Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #54

JLA #54

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 6, 2001

Cover date: July 2001

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Paul Neary

"United We Fall"

Reviewed by: Jason Czernich (

Synopsis: The civilian identities of the JLA scrap with the Cathexis on the rubble strewn battle site in San Francisco to the point that they are merged back with the JLA in such a fashion that they end up looking like two-headed monsters. In the ensuing pages Aquaman gets separated into a man and a fish while Wonder Woman's soul is separated from her clay form.

2Story - 2: This issue was a big fight issue with poor closure for what was a mediocre, at best, story arc. Page twenty-two shouldn't have been devoted to setting up the next arc but instead should have been more of an attempt to show Bruce Wayne, Kyle Rayner, Eel O'Brian, and John Jones re-adjusting to their lives. The whole identity split story line was rushed. One too many twists coming out of left field and no coverage of resulting action made this a faulty ending to a sloppy paced story.

5Art - 5: As far as I'm concerned Hitch and Neary are the only reasons this monthly has survived for the past six months. I've raved about them before and I'll do so again. Look at the bottom panel on page twenty-one. Buttons flying off Superman's shirt. Nice attention to detail! Add Neary's smooth inks over it all and you've got some fine art. Nothing more can be said except; flip through the issue and see for yourself. Ar far as visual art goes a good issue.

4Cover Art - 4: Nice pencils but the coloring job by Laura DePuy made it come across as bland to me. Batman, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter are done mostly in cooler colors (greens and blues), while the rest of the cover seemed to be dominated by warmer colors (reds, flesh tone, yellow, even brown). The range of color was good to display the mood and intensity inside, however the purpose of a cover is to grab the consumers attention. The color pallet doesn't catch my eye. It just blends in with the other books on the rack. Let's put it this way, cover pencils were dynamic while the coloring job was leaning more toward mundane. Cover coloring should attract the eyes. After that's accomplished then the real coloring can go to town on the inside. Remember when colors on covers were bolder than the ones in their interiors? Pick up a back issue from a mainstream comic book of twenty years ago and see what I mean...

2Overall - 2: Good script and plot are, needless to say, important when telling a tale. Whether it be film, stage plays, or comics (all visual mediums) a good story's backbone is its plot. Issue #54 of JLA strikes me as the tailend of a softback. This issue has great art, a nice cover, but an underdeveloped conclusion to a lackluster story. I can't rightly give it a rating higher than 2.

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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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