Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials
Just Imagine Stan Lee with Jerry Ordway Creating the JLAScheduled to arrive in stores: December 12, 2001
Cover date: February 2002
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Jerry Ordway
Inker: Jerry Ordway
Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito (ZitoMan11@aol.com)
Our story opens with an introduction to three murderous fiends set for execution in three different prisons in three different states all at the same day. These three criminals have made a deal with the mysterious Reverend Darkk. Darkk has agreed to save them from their deaths if they will become his henchmen. Just as each one is about to be executed they are teleported away to Darkk's church in LA.
Later at LA University Leonard Lewis A.K.A. the Green Lantern is meeting with a student when he sees a young boy by the name of Adam Strange run across campus in a panic. Leonard slips away from his student and dashes after Adam. Adam has now been cornered by his pursuers: Deathstroke who kills with a touch, the super strong Blockbuster, and the energy absorbing Parasite. The deathrow inmates now turned super villains are just about to pounce on the defenseless Adam Strange when Green Lantern comes out of no where and swoops the young boy away to safety.
Later that night by the beach Adam Strange explains to Green Lantern that he's being chased down by Reverend Darkk because he accidentally found out about the deathrow inmates and the deal they made with Darkk. GL knows he can't tackle the problem alone so he sends out his green flame to contact other heroes that have cropped up in LA over the last few months: Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and The Flash. He instructs them to follow his trail of green flames back to him.
While they wait Adam asks Green Lantern how his super powers work. Green Lantern tells him that the best way to explain is to have the boy touch the symbol on his chest lightly and all will be revealed. Just then Superman arrives and being the mistrustful alien that he is, touches GL before the boy in order to protect Adam. However, Superman's touch is too forceful and activates a protection field around him and GL. While inside the forcefield Superman is exposed to the spirit of the earth, the direct source of Green Lantern's powers. The spirit tells Superman that his attitude towards helping people on earth is in direct opposition to his profession as a cop on his home world.
Just then the three super powered deathrow inmates catch up to Adam Strange and attack. Wonder Woman and Batman leap to the rescue while Lantern and Superman come out of their trance. The Parasite takes over Superman's body and forces him to fly off. Green Lantern is defeated by Deathstroke while Blockbuster takes out Wonder Woman and Batman with one punch. Adam Strange escapes and the super villains rush off to find him again. In the mean time the police are arriving and Batman can't find a pulse on GL. Just then the flash arrives bringing with her the green flame she followed. The green flame rejoins with GL and shocks him back into life. Then the super heroes manage to escape aboard Batman's helicopter leaving the police baffled.
Inside the helicopter it's agreed that the super heroes must team up to defeat Darkk. First thing they do is set out to find Superman. Superman is at Darkk's church pounding away at the force field inside unwittingly under control by the Parasite. When Superman takes a breather by the side walk Adam Strange arrives and shows him a weak spot in the force field. With the combined might of Superman's strength and Adam Strange's newly revealed eye beams they manage to bust inside the church just as the super villians arrive again.
The rest of the Justice League arrives in time now to save Adam, but Adam reveals he doesn't need any saving as he has been playing the heroes against the villians for his own gain. Adam rushes into the church to confront Darkk as the deathrow inmates keep the newly formed JLA busy outside.
When Adam reaches Darkk he finds Superman locked in combat with Darkk's evil monks. Adam calls out to Darkk and it is discovered that Adam is really Darkk's son, and Darkk is after his father's power. Darkk and Adam engage in a battle of magic which is broken up by Superman who has yet to hear about Adam's treachory. Superman's fists are no match for Darkk's power and he and Adam are blown back when Darkk finally unleashes a blast of purple magic. Then Darkk takes Adam and sucks his soul and power into his own. Darkk attempts to do the same to the Parasite who has been sucking energy out of Superman but Green Lantern comes to the rescue and accidently becomes the Parasite's new host.
Outside Wonder Woman manages to turn Blockbuster back into a human with her glowing staff. While he attempts to escape he trips over an exposed wire in the city street rubble and is electrocuted to death. Flash tricks Deathstroke into accidently touching himself and he withers up and dies.
Inside Superman has the fists flying in vain against the power of Darkk, but then the JLA rush in to help save the day. The Parasite then manages to take full control over Green Lantern's body but before she can join the fight she is met with by the spirit of the earth which lives inside Lantern. She is offered eternal peace in exchange for her surrender of Green Lantern which she gladly does. Now Green Lantern, weakened as he is, Bluff's Darkk into retreating.
The press and public arrive inside the church and the JLA retreat as well off into the inner world of Green Lantern's power. There they decide that the JLA should be a perminent institution.
Story - 4: I have enjoyed Stan Lee's "Just Imagine" series a lot since it began. I think it's fun how he put all his Marvel heroes in New York and all these DC heroes in LA. I think it's great how these feel like good old fashion comics. They aren't trying to be the Authority or even the JLA that's around today. Stan Lee is writting what he knows best and that seems to be just fun characters in cool situations. My only complaint about this issue is the cliche back stories to the deathrow inmates that become super villians, and the limited exposure to Adam Strange and Darkk's father-son relationship. Other than that I thought it was simply fun.
Art - 3: I've seen better from Ordway, and it was dissapointing to see him get the chance to draw the keystone to Stan Lee's run so far and only do a half decent job.
Cover Art (Front) - 2: Just a team photo, no background but individually the characters look cool.
Cover Art (Back) - 5: What an awesome cover. Batman looks the best he's looked since Stan Lee's version was created. And Wonder Woman simply looks like she oozes power. The green glow from GL makes the whole picture jump out at you. This cover was the one that should have been on the front.
Mild Mannered Reviews
2002Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.
- Joker: Last Laugh #6
-  Superman #176
-  Adventures of Superman #598
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #120
-  Action Comics #785
- Superman Adventures #63
- JLA #60
- Justice League Adventures #1
- JLA/Haven: Arrival
- Superman/Tarzan: Sons of the Jungle #1
- JLA: Gatekeeper #2
- Superman & Batman: Generations II #4
- Superman #177
- Adventures of Superman #599
- Superman: The Man of Steel #121
- Action Comics #786
- Superman Adventures #64
- JLA #61
- Justice League Adventures #2
- Just Imagine Stan Lee with Jerry Ordway Creating the JLA
- JLA: Gatekeeper #3
- JLA: Incarnations #7
- Adventures of Superman #600
- Superman #178
- Superman: The Man of Steel #122
- Action Comics #787
- Superman Adventures #65
- JLA #62
- Justice League Adventures #3
- Superman/Tarzan: Sons of the Jungle #2
- Superman #179
- Adventures of Superman #601
- Superman: The Man of Steel #123
- Action Comics #788
- Superman Adventures #66 [Final Issue]
- JLA #63
- Justice League Adventures #4
- JLA: Shogun of Steel
- Superman #180
- Adventures of Superman #602
- Superman: The Man of Steel #124
- Action Comics #789
- JLA #64
- Justice League Adventures #5
- Superman #181
- Adventures of Superman #603
- Superman: The Man of Steel #125
- Action Comics #790
- JLA #65
- Superman/Savage Dragon: Chicago
- Justice League Adventures #6
- Superman #182
- Adventures of Superman #604
- Superman: The Man of Steel #126
- Action Comics #791
- JLA #66
- DC1st: Superman/Lobo #1
- DC1st: Flash/Superman #1
- Justice League Adventures #7
- Superman/Aliens II: Godwar #1
- Superman/Tarzan: Sons of the Jungle #3
- Superman #183
- Adventures of Superman #605
- Superman: The Man of Steel #127
- Action Comics #792
- JLA #67
- Justice League Adventures #8
- JLA: Destiny #1
- Superman #184
- Adventures of Superman #606
- Superman: The Man of Steel #128
- Action Comics #793
- JLA #68
- Justice League Adventures #9
- JLA: Destiny #2
- Superman #185
- Adventures of Superman #607
- Superman: The Man of Steel #129
- Action Comics #794
- JLA #69
- JLA #70
- Justice League Adventures #10
- Superman/Aliens II: Godwar #2
- JLA: Destiny #3
- JLA: The Island of Dr Moreau
- Superman #186
- Adventures of Superman #608
- Superman: The Man of Steel #130
- Action Comics #795
- JLA #71
- JLA #72
- Justice League Adventures #11
- JLA: Destiny #4
- Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta
- JLA/Haven: Anathema
- Superman #187
- Adventures of Superman #609
- Superman: The Man of Steel #131
- Action Comics #796
- JLA #73
- JLA #74
- Justice League Adventures #12
- Smallville: The Comic
- Superman/Aliens II: Godwar #3
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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2002.