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Justice League of America #24

Posted: Saturday, August 23, 2008
By: Shawn Hill

Dwayne McDuffie
Allan Goldman, Rollins, Ramos, Fridolfs (i)
DC Comics
ďThe Second Coming: The Blood-Dimmed TideĒ

Plot: Amazo keeps trying to take Reddyís body. And get revenge on Vixen for stopping him last time. Zatanna doesnít like his attitude. Neither does Dinah. Batman seems like he doesnít care at all, but címon, you know Batman. Heís just waiting to deliver the killing blow. Or die trying.

Comments: Things are still a bit out of control on this title. Three inkers, and a guest penciller, for a major story denouement? A cover (however beautiful, by Ed Benes) that seems completely unrelated to the story inside? This is the flagship team title, folks. Time to get it in gear by year two, no? JSA is far more consistent, and itís not because Geoff Johns is a better writer than McDuffie. Itís a question of focus, and this title got slippery on the quality control some months ago.

That said, Allan Goldman does a creditable job filling in, doing a pretty good version of the Benes-Turner-DC house style super team shenanigans. His newfangled gel-errific Amazo is very creepy, and it is a JLA-size story when the whole team takes him on in the Hall of Justice, doing collateral damage all around, and pushing their powers and brains to the limit to stop their foe.

The coordination and concern between members is a beauty to behold. For those who read the last The Boys issue (where a similar team acted like cretins in a crisis), this is your antidote. Itís great fun to see everyone let loose, and McDuffie is a master of coordinating multiple characters in a fight story (which is most of the issue). Everyone gets a chance to shine and the references to popular movies and past stories regarding their powers only adds to the excitement. They seem like teammates who know and care about each other.

But letís face it, most of what McDuffie is doing here is cleaning up Meltzerís mess, still. The Amazo battle feels like a retread, because we did it so recently. But the first one was less satisfying, so this one feels like, oh, the way The Search for Spock "fixedĒ all that went wrong in The Wrath of Khan.

On that tip, the other thing to fix is Mariís powers, and thatís where the cover comes in at last. Thereís a sinister presence manipulating the animal-based power set, and on the cover he looks a lot like Marvelís Shadow King. Apparently heís more spidery than that, as weíll find out next issue. Fall-out from 52 and a large cast beating the odds, thatís what we want from JLA. Get a regular penciller and keep a stable crew for a while, will ya? Now that itís going good, donít screw it up!



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