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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Classified #49

JLA: Classified #49

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 28, 2007

Cover date: Late February 2008

"To Live in Hearts We Leave Behind"

Writter: Andrew Kreisburg
Penciller: Paulo Siqueira
Inker: Amilton Santos

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

As the Justice League makes a last stand on the planet Mars against an alien race that claims to have "won" the solar system the loved ones of the League are forced to once again sit and wait with only the news to tell them what is happening to the League. Lois Lane travels to Gotham City to interview Bruce Wayne but ends up spending the afternoon talking with Alfred as Wonder Woman's mother and those close to John Stewart keep a vigil in their own ways. After the League defeats the invasion force they are reunited with those they care about.

3Story - 3: I've become a big believer in the concept that a plot is not a story. You can have a neat idea that seeks to explore a previously overlooked aspect to a group of characters and even have some good moments but if there is no heart to the story than it is just that; an interesting idea with a couple of good moments. You can enjoy it, but at the end of the day it is not something that will hold up overtime or stick with you.

To a certain extent this story succeeded in taking a behind the scenes peek at what the people who are among the most important to the Justice League have to go through while they are off on yet another Earth shattering mission. Kreisburg had a good handle on the characters and I was taken with the dialogue between Lois Lane and Alfred, which was not only entertaining but rang true for the characters. The other short sequences of those that care for the other members of the League besides Superman and Batman were also appropriate and I have to admit that seeing the various reunions made for a satisfying conclusion to this issue.

So did the story succeed in having a heart and soul? Is this one of those stories that could be looked at years from now as a classic?

To me the answer to the first question is, "I guess," and the answer to the second is "no" and there are two reasons for that.

Reason #1: The writing was good but nothing special. This idea, as good as it was, is nothing that hasn't been explored before in other comics. Yes, every comic book is someone's first and maybe a newer reader may not have come across any of those previous stories. That's a fair statement to make but those people aren't writing this review. I am and the book is being judged on all of my experiences and emotional baggage. This version was told well but in the end you can only see so many variations on the same theme before it gets kind of tired.

Reason #2: Would it have killed the writer to do any kind of research? I am not familiar with Andrew Kreisburg and despite being what looks to be a good writer I have to say that the Continuity Cop that lives in the little Sweeny Todd upstairs barber shop in my head was having fits while reading the book. This seems to be set in a time period where Linda Park and Wally are together and she is still in the news business. Even if you set it at the very beginning of Wally and Linda's true relationship Lois would still know who Superman was because they would have been engaged by then. That and the League that existed in that era was still the International version, so Superman and Batman wouldn't have been on the team. John Stewart would have most likely still been the guardian of the Mosaic world on Oa.

Some of you might think that this is being nitpicky but I strongly disagree. To me continuity is important and this story could have just as easily worked if the writer had simply set the story in the same era that the other Pre-Infinite Crisis JLA stories that have been set in. Outside of the Wonder Woman thing every scene could have still be in there in one form or another. The Lois/Alfred scenes could have still been there. In fact, from Lois' standpoint the emotions would have run higher because this isn't some guy she is infatuated with but her husband.

So between the clichéd nature of the plot and the sloppy continuity I give this book a three. It would have gotten a lower rating but the writing was still solid enough to make it bearable.

3Art - 3: The art in this issue was adequate but nothing special. It served the story but there were no memorable panels. I don't think Siqueira and Santos are by any means bad artists I just wasn't thrilled by them.

3Cover Art - 3: From the cover you would have thought the story would have been more interesting. Like the interior art the cover is fine but doesn't really do anything for me. It is meant to convey a sense that this story is about, as the text reads, those left behind but it doesn't do a very good job of it. I have a hard time thinking that the Queen of the Amazons would be slack jawed while watching footage of her daughter and her daughter's team locked in vicious combat.

Man, this just wasn't a good issue at all, was it?

Mild Mannered Reviews


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