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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #60 Justice League of America #60

Justice League of America #60

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 17, 2011

Cover date: October 2011


Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Daniel Sampere
Inker: Wayne Faucher

Reviewed by: Ralph Silver

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Since they defeated Eclipso, the Justice League has been busy. A being named the Construct has taken over every robot on Earth. Once again, the JLA rose to the occasion. Congorilla went toe-to-toe with a giant robot to save Tokyo. The other members had their hands full as well. Supergirl handled the main threat. She stopped Kelex, the robot caretaker of the Fortress of Solitude, from using the Fortress' alien weaponry to wipe out the planet.

Back at the Watchtower, Supergirl expresses her desire to leave the team in order to explore other opportunities in her life. The other members are supportive. One at a time, the other members express similar sentiments. Donna has conquered her feelings of rage during the Eclipso battle, and now needs to go "find herself".

Jesse Quick is pregnant, and needs to focus on family matters. Jesse explains the recent changes in her powers. Running so fast and for so long in the battle against the Omega Man (back in issue #52) has altered her connection to the speed force. She can now fly, but her super speed only works when she is flying.

Now that Jade finally has a moment to slow down during the current hiatus, she is focusing on the fact that she died and was reborn; and wants to make the most of this second chance at life. Jesse praises Jade for her heroic actions during the Saturn-Thanagar war; saying she basically saved the whole universe. Jade graciously praises the rest of the team for their contributions as well during that conflict.

In turn, each member gives their reason for leaving. Congorilla wants time to attend to a personal matter; what he calls a "debt of honor". He needs to find a worthy replacement for his deceased friend Freedom Beast in Africa. Starman needs to rest after all their recent intense activity, and does not want to expend the energy to assimilate with a brand new team. In addition, the injury to his arm is not healing as it should, and he thinks that the residual effects of magic may be the cause. He is going to see Dr. Fate to get it looked at.

With the return of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson is forsaking the Batman costume and reverting to his role as Nightwing. He needs to focus on being Nightwing and on supporting Batman Incorporated, rather than helping to put the next JLA team together.

Dick makes it official, and adjourns the final meeting of this version of the Justice League. The members use the teleporter to head out, except for Supergirl and Starman, who leave under their own power. Dick and Donna are the last to leave, and then we see an empty JLA satellite. There is a great view of planet Earth from Watchtower, but nobody is left to appreciate it.

3Story - 3: And so ends Robinson's run on Justice League of America. It has been a good solid run.

Along the way, we learned some more about Robinson's approach to storytelling. We learned, for example, that he seems to prefer long story arcs to short ones. Robinson began assembling this current team in issue #44, after some shuffling of characters and a false start in the issues immediately prior. Since issue #44, he has told essentially three main stories: the Dark Things saga, the Omega saga, and the Eclipso saga. Throw in a couple of transition issues, including this issue, and a brief encounter with Doomsday; and that is how Robinson filled the last 17 issues of Justice League. Essentially, there were three main stories in a year and a half. Long stories allow the author to take his time and provide additional story details and character interactions that would be lost otherwise. Robinson made the most of that time to tell stories that were intriguing and riveting, for the most part. I enjoyed them.

Robinson managed to provide villains that were very powerful, and definitely a worthy challenge for this version of the Justice League.

In this issue, we have a few action scenes as the members battle against the robots. But this is really secondary. The main point in this issue occurs in the Watchtower, where the members explain their various reasons for leaving the Justice League, and say their goodbyes. I was happy to see Robinson take an issue to tie up loose ends. It was particularly appropriate since this is the last issue before everything changes.

I was also happy that he devoted part of this issue to an explanation of why Jesse Quick's powers have been failing her. The explanation was logical. Jesse Quick's pregnancy was a nice touch.

And so we say goodbye to a Justice League having a roster that was rather eclectic and unique: Starman, a blue-skinned gay hero with a power gem embedded in his chest; Congorilla, a giant golden gorilla with the mind of a human; and Saint Walker, a member of the Blue Lantern corps, and an alien devoted to encouraging others. All in all, this was a rather unusual and charming bunch.

But as much as I enjoyed the adventures of this unusual Justice League, I am very excited to return to a Justice League that resembles the classic team. If you take the new team, remove Cyborg, and add Martian Manhunter, you have the original Justice League that was featured in those great Gardner Fox stories that I loved so much as a young boy back in the 1960s.

I will be back in two weeks with a review of Justice League #1. I am excited to read these new stories as DC makes comic book history.

Bring on the DC relaunch!

4Art - 4: The Sampere-Faucher artwork this time is quite strong! Some images that I particularly liked are the battle in Tokyo between Congorilla and his robot counterpart on page 1; the image of Supergirl crushing the neck of Kelex at the Fortress, and a nice external shot of the Justice League satellite on page 5.

2Cover Art - 2: This is a nondescript and rather crowded cover. I am not a fan of crowded covers.

3Cover Art (Variant Edition) - 3: David Mack gives us a nice image of Batman looking rather pensive. The shot is mostly black and white, with a subdued splash of color above Batman's head. As the leader of this Justice League, Batman deserves his place on this final Variant cover of Robinson's run.

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