Current Reviews


Justice League Adventures #21

Posted: Saturday, July 5, 2003
By: Ray Tate


Writer: John Ostrander
Artists: Min S. Ku(p), Rob Leigh(i), Lee Louridge(c)
Publisher: DC

Justice League Adventures shows exactly how to use continuity in conjuction with an Adventureverse book. The guest characters are based upon pre-existing characters whose origins stem from the pre-Crisis, but knowledge of their history will not make the puzzle any easier to solve.

John Ostrander basically uses our own pre-conceptions against us in an inventive way to create a thoroughly entertaining and thoughtful exercise in which the Justice League must decide which alien tells the truth.

Even when Mr. Ostrander brings in telepathic control as a plot device, he keeps you guessing as to whom is the telepath controlling the League. Last issue dealt with the Psycho Pirate pitting League members against League members, but Mr. Ostrander's story has far more substance, and the situation with the telepathically controlled Leaguers comes off as more original and as a consequence of the story.

Apart from the intriguing plot Mr. Ostrander graces the reader with brilliant characterization of the Cartoon Network's Justice League. Much of the characterization happens before the adventure proper begins. This creates a greater feeling of holism in that the adventure is intruding on a pre-existing world. For instance, in the pilot "Secret Origins," Batman already knows Hawkgirl. In this issue, Mr. Ostrander comments on Hawkgirl's and Batman's camaraderie with a fun exchange of dialogue.

Mr. Ostrander takes full advantage of the multidimensional Batman seen in the Cartoon Network's Justice League. While the phony that flits about in the DCU titles is a one-note dark sociopath, the incarnation on the animated series is heroic, and it is his heroism that inspires another to make a fateful decision.

The artwork captures the potency of the story and the grandeur of the characters. Green Lantern kicks off the book in a startling display of heroics that makes the heart pulse. Attacks by certain Leaguers exhibit experience and surprise not only the guest characters but also the reader. The aforementioned scene between Hawkgirl and Batman while not action packed still displays a motion that's characteristic of the alien policewoman. The reactions of the guest character neatly display emotion open for interpretation. The battle between Leaguers makes use of all their abilities and through the setup and artwork stuns the reader.

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