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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #89

JLA #89

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 29, 2003

Cover date: Late December 2003

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen

"Trial By Fire" (Conclusion)

John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito (

An atomic blast detonates in North Korea. Every man woman and child living there should be dead. And they would be if it weren't for the Flash and his amazing speed in their split second evacuation.

Meanwhile, Plastic Man and Fernus tussel as only a pair of shape shifters can. The JLA launches into action to back Plastic Man up, but they remain some what ineffectual. Inside the Martian Manhunter's mind the battle isn't going much better as Atom, Major Disaster, and Manitou face down the violent mental projections of Fernus.

Suddenlly Fernus loses his fire. The extinguishing of his flame knocks him off gaurd before he realizes this is Aubrey's doing. He launches towards her to make her pay for her trouble making but Superman gets to him first. A similar tide turning takes place in the Manhunter's mind. Unfortunetly containing the fire is too much for Aubrey and the power destroys her mind.

The loss of his love sparks a new power in the Manhunter and he breaks free from his confines within Fernus. They battle strong and hard but Manhunter falls regardless. Thankfully his friends have got his back. Major Disastor causes a tsunami and floods the city. The water puts Fernus and Manhunter on equal footing. Manhunter puts Fernus out with a little fire of his own.

In the coming weeks Plastic Man returns to his son, Manhunter returns to the JLA and Aubrey finds a new home in the JLA sick bay where she sleeps away the rest of her life.

The End...

4Story - 4: Great block buster action, amazing feats of power, selfless and heroic sacrifices along with all the loose ends having been tied up. It had everything a big JLA resolution is supposed to have. I was a little put off at how neatly the end worked out for everyone, most notably Firestorm and Manhunter's easy return to the JLA. But it works so I won't complain too much.

5Art - 5: Mahnke does a fantastic job finding origional and dynamic ways to keep the action interesting between the mental and physical battle. I really loved Manhunter crawling out of his Fernus prison.

5Cover Art - 5: This is the best cover I've seen on JLA in at least a year. If I didn't read JLA I'd read this issue based on the cover alone.

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

January 2003

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