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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #90

JLA #90

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 29, 2003

Cover date: January 2004

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Chris Ross
Inker: Tom Nguyen


John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito

In Gotham City Wonder Woman and Batman team-up to make quick work of a C-level villain making an escape. The two crime fighters manage to exchange playful flirtations as they save the day and make an appointment to finally have their "talk" about the big kiss they shared a year ago.

Later, despite the Watchtower being under renovations, Wonder Woman climbs into Manhunter's Transconscience Articulator to search her own heart before sitting down to confront Batman.

Instantaneously she is transported to a future on Themyscira where she hasn't aged a day but Bruce is old and confined to a wheel chair. They stroll along the seaside and chat lovingly about the Batman's last days.

But the dream turns to a nightmare and Diana finds herself fighting crime side by side with the urban crime fighter clad in "bat" gear of her own. She violently takes a wife beater with extreme prejudice.

A quick view of Diana in Bruce's world and a quick view of Bruce in Diana's provide "odd couple" hi-jinx among a CEO and Greek goddess.

Just as Diana thinks she's been awoken from her dreams she's plunged back into a vision of her and the Dark Knight battling side by side. Then she's transported to a horrific last stand against the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime kills her lover and so she ends his life.

High atop a bridge in another lifetime Diana cries silently to herself as Bruce offers a calming hand. The god's have denied her request to bear children. Regardless their love is without bounds and they will make this work.

Diana finally awakens from her dream, for real this time, and Bruce is waiting for her. After her deep soul search they agree to remain friends. The potential for greatness and disaster is too much and Diana isn't willing to risk their friendship.

The End.

2Story - 2: I liked this story I really did. It was a really fun "What If" type story and I was entertained through all of the alternate future incarnations. The complaint I have is that nothing happens in the end. They part ways as friends and refuse to take the risk for what could be true love. Now don't get me wrong I have no preferences or desire to see Wonder Woman hook up with anyone. However, Joe Kelly did bring up the issue, he set out to explore the possibility of a romance between two of the world's biggest heroes, and tease us with the idea. For over a year he strung us along and made us anticipate the coming confrontation. Here we are now with the promised delivery of drama and we get very little.

Like I said before I'm not saying I wanted things to go one way or the other. I was just looking for a good story. And truth be told when the two most fearless characters in the DCU are afraid to try their hands at love, that speaks volumes. It shows how emotionally vulnerable they truly are and paints them as approachable people. However, Joe Kelly skirts this issue with a smile and wink. Batman and Wonder Woman walk off preserving the status quo.

Again I'm not saying I wanted them to get together or not. The issue was brought up and the end result didn't deliver. Whether they get together or not there are results to be explored that aren't even approached on. I get no sense of an unspoken love held back by fear, or resentment from a perceived rejection. I'm not saying these are the ways the story should have gone, I'm just looking for some consequences to a story with loads of potential.

As a side note I'd be remiss not to point out how Batman seems down right "Superman-ish" in his playful dealings with Diana.

3Art - 3: I don't think I've ever seen Cross' work before but he does a pretty good job here. His re-imagining of the characters as they grow older are real interesting and delightful to look at. However, his Wonder Woman was a bit beefy on occasion. And I'm cool with the beefy Diana just not so much so that she out flexes the Man of Steel.

4Cover Art - 4: The cover is a great stark representation of some epic love loss in a really simple manner. The tag line promises "resolutions" but it doesn't guarantee you'll be surprised by them.

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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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