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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Classified #21

JLA: Classified #21

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 1, 2006

Cover date: Late June 2006

Writter: Gail Simone
Penciller: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Inker: Sean Phillips

The Hypothetical Woman - Part Six: "After the Fire!"

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

While the President orders the bombing of Three Sisters the Justice League is losing their battle with General Tuzik's Hypothetical Army. Elsewhere J'onn J'onzz manages to extract the Conqueror Strain from a solider. Back at the scene of the battle the Leaguers trade partners and bring Tuzik's army down. J'onn joins his comrades and quickly explains his breakthrough.

Tuzik uses all of his resources to gain super powers so he can defeat the League. Chen uses this as his opportunity to save Sybil, the Hypothetical Woman, but Tuzik spots them and lashes out at his supposed love. Tuzik's victory is short lived. Green Lantern reveals that the potions the despot ingested weren't meant for humans. As Sybil dies so does Tuzik, but her last act is to give the Hypothetical Army the eternal peace they deserved. Tuzik's son assumes control of his homeland and promises his people that he will earn their trust. Wonder Woman gives him a lasso made of hair plucked from numerous Amazons as a reminder to rule through truth. The League departs but Batman stays behind to issue Azir a friendly warning.

4Story - 4: Did I miss something or did the President still bomb the people of Three Sisters? I combed through the issue and while Superman pleaded his case to the President I couldn't find where the fighters were called back. So did those people die or what?

Crud. I'll be up all night worrying about this.

Well not really, but it does kind of bug me.

Gail Simone turned in a very satisfying end to her story arc. There were some bumps along the way to be sure and I thought that it ran about two issues too long but overall I enjoyed watching Gail put the League through their paces. Through it all I thought she stayed true to the characters and let each of them have a moment to shine. Gail has always been fantastic with characterization and this story was no exception.

The battle between the League and Tuzik's army played out nicely. The attack of the Phantom Zone villains was unexpected but I dug it just the same. It was also neat to see the Leaguers trade partners in order to score a victory. It was classic Justice League action and made for an exciting conclusion.

And I was right about J'onn convincing the soldier that J'onn had shot him.

Yeah it was obvious but it is also nice to be right. I now do my dance of joy and satisfaction.

What I should have seen coming was Tuzik getting all juiced up to like some steroid freak (or Image circa 1993 villain/hero) so he could take on the League. The binary code speak was a nice touch as was the fact that the potions and whatnot that he ingested eventually killed him. I'm going to leap to the conclusion that John Stewart's errand was to bring Azir to the battlefield. It made for a dramatic end as did the death of the Hypothetical Woman. We didn't get to see much of her but it allowed the members of Tuzik's metahuman army to go to their final reward.

Despite certain misgivings I did enjoy this story. Gail obviously had a lot of fun working with the League and it came through in her writing. The plot provided the League a chance to face a different kind of opponent and watching them go from one extreme (trying to sort things out diplomatically) to the other (big honking super-hero fight) was interesting and entertaining. This may not have been my favorite Gail Simone project but I was still rather fond of it.

4Art - 4: The art in this issue was a little clunky, but clunky Garcia-Lopez art is still great to see. The action flowed nicely, especially the scene where the League took control of the battle with Tuzik's metahuman army. Garcia-Lopez is the kind of artist who can turn in a page that doesn't need dialogue and we got to see that in this issue.

3Cover Art - 3: This wasn't a terrible cover and it certainly wasn't the worst one of this particular story arc but I still wasn't feeling it. The composition was eye-catching and the lighting on Tuzik was interesting but the heroes themselves lacked a certain level of detail, which took something away from the piece.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2006

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