Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Destiny #2

JLA: Destiny #2

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 3, 2002

Cover date: September 2002

Writer: John Arcudi
Penciller: Tom Mandrake
Inker: Tom Mandrake

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (


Ruins of a building stand smoldering after a terrorist attack.

Inside, firefighters struggle to save people dying inside. One particular person requires special attention, and another firefighter is called over to help.

Later, in the morgue, the mortician and his assistant argue over the shortest presidency, given the attempt on the president's life with the destroyed building. The assistant checks on a body, which is mysteriously still clothed. Even more mysteriously, the hand shown reaches up, the office explodes, and a man in a suit wearing gloves comes out.


Dr. Midnight visits the woman from the first issue who can predict the future. Her name is Destiny (revealed this issue). She asks him to stay longer than he has, then relents, handing off an envelope with a future event foretold. Midnight meets with Widow in the hall and they leave.

An aide berates Lex Luthor for having killed another plant. He asks for another, and she gives him a cactus.

Outside, Pete Ross and another employee talk about Luthor's shady past, before he became a pacifist. How he stole contracts, lied, cheated, and .commed his way to the top before a freak accident with rocket fuel scarred him and made him sell his company to Thomas Wayne in guilt for all of the people accidentally killed.

Luthor startles them, telling them laughingly to talk about him behind his back when he is there.

A young black man reads a paper in a newsstand. The owner asks him to pay. The man talks on a cell phone, tells them he'll be there, then drops the paper back on the stand, taking off into the sky. The owner berates him, but Captain Thunder is off to meet his friends in the sky.

In the sky, in a cargo plane, Midnight arrives while Triumph the Oppressor regales the Marine men with humor. Midnight drops into a flashback, remembering how Triumph came to be a part of the Justice League of Gotham ((Reviewer's note...this is the first time this (Justice League of GOTHAM) is mentioned. Please forgive the last review's lack of such notation. The JLG was misidentified as the JLA. The JLA came later. Blame the writer. Or the artist. See review.)(Unless I'm wrong, then blame me. But I checked twice.)(Heh. Too many parentheses.)). As a one-man army in Kosovo, he single handedly stopped the war there, just after the terrorist attack on the president, mentioned at the beginning of the issue.

In the base they are patrolling, Thane and Kondor burst out of a storehouse, killing several guards. Thane is laughing over his kill when a voice comes from above.

"Get some!!!"

Triumph lands on his head, plowing Thane onto the ground.

Flash runs in to intercept Black Adam, who merely turns and fires his laser, killing Flash.

Wonder Woman attempts to persuade Kondor into joining the JLA, bringing up the fact that he disagrees with Edjem. Triumph attacks Black Adam, only to be blown through the storehouse.

Wildfire (like Faora) blasts Wonder Woman, knocking her out of the fight. The Trolls appear on scene, and the bad guys gloat over their victory. A boot comes into frame. Midnight and Widow have arrived, in large, robotic suits.

Destiny sees an event she can't figure out in which billions die.

Midnight, knowing that Wildfire needs to recharge, exploits her weakness and puts her on the ropes.

Widow takes out Black Adam's pulse cannon. And the Trolls.

Kondor slams Widow into Midnight, stopping them cold.

Kondor aborts the mission, citing failure. They decide to leave Thane and the Trolls. They take Midnight for a hostage, but Widow slams an axe into Kondor, stopping him.

The others run.

Triumph tells Midnight he shouldn't have used the suit, and a confrontation is narrowly avoided. Midnight sends him out to get a paramedic. Thane is up again, but Triumph puts him back down.

In Kamburu, a reporter is shown a highly efficient power station, compliments of Edjem. The reporter, while being assured that Edjem is not a terrorist, is nonetheless denied an interview with Edjem.

Meanwhile, Edjem notices that his killer bees he uses to pollinate fields have killed another trespasser. His cronies arrive, and tell him about the suits that Midnight used to capture Kondor and "take out" the Trolls and Thane.

Edjem recognized Luthor's moon suit handiwork and promises retribution.

In the cave, Wayne talks about how they modified Luthor's design for battle. Midnight drops into another flashback, this time of Manhunter marrying the girl he loved, Sandra...Clock (reviewer thinks...hard to determine)

In Luthor's facility, Luthor takes people on a tour of his new shuttle, 1/5 the weight of typical shuttles. A man starts accusing him of lying about his neutrality while making war (the suits). Luthor stands his ground, and the man reveals himself to be the man in the flashback who killed the men in the mortuary.

The facility explodes, and one man is left, standing, in flames, looking suspiciously invulnerable and suspiciously like...Luthor.

4Story - 4: There is this annoying habit on the part of this writer to assume that the artist is going to be able to depict what he's written. Now, to a degree, the writer needs to make this clearer, but mostly, I blame the artist on this one. For instance, the aforementioned JLG. The artist in the last issue never made it rather clear that the JLG was the precursor to the JLA, nor that there was any physical difference between Midnight and Wayne, save a not-always-present prosthesis. And Clock. If it was, really, Clock. That has to be accounted for, but in the following rating, I'll venture to review.

Triumph is just flat-out annoying with his fake, put-on cursing. He reminds me of Adversary. Both characters stank.

Flash couldn't dodge?

Other than that, this was still an awfully fine issue. I take little things, like Destiny not having a name, and not knowing whether or not Clock is Clock, and let them annoy me, but generally, if I weren't summarizing the piece for others, I would just gloss over that stuff and have a grand old time. Nice fighting, paced with a great story. I wonder how things will end up, and how they came to be. The only thing that could make this series fail is a non-realization of those two things by the end.

Sure, the characters have a tendency towards the unbelievable in several cases, but Midnight and Wayne and Edjem make up for it. It will be a great confrontation over the next two issues, especially if Luthor is involved.

Worth six bucks? anything? But it is a fun read. I paid six bucks for JLA/Predator once, which I'm still adamant DC OWES me six bucks for, so if I had some fun, I'm not going to complain.

5 of 5, save for the lack of clarity.

3Art - 3: Things like the Captain Thunder spread on 12 never cease to bug the heck out of me. WoOoOoO! Look! A man can fly! Gag me with a penciller. But in response, the artist seeks to right things again with a nice, nearly "BURN." moment on 19. A "BURN" moment is in reference to an early post-CRISIS Superman issue where Mongul has really ticked Superman and Superman just tells him to burn, launching his heat vision. It's chilling, but still noble and heroic. Kind of like the "Get some." here, with the notable exception that this is not exactly a heroic figure we're talking about.

The art is so-so. Nothing amazing, nothing horrible, and when there are shining moments, as indicated, there are waxing moments, so it evens out. Seems a bit rushed in places, but also, time has been taken in others. It's odd.

5Cover Art - 5: I could use a bit more action, but in terms of art and intrigue, these covers are drawing me in more and more. I wish I knew what all four look like. I imagine when they are all put together they will look pretty neat. Last issue was a grim, beaten Midnight. This one is the newly identified Destiny, possibly seeing the billions dying. Nice cover. Not trying to mislead, not trying to wow. But still amazing.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2002

February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002

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