"New Maps of Hell: Part Six"
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists: Butch Guice, David Baron
"We're the Justice League. We've beaten up real gods and made them cry."--J'onn
Warren Ellis should be the new writer for the JLA. Ellis is unafraid to show these heroes at their best and as friends. Ellis concludes his Classified storyarc with a massive angst-free victory for the League, who as a team send the menace they face to the place from whence they escaped.
Ellis first shows why these are "the earth's mightiest heroes." He highlights each hero through different means arriving at the same conclusion to secure a small individual win. Ellis in particular devotes this issue to Superman. The author should be writing a Superman title if not all of them. His Superman is Kal-El and maks a point to accent his alien attributes.
These individual wins lead to a vivid explanation why the League are a team. As sole heroes they would have lost against the threat, but together, they are unbeatable. They are unstoppable, and more to the point, they win.
Ellis energizes the plot with powerful and witty dialogue. Superman's smart speech detailing his capability cracks one's toe-nails. His wry mention of Lois adds depth to character. Without resorting to clunky exposition, Ellis shows the Man of Steel to be also a Man of Two Worlds. J'onn's boast to the creature, almost Shakespearean in delivery, should be the motto of the Justice League.
The characterization fits the mold of the television Justice League. Ellis is that good. Batman who has suffered from a loss of depth since No Man's Land is once again the underestimated arch-strategist. His final gift to the alien evinces Batman's twisted sense of humor and his dangerous, unpredictable nature.
Butch Guice provides a photographic representation of the League in pencil and ink. Superman hasn't looked this good in years. The first page that greets you makes Kal-El eerily real and makes his gaze all that more awe-inspiring. Every Leaguer gains stature from Guice's nimble fingers. Needless to say, Guice should be the new artist for JLA.
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