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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Classified #2

JLA: Classified #2

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 22, 2004

Cover date: February 2005

Writter: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Ed McGuiness
Inker: Dexter Vines

"Master of Light"

John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito

The JLA are lost in a pocket universe where super humans don't exist. This posses a major problem for them since they can't use their powers to capture the insane villain Black Death who has also managed to get himself lost in this world; much to his own delight.

Meanwhile back in our universe the Squire works frantically to make contact with the lost JLA members. Batman sets his attention to making sure the world doesn't recognize the JLA's absence. He takes several Superman Robots from the Pluto base and retrofits them to resemble a respective JLA member.

Somewhere in Africa Gorilla Grodd makes himself comfortable in his new digs aboard the floating city of Superbia. He chews on the bones of the city's residence and delights in his victory. Even now the Ultra Marines are licking their wounds, hold up in their own armory with little hope. Things go from bad to worse, however, when Pulse 8 finds himself under the mid control of an impish creature which has attached itself to the back of his head. He turns on his team mates and renders them inert just as their captures, Nebula and Grodd, arrive.

As Grodd's mentally controlled Ultra Marines infect their team mates with the same impish mind control parasites they are afflicted with; hope arrives. Batman and his Robotic Justice League leap into action. Grodd wonders aloud if the Black Death has failed them and let the JLA escape their universal prison. The Robotic Justice League's blitz attack fares well at first but falls under prolonged engagement. The automated creatures are no match for their living, breathing counter part. Batman is taken captive. There's no mind control imp in his future, instead Grodd plans to cook him alive and dine on his flesh.

Luckily on another plane of existence the Squire has just made contact with wayward Justice League, they're coming home...

To Be Continued...

4Story - 4: First of all let me apologize for the tardy nature of this review; the holidays were a mess and I've only just recovered. No excuses, on to the show.

I think more than I enjoyed this issue I enjoy the concept of the JLA Classified title. Telling stories on the peripheral of the Justice League's world. This isn't so much about the JLA as it is the world the JLA lives in. They could be here today and gone tomorrow, there's always a crisis to be handled,that's just how they operate.

This particular arc is about the other super-duper teams that they share the world with. What seperates the JLA from their counterparts or piers and how the world reacts to them are all things being dealt with here. The spectacular part about everything though is that the point is never hammered home with an intense "look and see my subtext."

The Ultra Marines are at the mercy of a master planer and are being used as terrorist weapons against the people they've sworn to protect. It's a scenario the JLA have fallen prey to and dealt with before which is what makes their reactions interesting to watch. The JLA are the big times, they have a million contingency plans for things just like this. Which is why you see Batman so calmly and rationally going to work on the problem. He's going through a mental checklist he's prepared for himself for this particular event.

That was always an interesting point of play that Morrison enjoyed following; the JLA being all business and no nonsense work. They shrug at the impossible and stamped through the unthinkable like we might get dressed and go to work. In the compressed structure he's poured it into here it definitely works to it's greatest effect.

5Art - 5: Lots of moody close ups and quick cuts when we check in on the lost Justice League. I found that most interesting of all in this issue and I kind of got stuck on it for a while. Is it because this world without super-humans is already familiar to us and deserving no exploration? Is it to scramble the readers perceptions and leave us as lost as the protagonists? Or is it just a cool way to save space and usher the story along a little faster?

In the end I'm sure all of those explanations work in one way or another but it was cool to see McGuiness shrink down like that. McGuiness is a splash page kind of guy, he draws interesting things in a larger than life scope and most times they leap right out of their very own panels. I'm sure most writers would gear their scripts towards that if they had him in their arsenal; but here he and Morrison shrink things down and squeeze 16 panels on a page.

3Cover Art - 3: Well drawn but it kind of gives away the cool little twist half way through the book. At the end of the last issue we see Batman activate an army of Superman Robots. The idea of Batman leading them into battle is cool enough but then to learn he makes a whole automated Justice League arsenal is that much more fantastic. Unfortunately they give it away on the cover.

Itwould have been a neat surprise 2/3rds through the book but because of the cover that moment never really has that triumphant music playing behind it. And without that false hope Batman's capture is a little less tragic.

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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