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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice #5

Justice #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 19, 2006

Cover date: June 2006

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

"Justice: Chapter Five"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman

Click to enlarge

The Elongated Man gets a call from Iris, but he doesn't know what is going on. The Justice League is missing.

In the ocean, J'onn finally realizes that he isn't burning and flies out of the ocean. Below him, the Flash strobes by, still caught in the trap.

Luthor teleports back to Brainiac, who is still experimenting on Aquaman. Luthor asks if Brainiac has the cities, and the alien holds out six black spheres in the palm of his hand.

In Metropolis, Superman lies at the mercy of the combined heroes when a bolt of lightning suddenly splits the sky. A flash of red steals Metallo's Kryptonite, and knocks the other villains away. Captain Marvel stands in front of Superman and offers him a helping hand. Marvel and Superman fly away just as Bizarro returns and Luthor appears to rescue his teammates.

In the hospital, the Atom's wife sits with him and prays that he'll recover.

Wonder Woman continues her battle against Cheetah, and is in danger of losing until she manages to lasso her foe and sends her running with a kick. At Green Arrow's home, Black Canary arrives back just in time to save Ollie from Clayface. In the museum, Hawkman and Hawkgirl struggle out of the wreckage of Toyman's assault. Deep in space, Green Lantern tries to use his ring to escape with no success, and then he asks how much longer he has before the ring runs out of power.

Superman directs Captain Marvel to fly into the Batcave. Batman immediately berates Superman for betraying the location of his cave, but Marvel transforms back into Billy Batson to try and calm him down. Superman begins to ask where League is, but then he pauses, and jumps up to punch Batman. Billy panics, but Superman quickly explains.

Batman was holding a small piece of Kryptonite. He's infested with microscopic mechanical worms that are controlling his mind. Superman looks at his own hand for a moment and realizes that he's infested as well. At that moment Alfred attacks Billy, also under the control of the worms, but they quickly subdue him.

At the coast, Luthor hurls the tiny balls into the water, and watches as huge spheres rise up out of the water a moment later.

Superman tells Captain Marvel that they'll have to burn out the worms before they take control of his mind. Captain Marvel needs to throw Superman in to the sun.

5Story - 5: First off, I apologize to everyone for taking so long to get this review done. Evidently capstone design courses take up a large amount of time. Anyway, on with the review.

I liked issue four better than the three before it, and this one is even better than the last.

I love the pacing of this book. There is plenty of time for conversation between characters, and yet so much action gets packed into this one book. Even if I'm not a huge fan of Ross' obvious love for Captain Marvel, it was still cool to see him and Superman working together.

It was also nice to see the League strike back against their assailants after being beat so much last issue. Diana sends Cheetah running and Dinah and Ollie send Clayface packing as well. I absolutely love Green Lantern's imprisonment. The idea of the man without fear waiting patiently to die a certain death as his ring discharges is strangely compelling to me.

The battle between Luthor and Brainiac is another nice touch. Those two are fantastic together, whether they are working with or against each other, and I wish the mainstream books would use them together more often.

The interaction between Batman and Captain Marvel/Billy was also a fantastic touch. Between yelling at him for calling down the lightning, to scolding Superman for brining a child in, it was all perfect.

A Superman/Batman fight seems to be nearly obligatory in any big story these days, so even if it really isn't that cool to see anymore, at least I can accept it. And the setup for the next issue: throw me into the sun.

The only thing I didn't like about this issue was Ross' not-to-subtle bashing of Identity Crisis. I know he hates the story, but there are plenty of us who like it. It didn't detract from the story, and was more amusing than anything, but it still annoyed me somewhat. Still a great issue though.

5Art - 5: It's Alex Ross, of course it's beautiful. I liked the use of splashes in this book, which seemed to be more prevalent than past issues. The arrival of Captain Marvel looked absolutely beautiful, and the panoramic of the Batcave was gorgeous.

My favorite part of this art in this issue though, was actually the use of the panels. Maybe it's been this way the past issues too, but use of different sizes, shapes, and layouts really stood out here.

This book is just screaming for the Absolute treatment. The day that comes out I'm buying it, because this art is just too great not to own it in oversized format.

4Cover Art - 4: I wanted to give this cover a three. It's plain, and really doesn't reflect the action of the interior (although it does keep Billy's appearance a secret, so tons of credit for that). However, as I was looking at it this evening, I realized how much the format works. I always liked the ripping cover concept, but something about the art here makes it even better. If you look at Diana, your eyes barely even see Cheetah. But focus on the red and suddenly the villain pops out at you. Maybe it's just me, but the effect really impressed me.

It's still not a perfect five, but it's a solid cover.

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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