Current Reviews


JLA Classified #8

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell

"The Super Buddies in ... That Moron Looks Just Like Me!"

Writers: Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: Kevin Maguire
Inks: Joe Rubinstein
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Bob Lappan
Publisher: D.C. Comics
$2.99 U.S. / $4.00 CAN

Having taken a wrong turn during their return from Hell we see our cast of characters find themselves on an alternate Earth which is currently under attack by a giant rampaging G'Nort. After Blue Beetle is stricken by a bout of amnesia, we see while the powerhouses of the team deal with G'Nort, the others return to their headquarters where they slowly come to realize that they aren't on the right Earth.

As this visit with the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League nears its conclusion I have to say it's becoming increasingly difficult not to get a little depressed by the idea that this is likely the last time we'll see this group together, as the mainstream DCU has went and built it's summer events around the dismantling of this group. Of course my ideal solution would be that when the DCU jumps forward one year after the events of the Infinity Crisis event the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League cast (including Sue Dibny, Maxwell Lord, Blue Beetle and Ice) will be running around alive and perfectly content to carry on providing me with a steady stream of amusing interaction, and downright goofy plots. Than of course to make my delusion perfect they would also be the stars of a new monthly title that was perfectly content to completely to ignore the events of the past year, as all that fuss and bother was resolved during the missing year, and the book could take a "we don't like to talk about that" approach to the mystery of how they got the train back on the tracks. In any event I've wasted more than enough time on my little fantasy, and I really should get around to an actual review of the comic. As tends to be the case when it comes to this creative team this is a very funny book that averages about a laugh a page, and has me cracking a smile pretty much during the entire reading experience. Now I read that last sentence and I recognize that it makes me sound like a unabashed fanboy who can't see any flaws with my perfect creative team, and truth be told there might be something to this accusation, but frankly the creative team has built up a tremendous amount of credit in my bank as they have created a cast of characters that I genuinely care for, and even though they are guilty of repeating gags, I have to say the disgusted reaction to Elongated Man's twitching nose scene still makes me laugh, and chances are it will every time this creative team offers it up. Now the running gag of Blue Beetle's amnesia seemed to be missing the big comedic payoff I was looking for, and I was a little disappointed by the lack of panel time that Guy received in this issue, but Giffen/DeMatteis have so much fun playing with a number of goofy comic book clichés that I can't help but love this issue.

If you want to see what Kevin Maguire brings to this book you only have to open this book to it's final page, as we see Sue Dibny and Maxwell Lord debating what to do about the mystic artifact that teleports people to Hell, as the entire comedic momentum of this sequence rests upon the facial expressions of these two, and Max's face after he questions Sue's devotion to Ralph stands up my personal favourite visual moment of the issue. As for the rest of the issue, how can one not love a book that opens with a giant rampaging G'Nort, and the cover image can't help but make one smile, as Guy's expression is priceless. The sequence where we see a character trying to decided whether to kill Fire is also extremely well presented by the art, as their transformation into a cold-blooded killer is very nicely done, and it acts as a perfect visual contrast to everything that we know about this character. I'd be a little more depressed about this arc ending if I didn't know that he was following Giffen/DeMatteis over to the "Defenders" as I've becomes rather attached to the idea of a monthly dose of Kevin Maguire art.

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