Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

JLA vs Predator

JLA versus Predator

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 20, 2000

Cover date: February 2001

Writer: John Ostrander
Penciller: Graham Nolan
Inker: Randy Elliott

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

A spaceship carrying several of "The Dominators", a war loving species who look like vampires with red dots on their foreheads, careens wildly towards earth, on fire.

In the Watchtower, Martian Manhunter hails them, only to find that they are not responding. Some history: The Dominators have tried to take over the Earth before, but were foiled by the JLA.

Their ship explodes, but Manhunter manages to teleport them inside of the Watchtower. Bitter still at their defeat, the Dominators attack Manhunter, who makes short work of them until the tri-dotted Predator target points Manhunter towards a handy dodge via a frightened mental image from one of the Dominators.

J'onn calls Oracle, who then calls the JLA, who all pledge to arrive on the Watchtower as soon as possible. Superman and Green Lantern arrive first, to the horrific image of Manhunter's head on a stick.

Superman then makes the realization: Predator. Batman also has some experience with the fierce creature.

Manhunter's limbs and torso stagger into the room, where Manhunter comforts the two of them, noting that losing his head would be a big deal if his brains were in it. They hand him his head back and he reattaches it. Reminds me of finals week.

The JLA, now finally all together, plot on how to destroy the monsters. It seems that the Dominators, who have now fled the Watchtower for earth, are being pursued by the Predator.

Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Plastic Man leave for Venice to find the Dominator who fled there.

They search for him, but several Predators materialize and attack viscously. The JLA are beaten severely, with each Predator seemingly tailored to each member of the JLA. They catch the Dominator and flee, but not before they have a serious hurt put on them.

They call J'onn for help, but J'onn ignores them.

Flash, Green Lantern, and Atom trail their own Dominator in the Amazon. Flash finds him almost instantly, but they too are attacked by custom tailored Predators.

Running with their Dominator, they call J'onn desperately. J'onn tells them that he's sorry but he's really busy.

In England, Batman and Superman pursue their own Dominator. They find him, but custom tailored Predators attack them, beat them about, and they call J'onn for help. J'onn transports them to the Watchtower this time, where everyone is reunited.

They ask J'onn why he didn't help, and he points to a dead Predator... apparently he was busy fighting it.

Batman asks the Dominators why they came to Earth. The Dominators say that they cloned and tailored the Predators to destroy the JLA, but the Predators killed most of the Dominators on the project, save the three present, so the Dominators made their escape to Earth, in the hopes of shaking them off of their tail and destroying the League at the same time.

The Predators show up, and they are taken out according to teamwork: Wonder Woman takes Plastic Man's Predator, Green Lantern Atom's, Flash Lantern's, Batman Flash's, Atom Aquaman's. It is of note that Superman takes his out on his own.

Defeated, one of the Predators blows a hole in the wall of the Watchtower, sucking the other Predators out into space.

The JLA releases the Dominators, in the hope that they've learned their lesson and will not attempt to kill any more because of the positive example the JLA has set.

3Story - 3: Really formulaic, some really cheesy dialogue, but you've gotta like Predator action. Problems, however, arise with character.

  1. MANY members of the JLA use cheesy dialogue. Aquaman, for instance, "I am King of the Seven Seas, and I have HAD IT with your kind!" while punching a Predator.
  2. They kill the Predators in several cases. The JLA I know would find a way to hold them in captivity, unless they blew themselves up.
  3. They free these Dominators, viscous, killing villains, instead of incarcerating them to teach them a lesson. Not very JLA. I mean, seriously. Darkside tries to kill the JLA with tailored robots. JLA defeats the robots and holds him in captivity. Let him go, he's learned his lesson. Right? Wrong.
  4. The repeating summary aspect. Here's what I mean, and this stuff takes up half the story:
    (Heroes A, B, and C) search for their Dominator. Predators custom tailored to defeat them arrive, and beat them about. But they escape with their Dominator, wondering aloud to J'onn why he can't teleport them out. This goes from page 12 to page 34.
But all this complaining aside, these are only technical issues, and the book itself offers a good deal of rock 'em, sock 'em, BIFF BAM POW type fun.

4Art - 4: Nothing that really stands out, but nothing really to whale on. Overall, this is well drawn. The characters are consistent, without relying on one particular style over another, in terms of brooding vs. idealistic. All are portrayed accurately and well. I liked it.

2Cover Art - 2: Shockingly cool Predators, but the cover is not reminiscent of the plot. I first saw it and I said, "Hey, cool. Somehow they're gonna turn the JLA into Predators". And I imagine that makes some people buy the book. But it ticks me off when it never happens. And is it just me, or does the Batman Predator have E.T. eyes turned red?

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2001

February 2001 March 2001 April 2001 May 2001 June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 Annuals

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