Current Reviews


JLA Classified #9

Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell

"Lo! There Shall Come An Ending, And None Too Soon!"

Writers: Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Artists: Kevin Maguire (p), Joe Rubinstein (i)

Publisher: DC Comics

Plot: As half the cast debate whether they should actually be risking their life to save this alternate Earth, the other characters find themselves dealing with their alternate Earth evil counterparts who haven't exactly rolled out the welcome mat. After some amusing bits, the whole group is brought back to their proper Earth by an annoyed Doctor Fate, and the cast gets back to their lives where they all lived happily ever after.

Comments: I expected to be a little more depressed after I finished this issue as I could no longer ignore the events that have been playing out in the DCU and there's no more issues for me of Keith Giffen/J. M. DeMatteis JLA-C to look forward to. However, Giffen and DeMatteis end the issue on a fairly happy note, and since this creative team is moving on to other projects, I'll simply put the Blue and Gold JLA cast back into the box where it sat for the better part of a decade and a half, and I'll bring my love for these characters back when this creative team is allowed to work on them again. The simple truth of the matter is that if this creative team isn't the ones working on the characters than they simply aren't the same, and this makes it far easier to disconnect what's happening in the DCU from these miniseries. In the end this was a very entertaining final kick at the can, as Giffen and DeMatteis are in fine form while these characters deal with being trapped on an alternate Earth where they must battle their evil counterparts. As is often the case with this collection of characters, their method of dealing with this crisis is decidedly unique. How can one not love the rooftop exchange between Guy, Mary Marvel and Power Girl as they discuss whether they should be making an effort to save the city from a rampaging King Kong-sized G'Nort There's also a cute little moment where our cast deals one of their own having a gun to their head, and how can one not love the scene where Booster Gold manages to fumble his big attempt at bluffing their way out of the crisis completely? The running gag of Blue Beetle's amnesia gets a very funny payoff, as his sudden cure is used to poke fun at his heart condition. There's also a very solid bit of emotional angst that deals with Fire's feelings of guilt over her failure to get Ice out of Hell, and if nothing else it manages to remind me how much I'm going to miss these characters. Oh well, here's hoping they can work their magic on the Defenders.

Kevin Maguire turns in his usual clinic on how to deliver a very entertaining story using only the faces of the characters. In fact, he's so good at it that I wish he was teaching a class that all comic book artists were required to take if they wanted to work in the industry. Far too many artists are trying to get by with only a half dozen facial expressions, while Kevin Maguire demonstrates that there are literally thousands that they could be using. Then again, I guess his mastery of facial expressions and body language is what has me eagerly picking up any and every project that he works on so I guess it's to his advantage that he's a bit of a rarity when it comes to comic book art. Still when I get a look at Mary Marvel's reaction to the discovery of giant head lice, or the series of panels where Booster figures out that Fire is trying to bluff their way past a problem, I can't help but wish that more artists were able to convey such a wide range of emotion from their characters. Heck, he's even able to sell the idea that Doctor Fate is royally ticked off, which is extra impressive considering the character is wearing a full face mask.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!