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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Classified #19

JLA: Classified #19

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 29, 2006

Cover date: Late May 2006

Writter: Gail Simone
Penciller: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Inker: Sean Phillips

The Hypothetical Woman - Part Four

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

The nations who have been giving aid to General Tuzik watch as his Hypothetical Army (Soldat, Velocista, Dysbuk, Jin Si and Marieke) conquers China. Tuzik demands his tributes or their countries will suffer the same fate.

Meanwhile the Justice League continues their investigation into the virus that Tuzik released. J'onn J'onzz impacts his mass into a condensed state and goes inside one of the victims to face the virus. It gives the information J'onn was looking for and before leaving he let's the virus know that their truce is over once he leaves. Once J'onn assumes his standard height he briefs the League on Tuzik's involvement. Despite the potential for diplomatic problems they decide to hit Tuzik. Batman quickly forms a plan to this end.

Back in China Tuzik's army begins to foster good will by distributing inoculations to the nation's children. Soldat is concerned though and can't shake the feeling of dread at the fact that he can't remember how he got his powers and ended up in China. In Beijing Superman attempts a diplomatic solution but is told that there will be grave repercussions if he ignores their borders.

Once Superman informs Batman that they can't get around the red tape Wonder Woman, dressed for battle, challenges the People's Liberation Army of China's Armored Rapid Reaction Ground Forces. The Flash soon enters the fray and as she fights Diana warns the soldiers that they are in danger. The Hypothetical Army arrives as Jin Si challenges Batman to hand to hand combat. Marieke asks Soldat what they should do with the invaders. With the Conqueror Virus flowing through his veins he orders that they kill the Justice League.

3Story - 3: In all honesty I am not enjoying this story. Gail Simone is a talented writer and I have enjoyed just about every comic she's written that I've had the chance to read but "The Hypothetical Woman" is not one of her best efforts. Usually her writing is pretty tight and even if they are grand in scope she manages to capture the human element of the characters through the dialogue. I'm not seeing much of that here.

The plot itself isn't making much sense to me. I can see the Justice League taking on a world leader. I can see the drama that sort of story would provoke. How does the Justice League deal with a clear and present threat to the world when the political fallout could be potentially devastating? This angle of the story I am actually enjoying. It has a lot of potential. My problem with the execution is that I don't buy the fact that these countries who are giving aid and comfort to Tuzik would still follow him once he conquered China. My gut tells me that they would take help in any form they could get, including the Justice League.

Also, why would Wonder Woman not talk to the Chinese officials because her status as an ambassador would complicate matters but its fine and dandy that she leads an all-out strike against the People's Liberation Army?

The story has no soul or at least if it had one it has gotten lost. The pacing of the story is slow to the point where it feels like it could have taken four issues to tell instead of six. The dialogue is fine but without a decent plot to back it up it seems hollow. Things could get really good by the end but with the way the story is playing out I have my doubts.

4Art - 4: There was a bit of a difference in the art in this issue with a change in inkers. From the looks of it more of Garcia-Lopez's style is coming through. The costume designs for Tuzik's Hypothetical Army were kind of weak, but since it was Lopez it wasn't a complete loss. For right now the art is the best part of this story arc.

5Cover Art - 5: A wonderful cover! This image is what I have been waiting for. Wonder Woman going to town in full battle regalia against an army as Batman and Flash watch. I have no complaints and hope the next two issues have covers that are just as good.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2006

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