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Mild Mannered Reviews - Justice League Adventures

Justice League Adventures #5

Justice League Adventures #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 13, 2002

Cover date: May 2002

Writer: Todd Seavey
Penciller: Chris Jones
Inker: Al Nickerson

"The Star-Conqueror"

Reviewed by: George O'Connor (

In Wisconsin, a spooked teenager witnesses the crash of a flying saucer and, moments later, the arrival of part of the Justice League. Green Lantern discovers a wounded alien body and Batman suggests that they meet at the Watchtower to discuss the incident.

With the entire League present, J'onn J'onnz attempts to communicate with the alien via telepathic means and soon learns that the alien's home world was attacked by a massive starfish conqueror which absorbs and drains the psychic energy of its victims. Employing legions of smaller starfish, Starro is able to easily enslave entire worlds and then send out millions more of its offspring to search for new planets to conquer.

J'onn then learns that Earth is the next target, and upon a psychic attack from Starro itself, the Martian Manhunter drops backwards in pain and collapses. Batman decides to watch over J'onn while the rest of the League travels to the wounded alien's home world to stop Starro before he can reach Earth as well.

Upon arriving, the League is welcomed by corpses and an atmosphere of death. Before the League can recover from the depressing sight before them, they are ambushed by a squad of starfish. The alien fish attach themselves to their victims' faces, turning Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Hawkgirl into mindless drones for Starro.

Flash races away before a fish can attach itself and discovers a member of the Green Lantern Corps in one of the alien cities. Godunn, the Green Lantern, agrees to help Flash combat the starfish and save his friends. He then reveals that it was he and the surviving Greys that ensured the escape of the saucer to Earth, where it could warn the Earthlings of Starro.

Flash and Godunn flee from another ambush of starfish and return to the rest of the League. Superman is the closest to breaking free of the starfish's control, but it is not until the Flash snatches the alien creature from his face that he is free to use his heat vision to free John Stewart, the League's Green Lantern. John then liberates Hawkgirl with his ring while the Flash snatches the final fish off of Wonder Woman's face.

Unfortunately, the League finds itself surrounded by Starro and his multitude of offspring. They combat bravely, dodging the fish and dispatching them as quickly as possible, but Godunn is unable to avoid one of the assailants. Commanded by Starro, Godunn turns against the Justice League, attacking them with his ring.

Wonder Woman escapes, however, and traps Starro with her lasso. The lasso ensnares the giant alien and forces him to tell the truth to every alien he has captured. The truth upsets the dream spell that the captured aliens have been subjected to, allowing them to ascertain their circumstance and remove the starfish from their faces.

Starro finally wiggles free of Diana's lasso, however, and flings the Amazon off. The rest of the League rushes in, along with Godunn, to defeat the alien menace.

Starro begins to open a portal towards Earth, but the Justice League quickly closes it, as they intensify all their power on Starro's one giant eye. Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash all push to keep the monster starfish's eye closed while both Green Lanterns assault the creature with the power of their rings. Hawkgirl rushes off to the Javelin 7, intent on stopping Starro, regardless of the cost.

Starro strains mightily and succeeds in opening its eye, hurling the three League members out of its way. However, just as the portal is opened, Hawkgirl smashes into it with the Javelin 7, sending the League through the portal and off to the space outside Earth.

Meanwhile, Godunn seizes his chance to defeat the weakened creature, sacrificing his own life as he unleashes the full power of his Green Lantern ring. A massive explosion follows.

Back home, the League sighs in relief, hoping that the Earth will never again have to combat such a presence as Starro the Conqueror.

5Story - 5: Great story! And by far, the closest to the animated series in scope and plot. I was a little surprised to see the comic book introducing Starro, as I figured that the alien fish would be making an appearance on the show at some point, but maybe not, eh? A nod of admiration goes to the writer for hinting at the Batman Beyond episode (entitled The Call) where the Justice League is forced to combat Starro in the distant future. Overall, this story worked because it didn't try too hard to include every JL character, but did give each character something to do, so that at least it didn't seem like they were just standing around. It also worked because the threat seemed very real. The sacrifice at the end and the condition of the planet at the beginning added to the drama and direness of the situation. The world itself was spooky and Starro was as about as sinister as a giant starfish can be. The plot was also fast paced and exciting and highlighted some clever battle tactics on the part of the Justice League against Starro and his legions. Nice job!

4Art - 4: The art in this issue was very interesting. Oddly enough, it seems to change throughout the issue. For instance, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman adopt an almost Super Friends style on page 15, and while some pages are relatively uninspired or ordinary, other pages blow the reader out of the water. Both 11 and 12 and then 17 and 18 display the talent of Jones and Nickerson with some fantastic battle scenes and a very nice shot of Superman's face. On the preceding page, Superman looks very different... much more cartoony almost, without the sharp features that are displayed on the next page. However, the fluidity of Jones' style remains consistent and the character's movements through the panels seem very natural. I'd be interested to see more of Jones and Nickerson in the future, and I'm certainly glad that Justice League swaps writing and art talent every month, as it really gives the series more dimension and depth and offers the reader a variety each time they pick up an issue.

3Cover Art - 3: I'm a little disappointed with the cover. I mean, it'll certainly catch your eye (pun intended), but Superman's body is way too simplified and his shoulders look way too large for the rest of his body. While this has been a stylistic addition to the character ever since JL:TAS began, it is even more apparent here. I know Delaney can do a better job than this!

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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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