Morrison, DeMatteis, Porter, Pajarillo
JLA 34-41

This is part of my comic book challenge 2009.

The trade contains one issue about a superhuman prison riot, one issue about Hal Jordan angsting about being the Spectre, and the rest is devoted to the World War III storyline.

I tend to like long storylines better and this is no exception. It’s not quite as good as Rock of Ages but it certainly has more characters and no time-hopping so I can fully understand why some people like WWIII more.

In the first story, the super powered inmates at Belle Reve are rioting. Aquaman, the Green Lantern, Plastic Man and Zauriel have been sent to contain the situation but things are going worse quickly. Lantern loses his ring during a fist fight, and the inmates are killing wardens. Meanwhile, Orion and Mister Miracle tell the rest of the team that the big threat, Mageddon, has arrived.

After the Hal Jordan-issue, the WWIII continues. Luthor has again gathered up his Injustice gang but the lineup is very different this time: Prometheus, the Queen Bee (who, despite how she’s drawn isn’t, you know, a mammal at all…), and the General in the body of the indestructible Shaggy Man. JLA, Orion, and Mister Miracle are in a war council about Mageddon, which is a weapon of the Old Gods and its nearness can first cause evil people to become violent, and later practically everyone to turn against each other. This is already seen on Earth where military budgets are rising and numerous countries are threatening to go to war against each other. In the middle of all this, the Injustice Gang invades the Watchtower.

Meanwhile Metron, Wonder Woman, and Big Barda are travelling to Wonderworld which was last seen in the Rock of Ages. They are trying to find allies again Mageddon. Unfortunately, Mageddon managed to turn the powerful heroes of that world against each other and almost everyone has died. The trio returns to Earth only to see how badly people have been affected there, too.

There are lots of things happening in the story and again the JLA has to break up to teams in order to deal with all of the crisis: stop the world leaders from bombing each other (and the Earth) to oblivion, to stop Mageddon, and to deal with the super villains. JLA also asks the help of every available super hero. In fact, there’s almost too much going on and no storyline gets the most time.

There are a lot of fights in the trade but surprisingly, there’s even a little character development and very nice way to show the trust and friendship that is between Superman and Batman (which is ironic, of course, considering that the next trade is Tower of Babel. But with a different writer).

There are also nice little scenes like the one between Batman, Huntress, and Prometheus in Prometheus’ tower, and in Heaven when Zauriel is asking for help from his fellow angels and, of course, the way that that help is given. I also quite enjoyed Prometheus vs. Batman round 2.

Overall it’s a nice, long fight against deadly, cosmic level enemies. Not, perhaps, JLA at it’s very best but quite close.