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Mild Mannered Reviews - Justice League Unlimited

Justice League Unlimited #6

Justice League Unlimited #6

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 2, 2005

Cover date: April 2005

Writer: Adam Beechen
Penciller: Carlo Barberi
Inker: Walden Wong

"In The Dimming Light"

Michael (George) O'Connor Reviewed by: Michael O'Connor

Click to enlarge

Giant monstrous creatures known only as the Triptych are obliterating downtown Boston when the JLU team of Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Fire, and Red Tornado show up to stop them. However, when they arrive, they find another Green Lantern on the team, a legendary member of the Corps known as Zibar.

John Stewart orders his three teammates to provide a little cover while he gets Zibar to safety, but the elder Lantern bristles at the assistance. And when the Triptych join hands together to spark a concussive blast, the resulting force sends the JLUers flying. John buys his team a little time by using his ring to send the three creatures in different directions, and then gathers the JLU and Zibar together to create a plan for defeating the Triptych for good.

However, Zibar doesn't like the idea of a lesser-experienced Lantern calling the shots, so he tells John to stand down and requisitions the JLU members for his command. Arrow scoffs at the sudden change in command, but John, star-struck by the legend of Zibar, defers to his elder.

Zibar's plan is to distract the Triptych into battle with him down on the streets while Arrow, Tornado, Fire, and John Stewart stake out rooftops and strike from above.

However, the plan doesn't work, and the Triptych, finding the JLUers separated from one another, attack them individually, all but ignoring Zibar, who stands in the middle of the street watching his new team get obliterated.

With Arrow, Fire, and Tornado down, and both Lanterns barely standing, John asks Zibar how to stop the Triptych, but the stress of the moment leaves Zibar speechless. As the Triptych reach out to join hands and create another cataclysmic blast, Zibar finally comes up with an idea and tells John to contain the blast with his ring.

John does so and the destructive energy trapped in the bubble knocks out the three Triptych monsters and spares Stewart's fellow JLUers.

In the end, Zibar's arrogance becomes apparent to him, and upon John Stewart's recommendation, he decides to hang up the Lantern suit, and teach the next generation of Lanterns instead.

2Story - 2: What could have been a pretty solid story about the legacy of the Green Lantern Corps turns out to be rife with plot holes, inconsistencies, and dead time instead. To start with, we're led to believe that Zibar has led the Triptych out of his home sector and brought them to Earth, but we're never told why or how he brings them to Earth. It seems to me, however, that it's a pretty irresponsible thing to do, and if I were a JLUer, I'd be pretty ticked off that this guy couldn't keep his fight with monsters at home rather than bring them to downtown Boston. As for those monsters in particular, we're never told anything about the Triptych - what they want, what they are, and why they can blow people up whenever they hold hands. It seems like some sort of explanation, even if only minor, would have gone a long way towards telling us how this whole situation started and what the consequences are if the good guys aren't victorious. Another big problem I had was that John Stewart would go along with a plan that has no strategic merit whatsoever. Zibar's big scheme is to stand in the middle of the road and hope that the Triptych don't see his buddies standing on the roofs above. What? If Zibar's been fighting them for so long, wouldn't he realize that they'd get a little suspicious when they saw that four of the super-powered good guys they'd just been fighting decided to just go home and leave it in Zibar's (in)capable hands? Overall, the character development was pretty sparse, the action sequences repetitive, and there were pages where nothing was happening except a lot of arguing. In the past, I've tried to overlook the more minor conceits in Beechen's stories, but with an issue like this one, with so many cliches and plot holes, it's hard to ignore.

4Art - 4: The art team of Barberi and Wong keep going strong. These two guys have been carrying the good stories as well as the bad ones ever since signing on six months ago, and each issue looks as good as or better than the last. The fight sequences - despite being badly plotted - were pretty gorgeous on the page, and the intimidating design of the Triptych was almost enough to give merit to a threat that, otherwise, was not well constructed or developed in the story. Some particularly great sequences involve Green Arrow's beating, which is nothing short of vicious, and the full pagers, which deliver big time! The only downfall was that Barberi and Wong were stuck with so many dull pages of the heroes arguing with one another. Otherwise, another solid effort.

1Cover Art - 1: Well, congratulations! I don't remember the last time I gave a "1"... they're rare for me; as rare, potentially rarer, in fact, than the coveted "5". This time the suckage has plummeted to new depths, however, so be proud Mr. Caldwell, Cover Artist Extraordinaire, you have just received the worst possible rating at the Superman Homepage. Why a "1" you may ask? Does it really have *no* redeeming qualities? Well, let's go through the checklist: is it an engaging or original image? No. Is it well-illustrated? No. In fact, it looks horrendous. Does it have anything (even remotely) to do with the issue inside? Considering that Batman is most prominent on the cover and he's not even washing his ears in the background of this issue's interior, that would be a big fat No as well. Finally, in capping off the judging, one need only look at the computer generated tie-die background and the annoying and intrusive title and Johnny DC logos. Better luck next time.

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