Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #60

JLA #60

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 28, 2001

Cover date: January 2002

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Cliff Rathburn
Inker: Paul Neary

"Merry Christmas, Justice League -- NOW DIE!"

Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito (

Plastic Man is spending Christmas Eve with his old pal Woozy and his nephew and sister (Weezer and Wanda, respectively). When it comes time for bed Weezer is uncooperative. When Plas tries to coax the little one to sleep with promises of Santa's imminent arrival Weezer shoots back "Santa's dumb." Weezer thinks Santa isn't real, not real like the JLA at least. Plastic Man assures Weezer there is a Santa and as a matter of fact he's a member of the Justice League. Weezer disputes the news but Plas proceeds to tell him the story of how Santa Joined the JLA.

It all started during a team meeting when J'onn suggested that Santa be nominated as a member and it was quickly agreed on by everyone.

Not satisfied with the lack luster story Weezer demands more. Plastic Man continues:

Just then a ginger bread man appears in a puff of cookie dust. The ginger bread man informs the JLA that Santa will not be joining the JLA because he's too busy burning in hell for eternity. It all started when Santa realized there were more naughty children then nice in the world. When he investigated the reason with his all seeing helmet and goggles he discovers that Neron the demon is giving children all the goodies they want as long as they promise to do evil!

Santa leaps into action down to Neron's hell toy workshop to put an end to this. But unfortunately he's quickly imprisoned by Neron's magic. The JLA, now aware of Santa's plight rush to his aid. When the JLA show up Neron is ready for them and his evil elves attack the JLA and a battle ensues. Flash spots Santa hung on a wall in an oversized action figure plastic container. Superman, J'onn, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman try to break him free. Before they can finish though Neron turns all the JLA into COAL!

The helpless and lifeless JLA are stuffed into Neron's stocking and hung on the wall across the room. Thankfully though the JLA managed to weaken Santa's restraints enough that he could bust out with the use of his heat vision. (I'm not making this up.) Santa jumps into the fray and makes short work of the evil elves.

Santa knows he's no match for Neron, however, so decides to trick him into defeat. Santa offers him a present no strings attached, this confuses Neron as he is more accustomed to trading. Santa tells him that giving is its own reward. When Neron opens the present, it's socks and underwear, and he doesn't trade for it he erupts into flames and is sucked away into nothingness. Santa then uses his magic to turn the JLA back to normal. They all return to the Watchtower and have a Christmas party where Santa agrees to join the JLA.

But Weezer is still unconvinced. He has several questions about Plastic Man's less then realistic story. Just then Plas's JLA communicator goes off, when he and Weezer look out the window they see Santa rocket by. Plastic Man and Weezer are left slack jawed. Santa uses his heat vision to write "Merry Christmas" in the snow and then flies off. Weezer, finally persuaded, rushes to bed leaving Plastic Man scratching his head.

Meanwhile just a few blocks away Santa runs into Green Lantern and transforms back into his true form as J'onn J'onzz. GL and J'onn joke between one another wondering who opened the haling frequency on Plas's communicator and let them listen in on the whole conversation.

As J'onn and GL fly off a figure steps out from the shadows. It's the real Santa. He turns to his reindeer, "Heat vision? The imagination of some people...."

4Story - 4: If you have to do a holiday theme comic book this is a fine way to do it. I don't really enjoy this type of stuff. It's usually pretty campy. But I have to say Mark Waid, as he often does with silly premises, made it work through the childish Plastic Man. And it was really great to see Woozy.

4Art - 4: It's nice to see that despite the goofy material being drawn the artist didn't skimp on the detail or action.

5Cover Art - 5: The cover was the perfect cover. It told the whole story. I don't like when they do those generic JLA covers with 5 or 6 members of the team standing in fire or flying at you. This is the kinda of JLA cover I hope we see more of.

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

January 2002

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