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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA: Classified #29

JLA: Classified #29

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 8, 2006

Cover date: January 2007

Writter: Howard Chaykin
Penciller: Killian Plunkett
Inker: Tom Nguyen

"Secret History... Sacred Trust" - Part 4 (of 6)

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman, Batman, Faith and the Flash are concerned at the disappearance of Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. They convene telepathically with the Martian Manhunter who informs them of Aquaman's royal snit over the situation. Faith and Batman discuss whether or not Aquaman's attitude will jeopardize their mission but Superman cuts them off and suggests that they find Kyle and Diana fast to make their concerns moot.

Kyle and Diana have been captured and held in Del Canto and Santa Bertriza respectively and refuse to give their captor's any information aside from the cover story that they are from the opposition and that they want to defect.

At the United Nations President Horne and J'onn are introduced to Schuyler Cristoffels by Dutch U.N. Representative Van Derkli. Schuyler is the C.E.O. of a Dutch-based multinational corporation with ties to both Del Canto and Santa Bertriza and is about to address the General Assembly on what can be done after the events in those countries reach their natural conclusion. Horne tries to argue with Schuyler but J'onn councils caution and Horne allows it to pass.

Meanwhile Batman and Superman do some reconnaissance to find out more about what turned the soldiers into metahumans. The Flash uses his speed to spy on both President Paco de la Fuente and Victor Blasco simultaneously. Diana and Kyle are taken to their cells and once they are left alone they contact J'onn. The Manhunter also locates Aquaman and gives the king a situation report, including the fact that Kyle swallowed his ring to hide it, an act that impresses Aquaman.

The heroes reconvene and discuss their findings with J'onn bringing Kyle and Diana into the discussion telepathically. They compare notes and discuss the fact that the metahumans soldiers have abilities that can be broken down into winged metas, organics, telekinetics and telepsionics. The abilities also appear to make those who possess them ill. Flash wonders if the two countries have been stealing from each other but Bruce has another theory which involves the metahuman equivalent of an international arms trade and that some unknown third party is using Del Canto and Santa Bertriza and the soldiers as a laboratory experiment.

4Story - 4: Kyle swallowed his ring.

Let's focus on that for a second. Faced with capture Kyle Rayner took his ring, put it into his mouth and swallowed.

That's pretty hardcore. It's almost like Christopher Walken's monologue in PULP FICTION really.

And, to make the obvious comment, I do not want to be a witness to Kyle "getting his ring back".


At any rate the political subtext continues with a passion this month. Actually it's not really subtext at all. The pointed comments make it pretty obvious that Chaykin is using this story to talk about current and past political events, which adds a certain level of depth to the story. Even though it's pretty thick at times it doesn't bog the story down. Chaykin balances this with characterization and even intrigue this time out with the introduction of Schuyler Cristoffels who I am going to assume was the person the Dutch Ambassador was talking to last issue.

More than anything I liked the revelation that the two countries and their metahuman armies are all a part of a corporations attempt to start a metahuman arms race. This was an interesting wrinkle to throw in and makes the story worth it. It is similar in concept to what General Tuzik was attempting in Gail Simone's story but the execution here is different and just a smidge better in my opinion. This feels more solid as a story, though I think both writers are neck and neck in terms of entertaining dialogue.

In any case this story chugs along at a good pace. It's nice to look forward to this title on a monthly basis. I hope this trend continues.

4Art - 4: Now was it really necessary to have Wonder Woman naked during her interrogation?

I'm serious. It seemed a bit gratuitous. I know the more randy of you are all thinking both, "Yes," and "What a silly question," but in all honesty I don't see what purpose it served other than being provocative.

Other than that minor wrinkle the art was great this month. Actually the art has been improving over the course of the story, which is always nice. I guess the only real problem (outside of my prudish nature) was the incredible growing Martian Manhunter. He seemed a might tall when standing next to the President in their scenes together. I mean I know the guy is big and all but is President Horne that short?

4Cover Art - 4: Again we get a cover that isn't bad in any sense of the word and yet isn't all that Earth-shattering either. On a thematic level it did have something to do with the story but I have to wonder what the motivation was for having Kyle and Diana duke it out here.

Still, seeing the two fighting above the ground with their clothes in tatters is eye catching. I don't know why Diana is wearing what appear to be riding boots, but who am I to judge what an Amazonian princess should wear?

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2007

February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007

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