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Justice League Adventures #9

Posted: Friday, July 5, 2002
By: Ray Tate



"Stepping Out"

Writer: Matt Howarth
Artists: David Lopez, John Kalisz(c)
Publisher: DC

Plot: Terrorists attack. The JLA defend.

When I receive an animated series based comic book in my brown bag, it immediately will be shifted to the top of the pile. I like to start the endorphins flowing early before a really bad book negates my will to live. Sadly, Justice League Adventures does just that. This issue of the normally thrilling comic book is simply woeful.

The plot offers so much meat, but the creators of this issue while serving the dish spoil the texture with inferior condiments. Where did Matt Howarth learn to dialogue? Judging by Justice League Adventures, I would wager he programmed his language faculties by studying the dubbing of Italian gladiator films. It’s a wonder the thought balloons can stay afloat. Observe this anchor from Green Lantern:

“So, I’m not the only one who suspects this was of non-geological origin.”

What the hell !?! Try this:

“I think somebody triggered this disaster.”

Superman spouts:

“My X-Ray vision tells me which direction to dig the best tunnel to release all this pressure.”

First, to whom is Superman addressing? He’s underground in the bowels of earth. Second, even if he is speaking to the Mole People, a little brevity still is welcome. Instead, Superman should say:

“I’ll scan the region and bore a tunnel.”

See, we know Superman has all sorts of vision powers. We know he’s boring the tunnel to “release all this pressure.” Superman diverting the flow of an exploding volcano is a classic.

Batman seems to be speaking Schumacherese:

“Hawkgirl, you and I must exhibit utterly bewildering behavior to draw their attention.”

In the next panel, he continues:

“The Flash can dash in and quickly neutralize the terrorists while they are distracted by our ludicrous antics.”

Great Scott! First, this only needed to be one panel, and second Batman’s not that loquacious with which to begin. The entire scene could have taken place in one panel with the simpler and more succinct:

“While Hawkgirl and I provide distractions, you neutralize the vermin.”

Even if Mr. Howarth assumed the reader to be as dumb as he and needed the action spelled out, sometimes twice, in big globs of dialogue, an editor should have forced him to rewrite his story or fix it himself. Steve Wacker claims to be the editor. I believe he should change his name to Steve Slacker.

The DCU “proper” is comprised of dark, unhappy idiots in tights. You cannot take them seriously save as pre-Crisis rape victims. The only place to find the heroes whom we counted on as children are in the animated series and the books based upon the cartoons. Please, pay attention. We don’t seek the bland. We don’t wish for the stupid. We don’t want artiface. We want the genuine articles: intelligent men and women gifted with powers and/or abilties who are dedicated to serve justice. We want our legends. We want them to speak and act like legends. In this issue of the normally spectacular Justice League Adventures we get something that’s below childish and insulting.



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