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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Classified #11

JLA: Classified #11

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 31, 2005

Cover date: October 2005

Writter: Warren Ellis
Penciller: Butch Guice
Inker: Butch Guice

"New Maps of Hell" - Part Two

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Wonder Woman flies up to help rescue the people who were on the floating island that moments before had erupted into flames.

Elsewhere the Flash helps put out a fire from an explosion at the City University.

In Metropolis Lois Lane explains the connections she found between David Leigh, the man who had recently committed suicide and other LexCorp employees that had also killed themselves to her husband. A news report about a falling S.T.A.R. Labs "stratellite" catches Clark's attention and he changes into Superman.

Back on Paradise Island Wonder Woman searches underwater for survivors. Amidst the debris is a small sheet of paper covered in green glowing letters from an unknown language.

In New York City Kyle Rayner changes to Green Lantern to deal with a fiery train crash. As he uses his ring to create vacuum cleaner constructs to help put out the fire another sheet of paper with green letters emerges.

In Gotham City Batman investigates the explosion of a bar he had tracked a perp to. Another paper lies in the wreckage.

Superman manages to save the stratellite and bring it in for a landing. Inside the flaming structure another sheet of paper appears.

Simultaneously Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern contact J'onn J'onzz for assistance. He coordinates his efforts with Oracle, who informs them that the information mining system is online and the Justice League is go.

4Story - 4: This issue proved that sometimes a story with very little actual talking can make for a very entertaining read.

I enjoyed the re-telling of Wally's origin with the Ellis flair. While you could argue that the banter between Iris and Barry was too close to that of Lois and Clark, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless.

The Lois and Clark scene was, again, dead on. The bickering continued, but didn't seem as one sided as it was the last time. Ellis carried the David Leigh part of the plot through, but didn't give away too much. It was just enough to keep that aspect of the story in the reader's minds.

I enjoyed Ellis' handling of the other members of the Justice League as well. His sequence with Wally at the beginning showed a lot of heart. I was surprised that he re-told Wally's origin, but it played well with the inner dialogue concerning Barry later in the scene. The little throw away line about how Barry's job has gone from being a police scientist to a crime scene investigator served to reinforce my opinion that the WB is missing the boat with not having a live-action FLASH series given the popularity of the CSI series of programs.

It was also nice to see that Ellis treated Kyle well. Kyle gets a bad rap from certain fans and I never really understood it. Maybe that will change now that Hal is back and the Corps is being reformed.

All in all this was a good issue. Ellis brought in more of the League and the story is unfolding nicely. Hopefully next issue we'll find out more about the connection between the suicides at LexCorp and the mysterious scraps of paper that popped up this time around. From the title of this arc I am going to guess that they may be, oh I don't know, a new map of Hell or something. Time and the next few issues will tell.

5Art - 5: The art was fantastic this issue. Butch Guice really stepped up to the plate and delivered a nice looking comic. The fact that there were long stretches with little or no dialogue didn't bother me at all because the artwork was so clean and nice to look at.

Even though the early scene with Wally's origin was a high point nothing for me as a Superman fan was better than the iconic ripping open of the shirt and flying off to do what Superman does. I really loved the full page shot of Superman flying through Metropolis right after the shirt popped open.

The storytelling as the various members of the League did their thing was very clear and strong. Guice is definitely improving and this art is leaps and bounds over his work on ACTION COMICS years ago. This could have something to do with the fact that he is inking himself on this story arc and his true line work is coming through. The detail in his backgrounds is also fantastic and really brings the page to life.

This story would not be half as good if it wasn't for Guice's artwork and if anything it will be the art that keeps me coming back.

Well that and the fact that I committed to reviewing this series, but even so I would still come back for the art.

5Cover Art - 5: Okay, that whole thing last time about being confused about why Batman was featured so prominently on the cover? Yeah, forget about that. I didn't realize that the covers were simply going to feature a theme of having Michael Stribling draw icon shots of the various members, both alone and together.

This was a nice cover. The computer coloring really brought it to life and even though this book was in my hold box it first caught my eye on the shelf when I made my obligatory pass by the racks to see what else is going on in the world of comics. Diana looks good. The detail on the costume was nice and it looked like she was wearing fabric. Wonder Woman's face had this odd look to it, but that was a very minor quibble.

This cover receives a nine out of ten on the 2005 Edition of the Grab Me Meter.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2005

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