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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Classified #24

JLA: Classified #24

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 12, 2006

Cover date: August 2006

Writter: Steve Englehart
Penciller: Tom Derenick
Inker: Mark Farmer

A Game of Chance - Part Three: "Raise"

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Vixen recalls her beginnings as the inexperienced members of the Justice League try to escape the forest fire that has surrounded them. Aquaman finally arrives and has to resort to some extreme measures to survive through the flames which sap his strength. Amos Fortune's newly formed Royal Flush Gang manages to get back to their headquarters but they head back into the woods to take care of the remaining members of the original gang.

3Story - 3: You know I could sit here and write that this issue was much better than the last and that the idea of taking four issues to examine four supposedly second tier characters is a great concept and that I might have been a tad harsh on the last issue so I should just apologize and focus on how good this issue was. I'm not going to do that and the reason I'm no going to do that is because as interesting as the concept of exploring characters like Steel and Vibe and Vixen and Gypsy is if you hang it around a lousy plot than the story is going to fall short.

And it is the plot that is keeping me from truly enjoying A Game of Chance as a story. Englehart has had three issues to make me feel anything for the plight of the Justice League and the intrigue of the Royal Flush Gangs fighting each other and the League and while things started out good they haven't improved at all. It just doesn't interest me and adding Aquaman into the mix has only made matters worse because now there is another plot element that I don't care about. The whole story has become muddled and the pacing has come to a near halt with the League trapped in a forest fire and spending an entire issue not getting out of it.

The origin of Vixen was interesting. There is no denying this. I like Vixen and think she has a neat back story and for a character created in the late seventies/early eighties her powers and abilities are unique. Unfortunately her history was not enough to make me like the rest of the issue. It's kind of sad too because Steve Englehart is a good writer and has produced some classic stories but between this story and the fact that Batman: Dark Detective ended so badly I'm kind of disappointed.

4Art - 4: The art has been solid over the past three chapters, which has somewhat made up for the fact that the story has been disappointing. Derenick and Farmer drew a very attractive Vixen and the art in the flashbacks was particularly strong. Like last issue I have no real complaints here.

4Cover Art - 4: What is with DC and the horrendous coloring that they put in the background of the covers to their books? The art on the cover of this issue was rather nice but that awful green background was such a distraction. Zeck and Ordway provided an action packed cover though I am a bit confused as to why Steel is looming over the battle with his fist in the air. A good cover nonetheless. No real complaints here either.

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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