Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - Justice League Unlimited

Justice League Unlimited #2

Justice League Unlimited #2

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 6, 2004

Cover date: December 2004

Writer: Adam Beechen
Penciller: Ethen Beavers
Inker: Ethen Beavers

"Poker Face"

Michael (George) O'Connor Reviewed by: Michael O'Connor

Superman, Huntress, Booster Gold, The Flash, and Steel are kicking back in the Watchtower with a game of poker. Superman has just laid his winning hand on the table and is raking in a pot of chips when Booster, frustrated and probably broke, starts to wonder about the Man of Steel's sudden hot streak. Booster whispers to the Flash to run around the table at super speed, undetectable, so that he can find out whether Superman's cheating or not. Flash balks at the implication, and Booster finds himself back at the table with two pair, hoping to bluff Supes into pulling out. Unfortunately for him, Superman's got a straight.

Before Booster can lose any more money, a situation presents itself in Las Vegas, where the Royal Flush Gang is causing havoc.

The five heroes rush to the scene and confront the villains individually: The Flash vs. Jack, Steel vs. Ace, Huntress vs. Queen, Superman vs. King, and Booster vs. the hulking Ten. All of the heroes except Superman have trouble taking their man (or woman). Supes just propels King into a slot machine with his super breath and then soars off to save Booster (who's getting his butt kicked) from Ten. Just before Ten can smite Booster, Supes buries the Royal Flusher under a giant cowboy marquee.

Meanwhile, Flash gets Jack to tie himself up in a knot, Steel tricks Ace into thinking she's brainwashed him and then knocks her out, and Huntress breaks her binds and knocks Queen down next to a lion performing for a show.

With the bad guys swiftly defeated, Supes looks forward to getting back to the Watchtower for some more poker. As Supes flies off, Flash fills in Booster on the real reason the Man of Steel always wins: the rest of the team lets him. After all, it's best to be on the Man of Steel's good side.

And so, Booster lets himself get taken to the cleaners while his poker adversary and League teammate rakes in the chips.

4Story - 4: Here's an example of a clever story that's just as fun for kids as it is for adults. The League's poker game is rife with humor, and the battle sequences between the League and Royal Flushers is action-packed and exciting. Look, guys, this title can be really good when it wants to be! Now, it's not perfect, but it's pretty good. The only thing that really bugged me was how easily the Royal Flush Gang went down. They held their own against the core members of the League in "Wild Cards," but they go down like chumps to the second stringers like Huntress and Steel (but not Booster Gold, who practices getting his butt kicked all over this issue). A closer, more brutal fight would have given this issue a little more punch (pun intended). The other thing that may rub some people the wrong way is Superman's goofiness in this issue. It's certainly a change in character, but I think it's a welcome addition for a more lighthearted story like this one. So far, the humorous episodes have been the weaker ones on the new season of the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, but if the humorous stories can be this consistently good in the comic book, we'll have some good stuff to look forward to.

4Art - 4: If the art had fallen flat this issue, the issue really would have suffered. Fortunately, Beavers shows off his stuff here, and it's good. The action sequences glow and the poker pages are downright terrific. Page four with Booster squaring off against the Man of Steel is just perfect. Beavers proves himself to be a master of both humor and action. The only drawback to the art is that it takes up so much space on the page. The latter half of the issue is filled with three panel pages, which feel like a bit of a cheat. This is probably the writer's fault in pacing the issue, but it would have been nice to see Beavers work with some more panels and smaller panels to see what he might have accomplished there.

3Cover Art - 3: It's an awfully busy cover, which is better than drab, I suppose. Really, the poker chips are kind of a distraction and the title logo and Johnny DC logos are much too big. But the illustration itself is cool enough with great motion and use of space. Had it just been that on a poker card with a smaller logo, the grade would have been higher.

Other recent reviews:

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2004

February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2004.