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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

Justice League of America #32

Justice League of America #32

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 22, 2009

Cover date: June 2009

"Welcome to Sundown Town" - Chapter 4: "Nyctophobia"

Writter: Dwayne McDuffie
Penciller: Rags Morales
Inker: John Dell

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman and Black Canary discuss Canary's decision to disband the League. John Stewart, Zatanna, Vixen, Dr. Light and Firestorm meet in the previously secret room that the "Trinity" had set up to discuss what they are going to do next. John argues that they need to keep the League going and after some convincing the rest of the group agrees. Firestorm and Dr. Light visit the Shadow Thief in jail to find out if the Thief's power still comes from technology or somewhere else. The Shadow Thief gets the upper hand and attacks before summoning Starbreaker. The rest of the League arrives to back up Light and Firestorm but Starbreaker escapes. Dr. Light jumps into the portal after him and is trapped in a world of darkness.

4Story - 4: Hmmm...

Here's the thing. I liked this issue. I like the direction that this book has taken and I like the fact that the League is once again composed of characters that do not have their own titles. If done well either concept of the League (all heavy hitters or all minor characters) can be an entertaining and engaging title.

The problem is that the pacing of the last handful of issues has made reading this title a bit difficult. With the fill-ins and the interludes it seems like a story that should be in full swing hasn't even gotten off the ground yet.

I mean it's a good story. I like it. I like the concept of bringing in the Milestone characters as a set up for a Justice League story instead of a separate mini-series or event. I like the fact that McDuffie has brought Dr. Light back to the table and made her a viable character again. I like Black Canary sticking to her guns. I like John keeping the chair person seat open so that Canary can have it when she wants it. There were some great scenes in this issue between John and Vixen, which was a nice callback to JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED. Starbreaker's return was fairly spectacular as well.

The thing is that this arc is feeling very piecemeal. I don't know if this is a production problem or if the artists involved are just horrendously behind but the end result is a haphazard story that will probably read just fine in the trade version but it presents some problems for the single issue reader like me the series. Luckily the overall quality of the series makes up for this.

So I liked this issue with some reservations.

Oh. I nearly forgot the one serious problem I had with this issue.

Isn't it a little clichd to have a character with light based powers afraid of the dark?

I'm sure it is a previously established fear but at the same time it just feels corny. It really does.

4Art - 4: Normally I am a pretty big fan of Rags' work but something was off in this issue. I don't know if it was the inking. That's possible. I wasn't disappointed with the art because Rags did a phenomenal job as far as the expressions the characters had and the storytelling was strong but something wasn't quite right. The only character that was inconsistent "shot to shot" was Starbreaker. The splash page Starbreaker did not look like the Starbreaker on the next page which didn't look like the Starbreaker on the next page. Other than those minor quibbles I enjoy enjoyed the art in this issue.

5Cover Art - 5: This is a spectacular cover. Seriously. I like the composition and it is one of the few Benes covers that does not feature a female character prominently displaying their rear end to the camera. It was one of those covers where the scene on the cover doesn't happen in the story but I am willing to let that pass for once. Great cover.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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