Book Reviews - "Justice League of America" Titles
JLA: Superman - The Never-Ending BattleWriter: Roger Stern
Cover: Alex Ross
Series cover design: Georg Brewer
Published by: Pocket Star Books (May 2005)
Reviewed by: Aaron Thall
In a dirty bar in Chicago, a fateful meeting takes place between two strange men. A bargain is struck.
A deadly earthquake draws the Justice League to Ankorage, where, as they rescue the civilians, an unnatural storm arises, threatening to destroy the city. Together, the League puts a stop to it, but is left to wonder where the storm came from.
Splitting up, Superman and the Flash race to the spot where the League and Superman first crossed paths, years ago. As Superman remembers, Flash reminds him of how much his appearing in public changed things. Without Superman, would any of the heroes have come out of hiding to do good?
Batman, meanwhile, runs across an operation by the deadly Naja-Naja. He is soon beset by another deadly storm at sea, and only the timely arrival of Aquaman saves his life.
Soon, terrible storms begin assaulting the hometowns of various Justice Leaguers, save Gotham. Batman realizes that Naja-Naja thinks him dead, which will allow him to undermine the villain more easily.
The Leaguers fight to protect their hometowns, with Green Lantern saving Atom's hometown of Ivytown. Superman, especially, is worked to the limit, rushing across the globe struggling to avert disasters on the ground and at sea. He's being worn down, little by little.
Soon, the League gathers and compare notes, only to realize that one of the worst things that could happen has occurred... Kobra and the Weather Wizard have joined forces, and that, unless the JLA works swiftly, within hours, the only people left alive on Earth will be Kobra's followers...
But can a weary Superman lead the League in a fight against Mother Nature gone insane?
Story - 4: This story, somehow, makes you feel POSITIVE as you read it, like some of Superman's inherent goodness is permeating your body. Despite the disasters within, you never doubt that the heroes will triumph.
Also, Stern doesn't forget to treat the League like they're people. Batman actually GETS SIDELINED. He even admits that he's LOST to Kobra and failed to stop him in the past. J'onn's earlier musings about how he had once feared he could never be a public figure are book-ended with a beautiful moment of recognition for his heroism. Kyle's vacation went horribly wrong. It's the little things that make this novel work. Poor Aquaman, however, is reduced to two sea rescues and an "Yeah, I remember that".
Superman's vast cast do superbly as well. Lois is, of course, always entertaining when written well. At the Daily Planet, the only thing missing was Perry telling Jimmy to not call him Chief. Cat Grant had just the right amount of boredom and enthusiasm. Bibbo's public challenge to Kobra is an absolute hoot. In fact, once that part came in the novel, I half expected Kobra to actually take him up on it, which would have been vastly amusing.
The only thing really holding this novel from a five is the feeling as the resolution came that it simply happened too fast. It takes them most of the book to even identify the threat, but once they do, it ends in about 50 pages. It's just rushed and disappointing.
Oh, and Elroy's still the cutest comic book cat this side of Streaky.
Cover Art - 3: A close up of Superman's chest as he rips open his shirt. It's iconic, but it's also been done a billion times.
Book ReviewsComic Book Novelizations:
- The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero
- The Man From Krypton
- The Original Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes - Volume 3: Superman
- Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway
- Beyond Lois Lane
- The DC Comics Action Figure Archive
- Superman vs. Hollywood
- Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman
- Flights of Fantasy: The Unauthorized but True Story of Radio & TV's Adventures of Superman by Michael J. Hayde
- Our Hero: Superman on Earth by Tom De Haven
- Superman On Earth: Reflections of a Fan by Gary D. Robinson
- DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book by Matthew Reinhart
- The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman by Vic Armstrong
- The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times
- Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye
- Superman is an Arab by Joumana Haddad
- Superman is Jewish? by Harry Brod
- 100 Things Superman Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Joseph McCabe
- Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon by Ian Gordon
- DC: Women of Action by Shea Fontana
- Is Superman Circumcised?: The Complete Jewish History of the World's Greatest Hero by Roy Schwartz
- Adapting Superman: Essays on the Transmedia Man of Steel by John Darowski (Editor)
- Superman: Last Son of Krypton
- Superman: Miracle Monday
- The Further Adventures of Superman
- It's Superman! by Tom De Haven
- DC Universe: Last Sons
- DC Universe: Trail of Time
- Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson
- Enemies & Allies by Kevin J. Anderson
- DC Super-Pets! by Picture Window Books
- Dear Justice League by Michael Northrop
- Dear Super-Villains by Michael Northrop
- Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
- Double Down (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
- Triple Threat (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
- Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt De La Pena
- Super Sons: Escape to Landis by author Ridley Pearson and illustrator Ileana Gonzales
- House of El - Book One: Shadow Threat by author Claudia Gray and illustrator Eric Zawadzki
- House of El - Book Two: The Enemy Delusion by author Claudia Gray and illustrator Eric Zawadzki
- Smallville: Strange Visitors
- Smallville: Dragon
- Smallville: Hauntings
- Smallville: Whodunnit
- Smallville: Shadows
- Smallville: Silence
- Smallville: Curse
- Smallville: City
- Smallville: Arrival
- Smallville: See No Evil
- Smallville: Flight
- Smallville: Animal Rage
- Smallville: Speed
- Smallville: Buried Secrets
- Smallville: Greed
- Smallville: Temptation
- Smallville: Sparks
- JLA: Batman - The Stone King
- JLA: Wonder Woman - Mythos
- JLA: The Flash - Stop Motion
- JLA: JLA - Exterminators
- JLA: Green Lantern - Hero's Quest
- JLA: Superman - The Never-Ending Battle
- Superman Returns: Strange Visitor
- Superman Returns: Novelization
- Superman Returns: Coming Home
- Superman Returns: Earthquake in Metropolis!
- Superman Returns: I am Superman!
- Superman Returns: Be A Hero!
- Superman Returns: Thank You, Superman!
- Superman Returns: The Movie Storybook
- Superman Returns: The Visual Guide
- Superman Returns: The Official Movie Guide