Home > DC Comics > JLA #93

JLA #93

February 23, 2004

Quick Rating: Poor
Title: Soul Survivor (Extinction Part Three)

Peppy wants to destroy the world, so let’s talk to him!

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

Remember when Dennis O’Neil wrote poignant comics? Remember when his stories were smart and thought-provoking? If you want to continue treasuring those days, avoid this issue.

Over the last two issue the Justice League met an alien called Peppy (I’m not making this up) who arrived to rescue an endangered silver-masked monkey and, failing that, destroy the world. The Justice League, of course, is out to stop him, but it isn’t easy to find a shapeshifter among six billion people.

Aside from the clichéd plot, this story is dragged down with poor pacing. Single panels with three-word lines, lines stretched out over two panels or scenes over and over again… it’s like reading a comic book written by William Shatner.

As if that weren’t bad enough, just when the story seems like it’s gotten as trite as possible O’Neil gets on his soapbox and starts to preach, preach, preach! People are terrible! Everything is bad in the world! Only this poor lonely alien who wants to kill all of humanity can recognize that! Even if the Justice League were simplistic enough to accept this creed, forgiveness comes way too quickly and the ending comes way too easily.

The artwork is no great shakes either – every panel is sketchy and every character is ugly. Plastic Man is not only superfluous in this issue, he’s annoying too, and for a character that great, that’s seriously bad writing and art.

There were a couple of good points in this issue, which gives it the point and a half it gets. First, O’Neil does do very good characterization of Superman (at least, when he’s not at his pulpit). He comes across as strong, confident, decisive and a real leader. Also, Eng does a clever effect on The Flash for his super-speed scenes – almost like a television screen blanking out.

But those two bits aren’t enough to save an issue that is seriously played out. Next month the much-ballyhooed story arc by Chris Claremont and John Byrne begins, and even if you’re the sort of reader who thinks those two legends of the form are past their prime, even at they’re worst they’re a lot better than what we got this month.

Rating: 3/10

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