Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #61

JLA #61

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 26, 2001

Cover date: February 2002

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen

"Two Minute Warning"

Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito (

Two Minutes Ago on The Moon:
Martian Manhunter awakes from his slumber in the form of a lifeless ball to the panicked sound of the JLA alert signal. J'onn morphs into his more common appearance and dashes off.
Now somewhere in the mid-atlantic a US aircraft carrier being pounded by abnormally large waves and carrying 30 experimental war heads is in danger. Superman and J'onn brave the elements to rescue sailors and lift the carrier to safety.

Two Minutes ago in Japan:
Clark Kent enjoys an unscheduled visit with his wife Lois Lane. Lois has been traveling the world with her mother since her father's death and Clark and Lois haven't seen much of each other in that time. Just as things start to get intimate the JLA alert signal flashes and Clark is forced to rush off and save the day.

Two Minutes Ago in New York City:
Kyle Rayner struggles to come up with exact change to pay for his coffee. Enduring taunts from the twerp behind the counter Kyle fishes through his pockets. Wally West dashes in and out just before the JLA alert sounds and Kyle flies off in his Green Lantern uniform.
Now miles above New York City Kyle uses a giant ring construction in the form of a heavy lifter to raise the island of Manhattan out of the sea and prevent a devastating tsunami from hitting. Though the strain on GL is intense he manages to hold his own and divert the tsunami, saving the day. Kyle comments on how the JLA is finally facing an aquatic menace but Aquaman is M.I.A.

Two Minutes Ago Miles Below Sea Level:
Fish from all walks (swims?) of life flock to the once regal throne of Orin king of the oceans and leave a shimmering sea shell or other ocean floor trinkets in remembrance. Or is it something more?
Back on the surface now J'onn, Superman and Kyle congratulate Kyle's ring on a job well done. Then they proceed to trace the abnormal ocean water disturbances back to their source. The source, unfortunately, are two mammoth beasts doing battle. A cyclops and a Kraken, they are harbingers of the apocalypse as Wonder Woman explains. Using her lasso to discover the creatures pressure points she makes short work of the Kraken and leaves the cyclops to her teammates.

Two Minutes Ago on The Moon:
Wonder Woman and Batman engage in a training session. One would assume that it would be hard enough for a mere mortal like Batman to hold his own with the Amazonian Princess. But Batman makes it all the more difficult on himself by engaging in several different conversations at once via the phone in his bat-cowl. Just as Wonder Woman gains the upper hand in the battle the "Bdeet" of the JLA alert signal rings throughout the training room.
Now back out in the mid atlantic Superman holds the Kraken at an angle so Batman can examine it. Batman notices the fish below the sea and the clouds in the sky all seem to be migrating in the same direction. Just as the Flash arrives Batman adjusts a bat-torpedo to home in on the disturbance that has altered the sea life, the clouds in the sky and awakened apocaliptic titans. Flash is strapped to the torpedo and meant to ride it to its destination and then report back to the rest of the team. If he survives the ride of course.

Two Minutes Ago ... Everywhere:
The Flash defeats a super-villain, eats some serial, stops a shoot out, saves a falling kid, visits Kyle in New York, reads a book, stops by to see his girlfriend, does some laundry and just as things start to get busy his JLA alert goes off and he's summoned to duty.
Now Flash leads the charge into the area of space and time the bat-missile discovered as being the center of the disturbances. Monsters, devils, and demons work together all under the beck and call of Abra Kadabra. Kadabra uses advanced science from the future disguised as magic but this attack is too large for him. Something is not right.

Two Minutes Ago in Chicago:
Plastic Man makes his way into his home security office while yapping away on his cell phone. Before he can get any real work done he's summoned by the JLA.
Now back at the center of the disturbances Plastic Man has his fore arm shoved up Kadabra's nose. Unfortunately for him its not until he's almost shoulder deep that he finds what he's looking for. As it turns out Kadabra was under the influence of some small worm like mental parasite. The parasite took control over Kadabra and allowed him to control the monsters and magical creatures the way he did.
Later back at the Watchtower on the moon it's obvious that the JLA haven't heard the last of this parasite or those that came to earth with it. J'onn securely imprisons the parasite and returns to his restful slumber. Not so restful as it turns out as the JLA alert sounds again and the team must launch back into action.

5Story - 5: Although it maybe a little confusing for people just jumping on, with the back and forth of the "Two minutes ago" captions it was still a great story. It had everything from clashing titans to nose picking. The story didn't over explain itself with details either. Joe Kelly has a way of giving you a simple explanation for what is going on and that's fine by me. Too much explanation is distracting from the fantasy of what's going on. I also like the continued tradition in the JLA comics of using sill Silver Aged villains and making them formidable again.
I also enjoyed the team interaction. There is some verbal sparring and one or two tongue-in-cheek comments but thankfully Joe Kelly avoids the JLA stereotypes and tries to bring real character traits to a team that consists of gods... and Plastic Man. I can't say enough good things about this issue. I hope Joe can keep it up.

5Art - 5: I've been into Doug Mahnke since his time on Major Bummer. He really brought the technology alive in "Man of Steel" and now he's doing the same with these far out monsters in JLA. The fight scene between Wonder Woman and Batman was worth the price of admission. I also enjoy his more gritty look for the heroes.

4Cover Art - 4: I don't like gimmicks. "Full Coverage" is a gimmick. On the upside, this is a well drawn cover, although not the best conceived idea for a Full Coverage cover. However, Plastic Man straining to keep up with the rest of the JLA made it worth a 4.

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