invading the Earth. Before he can re-ingest his coffee, one breaks through the window and the whole town is teleported to the Watchtower. The landing is rough on him.

Batman takes command of all the people, and reminds Marlus of the announcer at concerts.

The JLA takes action and removes the alien threat.

Meanwhile, Flash takes all of the cameras on the Watchtower, missing only Marlus's. The JLA starts talking in advanced code, and takes on the threat anew.

The threat eliminated, they teleport everyone back down to Earth, leaving only Marlus, who has slipped away in the commotion. Superman goes to take care of the Parasite.

Later, he comes upon Martian Manhunter meditating. He notes how Martian Manhunter is overrated, largely.

He steals food from the stores and watches the monitor womb, seeing various reserves in typical tight situations.

He watches Batman deal with the Weather Wizard on a phone level, and Superman talks Leech into avoiding confrontation.

He looks at the souvenir vault and holds the pre-crisis Brainiac's head in his hand.

He muses on Batman's connection with Luthor, and Wonder Woman's training with Cheetah.

Batman utilizes Martian Manhunter's help in training to survive in the vacuum. He makes 27 seconds before caving.

Green Lantern battles Death Head on the monitor womb.

The second tier JLA holds a party which Marlus eavesdrops on.

Plastic Man catches Poison Ivy in the crowd and subdues her.

Batman and Superman, choosing to sit out on the party, ponder the humans on earth gaining superhuman abilities.

Manhunter (as a cop) visits with a fireman who doesn't come back the next day.

He relaxes near a pool and recalls the only time he'd ever seen a hero before this week. He remembers being on a similar beach when Aquaman stopped some baddies.

He has a strange dream, where all of the heroes are humbled and evil rises up. When he wakes, an alarm is going off, and he can see a blast from space.

Flash speeds past him, and he chases Flash to the meeting in progress.

Marlus tugs on Superman's cape to tell him about what he dreamed, and the JLA are all over him. It's the first scene again.

He tells Wonder Woman that intergalactic evil is coming to make a spectacle of fighting the JLA.

Feast appears and the rest of the JLA save Batman disappears. Marlus remains.

On the monitor, one by one, Feast names his many villains in his cadre that will now fight the JLA in one panel apiece. Battles commence.

Batman is taken down by Feast, but he rises again, and with an explosive, takes him down. Batman sticks a ball point pen where it doesn't belong, and Feast accedes.

The JLA tells him never to come back, then they send him away.

Batman tells Marlus to eat some chewing gum, then he teleports him back home. This is the scene from the beginning.

Manhunter reveals that the fireman he visited with that never came back was Marlus's father, and that's why they let him on the Watchtower even though they knew he was there.

Marlus, back home, looks at a picture of his father with a young Marlus on his shoulders.

1Story - 1: I paid seven dollars for this book. Seven dollars, plus tax.

They gave a guy who writes for tv a sum of money to produce this.

At times, it is coherent. There are shreds of originality in this piece.

But this is what happens when you take a man who writes for The King of Queens, a sitcom, and give him a superhero book. Why they take people who write sitcoms and give them comics, and not people who love them, read them, and write them, like me, is beyond me, but heck, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Then I read the book.

There are cool things. Batman testing himself against the vacuum of space, while improbable and much less important than say, spending a good deal of time reading (what I think he REALLY would do in his sparse spare time), it was a neat idea.

Internal inconsistency and non-familiarity with the DCU current tear this book up: The JLA doesn't use code. Stealing cameras is illegal. Taking film makes sense, But Flash effectively robs people.

Transporters lock on to biosignatures. Marlus would be bye bye, unless someone noticed him long before Manhunter.

Pre-Crisis Brainiac. Well, whups. Batman in league with Luthor, walking around in the White House? What? Parasite. Parasite is dead. Maybe you could say this takes place earlier in continuity. No. Why? Because Aquaman is dead, and Superman deals with Aquaman before he dies and after Parasite is dead. So one way or the other, someone slipped.

Wonder Woman commuting sentences so she can train? When did she become a judge that I missed? And when is getting beat up rehabilitating. Garbage.

And hey, let's take a look at the JLA, for what, 64 pages, so we can surmise the conclusion that their lives are HECTIC.





Of COURSE their lives are hectic.

And what is with the curtain call of eighty strange villains five pages before the issue ends with no battles, no point, and no originality.

Look folks. I am the writer.

Superman is fighting Blokthor! He's a giant ape with the powers up suck-o-magnatism and he has a hook coming out of his eye.

Batman is fighting Hunger, a beast who constantly CRAVES battle.

And Wonder Woman is fighting Lipitor, evil villain who creates a lack of movement in carotid arteries!

Add five more of these, and you have a few pages towards the end of the book.

Why do we care about Marlus? Two potential reasons. He's a punk kid who writes (I can respect that, provided he wrote anything interesting and we actually got to read it), and his father was a firefighter.

Well, let's see. That's fireman tribute 245,043 after 9-11, and while the men did noble and brave things for their countries, I find it abhorrent that writers trying to make money and sell books are continually using them as devices to sell stories on wanton readers. Why not do their memory well by writing a comic book about a firefighter instead of the sarcastic musings of a trouble bound son?

Pages and pages of monitor womb. Expository full-on shots that are hard to understand, much less relate to, save in the exemplary work of the artist, the sole survivor of my criticism.

This book is ill conceived, a waste of money, and the point is lost on me.

If I want to know how a superhero gets through their day to day lives, I will read a biographical sketch of check out a secret files. But we already know the essential truths of these characters. Reiterating it while not testing it is worthless to both reader and writer alike.

The narrative is disjointed, the pacing is awful, each page looks like a man writing his first comic who said, "Ooh, this might be cool", and there is no sense of closure because there was never any sense of suspense.

I want my money back.

And DC, if you can put something like this out, I deserve a chance. My email is at the top of the page...

5Art - 5: The art was great. There were scenes I read two, three times that I could not understand, but the art helped me along. I was very impressed with the work here. All of the characters are distinct and spot on, the panels are dynamic, and the pages of expository villains, while utterly devoid of interest, made for some good art. The artist knows how to liven things up and make things work.

1Cover Art - 1: Let's put random clippings, a finger, some hand written stuff on a glossy, seven dollar comic so we can make something expensive look cheap and shoddily put together by a young gun with a chip on his shoulder. Not gonna work on me. It's still a seven dollar comic.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2003

February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003

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