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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #110

JLA #110

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 12, 2005

Cover date: March 2005

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Penciller: Ron Garney
Inker: Dan Green

Syndicate Rules - Part 4: "36 hours"

John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito

The Crime Syndicate have 36 hours upon entering our universe before the cosmic scales tip and steal their counterparts away to replace them on Earth One. In an effort to covertly circumvent this short coming the Syndicate have adopted the appearance of their counterparts here on Earth Two and try to steal the world one friendly encounter after another.

Half way across their own universe the Qward armies find themselves battling monsters in a long abandoned temple. The presence of these security beasts is a good sign; it means the secret treasure they seek has been left undisturbed.

Owlman has finished hackingthe world'scomputer networks and set up twelve hubs in twelve earth cities to launch his master plan. Now all that's left to do is sit back and wait. But while their waiting Super Woman and Owlman engage in some foul play at the expense of Ultra Man. Unfortunately for them a passing gondola beneath their Venice hotel rooms proves to be too much of a distraction for them to continue.

Meanwhile in a middle-of-nowhere diner, Power Ring and Johnny Quick enjoy the fame and adulation they receive in the guise of their earthly counterparts. Suddenly an attack at a local star labs facility is broadcast over the radio. The crowd in the diner ushers their "heroes" to attend to the problem. When they get there Power Ring and Johnny Quick play their part and tussle with the villains only to find themselves on the losing end of the battle. Then the crowd rushes into action to save them. The distraction gives Power Ring and Johnny Quick a chance to catch their second wind and make short work of the villains. But the event leaves the two impostors confused; why would these normal peoples risk their lives for these costumed adventurers?

Finally the charade becomes too much for Ultra Man to handle. Outside the UN when a crowdswarms him asking him for an autograph, because they all thing he's Superman, he loses control. With one mighty blast from his heat vision he manages to incinerate 219 people at once. He tears the Superman costume off himself and makes contact with Owlman. There's good news; the costume party is over, Power Ring and Johnny Quick have a lead on their "cosmic event."

To be Continued...

3Story - 3: It's just another issue full of exposition and set up. Things happen, Qward is one step closer to their secret weapon, the Crime Syndicate is one step closer to discovering the truth behind their cosmic event and Owlman sets up his computers in 12 cities around the world. But all of these events could be condensed into three pages and then we'd have 20 left to explore the next string of events.

I know there's something to be said about dramatic tension and maybe that's what Busiek is going for here but he falls short. There's no drama in seeing Owlman or the Qwardian plans unfold when we have no real idea of their importance or consequence.

Most of this arc has felt superfluous to me so far. I keep waiting for some sort of payoff, a check point along the way to a resolution, something to let me know things are getting done. As it stands now the book ismoving so slow and the elements of the story are so far apart I fail to see how everything could tie together in a satisfying way in the end.

3Art - 3: Garney is all over the place here. His one quick scene with the JLA is well done and understated. But for most of the book his executions look sloppy or loose. The battle with the Rainbow Raiders feels verygeneric and lacks the style and quality I associate with him.

5Cover Art - 5: Great cover especially if you already know the premise behind the issue, and you would if you read the last one. I wish there was something to maybe give it away that this was really the Crime Syndicate in disguise here on the cover ... maybe having Ultra Man's costume torn up a little bit revealing the "U" symbol beneath.

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

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