Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #33

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 21, 1999

Cover Date: September 1999

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Mark Pajarillo
Inker: Walden Wong

"Altered Egos"

Reviewed by: Josh Gehling (

At the moon-base, Batman is briefing the JLA on their latest mission. The Flash did not arrive for the meeting and Batman explains that they may have to go get him for the mission at hand. Batman tells them that he thinks he's found the person who is responsible for Gotham's current situation (see the Batman "No Man's Land" story-line for details). He tells them that the man has fled Gotham and that he wants the JLA to bring him in. His name... Bruce Wayne?! Orion tells Batman that their help is not needed for the capture of a simple Earth-man and he's not interested. Batman angrily tells him to get interested and that Wayne is a formidable foe. He finally dispatches Plastic Man, Orion, Barda, Green Lantern and Steel to follow Wayne and the rest of the league to find the Flash.

Soon afterwards, Superman and Wonder Woman arrive in (I think...) Keystone City to find a new Flash. Superman is shocked to find that he's not Wally West but doesn't have time to ask who he is because Dr. Alchemy (one of Flash's villains) has turned the water under the central-keystone bridge into hydrochloric acid.

Meanwhile, in Paris, the rest of the league (not including Batman and J'onn) are at the same hotel as Bruce Wayne and they're waiting for Barda. She finally arrives a few minutes later in a bright red dress. After she finds out that none of the league sent the dress to her and that Plastic Man is nowhere to be seen, she discovers that the dress IS Plastic Man! She beats him up and quickly takes it off. Later, they find Wayne and when he's spotted, he dashes off into a dead-end alley where he disappears!

In Keystone City, Wonder Woman, Superman and Flash fix the bridge and the river and then Superman tells Flash about the real mission.

At the hotel, the other part of the league breaks into Wayne's room and when they try to capture him, they find that he's intangible! Suddenly, Green Lantern starts to realize what Bruce Wayne really is... a white Martian (a Martian with all the powers of J'onn but evil (during the last encounter with the white Martians, J'onn mind-wiped them to make them think they were ordinary)). Superman tells them to not let him send out a full telepathic signal for the other Martians to awaken or they'll have a full-scale alien invasion! Like J'onn, the White Martians are vulnerable to fire. (I guess Orion is either invulnerable to fire or his armor is) Orion sets himself on fire and attacks the White Martian. Barda starts to finish the job, but the thing turns invisible. Plastic Man covers it up but it grabs his neck. He then lights a piece of paper on fire to scare the Martian and gets away. Green Lantern finally imprisons the Martian.

Later, when Wonder Woman arrives, she tells the league that they were not told that Wayne was a White Martian for fear that he would telepathically get the secret out of their mind (what you don't know can't hurt you :)). A few minutes later, after more talk, Flash realizes that he's going to need their trust if he's to be their team-mate and he reveals his secret identity to Superman (only Superman). He looks like he recognizes the man beneath the mask (my guess is that he's Barry Allen). Superman tells the league that they can trust the new Flash. He also tells them that he will see them later at the moon-base.

On the way to the Moon, Batman tells Superman that one of the confused Martians was placed at Waynetech for close observation and the previous week, while he was working for the real Bruce Wayne (Batman), his plane crashed and no body was found. This man, confused and dazed, remembered Bruce Wayne and thought that HE was Wayne. He also tells Superman that when J'onn gets back, he will be assigned to refortify all the White Martians' amnesia...

4Story - 4: : A very fun comic to read! This has to be the best JLA issue within the last year. Plastic Man as Barda's dress was great! I hope Waid's stories are this good once he becomes the regular writer!

3Art - 3: I have to admit, Pajarillo's art is starting to grow on me... it is FAR from great or even good, but I'm actually starting to think of it as <!gasp!> average! I really liked the drawings of the league in their tuxedos in the hotel (especially Orion, he looked hilarious)! I hope Pajarillo doesn't become a regular artist... as long as he stays a guest-artist, I'll have no problem with that.

4Cover - 4: Not bad! My only complaint is on the Flash... he's not Wally West anymore, he was even different in the comic! Do they tell Porter anything?!

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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