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Mild Mannered Reviews - Justice League Unlimited

Justice League Unlimited #40

Justice League Unlimited #40

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 5, 2007

Cover date: February 2008

Writer: Ben McCool
Penciller: Dario Brizuela
Inker: Dario Brizuela

"Cast No Shadow"

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Zatanna is enjoying a sleepover with a few of her friends. Ghost stories are the topic of the evening and our young witch can't help but use her magical talents to conjure up a monstrous apparition that sends her friends racing away in horror.

Her father, Zatara, witnesses the display and is less than impressed. He suppresses her powers until she's old enough to use her magic properly. A lesson in responsibility is the cost and one she'd live with for a long time... till today for instance.

Dr. Fate and our scantily clad heroine arrive to combat an emergency in Central City... shadows have been liberated from their owners and are terrorising the city!

Alan Scott, Diana Prince, J'onn and Bruce Wayne teleport in and theorize Shadow Thief is behind the attacks. Somehow after breaking out he's acquired a power upgrade and is able to control other people's shadows as well as his own.

The shadows race off and suddenly Shadow Thief himself appears - as a huge demonic shadow! The villain quickly steals his opponents' shadows and pits the doppelgangers against their owners, but not before Dr. Fate and Zatanna rush into the skies above plotting a counter attack.

Zatanna begins to feel weak and lacking control of powers... reminiscent of her childhood encounter recollected earlier. Before the pair can figure out anything shadows leap out of a crack in the sidewalk and suck their shadows in! Leaping into action they follow their doppelgangers inside and are shocked to find Zatara trapped in a magical bubble.

The Warlock of Ys was behind everything and reveals he cast a spell to empower Shadow Thief and he also plans to steal the magical might of Zatara, Zatanna and Kent.

Ys begins to drain the life force of Zatara and his daughter springs into action!

She realizes since that abuse of power many years ago she had mentally blocked herself from ever using it at its full capacity fearing she wouldn't be ready to control it.

Unleashing her full magic she overpowers Ys easily and sends him into the mystery dimension with her top hat! Magic isn't worth doing if its not done with finesse after all!

Zatara unfortunately can only stay long enough to express pride in her for becoming a true magician before he has to return to his quest to prevent magic being corrupted...

Zatanna is heartbroken that her only family is disappearing especially since she's finally reached her true potential.

Before he disappears the 'sorcerer supreme' reminds his daughter she'll never be alone with such a colorful family as the spandex clad JLU!

Dr. Fate is curious as to the Shadow Thief's defeat. Uncharacteristically Batman throws in a quip and...

Actually I'll leave the ending for you to read yourself as it is in true JLU style!

Shame on you if you read Justice League of America and don't read this!

5Story - 5: A great change of pace from the standard story, giving us a peek into Zatanna's life and showing us a souped up Shadow Thief and a new evil wizard for the JLU roster.

The high rating is for series continuity and development of the threads the show left untied - it's great that we can see resolutions and delve deeper into characters who weren't heavily featured in the episodes.

Zatanna as a pure high power level sorceress is intriguing and I hope it will be looked into further in issues to come.

Shame that when Shadow Thief attacked Shayera, Hawkman, Vixen and GL weren't around to help kick his evil butt. Some great action sequences and a neat inspiring story I'd recommend to fans of the show or magic story enthusiasts.

5Art - 5: The interior art has no complaints from me this month. An absolute feast for the eyes from start to finish. A bit of a shame that the big JLU fight was featured very sparingly but the flashback scene featuring a young Zatanna and of course the appearance of Zatara more than made up for it. It's always nice to see the artist being able to experiment with the JLU style.

3Cover Art - 3: As with the last few months the covers have the slight look of the Timmverse but comes across as little off - not that it should mimic Bruce Timm character designs but it would be nice if they were closer as it pulls you out of the atmosphere the interior and the show fight to deliver us. One of the biggest fights in the book - is the League fighting their shadowed selves now that really would have been a sweet cover. Wasted opportunities = average cover.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2008

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