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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #95

JLA #95

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 31, 2004

Cover date: May 2004

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciller: John Byrne
Inker: Jerry Ordway

The Tenth Circle - Part 2: "The Enemy Within"

John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito

Superman is under the control of the Crucifier and the rest of the JLA are on the look out for missing kids. Green Lantern finds a group of back alley kids being loaded into a van by more purple robed goons of the Crucifier. They manage to get away and before Green Lantern can give chase the Doom Patrol (whom Green Lantern doesn't seem to know) intervene and reveal that they were planning a sting operation before Green Lantern intervened. Negative Man gives chase and Green Lantern retreats to the Watchtower leaving the dirty work to these seemingly unknown heroes.

Later at the Watchtower the JLA convene and share information. Wonder Woman reveals the symbol found by the Flash is actually the symbol of an ancient cult of vampires that battled the Amazons thousands of years ago. At the same time the Atom battles mysterious magical anti-bodies within Manitou's seeing stones.

Superman returns to the Crucifier's castle with Faith. Then the Vampire sends Superman back to the Watchtower to sabotage his teammates efforts to find the missing children. Wonder Woman shows Superman the scrolls that the legend of the vampire cult is printed on and when Wonder Woman's back is turned he burns the scrolls up with his heat vision.

Back in Gotham City Batman discovers a detective defacing the crime scene where one of the missing girl's dead body was found. When Batman confronts him the detective pulls a gun and after a simple verbal exchange the detective shoots. Two purple robed figures step from the shadows and stand over the "dead" body of the Batman.

2Story - 2: This is sloppy work and it pains me to say it. The story is full of coincidence and cliche. Green Lantern abandoning his pursuit of the robed cult figures because of the pleads of Elasti-Girl for his trust is out of character for everyone not to mention a huge continuity issue. Not to be the fanboy but Byrne is introducing the Doom Patrol without any explanation of why no one remembers them. This negates the origins of beast boy, and screws around with Waid's brilliant JLA: Year One, not to mention Morrison's Doom Patrol work. Aside from that I find it hard to remain interested in the story as each story beat fails to out do the last and as a result we're left with a flat, banal plot.

2Art - 2: The colors are plain and uninteresting, settings are simple and bland, and the characters all appear to be dressed in clothes ten years out of style. I know that shouldn't seem like a problem but it kills the setting of the story. When you tell a story set in WW2 you draw your characters dressed accordingly. When your story is set in 2004 it's equally as important that your characters dress the part otherwise you interrupt the story with distracting elements that take you right out of the story.

1Cover Art - 1: There's some action here but all these straight ahead shots lack dimension and excitement. When a cover's job is to jump off the rack at you this one fails miserably as it slips into its eventual home... the quarter bin.

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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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