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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #92

JLA #92

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 28, 2004

Cover date: March 2004

Writer: Denny O'Neil
Penciller: Tan Eng Haut
Inker: Tan Eng Haut

Extinction Part 2: "The Lesson"

John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito

Deep in a South American jungle Superman and Jon Stewart face down a giant shape shifting monkey form outer space by the name of Peppy. Peppy is angered to discovered that the world's last silver masked monkey is dead and the species is now forever extinct. The JLA'ers fear their in for a battle but Peppy calms down and explains that according to his planet's religion the Silver Masked monkey was destined to dominate the planet Earth by this time. The extinction of the species has proven his faith wrong and leaves him depressed.

Peppy desires to see the rest of Earth and learn what else that his religion has told him that might be wrong. Jon, the Flash and Wonder Woman agree to spend a few days and take him on a tour of the world. The expose him the wonderful achievements of man and also the dark under belly of our civilization. Despite all the good things about the planet Earth, Peppy continues to focus his attention on the bad.

Peppy comes to the conclusion that if the Silver Masked monkeys had become the dominant species none of the insanity that envelopes this planet would exist. It is Peppy's contention that the human species is choosing to make itself extinct as well. This theory disturbs the Flash, Jon Stewart and Wonder Woman but before they can discuss it with Peppy a riot breaks out. The JLA'ers rush to the rescue and quell the distress. When they return to Peppy they find him missing and his room in shambles. It would appear as if he's set out to help the human species achieve extinction...

To be continues...

4Story - 4: The plot is fantastic. A good old fashioned science adventure with aliens, monkeys, and super heroes. This is the stuff that comic books have always, and will always, be able to rely on for a solid story. Here Denny turns the conquering alien motif on its head by asserting the human species to be a genetic whoops and introducing the alien interloper who has come to set things straight.

The character interaction is great as well. Denny draws the line in the sand and set members of his team on either end and allows them to clearly spell out their objectives without sounding stuffy or silly. When the whole team gathers to decide what they should and shouldn't show Peppy on his world tour we get a real insight in to the democratic U.N. qualities of the JLA. Big super powers standing shoulder to shoulder making life or death decisions. The characters retain their personalities along with a sense of humor that comes from working together for so long.

My complaint remains the narrative boxes that pop up to spell out the passage of time. It's a bit old fashioned and distracting. Also the riot scene at the end was a bit repetitive in comparison to the earlier battle against guerilla soldiers. Also the transitions are clumsy. Certain scenes seem squeezed onto pages in what looks to be an effort to conserve space. This is a pacing issue and can really fall on the shoulders of writer or artist so I won't lay in too hard about it.

4Art - 4: Something I didn't notice the first time around was Tan's composition of panels. He has a real knack for cramming together a good number of characters in each panel and keeping it natural.

The colors are also especially good. Because of the awkward transitions the coloring of certain panels serve to identify settings and locations. See the last page for a prime example of this.

4Cover Art - 4: Maybe I'm wrong but this looks like it could be the sequel to last months cover. Before we saw the JLA examining the monkey with some trepidation and now it's grown to gigantic proportions right before our eyes and turned violent. Cleverly done. It pertains directly to the story and has enough eye catching action to jump off the racks.

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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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