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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice #1

Justice #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 3, 2005

Cover date: October 2005

Writter: Jim Krueger and Alex Ross
Penciller: Doug Braithwaite
Painter: Alex Ross

Reviewed by: Nick Newman

Click to enlarge

Justice #1b Bombs descend towards the ground in cities across the world. As one impacts in Metropolis, Superman scoops up Lois, setting her down our of harms way. He returns to the destruction, but he is too late to save anyone. Turning back to Lois, he cannot find her. In Rome, Diana communicates that she is dealing with the same thing. In another city, Flash is in shock as he realizes he was too slow to save anyone. Elsewhere, J'onn lies dead. Green Lantern is the only one who has any success, but even he falls. As the flames spread across the world, Superman looks down upon the world as it explodes.

Across the world, villains jerk awake from the same shared dream. Each is having the exact same dream, night after night.

Beneath the sea, Aquaman looks out over his city. He tells his wife that there is something that doesn't belong in the sea, and he needs to find it. Saying goodbye to his son, he saddles his giant seahorse and heads out.

In the middle of the desert, Captain Cold demonstrates the power of his freeze gun to an observer.

At the bottom of the sea, Aquaman finds a gigantic black sphere that even the sharks are afraid to approach. As Arthur approaches lasers begin to strike out at him as Black Manta leads a charge. Aquaman deals with the troops and then begins to fight with Manta. The villain tells Aquaman that when humanity needed him, he wasn't there, but Arthur has no idea what he is talking about. Suddenly the sharks turn on Aquaman, eventually subduing the hero. Black Manta takes his unconscious body inside their base.

Manta removes his helmet and greets the only other man there, Lex Luthor. Luthor tells him that the Justice League will be powerless to save everyone, so it's up to them. He offers Manta a seat. He's the first to arrive.

5Story - 5: I've waited a long time for this story: an out-of-continuity, "Ultimate" JLA story pitting the classic League against the ultimate collection of super villains. The only downside is that it's a bi-monthly book (i.e. 1 issue every 2 months), but if we can expect this kind of quality, it will definitely be worth the wait. It's just a little strange thinking that we won't see the end of this story until 2007.

I really like the plot they're setting up with this issue. For whatever reason, all of the 'villains' are dreaming of the Earth's destruction, and they need to stop the League and save the world themselves. In my opinion, this makes for a far more compelling story than a traditional 'take over the world' theme. This works especially well for Luthor. It will be interesting to see how the series pans out.

The focus on Aquaman was a nice touch, and evidently was one of Ross' requirements to do this book. Of course, I obviously want to see the rest of the League as well, but Ross does a great Arthur and it'd be a shame not to use it.

There isn't much else I can comment on because not that much happened in this issue, but any series that begins with the world exploding should be great. This book is definitely at the top of my list for the next two years.

5Art - 5: It's Alex Ross, what do you expect. It's a little different that his normal work, with Doug Braithwaithe doing the pencils, but the style is still fantastic. And speaking of Braithwaithe, it wouldn't be fair to review the art without recognizing his skill as well. He does a fantastic job of capturing the action in this book. The first few pages were absolutely terrific as the world explodes around the League. Panels like the explosion of the Earth and the shot of Atlantis shows how much more an artist can do with paint versus traditional coloring. And only Alex Ross could make Aquaman riding his seahorse SuperFriends-style look cool. Comics are, of course, a visual medium and normally we rely on the art to convey a significant portion of the story. But in this book, I feel the art does far more than normal, adding to the story. It just gives the book a feeling of importance.

5Cover Art - 5: You know DC, I think I'm buying enough books already without having to buy two of each issue. But I really can't complain, because I want to buy both of them when they look this nice. A lot of it is the Alex Ross factor, which will definitely influence my reviewing over the next eleven issues, but even without the painting I like both of these covers. I do have a gripe or two. I wish the two of them had connected (wouldn't that have made a great poster) and I would have like to see more of the League on the heroes cover. The villains cover (which I really love) has everybody on it, but the heroes cover only has the main seven. Where are the Atom and Hawkman, or Green Arrow and Canary? Those problems aside, these are still a great pair of covers.

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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