Home > DC Comics > JLA #92

JLA #92

January 27, 2004

Quick Rating: Average
Title: The Lesson (Extinction Part Two)

When the alien Peppy finds his mission on Earth had failed before he arrived, will the Justice League be able to show him Earth is worth saving?

Writer: Dennis O’Neil
Art: Tan Eng Huat
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover Art: Doug Mahnke & Tom Ngyuen
Publisher: DC Comics

Last issue, an alien called Peppy came to Earth to find a silver-masked monkey, only to arrive just in time to see the last member of that species die. This issue, the Justice League learns what made that monkey so important. Meanwhile, fandom let out a collective yawn.

It’s sad to say this about a writer with such a varied and impressive career as Dennis O’Neil, but this arc is really just sort of humdrum. Been there. Done that. An alien comes to Earth to protect and endangered species and make all us humans feel bad about ourselves. It’s just not anything new, and after a seriously lackluster JLA title for the last year or two, that’s what this book needs.

That’s not to say that there’s really anything wrong with this book — for the most part it’s okay, and in fact, this story would be much more entertaining if it were printed as a silver age pastiche rather than an in-continuity story arc. He does good characterization on Superman, on Batman (a character he edited for many years) and his characterization on Plastic Man is almost too good (yes, he’s a wacky character, but in this title he doesn’t have to have a sight gag and a one liner in every panel he appears in).

The alien character really isn’t that interesting either. On top of a really bad name (Peppy?), if he’s telling the truth about his mission, that flatly contradicts one of the most important parts of Green Lantern continuity of the 80s — one would think Jon Stewart, who was present for those events, would make mention of it.

Huat’s artwork just isn’t working for me, and it may be because he’s either inking it himself or because it’s being colored straight from the pencils, I can’t tell which. In either case, he needs a good inker to work with. His storytelling and formatting is fine, but things look sketchy and unfinished. Sometimes his faces remind me of Joe Staton and sometimes his layout reminds me of Leinil Yu, and in both cases he comes up wanting compared to those great artists.

As I said, JLA has been a lackluster title for a long time, way too long, and this arc really isn’t changing that (although, to its credit, it does not suffer from a lot of the problems that marked the run of the previous creative team). With the new rotating creative team format, it is to be expected that some arcs will be better than others. Editor Mike Carlin should have started that format with a home run story arc, though, and at best, he’s given us a ground-rule double.

Rating: 5/10

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