Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #22

Justice League of America #22

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 18, 2008

Cover date: August 2008

"The Second Coming" - Chapter One: "The Widening Game"

Writter: Dwayne McDuffie
Penciller: Ed Benes
Inker: Ed Benes

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Red Tornado and Kathy have a heart to heart before Tornado is to be placed into his new body. Their talk ends with him proposing.

Elsewhere Vixen discusses her recent power change with the Bronze Tiger, who advises her to be honest with the League and come clean about the matter.

Back in "the Kitchen" Roy and Kendra have a sparring match turn into a full blown fight. Afterwards Hal and Superman give Roy some advice regarding his relationship troubles.

As Batman is attacked by the body of Red Tornado, Vixen admits to what she had been hiding from the team. Despite Superman and Red Arrow speaking up for her and admitting their own culpability Black Canary immediately takes her off the team, but after dismissing the group asks Vixen to stay and offers to help her figure out what is wrong with her totem.

Meanwhile, John Henry Irons opens fire on Red Tornado's body, but that proves ineffective and both men are taken down by the android. The supposed Tornado walks over to the new body that had been made for John Smith and transfers his consciousness into it so that once more Amazo lives again!

4Story - 4: All things considered this was a very solid issue of the Justice League.

I mean that too. After several months of tying into other stories we finally get back to the team and the sub-plots that were started in this book and not somewhere else. This coupled with the fact that despite being the first part of a multi-issue story it felt like a whole issue and not one chapter of a larger epic.

The dialogue was what really grabbed me this month. Dwayne McDuffie has proven his chops in this department before and this issue was further proof of why he was the best choice for this title. The initial scene between Red Tornado and his wife was well written and got to the meat of those characters and what they are going through. I especially glad that movement has been made to get Red Tornado out of the League's computer systems and into a new body.

The scene between Roy, Hal and Superman also played out nicely. I was rather surprised to see Superman get involved in such a conversation, but McDuffie played it off well and it was nice to see a more laid back Superman who is just chilling with his friends and offering relationship advice. The fact that both Hal and Ollie's past roles as scamps when it comes to women was brought up gave the scene the emotional resonance it needed. Sure it's all pretty much retconned background because Hal was with Carol almost immediately and Ollie had Dinah for all those years, but if you're going to have a new back story you might as well play with it and frankly making Hal and Ollie...oh I'm just going to say it...womanizers then it stands to reason that Ollie's youthful ward would follow in his mentor's footsteps.

Beyond that it is good to see that the relationship between Roy and Kendra has not been forgotten. Not that they've had time for it lately but still. I like continuity and a little romance makes for good reading if handled correctly.

More than anything I liked Black Canary fully assuming the leadership role by taking Vixen off the team. It's not that I wanted Vixen off the team and I have no illusions that she will be gone for good, but it was something McDuffie felt that Canary would have done and I frankly I have to agree with him. If Vixen was siphoning powers from her teammates then the teammate in question has a right to know. Canary did what she had to both in terms of benching Vixen and in terms of helping a friend there at the end.

So all of that combined with the return of Amazo and this book looks as if it is getting back on track. I was really jazzed by how good this issue was and my only hope, as ever, is that it stays this way.

Until, you know, DC decides that some crossover over event needs a hand. Then I'm kind of screwed, but for right now everything's coming up roses.

4Art - 4: The art in this issue was fine. As I have mentioned in the past Ed Benes is a good artist but his desire to accentuate certain portions of the female anatomy can get in the way of the story.

I mean did we really need a shot of Black Canary's behind as she questions Vixen on her actions? Doesn't that undercut what McDuffie is trying to accomplish by having her take a firm stand on the issue? Did we really need a full on chest shot when Vixen admits to Bronze Tiger that she has been keeping a secret from her teammates?

Sure it looks good, but it's distracting to the story.

Still, the rest of the art was impressive. I just wish the cheesecake stuff would stop.

4Cover Art - 4: Well that certainly gets your attention, doesn't it? I really liked the old school feeling this cover had. Some of the best Justice League stories come from a cover that has League member doing something out of character and just begs you to read it. In this case if a reader gave in and did so they would be pleasantly surprised.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2008

February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2008.