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DC Comics Presents Justice League of America

Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2004
By: Ray Tate



"The Secret Behind the Stolen Weapons"
"The Mayhem of the Mysterious Marauders"

Writers: Harlan Ellison & Peter David; Marv Wolfman
Artists: Joe Giella, Steve Bucelato(c); Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: DC

I thought with Harlan Ellison, Peter David and Marv Wolfman behind these stories that DC Comics Presents the Justice League of America would be the best of the Julius Schwartz tributes. How wrongly I predicted.

Harlan Ellison's JLA story sucks. There's no conflict. It's all a dream, and nobody in their right mind would want to see the JLA humiliated in such a way. Ellison tries to pull the tale from the flames with a saccharine ending that blurs the lines between fiction and reality, but it's all too little and too late. If you're wondering why I'm resorting to trite chestnuts to describe Ellison's work this issue, the answer is because it's all it deserves; especially when you consider the superb Batman story he and Gene Ha contributed to the black and white backups in Gotham Knights.

Peter David adapted the Ellison story for the book. So we can at least grant him partial blame. Come on guys. We're paying for these comics.

It is on the other hand great to see pro Joe Giella return to comic books. He's currently illustrating Mary Worth, and this story shows that he has lost none of his appreciation for anatomy or verve for super-heroes. Colors by Steve Bucelato add out of time depth to the heroes. Coloring technology has improved over the years, with the combination of the two--Giella and the colors of Bucelato--you can see how impressive classic-look art looks under the color hues of today. For this and this alone DC Comics Presents the Justice League of America earns the second bullet.

Marv Wolfman's story although it does involve time travel still makes sense. He unfortunately tries to hide the decent tale under unnecessary goofiness. The JLA in tuxedoes and gown as well as costume is simply stupid, and Dustin Nguyen's artwork is merely ugly.

This is a massive let down by industry pros. Only the artwork of Joe Giella soars above the refuse and saves the issue from a short trip to the trashcan.



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