Mild Mannered Reviews - Annuals

This year the Annuals throughout the DC Universe are themed: "Planet DC". With our favourite heroes meeting fellow heroes from all around the world.

JLA Annual #4

JLA Annual #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 14, 2000

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Penciller: Steve Scott
Inker: Hector Collazo

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Planet DC - "On Call"

Ankara Numune hospital, Ankara, Turkey. 18 hours ago.

A fire has broken out at the Kent-Merkezi apartment complex. Selma Tolon is on the thirty first hour of her shift at the local hospital. She ducks into a closet, pulls out a sword, and... the Janissary appears on the scene! She is dressed in baggy purple toga-like dress with a crescent moon and a star on her chest (the Turkish national flag). She brandishes a scimitar and has a book she uses to conjure up magic that she doesn't entirely understand.

Malatya, Turkey, sixteen hours ago.

General Anka Kazim sits on a pentagram and conjures a demon, Iblis, the Koran's Devil. A dark figure in the background is instructing him in how to do so. Iblis confronts the General. The General demands power, and Iblis laughs at him. Nonetheless, they strike a deal. Iblis needs to travel in a body. The General will become Sultan of a nation if Iblis can use his body to jump into Janissary's.

Izmit, Turkey, now.

Janissary is fighting a newly risen army of the ancient Ottoman Empire.

Cut to the JLA headquarters. The General is broadcasting a message stating that Turkey is being destroyed so that it can once again become a superpower. He is using gigantic fire demons with armies of the dead at their command.

Superman and The Flash are busy elsewhere. Batman asks Manhunter to stay behind and command, as he has his fire weakness, instead opting to bring Wonder Woman. J'onn agrees.

They arrive and confront the first fire monster. They try several things, but ultimately, only Green Lantern smothering all of the air from it in a sphere puts it out. One down, thousands to go. The JLA meets the Janissary, working hard nearby. Janissary has found out that the Attaturk dam is under attack. The JLA splits up. Wonder Woman, Janissary and Aquaman will try and find Kazim, figuring that cutting off the head will slow the body, while Batman and the Green Lantern will stop the destruction of the Attaturk dam.

Batman and Green Lantern find General Kazim's pentagram, and Batman reaches for information regarding Iblis.

Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Jannisary fight the undead. Aquaman loses his prosthetic hand.

Holding a soldier of Kazim over a wall, Batman "asks" for information. When he pulls the man back up, the man screams "BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN!" Batman smiles. He has it. Green Lantern, confused, merely follows the dark knight.

The fire monster is attacking the dam. Aquaman and Wonder Woman can't defeat the monster. So destroy the dam, Aquaman suggests. Puzzled, Wonder Woman complies, punching out a hole. The water destroys the fire monster just in time for Green Lantern to arrive and plug up the hole with a giant Little Dutch Boy.

Batman, says Batman. We must go to Batman. Huh? Batman is a city in Southeast Turkey, Janissary reveals.

They confront Iblis in the body of the General. Iblis uses his powerful mean-on to smack them all around like (tee hee, I have to say it) action figures. Wonder Woman uses her lasso, but Iblis throws it off easily. Iblis encircles them all in a veritable neo-hell and condemns them to suffer as he has for all eternity. Janissary uses her difficult to interpret magic to escape, and confront the demon. The demon offers her a choice: break her sacred coda never to kill in order to destroy Iblis by killing the General, or he will unleash a plague on her people.

Janisarry naively offers herself instead, what Iblis wanted all along. Iblis takes her. Green Lantern is about to start the whooping, but Batman stops him. Janissary has regained control. It is revealed that Iblis became the king Jinn, of all of the evil Jinns, for defying Allah. Thus Janissary figures out the way to defeat Iblis... she defies him by bowing to Allah. Iblis dissipates.

Aquaman asks her to join the JLA, but she refuses, saying that she's needed where she is. Working to build a better tomorrow for everyone (said with all of the heroes staring up at the camera).


Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Penciller: Steve Scott
Inker: Hector Collazo

Sultan Suleiman is under attack by an army, lead by The Demon. His most trusted associate consoles him, saying that his empire was just and long lived. The trusted associate then shape changes and reveals himself to be Merlin, of King Arthur fame. He claims that he is responsible for the war waging outside.

"Explain", says Suleiman to Merlin, with a sword brandished to Merlin's throat. Merlin does.

To help destroy Morgan Le Fay, Merlin had to conjure his demon half brother, Entraigan to destroy Le Fay. With his purpose accomplished, Merlin tried to tame the demon by binding him to a peasant named Jason Blood. He failed, and the Demon destroyed civilization after civilization, just for the fun of it, up to this very civilization in question, with Merlin attempting all the way to destroy him.

Suleiman forgives him. Despondent, they flee. Merlin suggests that Suleiman put his sword in the sand, along with his spell-book, and some noble soul in the future will receive it, much like the sword in the stone. Suleiman agrees.

Ismit, Turkey, 1999.

Selma Tolon is working on rescuing some people in an earthquake. She ducks into wreckage and saves a few people, only to fall into a crack in the earth. She finds a scimitar, pulls it from the sand, picks up the book, and... well, you know the rest.

The Demon appears to The General, and convinces him to conjure Iblis. He was the shady character in the background earlier.

4Story - 4: A very well thought out and very well researched piece. There was no sense of filler at all, despite the longer format and the segmented story. I tried to nit pick and find little technical things that bothered me, and I couldn't really find any. The story was even researched to the point that little discrepancies, like the word for drink as opposed to the word for draw, in the translation of the ancient script on page 36. The only reason a point is missing is because I really think that the piece would have worked better in a narrative sense if the second story came before the first. Still, it worked, and the Demon surprise was neat.

4Art - 4: I was impressed by the solid coloring and the nice transitions. Nothing stuck out as bad, nothing indescribably good, so I dock a point for not being outstanding, but I have to concede a very well drawn comic. The cheese shot with everyone looking up to the sky at the end of the first story on page 26 was odd, and reminiscent of the ending of Saturday morning cartoons. I can't figure out if I like it or if it drives me nuts. Hmmm.

2Cover Art - 2: Eh. It's a cover. Too many heroes. Too little boldness. No focal point, save Janissary, and she doesn't stand out too much. The odd Planet DC lettering throws the viewer off. Batman looks like he's passing a bowel movement. But then, when doesn't he. Janissary looks like she's holding Mentos rather than a sword. Flaming Mentos. And Batman's journal, rather than a magic tome. Maybe that's why Bats looks constipated. And hey, what's that big square S off in the middle of Russia?

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2000

February 2000 March 2000 April 2000 May 2000 June 2000 July 2000 August 2000 September 2000 October 2000 November 2000 December 2000 Annuals

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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2000.