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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice #8

Justice #8

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 25, 2006

Cover date: December 2006

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

"Justice: Chapter Eight"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman

Click to enlarge

Standing outside the Fortress, Batman tells Superman that their methods are not that different. Batman relies on fear, but everyone knows Superman can see through walls. Maybe he uses fear too. And now the heroes know what its like to have someone who can see all of their secrets.

Taking to space, Superman looks down on the world. The giant sphere cities are now uncloaked and Superman can see that Brainiac is behind all of it.

Flash, fully recovered from his poisoning, confronts Captain Cold, but Cold manages to trick him and flee. His ice tricks only work for so long though, and Flash brings the villain to the Fortress.

Inside, Batman interrogates Cold, threatening him with bodily harm in order to get the information he needs.

Inside his ringworld, Hal talks to his construct brothers, but even his imaginary world is starting to turn against him.

Cold finally gives in and Batman tells the other heroes his story. About the apocalyptic dream that all of the villains have experienced, and their plan to save humanity inside of their new cities. Their intentions aren't all honorable though; they will govern the new world that forms after Earth is destroyed. Suddenly Aquaman, freshly recovered from his serious wounds, comes into the room and demands to know why they're all hiding in the Fortress.

Inside his ring, Hal has reverted to a child playing with his brothers when the Phantom Stranger appears beside him.

In the Fortress, Captain Marvel approaches Wonder Woman and asks about her wounds. She tells him that the poison Cheetah used is reverting her to the clay from which she was made, and that she doesn't have much time left. Across the room, Elongated Man confronts Plastic Man, telling him that he isn't a real member of the League. Plastic Man tells Ralph that there can be two stretchy guys in the League, but Ralph tells him that if they have one, they don't need the other.

Hal's world begins to grow dark around him. The Phantom Stranger presents Hal with his power battery, and Hal charges his ring. In a burst of light, Green Lantern arrives at the Fortress. Everyone is happy to see him, but Aquaman says they need to take action. Brainiac has kidnapped his son, and for that he's going to kill him.

In the monitor room, Red Tornado watches news reports from around the world. Everyone they care about has been taken by the villains.

As the Justice League prepares for the battle, Rita of the Doom Patrol asks what will happen if the doomsday dream is real. High above the planet, a huge ship comes into view.

4Story - 4: This is still, without a doubt, one of the best League stories ever. Everything about it is grand in scale. Ross has always been a fan of the 'classic' DC universe, and that's exactly what this book feels like.

That being said, this issue dragged for me. Still good, but in a series filled with superhuman brawls and Superman diving through the sun, sitting around the Fortress and talking just can't keep up, even if it is essential to the story.

My biggest problem with this issue was the scene between Ralph and Plas though. The entire thing seemed out of character for Ralph. Maybe it's just Ross voicing his objection to everything that's happened to Ralph lately, or to the fact that Plastic Man has enjoyed a decent run in the JLA of late, but it doesn't seem to fit with Ralph at all.

The issue definitely had some high points though. I'm not the first one to point out how great it is to see Aquaman acting like the royalty he is; taking charge and giving orders. The appearance of the Phantom Stranger was also a nice touch. He came from out of nowhere, which is exactly how his character should be used.

Beyond that, there really isn't much to say, which gets back to my whole problem with this issue. As part of the trade, this issue will read just fine. But as a self-contained issue, with a two month wait until the next, it falls flat. I've come to expect more from Justice and this month didn't deliver.

I still can't bear to give this series anything less that a four though. This book is still better than a lot of what's out there, and it most certainly is not average.

5Art - 5: Gorgeous as always. The art in this issue does suffer a bit simply because there weren't any spectacular scenes to be painted (say, like Superman coming out of the sun). But even the simple scenes manage to come off beautiful. The first page is one of my favorites in this issue. Nothing exciting happens, yet Batman and Superman look so great that I have to love it.

I almost gave this issue a four in art. Almost. Not because there's anything wrong with it, but like I said, nothing exciting really happens. That all changed when I got to page 20 (or so I think anyway, I hate it when the pages aren't numbered). The splash of Green Lantern reciting his oath is absolutely beautiful, and that page alone is worth a five. Keep up the great work guys.

5Cover Art - 5: Ross and Braithwaite make this series really easy to review. While this isn't one of the best covers of the series (see December's issue for my current favorite), it's still a great, dynamic image. Ross is at his best when the work he's doing couldn't be done in another medium. And the fantastic background of this cover just wouldn't look right in anything but paints. And once again I'll say how much Braithwaite adds to Ross' work. Ross paints from models, which tends to make his poses look like statues. But Cold's pose on the cover is dynamic. Great stuff.

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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