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JLA: The Island of Dr. Moreau

Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2002
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: Steve Pugh, Patricia Mulvihill(c)
Publisher: DC

Disturbing, horrific and unforgiving over its anger over the mistreatment of animals, JLA: The Island of Dr. Moreau stands with all superior treatments of H.G. Welles' perhaps most important work.

Roy Thomas delicately weaves the DCU to the Welles classic. Snapper Carr who betrayed the League in the pre-Crisis Mr. Thomas resurrects as a most believable hero and thinking narrator. The narration perfectly recalls the Victorian pattern of speech, and this is surprising given Mr. Thomas' penchant for WW II lingo as evidenced in his seminal work The All Star Squadron.

Mr. Thomas further strengthens the cautionary aspect of the Welles classic by combining it with another classic of that time. The natural solution to one of the most notorious killers in history makes intrinsic sense given the premise. It also shows how this story is an elseworld. The world changes because of the presence of madmen like Moreau.

Moreau's madness in both his words and Pugh's frightening depiction perhaps has never been better conveyed. In this way, Thomas and Pugh show the power and the relevance of the comic book medium to not just high art but also thought-provoking commentary.

To see Welles' story come to so vivid and scary life on occasion makes you forget where you sit. So engrossed are you in these pages, that turning them is a near unconscious process, and the chills you feel are very real.



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