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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #42 Justice League of America #42

Justice League of America #42

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 17, 2010

Cover date: April 2010

"Team History" - Part 2

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Mark Bagley
Inker: Rob Hunter, Norm Rapmund and Jonathan Glapion

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

As the Shade takes Green Arrow on a mystical journey the Justice League fights Atlas and takes the brute down with relative ease. From the shadows a mysterious figure watches.

In the recent past the Challengers of the Unknown have defeated the "League of Challenger Haters" but are left with a mysterious device that causes Ace to go insane when he touches it. Eventually Ace comes out of it and the other Challengers discuss the device and Ace's behavior with Dr. Will Magnus.

Back in the present Josiah Power stands against Dr. Impossible and Hunter as they invade the Fawcett City branch of STAR Labs. At the same time the Atom visits his old friend Darwin, who describes his attacker and the artifact he had been studying. Later, on the Watchtower, Ray briefs the team on what Darwin had told him after getting a situation report on the STAR Labs attack. Cyborg runs in and tells them that he found an old report on the artifact, which involved the Freedom Fighters, and reveals the location of the artifact to be Blackhawk Island.

Meanwhile on Blackhawk Island Congo Bill and Mikkal find themselves under attack by Chair and Tender Mercy. The two heroes fall but suddenly the Justice League arrives and the battle is on. At the same time back on the Watchtower Dr. Impossible, Hunter and Neon Black Boom Tube in and after some banter set about getting what they came to get. The villains think they are alone on the satellite but Green Arrow teleports in wondering where everyone is.

4Story - 4: I liked it.

(There is a part of me that wanted to write the above words and leave that and only that as the review but something tells me that y'all probably would like me to elaborate. Still, that would have been funny.

Well, that would have been funny to me at any rate.)

In any case for the first time in a long time this title has a story in it that justifies the title JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. I was apprehensive about the whole thing to be sure because I haven't been all that happy with this book and the direction it was taking but I have tried to quell the raging fanboy that dwells within me as of late so I kept an open mind while reading this issue.

(That was a lot more self-important than I intended it to be. Sorry about that.)

In any case I really dug this issue. Robinson has assembled an interesting group of characters and is doing some cool things with them and even bringing in some new villains (new to me at least) that are really neat, at least so far. I wasn't all that happy with the way the text boxes (I miss thought balloons) kept changing from character to character but overall the writing was strong and I felt like the pacing was spot on for the first time since Robinson took over the book.

The two flashback sequences were all kinds of awesome. I am not the biggest fan of the Challengers of the Unknown or the Metal Men but both teams were used to good effect. The World War II flashback was a highlight for me personally because of my previously mentioned (in other reviews anyway) love of the Golden Age characters but also because Robinson specifically used all of the Quality Comics heroes. I am kind of curious as to how Plastic Man was in WWII but whatever. Both scenes added to the mystery of what this bizarre artifact is and had some good fan shout outs as well.

The "evil" New Gods were a real treat as well. I took to them immediately. Dr. Impossible was an interesting concept during Meltzer's run and Hunter, Chair, Tender Mercy and Neon Black were an interesting addition to that concept. They could end up being two dimensional "evil clones" but I dug the heck out them.

Surprisingly I am warming to the new line-up. Sure they remind me more of the Avengers than the Justice League (Guardian = Captain America, Green Arrow = Hawkeye, Congo Bill = Beast, Starman = Starfox, Red Tornado = Vision, Dr. Light = Captain Marvel/Photon, Black Canary = Mockingbird, Atom = Ant Man, etc.) but the fact that they were all together (except Green Arrow) and ready to fight as a team went a long way with me. I like this line-up a lot actually, which I didn't think would happen.

So when you add all of that with the appearance by the Power Company and the fight with Congo Bill and the deepening of the mystery surrounding the artifact I one happy reader of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.

4Art - 4: The art stepped up a notch for me this time out. The use of two page spreads is growing on me and Bagley is really "owning" this team. Sure Shade looked a heck of a lot like Bruce Wayne in the beginning of this issue but other than that I was rather pleased with Bagley's work this month. I especially liked the two page spread of the team towards the end of the issue.

I still don't like the bat buckle on Dick's costume, but eh, I'll deal.

3Cover Art - 3: The only thing holding this cover back is the white background. The figures are solid and this is a good example of the good guys fighting the bad guys type of cover but that stark background is distracting and detracts from the overall image.

3Cover Art (Alternate Cover) - 3: There doesn't seem to be much point to this cover except cheescake. It's not horrible and not overly gratuitous but I am still curious as to why they even had an alternate cover for this issue.

Variant covers; there's nothing really wrong with them but I still think they're kind of pointless.

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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