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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #39

Justice League of America #39

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 25, 2009

Cover date: January 2010

"By My Black Hand The Dead Shall Rise" - Part 1: "Reunion"

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Mark Bagley
Inker: Rob Hunter

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

A Black Lantern ring downloads Vibe's memories before animating his corpse.

Vixen, Zatanna, Gypsy, Dr. Light, Plastic Man and Red Tornado investigate the now damaged Hall of Justice. They find the area where the bodies of the villains that the League has faced damaged and are suddenly faced with the Black Lantern Zatara. Zatanna and Zatara fight, with Zatanna insisting that while it is her father's body it is not him. Their duel ends with them disappearing into a white light.

Vixen and the others make their way deeper into the Hall of Justice when suddenly Dr. Light takes off. The others question her departure and discuss the fact that the only person that could have messed with Zatanna's head appeared to her. Suddenly the Black Lantern Vibe appears to Vixen. Vibe makes fast work of Red Tornado and Plastic Man leaving Gypsy and Vixen to not only face Black Lantern Vibe but also Black Lantern Steel.

Elsewhere Dr. Light confronts Arthur Light, who is feasting on the corpse of Firestorm's girlfriend. Arthur hits her hard with his ring and prepares to feast on her as well.

3Story - 3: In the last issue Robinson made a little dig towards Young Justice. I was a bit put out by this, mainly because I like Young Justice. The thing is among the comics fans I interact with Young Justice is well regarded. Justice League not. I mean I like that version of the League and some people will take up for it but at the same time this is not an iteration of the JLA that most people embrace with fond feelings.

So Young Justice gets a snarky remark. The "Motor City League" is lauded.


Sadly the issue doesn't get much better from here on in. While the fight between Zatanna and the Black Lantern version of her father was quite good I just didn't like the rest of the issue, which is a shame because I really wanted to come into this issue and feel great about the story because I was so down on the previous one. It's not like I set out to dislike any of the comics I read but here I am once again in that position.

Sigh again.

The whole story just felt forced. In concept the thought of Zatanna being faced with the corpse of her father and Vixen along with Gypsy confronted with the animated corpses of two of their former teammates should be powerful. Emotions should be swirling. Instead it feels like an empty, soulless action film of a story with some pop culture references thrown in.

Red Tornado watches Scooby Doo. Who knew?

As a tie-in to Blackest Night this story works. I just didn't care for it.

4Art - 4: As much as I didn't like the writing the art was very good. There were a few too many splash pages but they looked good and the story telling was rather strong. Mark Bagley is well suited for this title and I look forward to seeing what he has when the series really picks up.

4Cover Art - 4: Despite not caring for Blackest Night anymore I thought this was a very dynamic cover. Dr. Light vs. Dr. Light. Kind of a no brainer when you think about it and Bagley did a great job with it.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2010

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