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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #69

JLA #69

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 14, 2002

Cover date: October 2002

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Yvel Guichet
Inker: Mark Propst

"New Blood" (The Obsidian Age - Part 1)

John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito (

The JLA has been missing for a month now, lost in a temporal spell cast on the newly rediscovered Atlantis, and the world is falling apart. Without the JLA natural disasters, super villains, and intergalactic wars have spun out of control. An emergency dispatch signal goes out from the Watch Tower, it's time for a new JLA to be assembled.

Mechanical message balls, similar to Mr. Terrific's "T-spheres" search out the new team. The scientific mind of Ray "The Atom" Palmer is called on first, followed by a crotchety Green Arrow. Although Captain Marvel is summoned, he reluctantly declines the invite and Hawkgirl is called in his place. A seemingly unknown young woman by the name of Faith is plucked from the darkness of covert operations. Jason Blood, mortal capsule for the demon Etrigan, accepts the call as does Firestorm and former villain Major Disaster.

Gathered at the Watch Tower this new JLA watches a recorded message of Batman as he explains the importance of a Justice League, practically and symbolically. Before the new team can process their mixed emotions they're introduced to the new team leader: Nightwing.

3Story - 3: I dig the new line up, despite the fact that it's only temporary, it's an interesting if not obvious mix of characters. For the most part it was already guaranteed that Green Arrow, Hawkgirl, Firestorm, and Nightwing would be on the new team. The buzz has been circulating for months now.

The team line up is a bit flawed, with several conflicting personalities recruited most likely for story purpose. I don't see the logic in asking Hawkgirl to join the team, she's a loose cannon that could ruin everything. I'm intrigued by the wild card inclusion of Jason Blood. Which should prove intense since the last time Jason and Green Arrow crossed paths Jason was out to kill the liberal archer. I don't like that Kelly created a new character with this girl Faith. Her spot on the team could be better filled by Wonder Girl or Black Canary, that is if it has to be a female character. And why would the "wisdom of Solomon" instruct Captain Marvel not to join the world's greatest heroes to help save the world? Where's the wisdom in letting Earth's mightiest mortal warm the bench?

I think the addition of Major Disaster was an excellent choice, it ties up his reform from Action Comics #783 last year. In that story Superman offers several villains a second chance at life, a chance to make themselves and the world a better place, and Major Disaster is the only villain who accepts the offer. What didn't make sense was Major Disaster throwing away his old costume now when he was already wearing his new costume in Action Comics last year! A forgivable oversight, but a little sloppy considering Joe Kelly wrote both issues mentioned above.

The issue itself felt a little dragged out. This whole issue could have been compressed into ten pages and the last 12 left to start the team off on its mission of saving the world. However, in all fairness that might have felt rushed. The proper pacing of an origin story is a hard one to find.

3Art - 3: Guichet does some really great splash pages but his sequential art feels cluttered and sloppy. I assume since this was his first issue handling all of these characters that it might have been an added pressure. It seems as though he'll get better as he gets more comfortable on the book.

2Cover Art - 2: This cover is supposed to be an homage to the JLA #15 cover from the Grant Morrison days not so long ago. It seems to be in the same vein as the dozens of Giant Size X-men homage's you see every year. However, JLA #15 was no where near as famous or integral as Giant Size X-men so the tribute doesn't seem to have the same effect.

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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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