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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #55 Justice League of America #55

Justice League of America #55

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 23, 2011

Cover date: May 2011

"Eclipso Rising" - Part 2: "Mayhem"

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Brett Booth
Inker: Norm Rapmund

Reviewed by: Ralph Silver

Click to enlarge

At the Emerald City on the dark side of the moon, Jade and Jesse Quick are at the bedside of Alan Scott, who is quite ill. Jade offers to help her father use his powers to heal himself; but he is reluctant because he is fearful that his efforts will unleash the Starheart once again.

Outside, Eclipso and his team of shadow-villains prepare to initiate their plan to possess magical beings inhabiting Emerald City. Eclipso is savoring the anticipation of this next "adventure".

Batman and Supergirl have traveled to the airspace where New Krypton existed. Supergirl is still Dark Supergirl, having transformed during the "JLA Omega" story arc, and never having changed back. She has asked Dick Grayson to help her clean up the floating debris, so she can begin to forget her feelings of devastation due to the destruction of New Krypton. Dick comments to himself that this version of Dark Supergirl is not so bad. She was an ally during the battle with Omega Man. This Dark Supergirl is not as "dark" as prior incarnations.

However, in his spaceship, as a precaution, Batman is carrying an arsenal of weapons that he obtained from Bruce; weapons that may be effective against a Kryptonian.

Dark Supergirl encounters Boodikka, the Alpha-Lantern, and greetings are exchanged. Supergirl cracks a joke, and Boodikka is surprised that Supergirl can be flippant at the scene of such tragic personal loss.

Suddenly, Doomsday arrives out of nowhere, aggressively batting Boodikka out of his way. Grayson prepares to help Kara using his arsenal of weapons, but Doomsday smashes Batman's ship to bits with a right roundhouse punch, and the arsenal is gone. Bruce is fine however; since his space suit provides protection from the vacuum of space.

Boodikka attempts to use her ring to fight Doomsday; but her power levels are way down and draining fast due to her sudden injury from Doomsday's strike. Supergirl discovers and is surprised that she is not Doomsday's intended target.

At Emerald City, Eclipso's influence over the magical beings is spreading like a rolling wave. Jade wants Jesse to flee with Jade's father; but Alan Scott insists on staying to help control the Starheart energies and protect the populace. Jade looks very determined, and says it is her time to step up.

Supergirl frees Boodikka with a quick strike that loosens Doomsday's grip over the Alpha-Lantern. Batman calls Watchtower for help in teleporting the injured Boodikka away; but instead Starman transports himself to join the team in battle, once he discovers it is Doomsday they are fighting. As Dark Supergirl tries heat vision on Doomsday, Starman jumps in to protect her; but Doomsday swats Starman away like an annoying insect. Starman goes hurtling, but along comes Blue Lantern Saint Walker, who uses his ring to make a nice comfy blue pillow to catch Starman, thus averting any injury.

Supergirl, Starman, and Saint Walker combine forces and attack Doomsday. Batman attempts to grab the injured Boodikka and take her to safety, but this gets Doomsday's attention. Supergirl intervenes to protect Batman, and then the combatants disappear as the teleporter takes them back to Watchtower.

Meanwhile, Eclipso, with the help of his shadow team, has taken control of the Emerald City in a mere 17 minutes. Although most inhabitants have been defeated or possessed, the Justice League members at Emerald City battle on. Jesse Quick grabs Alan Scott and moves him to safety at super speed. Jesse is aware that she has lost some of her speed, although the others do not notice.

Supergirl, Batman, and Boodikka arrive at the transporter room on Watchtower, but Doomsday is right behind them, and smashes his way in. Watchtower's auto-repair systems undo the damage before decompression can set in.

Donna, in the middle of her fight with Eclipso and his team, sends an SOS to Batman. But Batman and Supergirl have their hands full with Doomsday, and cannot help Donna.

On the final page, we get a double surprise. To Donna's chagrin, Jade has been possessed by Eclipso, compounding Donna's problems. At Watchtower, we discover who Doomsday was really after, the Cyborg-Superman!

5Story - 5: I found this story very entertaining. While I sometimes prefer stories that emphasize suspense over action; once in a while, a good smackdown is fun. This story was well-crafted and nicely paced. The energy level was high throughout.

Robinson deftly juggles two powerful story lines in this issue, giving each one its due. The "Reign of Doomsday" storyline is "nomadic"; moving from title to title. It will be moving next to Batman/Superman Annual #5; while the Eclipso story line will continue to heat up in the next issue of Justice League.

I love the way Robinson pulls in and integrates disparate elements from all over the DC Universe, making him the perfect author for JLA. Since I am a regular reader of the Green Lantern books, I was happy to see Boodikka and Blue Lantern Saint Walker show up in this issue.

For those who are not familiar, let me briefly mention that the Green Lantern books have established that every color of the spectrum is associated with a particular emotion. Each color is represented by a Lantern Corps of that color; and members of that corps personify the associated emotion. Yellow Lanterns strike FEAR; Orange Lanterns exude AVARICE; and Red Lanterns exhibit RAGE. In this context, Saint Walker and his Blue Lanterns represent HOPE; making him a very attractive character in my opinion. Encouraging people is what Saint Walker does best. Notice that in this story, Saint Walker acknowledges the magnitude of the Doomsday threat; but then says, "We will prevail". I was hoping he would utter his signature line: "All will be well".

As mentioned in the story, a Blue Lantern's power is amplified when he is in proximity to a member of the Green Lantern Corps. In this story, Walker indicates that the presence of someone else is having the same effect. While it is not explicitly stated in this story, Robinson confirmed in a recent CBR interview that proximity to Starman's power gem augments Saint Walker's powers just as a Green Lantern power ring does. In that interview, Robinson also indicated that Saint Walker will be remaining with the Justice League, at least for the time being.

Robinson loves to get inside the heads of his heroes. This gives the reader great insight into motivations and internal conflicts. Two issues ago it was Donna who was expressing feelings of sadness, uncertainty, emotional fatigue, and anger; now it is Jesse Quick who is not at the top of her game. Jesse feels that her powers are waning, but does not know why. She is battling feelings of uncertainty. Ironically, she senses that Jade has been getting much stronger since her resurrection; while Jesse is currently going in the opposite direction. Jesse has adopted Alan Scott as a father figure, and wants to consult with him on all of this. But she knows that now is not the time. I expect Robinson will follow-up on this in the days ahead.

I enjoyed the interplay between Batman/Dick Grayson and Supergirl. Dick correctly asserts that this version of Dark Supergirl is not as "dark" as prior versions. This is clearly demonstrated when she continually exhibits concern for Dick during the Doomsday battle. The bond between them is as strong as ever despite her transformation.

I wonder when and how she will revert back to the "lighter" version of Supergirl.

After our interlude featuring a bit of "mayhem", the story will focus on the Eclipso threat next issue.

4Art - 4: The Booth/Rapmund artwork seemed more solid to me than last issue. Maybe the two of them are settling in and getting used to working together.

Let me mention a couple of images that stood out for me. On page one, I liked the side-by-side contrasting images of Jesse and Jennie-Lynn. As Jesse indicated, Jade looks so strong and confident. Meanwhile, Jesse looks like she is fighting off tears, revealing in pictures what she already expressed in words; that she is not feeling good about herself and is not happy about it.

I like the image of Dark Supergirl, showing real concern for her friend Dick right after Doomsday smashes his spaceship. It is a small image, but it nicely conveys her emotion. Boodikka looks appropriately "robotic" when we first see her. I liked the scene where Starman first meets Saint Walker. You can see the instant connection between the two of them.

And I thought the images of Doomsday all looked great.

4Cover Art - 4: I usually do not care for crowded covers, but I like this one. There is distinct focal point; the rampaging Doomsday is front and center. He is counterbalanced somewhat by the image of Saint Walker in the foreground. The other heroes surround Doomsday; some badly injured, some battling on. The navy blue of the starry sky contrasts nicely with the gray of Doomsday's body.

This scene is symbolic, since Jade, Donna, and Congorilla were nowhere to be found during the Doomsday fight sequences inside the book.

4Cover Art (Variant Edition) - 4: Doomsday in the center in a battle with Justice League members surrounding him. Some JLA members lie wounded. Now where have I seen this before?... Oh yeah, the main cover :)

I am not sure that they needed to make two covers which are so similar. But I like them both. David Mack does his usual solid job. I like that Dark Supergirl is prominently featured on this one.

Poor Donna has to use a rock for a pillow. But Jade has a nice soft gorilla to put her head on. :)

Mild Mannered Reviews


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