Current Reviews


JLA #79

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Joe Kelly
Artists: Doug Mahnke (p), Tom Nguyen (i)

Publisher: DC

On an alien world that is being invaded by a race who claim they are acting to advance galactic peace, we see the JLA find themselves in a situation where choosing either side in this conflict is not exactly the ideal solution to this crisis.

It is a little creepy to see the drama playing out in the pages of this comic mirroring real world events so closely, and to a certain extent it does make the catch 22 dilemma that the JLA get themselves ensnared in more dramatic, as one can't help but draw parallels. Now this being a comic Joe Kelly doesn't exactly go too deep, as the situation is a pretty bare bones affair, but there was enough on the page that I was rather impressed by the material. However, this is also the issue where I officially no longer want Faith as a member of the JLA, as this issue clearly establishes her as the character that Joe Kelly will drag out when he's painted the team into a corner, and her big display of power will instantly solve the crisis at hand. I don't like characters who exist solely to make a writer's job easily, especially when it comes to the final climax.

Now I realize that this is the JLA, and as such we're operating on a whole different power level, but from a storytelling sense Faith's ability does not make for a rewarding finish. As for the art, Doug Mahnke continues to display his ability to deliver the big level action that is a key component of this series, as the assault by the alien armada is a visually impressive sequence. It would've been nice to get a better look at what exactly Faith had managed to accomplish with her counterattack though.

Final Word:
An interesting dilemma that is completely underdone by a highly simplistic finish where Joe Kelly essentially offers up one of my least favorite endings that any writer can tack on to their story. I mean having Faith essentially defeat the entire alien armada in a single page is the modern day equivalent of the classic Silver Age ending where the entire story was revealed to be a dream. This type of ending doesn't require any real creative thought on Joe Kelly's behalf, and as long as Faith is a member of the team I'm going to be left with the idea that when things get too tough he'll have a nice handy easy out that he can use to resolve the conflict. The basic theme of this issue was pretty solid though, and up until Faith's little display of power I was ready to give this book a glowing review for its presentation of a rather atypical JLA scenario. In the end though this is an issue that is undone by its weak conflict resolution.

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