Tag Archives: JLA

Justice Volume 3 (comic)

The final four issues of Justice are collected in the third volume. The first two volumes are setting up the story and this one resolves everything in an epic way. Alex Ross and Jim Kreuger’s story reaches its exciting conclusion as the Justice League of America squares off against the formidable Legion of Doom with the fate of the world at stake. There are huge fights and battles between good and evil. And futuristic-looking superhero armor to jazz things up.

The best way to solve problems is resorting to violence, and so the JLA decide to punch their way to victory. They use their superpowers and smarts to punch the bad guys and save the day. There are dozens of DC characters, both famous and obscure ones, facing off and fighting and punching their way through the plot. Alex Ross and Doug Braithwaite’s stunning artwork makes the punches look incredible.

There are a lot of characters and a lot of things going on. It’s not as convoluted as Crisis on Infinite Earths, but you’ll still be lost if you’re a newcomer to comics. There are just too many names and powers and histories to keep track of. You can still admire the artwork though. It’s stylistically realistic and fantastic to look at. It’s not essential reading but it’s still nice to own.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Justice Volume 2 (comic)

The Justice League is under attack by a group of supervillains and it looks like the JLA is in trouble. Volume 2 contains issues 5-8 of DC’s Justice. Jim Krueger and Alex Ross wrote it, and Alex Ross also paints over Doug Braithwaite’s sketches. This is the second act of the story, and the second act is usually the darkest.

The comic starts with our heroes being attacked simultaneously. Most of the JLA is separated from each other and the Legion of Doom seems to be kicking ass. You find out that Lex Luthor, Brainiac and Gorilla Grodd are the masterminds behind everything. They have a diabolical plan and an uneasy alliance. The villains are able to keep a step ahead of the JLA by using mind-controlling worms and kidnapped loved ones to keep the JLA in check. Will the JLA get their shit together and defeat the bad guys? I wonder what Volume 3 has in store…

JLA comics are awesome because DC has so many iconic heroes and villains. A lot of fan favorites get some time to shine in this comic. Even lesser characters are more interesting in an ensemble. Captain Marvel seems like less of a tool when he’s saving Superman. The story is epic: you have superpowers and magic and gods and aliens and humans with utility belts. But the story takes a backseat to the amazing artwork. Larger than life, but still realistic.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Justice Volume 1 (comic)

Justice is a 12-issue comic about the Justice League of America doing battle with a group of super villains. The first volume contains the first four issues. Alex Ross and Jim Krueger wrote the story with art by Doug Braithwaite and painted by Alex Ross. The twist is that the villains seem to be helping humanity and trying to save the world. They claim that the JLA are the real villains for never doing anything to change the world; they’ll save you from danger but wont save you from your meaningless life.

The story starts with a handful of villains experiencing the same dream over and over again: nuclear bombs start falling on cities around the world and Superman and his super friends are powerless to stop it. The villains team up and start healing the sick and crippled and bringing food and water to starving people. They are able to win over the public’s trust.

Even though the villains seem to be doing good things, they still have a hidden agenda that involves kidnapping Aquaman and hacking into JLA computer files to find out secret identities and weaknesses. The villains use their intelligence to stage a coordinated attack on the JLA. Will the JLA emerge triumphant? Will they find out the sinister motives behind the villains? Will they save the world?

Justice has a cool story, but the art makes it even better. Alex Ross uses paint to bring Braithwaite’s illustrations to life. Superman looks like a real guy. Even the most fantastic villains and set pieces look realistic. It humanizes the characters and makes them more relatable. It’s not the best comic ever, but it’s pretty much all you want from a comic: a cool story and cool art with cool characters. Alex Ross did the story justice. That’s a pun.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Identity Crisis

Brad Meltzer’s Identity Crisis is a “who-done-it?” murder mystery involving superheroes. Someone is targeting family members of the Justice League. What lengths would you through to protect your family? Especially if you have superpowers and actually do something?

Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man, is mysteriously killed. But how? And by who? How did someone discover who she was and kill her without leaving a trace? A few Justice League members suspect Doctor Light. There was a little incident a few years earlier where he snuck in JLA headquarters and raped Sue. The Atom, the Elongated Man, Hawkeye, Green Lantern, Black Canary, Flash and Zatanna walk in on it, and decide to erase his memory and alter his personality. Is it ethical to do mind-wipes and personality alterations? Eventually more family members of JLA heroes are attacked and more mind-wipes are revealed. Shit goes down.

There is a very clear story being told. I know a lot of DC loyalists are mad that some characters are changed drastically or killed off, but if you are somewhat new to comics you can follow the story. It’s the most welcoming, least confusing of the Crisis storylines (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis). It’s a good detective story, and the final reveal was pretty shocking. There’s more of a focus on lesser known heroes like the Elongated Man, the Atom, Tim Drake a.k.a. Robin, and their civilian family members that they care about.

I like the Elongated Man’s quick backstory about how he and Sue got together. She was around heroes all the time, big ones like Superman, Batman, and the Flash. But she chose him. “That’s why ice cream stores don’t just sell chocolate and vanilla. Every once in a while someone walks in and orders butter pecan”. Yeah, that’s corny, but it makes the heroes relatable.

 

Great artwork by Rags Morales and Michael Bair. An intriguing and comprehensive plot by Brad Meltzer. Identity Crisis is a good read.

Critically Rated at 13/17

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