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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #71

JLA #71

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 28, 2002

Cover date: October 2002

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

"Transition" (The Obsidian Age - Part 3)

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

The new JLA settles into their headquarters in the Watchtower as we are reintroduced to all of the new players. Uneasy tensions arise between them but Nightwing quickly puts any arguments to rest with a stirring speech about how important it is to be in the JLA.

And just as quickly the JLA arrive in Japan to combat an erupting volcano and world wide water loss. The JLA are stumped they can't discover why water levels among lakes, oceans, and rivers across the globe are dropping at an alarming rate. However, a very slight increase in the tides around Atlantis bares investigation.

Nightwing contacts Zatanna who assures him that everything is going swell on the newly risen ancient Atlantis. What Nightwing doesn't know is that Zatanna has been possessed by some evil demonic creature originating from Atlantis. As soon as her communiquae with Nightwing ends Zatanna turns on Tempest and quickly sucks him powerless.

Back in the Watchtower Jason Blood fortifies the JLA HQ with some magic that should insure its protection from evil mystic forces. Meanwhile down on earth Atom, Green Arrow, Major Disaster, and Firestorm inform the world's press of the formation of this new JLA. Lois Lane is there and demands to know if the new league is focusing on finding the old league. Atom is reluctant and ashamed to tell her that a rescue mission is not a priority for the new league.

Nightwing and Jason argue at the JLA roundtable. Jason has used every magical trick in his book but he cannot locate the missing JLA in the past or the present. When all hope seems lost Atom sends out the call for everyone to meet in the science labs. Instead of looking to the sky for the missing water, Atom searched bellow the earth. It would appear that someone is draining the earth into a reservoir beneath Atlantis. A video examination of the reservoir finds the shattered skeleton of Superman impaled beneath a trident.

2Story - 2: I've decided I don't like this two pronged approach to this story arch. Right now we have three "Leagues" floating around between two books. Character development and interaction is going to suffer. That assertion is no more evident then in this issue.

The discovery of Earth's water loss and where it's going is an exciting fact. The monster that inhabits Atlantis adds another cryptic piece to the puzzle. Jason Blood reinforcing the Watchtower with magic is a foreshadowing of dangerous things to come.

But the issue is weighed down with sloppy character interaction, and poor dialogue. Joe Kelly who is usually a master at both really drops the ball here. The characters almost seem like caricatures of themselves. Green Arrow hits on a woman, Firestorm is comically in shock to be sitting in Superman's seat, and Jason Blood broods. The only team member to get any interesting dialogue is Major Disaster as he tries to seek out loyalties within the team as if he were still on the Suicide Squad.

Dedicating every other issue to this "new" team seems like a waste. All of the crucial information in this installment could have been done in a few cut away pages pieced throughout a regular JLA issue.

3Art - 3: The backgrounds still aren't colored more then shades of blue and the art becomes more clunky and less defined as the issue goes on. The pacing on the last few pages feel rushed. However, I'm not sure if that's an art or a writing problem.

3Cover Art - 3: The proportions of Nightwing in relation to everyone else seems to make him look a bit too small. The cover implies the team falling apart due to inner struggles but we never get any real displays of tension.

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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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