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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #18

Justice League of America #18

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 20, 2008

Cover date: April 2008

"Sanctuary - Part Two"

Writter: Alan Burnett
Penciller: Ed Benes
Inker: Sandra Hope with Ed Benes

"Meanwhile at Owl Creek Bridge..."

Writter: Dwayne McDuffie
Penciller: Jon Boy Meyers
Inker: Mark Irwin

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

"Sanctuary - Part Two"

As Amanda Waller is informed of the incursion at the Hall of Justice the villains who did the breaking in sit quietly with their hands over their heads as they request asylum. The Key makes the villains' case and is only interrupted by Red Tornado's announcement that there is a call from Amanda Waller. Batman tells him to get her number and points out that it was going to come to this sooner or later. They agree to keep the villains in the holding cells aboard the Watchtower.

The villains are put into their cells peaceably, except for the Tattooed Man, who Batman finally has to kick into his temporary home. Back on Earth the Suicide Squad shows up at the Hall of Justice. Talks break down quickly and a fight almost breaks out until Superman and the others join Vixen and Hawkgirl. Superman manages to defuse the situation and informs Bronze Tiger that before they hand the villains over Waller is going to have to give them certain assurances.

Later Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman meet with Waller as the Squad attacks the Watchtower. Batman realizes what is going on and they join in the fray. The battle ends quickly as the Bronze Tiger orders Plastique to refrain from using her powers in such an enclosed area. Superman agrees and suggests they take their fight back to Earth. Tiger tells the League that Waller will make them look like traitors if they continue their current course of action. Batman announces that no one is going anywhere until they see the prison planet for themselves, which won't be long since the secret location isn't secret anymore.

"Meanwhile at Owl Creek Bridge..."

After much thought and introspection Red Tornado decides that he will go through the process to put his soul into a new body even though there is a chance that he might die during the procedure.

2"Sanctuary - Part Two" Story - 2: I'm at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to judging this issue.

On one hand it reminded me of the better episodes of JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, which reminded me how much I liked that show, so right away there were good feelings all around for the story thus far.

On the other hand all of the books being tied together thing (even with my feelings on the last issue) has officially worn me down to the point that no matter how good the issue is the fact that it ties into SALVATION RUN (which, admittedly, is a fun title) irks me. I'd love to say that this is a temporary thing but looking at the future solicitations it seems that JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA should be re-named JUSTICE LEAGUE OF USE THIS TITLE TO SHILL WHATEVER EVENT DC IS PUSHING THIS MONTH.

I mean JLOUTTTSWEDIPTM doesn't have the same punch as JLA or even JLoA, so maybe this sort of thing should stop.

All things being equal this wasn't a bad issue. I think I wrote in my review for the previous issue that I liked the fact that the Justice League was taking a stand as far as what Amanda Waller was doing to the super-villains and how it is a way to make up for the shady things the League had done in it's own past. Giving the Key and his compatriots sanctuary is a great example of doing them a solid and Burnett even managed to throw in a few neat character bits like Batman's internal dialogue regarding the Key's inability to break out of the cell he had been placed in. I also enjoyed Batman figuring out that Waller was stalling them.

So in the end I didn't hate this issue. I'm just annoyed that the title hasn't been allowed to develop a clear identity. I mean wasn't Firestorm told he was a member? Why hasn't anything been done with that? Or is SALVATION RUN and FINAL CRISIS so important that what should be DC's biggest title has to be mired in pimping everything else for the company?

It's just disappointing really. The writing isn't bad but this incarnation of the Justice League seems to have nothing solid to offer its readers.

4"Meanwhile, Back at Owl Creek Bridge..." Story - 4: These back-up stories are enjoyable for the most part. I like the fact that at least a portion of the book is left to develop the characters. This month was Red Tornado and it was okay. Nothing to get all excited over but at least we were given a small glimpse into what is going on with the android since he has been without a body and everything. I was a little disturbed that Reddy would discuss wanting to have physical relations with his wife in front of their daughter.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned that way.

Still, neat story. I like seeing all of the big brains in one place and there was something compelling about Reddy having a heart to heart with his family.

4"Sanctuary - Part Two" Art - 4: Is it me or do the characters in this issue look a bit...beefier than usual?

It's not that the art was bad. As usual I liked it because I think that as "suggestive" as it can get I like Ed Benes' style. He does well in group settings too, which is one of the reasons why I can't bring myself to totally descend into a jaded, fanboy rant due to my previously mentioned loss of patience with this title.

Anyway the characters looked good, the action looked good, the whole issue looked good as I have come to expect from Benes and Hope.

4"Meanwhile, Back as Owl Creek Bridge..." Art - 4: I really dug the art in this back-up. Very YOUNG JUSTICE. Very Todd Nauck. Very cool.

Sure the opening page looked like a ramp up mirror image of the cover to JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #3, but overall I was rather pleased. I would like to see more from Meyers and Irwin.

3Cover Art - 3: You know, this cover is fine and all, just nothing remarkable. It makes its point and shows the League and the Squad having it out. I just can't bring myself to get too excited over it.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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