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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA Classified: Cold Steel #2

JLA Classified: Cold Steel #2 [of 2]

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 11, 2006

Cover date: March 2006

Writer: Chris Moeller
Painter: Chris Moeller

"Chapter Two: The Sleeping World"

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

The book opens with the JLA confronting the Voruk warships in space. The Voruk aren't faring so well, so they bring out some huge living ship/god which eats a bunch of their smaller ships to get stronger.

You think I'm making this up, don't you?

Something happens (I'm still unclear as to what) which causes the JLA-in-giant-robots to fall onto Penumbra where the Infinity Coil resides. If you don't remember (or didn't read the review to part one, or just plain don't care), the Infinity Coil is some sort of Voruk weapon which put the entire planet of Penumbra to sleep, thus effectively wiping out most of the Ghoji race. Exciting, no?

Green Lantern leaves the group to go look for another Green Lantern who fell asleep somewhere on the planet. He finds her approximately 15 seconds later. Meanwhile, flying black snakes that for some reason aren't asleep go flying through the woods and Flash thinks they're creepy. The snakes turn around and leave before serving any purpose whatsoever, and the Voruk ships show up to attack the JLA some more (you know, since they fared so well last time).

GL rescues the other female GL who has two knees too many (you think I kid, but I do not), and Flash's giant robot transforms into a big spinning wheel with guns on the side which zooms around shooting the attacking Voruk.

For some reason the Ghoji pilot in Martian Manhunter's robot emits light from her face and then evaporates. Apparently it was some sort of psychic attack that took down some of the Voruk ships.

Suddenly the giant Voruk god-ship shows up and Batman's robot shoots some batarangs at it, which somehow prove effective. Batman's robot turns into a jet to fly around as distraction while Aquaman DOES SOMETHING for the first time in both issues. He goes aboard the Voruk ship (they're aquatic aliens, remember) to talk with their crazy/fanatical leader.

Alas, before he can be of any use Martian Manhunter also arrives and does the job much better, once again proving Aquaman's uselessness. He discovers there was some sort of "psychic wound" given to all the Voruk when the Ghoji's god sacrificed herself in a psychic attack during a war. Because of this pain, the Voruk have been right nasty and thus put all the Ghoji to sleep (and possibly ate some of them, you know, for good measure).

Before we can rejoice for reasons unapparent, the Infinity Coil is about to destroy all of everything that ever was for reasons that don't make sense. A "stardrive of massive proportions" is needed to break the Infinity Coil, and they just happen to have one in the Voruk god-ship (oh, that's the reason... plot convenience!). The Voruk leader won't leave his god to die alone, so he sends everyone else away to live (despite sacrificing them on a whim earlier to feed this very same god-ship) and, not to be outdone, one of the Ghoji stays with him. They run their suicide mission into the Infinity Coil, but not before sending a message to their respective people saying "LOOK HOW COOL WE ARE, WE'RE WORKING TOGETHER. REMEMBER TO BE GOOD AND LEAVE COOKIES OUT FOR SANTA." (I paraphrase)

The coil is destroyed, the JLA leave their robots, the planet wakes up, and some birds on a branch start singing.

1Story - 1: Woe are we who bought this tripe, my friends. Good gravy, Miss Mavey!

I gave the first issue of this a 3. It had a lot of problems, but I was trying to give it the benefit of the doubt. It did have some potential, and I honestly didn't know where it was going.

Well now I know where it was going, and that's a big fat nowhere.

Flying black snakes for no reason. Dangling plot threads about the mistreatment of wounded people from an issue ago - forgotten. Plot holes about a leader sacrificing his people for a stronger ship/weapon and then suddenly wanting to save them all at the end for no reason - cavernous.

And still, yes still, we have a title which in no way relates to the story in any way.

The JLA members had little to no personality. And what's with Kyle making out with a quad-kneed chick who's been sleeping out in a forest for years? Maybe you want to let her wake up a little first. At least let her have a cup of coffee and check her... four... knees.

I gave the first part a 3 because I had hoped it would all end well and the second part would make sense of the first. Instead, it ended like a goat leaping off a cliff.

Which is to say, random.

And messy.

Thank you but no, I'd like my $6 back.

Screw that, keep the money. Just erase the memory of this book from my brain so that I won't have horrible nightmares about having to read it.

2Art - 2: In many panels I had no idea what was happening, which made it hard to follow the story.

And again, sometimes it was very detailed (the Voruk) and sometimes... not (virtually everything else).

It's clear Mr. Moeller loves his aquatic aliens. So I suggest he stick with them in the future and leave the JLA alone.

1Cover Art - 1: If I was able I'd give this a zero I would.

Ah, more of the giant robots! Which were not only robots, but they were Transformers! At least, Batman and Flash were. And Batman turned himself into a fighter jet and Flash was... a wheel, with guns.

Looking at this cover, you get part of the chest of Superman's robot (with Superman in the control center, looking like a Jurassic Park prop), Batman's robot expelling some nice lavender perfume from his wrist, and Martian Manhunter's robot looking confused at the explosion behind him. What's that? FLAME ON MY BUTT, YOU SAY? OH NO!

If any cover screams "Don't pick up this book, because the inside is actually JUST as bad as this cover would lead you to believe," this is it.

If they even try a merchandising tie-in with JLA robot toys, much less these *extraordinarily lame* JLA robots (A WHEEL. WITH GUNS!), I shall have to commit seppuku with a Starscream transformer taped to a DC Direct Batman. And I'll do it on DC's doorstep.

Or if not seppuku (it makes a great statement, but let's face it, I like living), at least an angry letter.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2006

February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006

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