Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Justice Leagues: JL? #1

Justice Leagues: JL? #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 10, 2001

Cover date: February 2001

Writer: Tom Peyer
Penciller: Ethan Van Sciver
Inker: Matt Martin & Ray Kryssing

"Twilight's Last Gleaming"

Reviewed by: Jason Czernich (

As the story opens, Advance Man, an alien who is arranging for an unseen boss to take over Earth, disrupts communications at an airport making planes veer toward each other. The JLA shows up and cleans up the problem while the Advance Man hacks into their teleportation system manipulating it to mess with the JLA's minds much to the annoyance of Aquaman.

While the JLA investigates the teleporter problem, Advance Man pays a visit to Hector Hammond's jail cell so he can use the former Green Lantern foe's telepathy powers to plant a suggestion in the minds of the world population... Forget that the JLA ever existed. With the help of Advance Man's "Conference Call" signal booster, Hammond sends out the mental command, however when he realizes Advance Man's true intentions he tries to reverse the command. Advance Man turns on Hammond when he starts trying to undo the command, savagely attacking him. The end result is that nobody remembers the Justice League of America. The Justice Leaguers themselves are haunted by the phrase "Justice League of A", not knowing what the 'A' is supposed to stand for.

3Story - 3: Tom Peyer is the wonderful writer of the enormously underrated and soon to be canceled, Hourman. Over in that title he is grand at injecting the cast of characters with their own particular quirks and personalities. He succeeds somewhat in this book with the Advance Man and his business themed disposition and verbalization. Advance Man intrigues me and makes me want to see more of him, just like I wanted to see more of Peyer's Hourman and Snapper Carr as that series started. The interaction between Jimmy Olsen and Perry White on page 17 was a nice show of their tough boss/meek employee association. The way Peyer handles the JLA comes across better after the Hammond/Advance Man sequence than it does when they're all together earlier in the issue. Individually, Peyer can get a better handle on the characterizations of the JLA members. Aquaman speechlessly forming the letters JLA with fish, Martian Manhunter trying to write out JLA in the desert sands are more suitable attempts by Peyer to bring out the differences and resemblances in the Leaguers. When they are assembled at the outset of the story I find nothing especially striking or engaging about how the heroes of the JLA are written.

The Hector Hammond sequence was creepy and didn't make the usual joke out of the character. If he prospers beyond Advance Man's ferocious assault I would like to see him scripted again by Peyer someday.

This issue makes me want to buy more of the Justice Leagues series but more for the character of Advance Man and not the overall concept. I have a feeling the one shots close at hand after this issue will turn out like most other fifth week event books, filler material that is superfluous to the story as a whole.

4Art - 4: Van Sciver has a good command of anatomy. He doesn't amplify the builds of any of the Leaguers needlessly and can even make Hector Hammond's out of proportion appearance seem almost plausible. The proportions remain consistent and never deviate. Other nice points were the close-up and point-of-view shots. The last panel on page 21 had an almost 3-D quality when Wonder Woman is reaching out. Lastly, the way Van Sciver's pencils were inked by Martin and Kryssing was clear and brisk almost making the finished product rival George Perez for detail. The fish configurations on page 19 along with the very intricately drawn bottom panel close-up of Aquaman are fine examples of how the visuals in this story come together systematically, especially when echoed on the page directly after it.

5Cover Art - 5: It's great to see George Perez drawing something for a JLA project again. This legend certainly knows how to compose a figure as well as adding the right amount of linework, texture, and detail. The cover represents the main villain, Advance Man, and the heroes, JLA. The shattered image of the heroes walking off in different directions represents how the JLA splits apart inside. You don't even need to read the cover blurb to know that the JLA is going their separate ways in this issue and that Advance Man is the one who has something to do with it. Perez tells you it with one cover image. Now where's Plastic Man?

Other relevant reviews:

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

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.