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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Classified #15

JLA: Classified #15

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 28, 2005

Cover date: February 2006

Writter: Warren Ellis
Penciller: Butch Guice
Inker: Butch Guice

"New Maps of Hell" - Part Six

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

After defeating their own personal hells the members of the Justice League reunite to face Z as a team. With Oracle's help the League discovers how to defeat Z once and for all.

3Story - 3: After two lackluster issues Warren Ellis gives us a pretty decent ending. I was really hard on the past two installments and I stand by my theory that they could have been folded into one issue and not lost anything, but this final chapter was adequate in resolving the story.

While it may have been a bit heavy handed the various ways in which the Leaguers overcame their personal hells were a lot of fun. Superman's in particular stood out because it showed what a strong character he is and not just in terms of power. Superman is intelligent. He gets a bad rap for being such a physical character, but he is usually, within his own book at any rate, portrayed as being clever and imaginative in how he deals with the obstacles he faces. I'm not a big fan of super scientist Superman, but in this case it worked because that seems to be the way Ellis wanted to play the character. It is true to the story, which is more important than my personal view of the character.

This was a rather haphazard story arc. What it started out as and what it ended up as were two different stories. The first part gave us a murder mystery that was complicated by President Luthor's involvement and the ties Z had to Martian Manhunter's past. The last four parts descended into some rather silly visions of the Justice League's personal hells and them working together to defeat an enemy that seemed complicated but turned out to be the exact opposite. It's a little confusing and I am wondering where the story went. This last installment was neat, but in a very straight forward super-hero kind of way, which is not what the story started out as.

Still and all I thought the arc was fun. I can't complain too much, I just wish that it had kept a consistent tone. Some may feel that this was iconic Justice League, but I think that Alex Ross and crew are doing a much better job with that over in Justice.

3Art - 3: I was really disappointed with Butch Guice's art in this issue. The detail in both the characters and the backgrounds seemed to disappear. All of the Leaguers looked old and wrinkled and while the page layouts themselves were fine the art didn't have the same energy the previous five parts had. It seemed like the art was rushed. It wasn't terrible but at the same time it wasn't all that good either.

Guice, like Ellis, seems to have lost focus. Maybe there was a lack of interest towards the end, which I can understand since Guice seemed to be asked to draw the same thing over and over and over again. I was bored reading it; I can't imagine what it was like to draw it.

3Cover Art - 3: As nice as this group shot was I still am cold as far as the artist's style. Of all the things about this story arc I had the most problems with it had to be the covers. While this particular cover was nice to look at it still wasn't my cup of tea.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2006

February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006

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