Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #31

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 26, 1999

Cover Date: July 1999

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell

"Gods and Monsters"

Reviewed by: Josh Gehling (

(This is the fourth and final part of the "Crisis Times Five" storyline)

The Drama pauses, the players catch their breath and the fatal hour arrives. Sentinel and Zauriel have freed the Spectre and the result: a whole world... dead.

In the moon-base, Aquaman and Batman attack Triumph and his minions. Batman defeats the Ray (one of Triumph's sidekicks who is under Triumph's mind-control) and runs to help Aquaman defeat Triumph. Gypsy (Triumph's other side-kick) knocks down Aquaman while Triumph sends Batman into a wall. Suddenly, a familiar surge of red and blue streaks through the walls of the moon-base as Triumph starts to realize that Superman has finally awoken (Captain Marvel knocked him out in part 2 so Superman wouldn't try to enter the fifth dimension because he was needed on Earth)!

Meanwhile, in the fifth dimension, GL (Green Lantern) and CM (Captain Marvel) plead for help in front of a jury, in a court, in the fifth dimension. Kyle suggests that the way to stop the two rampaging colors (pink and blue genies) is to get them to mix together, so there would be no war if there was only one being. A woman of the jury slowly starts to realize that they must save the third dimension or Mr. Mxyzsptlk will never leave the house again (that's an odd reason to save the Earth...).

In Keystone City, JJ throws his pen which controls the genie down and confesses that he doesn't want anyone to die for him. When Wildcat runs to chase JJ, Qwsp kills Wildcat in cold blood and tells the heroes that his fun is just beginning. JJ runs back and punches Qwsp and takes the purple pen from him, he presses it once and the heroes from the fifth dimension arrive along with GL and CM, and the two genies come together to make the purple genie. The law-enforcers punish Qwsp for his crimes of distortion (Only mischief is allowed in the third dimension) by forcing him to say his name backwards and then sentencing him to 1 million infinities in an 8-dimensional maze (whatever that is...).

Back in the Moonbase, Superman and Triumph continue to battle. Superman tells Triumph that if he continues to siphon solar energy cells from his body he will eventually kill him (Superman). From his workshop, Steel distracts Triumph long enough for Superman to shrug him off. Superman quickly flies over and knocks Triumph against the wall. Steel then gives one final warning to Triumph to stop or he will destroy him. Triumph refuses and he is sucked into the wall. When he gets out he's burning, so he tries to cool himself off with the help of his genie but he realizes that his genie is gone. Suddenly, Triumph begins to realize the mistakes he's made in the past, but before anything can be done, the Spectre appears. He tells Triumph that it is the hour of his Damnation and freezes him, but before he can murder Triumph, Zauriel commands him to stop, telling him that Spectre was freed to stop the higher beings that controlled the pawn, not the pawn himself. After a brief argument, the Spectre departs.

In Keystone City, it turns out that Wildcat really didn't die (a man's gotta keep his secrets, and they won... right?) and that JJ, who now wields the power of the combined genies, is going to become the next big hero (with an ambitious comic that is sure to be cancelled)... after training.

In the watchtower (moon-base) Plastic Man and Zauriel discuss Triumph, Zauriel tells him that he was a superhero who fell, a man once known as William.

Watching from the Quintessence are the ancients guardians of eternity who watch the whole story like it's some type of play, one of them declares "Let the curtain fall," as the two heroes walk from the room where Triumph rests in a refrigerated case. A fallen hero, frozen in time, who is to be maintained... at 60 degrees below zero.

4Story - 4: : This was a superb finale to this great tale! The ending was great and I can already see a future issue where the glass is broken and Triumph unfreezes. The part about Mr. Mxyzsptlk was hilarious! I'm not quite sure what was keeping this issue from achieving a "5" maybe it was the middle part of this issue (it sort of dragged). Also, no one died in this issue, not that I wanted anyone to, it just detracted from the emotional value when Wildcat got up and walked away (pretty much unexplained) from his apparent death. And God help us all... JJ, a hero?! Why him *@(%_$(*&$#Q&^%^&#Q?!

3Art - 3: The last page looks good (that's the only compliment available for this issue), the rest is just above average.

2Cover - 2: These last two covers haven't been very strong. This just isn't eye-catching... and where's J'onn in this issue?

3Overall "Crisis Times Five" - 3: Although the last two issues are really great entertainment, the first two weren't... period. The main problems with the first two are that they're soooo confusing, but this has always been Morrison's story-writing technique: awful to average first act followed by an excellent to average second act.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.

June 1999

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