Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #46

JLA #46

Cover date: October 2000

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Steve Scott
Inker: Mark Probst

"Harsh Words"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Martian Manhunter, having finally quashed enough of the nanites causing his skin to light on fire to function, immerses Aquaman in water. Arthur is deathly afraid of the substance, thanks to a toxin introduced into his bloodstream created by Batman. The maladies that currently plague the Justice League en masse are, as well, Batman's design, though released by Ra's Al Ghul.

Presently, the league badgers Batman for having created this monstrosity.

Batman tells them that he will explain later, and that the more important and pressing matter is that he and Superman attack Ra's on their own. "Why?" Superman asks. "Because I know where he is and you can fly." Batman replies. "That's not what I meant." Says Superman.

Off they go.

Plastic Man, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman go to stop a virus from being unleashed, only to find they are too late: Flash is stuck in place, and the canister is open.

Meanwhile, Batman explains to Superman that after Agamemno took over the Justice League, Batman felt the need to be able to shut them down, permanently, for the good of the world. Superman belittles this, calling it an excuse. They see Ra's Al Ghul's hideout and swoop in.

The man who shot Talia is brought before Ra's, who throws him into a lion pit.

Batman and Superman burst in. Ra's unleashes his lions and makes to leave, quick and silent-like.

Green Lantern contains the contaminated area in a bubble. Wonder Woman and Plastic Man dash off to find the other canister.

Two goons with a canister begin opening fire into a crowd. Wonder Woman stops the bullets, Plastic Man wraps himself around them. The situation seems under control, when the goon with the canister knocks civilians and himself off of a roof. Wonder Woman stops their fall, but the goon primes the canister to open.

Batman reveals the room where his parents lie above a Lazarus Pit. Superman is astonished. Ra's Al Ghul calls them "wasted potential".

Superman flies up to retrieve the caskets, but Ra's has planted Red Kryptonite in the rack. Superman is blasted while Batman battles towards Ra's. Ra's drops the caskets towards the pit, to Batman's horror, and Superman falls with them. A harpoon pulls Superman to safety, and Martian Manhunter swoops in to save the body of the Waynes.

Ra's, meanwhile, has escaped.

Wonder Woman coaxes the goon that Ra's views him only as a tool, and that he won't be the great martyr he thinks he will be. He agrees, and closes the container without releasing the contaminant.

Back at the JLA headquarters, Batman's membership is being reviewed. A vote is raised to see whether he will stay in or not.

Aquaman: No.

Flash: Yes.

Martian Manhunter: Yes.

Green Lantern: Yes.

Wonder Woman: No.

Plastic Man: No.

Superman: No.

Batman is expelled from the Justice League.

4Story - 4: Four for the tension of Batman's expulsion. Three for general plot. Significance in the overall universe makes a plot more valued to me. But speaking generally, the goon with the germs was cheesy, Ra's running like he always does was typical, and the Justice League's actions were actually pretty atypical. The votes are almost forced. I think Aquaman, gritty as he is, would understand Batman's paranoia, and Wonder Woman, though very principled, would definitely keep Bats in if only for his tactical advantage. Plastic Man voted his conscience, I'm guessing. That seems in character. And Superman, well, he's always been at odds with Batman. Still, I think this is a forced event, which bothers me. I'm sure Batman is far too valuable to sacrifice for a mere grudge. He did apologize, and his intent was never malicious.

5Art - 5: I've always liked the JLA art, and this issue is one of the better I've seen thusfar. Good visuals, the characters look right on.

1Cover Art - 1: Just a bunch of angry looking heads. It's exactly the looks I would expect if I ripped a large fart in front of the justice league. They'd all look at me like they are on this cover. No relevance to the issue, save the fact that the JLA are on it and in it. It made me laugh, though.

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

January 2000

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