Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Destiny #4

JLA: Destiny #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 11, 2002

Cover date: November 2002

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

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (


Virginia Christine, the Secretary of Agriculture, declares that genetic manipulation of Agriculture is forbidden and will be dealt with.


Christine is hauled off, indicted for many counts of influencing people and taking bribes.

At Triumph's funeral, the JLA metahumans fear for themselves. Dr. Midnight notices.

At the military sight, J'onn J'onzz communicates with Destiny, telling her that he's been presenting her with the future through having taken control of her boyfriend. She asks why, and he tells her it's because he needed to single out Mongul.

"Who's Mongul?" She asks.

Edjem, deep in his complex, bursts in on his power source, a man covered in an alien material shooting out a green light.

He laments that he's given the man in the power source his every dream, but his men can't even give the power source proper nourishment. He admonishes his aide.

At the JLA headquarters, the JLA laments that they can't avenge Triumph, as he basically initiated the attack, and the press agrees that he was in the wrong.

Wayne arrives and drops the news that Kamburu is opening its grain supply to the world, after the world's grain supply has started to fail. Wayne points out that it was Edjem's genetically designed agriculture that did the trick.

Midnight takes the team to go take Edjem out. Wayne pleads with them to stay, but Midnight merely tells him to save some scotch for when he gets back.

Jor-El, over Kansas, stops to visit Crater Park, where his spaceship originally landed. J'onzz' voice comes into his head, affirming his fears. Kouriga Edjem is truly Mongul, a nefarious being who went from planet to planet devouring.

At least, until he came to a planet ruled by Lex Luthor.

Luthor put up a good fight, but eventually lost, and Mongul placed his head on a pike. Ruminating, Mongul realized that he could destroy and destroy, but to take a planet, and rule it...that was real power.

And so Mongul came to Earth, and J'onzz, then the Manhunter, was taken by surprise, as was Guy Gardner (then the Green Lantern) and Clock. A neural disruptor dissipated Manhunter, at least until he managed to find a host and return through Destiny and her boyfriend.

Captain Thunder, as a small boy, appears at Edjem's complex. He takes out the first guard, saying, "Shazam!" and appropriately changing by surprise to his victims. He confronts Mongul/Edjem, who he cold-cocks.

At the military base, Destiny turns a copy of proof that the agriculture is being manipulated by Edjem to the military commander.

In his study, Wayne speaks briefly with Jor-El about losing wives and sons.

At Mongul ground Zero, Thunder presses the attack until he is flamed.

Backup arrives in battlesuits. The sword tears through one of the suits, killing the man inside. A Tomahawk missile levels the building. Midnight thanks the general, glad that the event is finally over.

Mongul comes out, surprising Midnight, who does battle with Mongul. Midnight tells Mongul that he is not a God. Mongul begs to differ.

Martian Manhunter pulls Guy Gardner, the power source earlier mentioned, out of Mongul's fantasy he placed in his head, that he was continually saving the world and being treated well by beautiful women. The building explodes.

Mongul, enraged, puts his fist through Midnight, taking his head.

Jor-El arrives, does battle with Mongul, knocking him out.

Mongul awakens on the spaceship Jor-El originally arrived out, just as Jor-El pushes a button that sucks the air out of the craft, killing them both.

In the desert, Destiny says goodbye to Manhunter, who dissipates.

The world will soon return to normal. Thomas Wayne has a drink for Midnight with Destiny.

5Story - 5: First, let me apologize for how cheesy that last line sounded. But, I mean, seriously, that's what happened. He had a date with Destiny. Sigh.

This was a supreme ending to what has been a great series. I really enjoyed it. It's been the thing to anticipate for me for the last three months. You may recall, I wasn't so hot on the original, because it was depended upon what was in the middle, and the middle, well, it really delivered.

I expected things to twist around. I expected Edjem to become the good guy, and for the book to be a big, anti-war with Saddam allegory/allusion. That's fine that it didn't. The idea was broached, and that was enough. The story came around full circle, characterized to the Nth, and gave us a lot of slam and bang in the middle, with at least one great splash death each issue. You gotta love that. Story with pointless violence. They hardly ever work, and Arcudi managed it.

John Arcudi, every time I see your name, I will now spend 2-6 dollars, provided this keeps up. I can't really say that about many in the industry. Miller. Loeb. Maybe that's it (apologies to those I can't think of right now).

A great ending to a great story. This is officially my third favorite elseworlds, ever. And when the competition, the other two, are Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come, that says quite a bit.

Well worth all 24 bucks. Thanks, DC.

5Art - 5: Great, dramatic, and violently active. I loved the work, and it was stark and consistent to the end. I didn't like it at first, but it really grew on me, and I came to embrace it.

I especially liked Mongul putting his fist through Midnight. I mean, I liked the character, but he sure whined a lot, and needed to get his head punched through. Goober! And Jor-El shooting Mongul in the eyeballs!? Ow!

5Cover Art - 5: Fitting with the rest in the series, dark, also fitting with the tone of the piece, this is a good cover, despite being background challenged, because it makes sense, depicts something of extreme importance in the issue, and doesn't shoot out to pull in readers with a glib and dumb trick they'll instantly see through. Good stuff.

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

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2002.