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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #107

JLA #107

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 27, 2004

Cover date: December 2004

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Penciller: Ron Garney
Inker: Dan Green

Syndicate Rules - Part 1: "Maintenance Day..."

John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito

It's that time of the month again. The JLA has been called to duty to perform fantastic feats of upkeep on their Watch Tower headquarters. Monitoring the birth of a new universe, security checks, courtesy calls to civilian and military counterparts... in other words; boring, routine maintenance work. And unfortunately for the Flash it's his turn, along with J'onn J'onzz, to get all this busy work done.

Things go from blah to boom real fast, however, when the Construct (a semi-sentient being composed of complex communication signals) starts acting up. The Construct is usually an easy fix, vigilant monitoring picks up the steady evolution to consciousness and a quick hit on the reset button keeps things from getting out of hand. Things are different this time and the Construct is growing more aware at an alarming rate. Flash flippantly remarks that if the Construct had a girl friend it wouldn't be so hostile. J'onn J'onzz returns to the lab to do just that.

When Flash and J'onn J'onzz return to the Construct's holding pen they discover it's reconstituted itself into the threat they know it to be. Acting quickly J'onn J'onzz initiates the signal splitter program and introduces the construct to its new companion.

With the Construct subdued and the day's maintenance work behind them Flash speeds off to take care of an escaped convict in L.A. J'onn J'onzz returns to his studies in the Watch Tower lab...

Meanwhile, just outside the reinforced walls of the JLA's moon base head quarters, the Crime Syndicate of Amerika wait to make their strike...

To Be Continued...

5Story - 5: First of all I'm sorry this is so late. There's been some screw ups with my books at the comic shop, it's my own fault really, I should fill out my orders more neatly. In any event I'm looking at my tardiness as a blessing in disguise. You see I just got back from seeing Pixar's "The Incredibles" their latest computer animated fare about a family of Super Heroes. Fantastic film; the thing I liked best about it was that it was a genuine super-hero tale. It wasn't a satirical or ironic examination about super-heroes or comic books and their place in the American mythos. It was just a movie about super-heroes fighting super villains.

And that's exactly how I feel about Kurt Busiek's first JLA issue. The trend right now is to do serious introspective tales of woe to humanize super-heroes. Pick them apart and examine their metaphorical relationship with the real world. Now don't get me wrong I enjoy some of those stories; they can be very interesting and thought provoking. I'm just glad Kurt Busiek isn't going that route.

Instead we get a pretty solid set up for the long anticipated return of the Crime Syndicate. It's a story about how the JLA remain as effective as they are. Maintenance day is a monthly event the JLA pair off to make sure they're always prepared for the earth-shattering events that so regularly come their way. It's an establishment on the JLA's prowess to prepare us for the eventual confrontation with the Crime Syndicate. Busiek could have done this just as easily by having a blockbuster issue of action and had the JLA fight Powderkeg for 21 pages. But not only has it been done to death; it also underscores the true strength of the JLA which is their ability to think through the often logic twisting conundrums they find themselves in. That's really quite telling of how Busiek thinks of the JLA and I'm excited to see where he takes it.

4Art - 4: Solid work on Ron Garney's part, I especially enjoyed the stylized portrayal of J'onn and Flash inside the Construct. I really think there needs to be a meeting to discuss the coloring of JLA. Maybe it's the paper quality I'm not sure, but the flat plane colors in the background of the watchtower are distracting.

4Cover Art - 4: Cool cover. 1 point deduction cause I have to wait a month for the other half.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2004

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