"New Maps of Hell": Part Two
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists: Butch Guice, David Baron(c)
"Alfred. Alert emergency services. The bar I tracked my perp to just exploded...Which was irritating."--Batman.
To paraphrase Zaphod Beeblebrox, Warren Ellis' JLA Classified isn't just amazing. It's "amazingly amazing."
Ellis who for some reason has become known as a hater of super-heroes thinks up one of the most imaginative and original uses of the Flash's power I have ever seen. Butch Guice compliments Ellis with a kickass, awe-inspiring sequence depicting this power. Ellis does not just focus on the Flash. He carefully segues between all the members of the League, and through the technique generates tension that leads to a very satisfying payoff.
High marks must also be given to Ellis' dialogue. The repartee between Lois and Clark defies the common belief that the marriage of these characters was a bad idea. Once again, you simply need a good writer willing to actually craft what he puts down on paper. In Ellis' hands Lois and Clark sound like Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in an imagined sequel to His Girl Friday. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Ellis tops the slackwits responsible for the Superman titles by showing Superman at full power and acting as super as he is supposed to act. None of this bull about weeping while floating over wreckage or the Man of Steel letting people die. No, this is Superman, and disaster in a world with a Superman doesn't have the same definition as it does here. Again, Butch Guice must be commended for his superb depiction of Kal-El flexing his muscles and speeding off like a bolt of lightning to save the day.
About the only bad thing I can say about this issue of JLA Classified is that Kyle's wearing the worst version of his costume accompanied by his worst haircut. Could be worse though. Could be Jordan.
JLA Classfied was exciting without being shocking. Everybody was in character or rather the characterization you hoped they would exhibit. This is characterization I may add that did not depend upon the spinning of a new continuity, and all the art just looked scrumptious. After reading JLA Classified Ellis even forced me to look up the phrase "bow wave" at wikipedia.com. When author is smarter than I am and transplants that intelligence to the story, I'm always happy.
What did you think of this book?
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