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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #111

JLA #111

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 9, 2005

Cover date: April 2005

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

Syndicate Rules - Part 5: "36 Hours: The Storm"

John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito

Click to enlarge

The Qwardians have found their secret weapon of destruction. They set out across the universe for Earth, testing their weapon on unsuspecting planets as they go.

On Earth the Crime Syndicate have revealed themselves. The JLA engage them and try to contain them under the assumption that the laws of logic will prevent the Crime Syndicate from winning on our planet. Unfortunately, however, their assumptions are wrong.

The 36 hour time limit comes and goes during the fight and the JLA are not transported to the Crime Syndicate's universe and the cosmic scales don't seem to care. Hurting from the battle and confused as to how it happened, the JLA retreat and regroup leaving the Crime Syndicate to solidify their position.

Owl Man surmises that when their universe was reconstructed after Krona destroyed it the "rules" became skewed. With no 36 hour time limit and no fundamental differences that ensure their defeat, the Crime Syndicate sets out to make this world their new play thing.

Meanwhile, the JLA recover in the Watchtower and try to formulate a new plan. Batman's suggestion: More Leaguers...

To Be Continued...

3Story - 3: Finally. It only took five issues to make it happen but the Justice Leagueand the Crime Syndicate come to blows. Unfortunately it's a bit of a let down. There are some knock downs, some bones are broken andbanter is exchangedbut nothing with real gravity or peril. As a result the battle just feels like a few pages of punching and kicking and all the interesting things that could be done with these powers facing off against one another are lost.

This fight might have held more importance if it didn't take five issues to arrive here. The meticulous decompression of this story isn't creating tension or drama; it's merely drawing out the inevitable. That's what's so aggravating about this arc; it's good but it's taking forever.

If issue one is still going to be the stand alone with Manhunter and Flash performing routine maintenance on the watch tower then issue two could have combined issues 2 and 3. This condensed issue 2 would have featured the war with Qward, restarting the universe, coming to Earth and deciding to impersonate the JLA. Finally issue 3 could have combined the events of Part4 and 5; The fake JLA are revealed and confronted all in the same issue. This structure would force the repetitive and numbing exposition to be reduced and it would speed up the pace and the inevitable sense of danger.

We didn't need five issues to learn that when Krona's actions were reversed it broke the universal rules that bind the multi-verse.

4Art - 4: The Qwardian scenes look a lil rushed and sloppy, but I was impressed with the Justice League/Crime Syndicate face off. Ron's Flash is probabally his strongest character in this scene but he does great work with Ultra Man and Superman as well. I would have liked a little more in the backgrounds; sometimes these battles start out in cities but end up in an indistinguishable blue or gray pile of squiggly rubble.

3Cover Art - 3: Well drawn, but not really violent enough. With the exception of Batman and Owl Man in the foreground the cover lacks the vicarial energy that tells you how important this fight is... or should be at least.

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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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