The angst of this story is really interesting but the art was really hard to get past I mean really, really hard It was really a bummer to be honest.
This gets at the heart of what most Bat other JL combos reveals the bats don t seem to trust anyone The narrative constantly suggests that they re right not to JL members turn on them, reveal themselves to be evil weak ill equipped to handle threats Then here come the Bats to save the day with careful planning and strategy In some ways, it s necessary because it explains why a Bat is almost always a part of the JL It does a good job at reminding readers that you don t need superpowers to be useful in a crisis But, this story is a case of when that compartmentalization and planning can backfire Batman s kind of a dick view spoiler In this story, Ra s al Ghul takes the JL apart rather easily and all as a result of getting a sneak peek at Bruce Wayne s personal How To Destroy the JL guide Apparently, after a case where members of the JL were brainwashed or something of the sort, Bruce took it upon himself to come up with methods to take down every member of the League Just in case Ra s finds these and uses them If it hadn t been for Bruce figuring this out or maybe if it hadn t been for Arthur s quick thinking to rescue Plastic Man the JL would ve really been SOL Of course, in the end, they save the day, but not without consequences.
Personally, I m on Diana s side If I found out one of my teammates had a book on all the ways in which they could incapacitate me, I m never working alongside them again How do you work alongside someone you can t trust Apparently Clark felt the same way Because, by the end, it s revealed that Batsy was kicked out of the JL and the rest of the Batkids are being treated like pariahs by connection Again, personally, I think this could have been so much cooler with a different artist hide spoiler MINI REVIEW Ra s al Ghul has penetrated Batman s database on the weaknesses of the JLA members and chaos ensues as the JLA is impotent and one of Batman s smartest villains goes about triggering WWIII But the bigger issue is whether the JLA come on, you expect the JLA to lose and then they won t do any comic series can trust Batman again.
Interesting to see how each JLA member was defeated, most of it internal.
Tower of Babel is a Biblical reference to how languages were created in the ancient days.
ARTWORK PRESENTATION B to B plus STORY PLOTTING PANELS B plus to A minus CHARACTERS DIALOGUE B plus to A minus JLA MYTHOLOGY A minus ACTION SCENES B to B plus WHEN read early October 2013 OVERALL GRADE B plus view spoiler SPOILERS there are two shorts after the main story One in which Batman helps Superman from being framed and Aquaman admits his affections for Wonder Woman why didn t they send J onn, damn it.
Batman was ousted on a 4 to 3 vote with Superman casting the final tally hide spoiler Score 3.
95 out of 5Grade 79% B GoodReview coming soon.
Book Info This collection contains JLA issues 42 46 and material from JLA 80 Page Giant issue 1.
ABSOLUTE RATING 2 5 stars STANDARDIZED RATING 2 5 starsBefore the main arc begins, there are some short stories that precede it, but I ll just leave that discussion for the postscript But as for the main story As the power hungry and immortal ruler of the infamous League of Assassin s, Ra s al Ghul is one of Batman s most dangerous foes For his latest plot against humanity, Ra s devises an ingenious plan to negate the human perception of written language, thereby plunging civilization into turmoil His hope is that the resulting chaos and warfare will reduce the human population to a manageable level that can be ruled over, putting him in a position to conserve the planet s natural resources, eliminate pollution, and protect the planet s wildlife By targeting the JLA and exploiting their weaknesses, Ra s is able to incapacitate Earth s heroes, rendering Earth powerless to resist him.
I think that, at the very core of it, the plot for this story is nothing most comic readers haven t seen many times before The specific method the villain uses here may be unique, but the intended results, and his motives, are pretty typical In essence, this book fits into the class of superhero comic where the villain concocts a near perfect plan for world domination, and neutralizes the hero es so that nothing can get in their way For the most part, this is now a largely outdated approach I think , and I can recall extremely few examples of that kind of story that I actually enjoyed The reason I ve noticed for that is, in these cases, if the conflict isn t resolved through deus ex machina, then likely than not the villain s complacency led to extremely stupid mistakes which allow the heroes to gain the upper hand in the end For Tower of Babel and similar to Waid s Superman Birthright the second scenario applies Ra s plan seemed virtually perfect, and total victory was in arm s reach, but because of his arrogance, Ra s failed to seize the opportunity to kill or thoroughly incapacitate the JLA once and for all when they were at their weakest He had no conceivable reason to keep them alive, and enough of his previous plans must have been thwarted for him to know better than to settle for a half assed job, so why he didn t just go the extra mile is beyond me So rather than the heroes outsmarting the villain and saving the day, they just got tossed a freebie If you ask me, this shortcoming alone is enough to take some serious points off the book.
Even the intriguing JLA character moments showing conflict and mistrust between members are diminished by the awkwardly chummy atmosphere surrounding the group dynamic It s like on one hand, the team is too playful and protective of one another to be cool, but on the other it s easy to see evidence of deep seated resentments that pop their heads up at times I didn t take issue with the conflict aspect, but I did find the the mushy stuff unpleasant, and in the end Waid s mix of the two makes for an awkward duality And beyond the unremarkable trials endured by the heroes i.
e Aquaman vs aquaphobia, Kyle Rayner vs blindness, and the Martian Manhunter vs fire , the story leaves little time for characterization outside of Batman However, even that focuses on the same tired dead parents sob story As the supposed master tactician of the comic book world, one would think Bruce would have been ready for something like this already it s pretty damn obvious and even if he weren t, don t you think he should have been able to show the discipline necessary to reign in his anger and come to his senses once Superman told him the JLA was being systematically hunted by an unknown enemy Come on Bats I know you re smarter than thisThe pacing for this book is very fast, and it almost seemed like Waid thought that since it was a Justice League comic and therefore somehow intrinsically interesting it was okay to just jump into things head first and skip the build up Needless to say, he was wrong there is little intrinsically interesting about the JLA as is true for most other comic book teams and characters , but I do believe they could work under the direction of a decent writer and a strong lead up for the conflict But unless you re a die hard JLA fan and the investment is already there, there really isn t very much here to anchor interest Other than learning that Ra s was an avid environmentalist and animal lover which was fascinating I was never for a moment thrilled or than marginally interested by anything I read And the conclusion skips over what should have been a deeper and compelling discourse on trust and responsibility.
Aside from the writing, I also had a problem with the comic s illustrations Porter s artwork was bland, and many of his faces were downright ugly and or showed expressions that were overly melodramatic In my opinion, the art was a big part of what hijacked the excitement of the main arc of this book, and even the extra stories featured art of a comparable quality or worse.
With this and Superman Birthright , I ve now read through two of his top five most popular and highly rated books If Irredeemable is any better than those other two, I d be absolutely shocked if it s any better than 3 stars I would not have seen this coming, but I think that, as a writer, Waid seems inferior even to Geoff Johns.
Postscript Now that I ve already discussed the primary arc in my main review, there are about two issues worth of supplementary material I ll briefly cover here The first one from the JLA 80 Page Giant 1 includes two 10 page JLA team up stories one with Batman and Superman, and one with Wonder Woman and Aquaman Both of them are about 1.
5 stars in quality, and too unremarkable even to discuss here The second part i.
e issue 42 is a lot interesting, and involves the JLA embarking on a mission to save a dying man s life by shrinking down and negotiating with a cancerous species of bacteria who have colonized his brain Writer Dan Curtis Johnson throws in some suitable science fiction, while also touching on the philosophical, and making commentary on relevant issues such as global warming Johnson gets through quite a bit plotwise, and there were some cute parallels between the bacteria s civilization and that of Krypton I expect some readers who have compassion for non human organisms would feel compelled than I did by this story, but I ve just always had this human centric bias that s prevented me from enjoying these kinds of stories Although I wasn t by any means crazy about this issue, at a measly 2 2.
5 stars, it was probably still the single best one in this collection Here s some of the specific stuff I found corny in this book While I do think it s nice that the members of the Justice League are loyal and stand up for one another, this felt a bit too old fashioned and hokey.
Oh, come on So Plastic Man got his ass handed to him So what We all know getting hurt is just part of the job description when it comes to being a superhero Kyle s acting like the guy was permanently crippled by the attack or something Any self respecting hero would take offense to such unbelievably patronizing bullshit.
Okay The racing is mostly fine But to then include that extra two panels with the two glancing so lovingly to one another is just pushing it They re not even flirting, so I don t see the point of doing all that.
Lastly, why is Superman such a pathetic fuck boy That man cried not once, but twice in the same book Does this bother no one but me This story is now classified as DC classics but it is not because of flawless art of mind blowing story It is because of one fact Batman is paranoid nut job who has been studying his colleagues from JLA to find their weaknesses and take advantage of them This is the main reason why I dislike Batman so much but it makes a very good setup for a story There are panels where you can see what appears to be a pleasant friendly conversation but in fact Batman is gathering vital information The most astonishing thing about this fact is that it fits extremely nicely to Batman character.
This TPB edition collects JLA 43 46.
Creative Team Writer Mark WaidIllustrator Howard Porter KEEP YOUR ENEMIES One of the most celebrated storylines about the Justice League, published on its now iconic run under the title of JLA, where the members of the JLA are attacked using carefully planned strategies designed to beat each of them, made by none other thanBatman.
Batman is the quintessential paranoic man, where losing his parent when he was just 8 years old didn t help to it, and while he is member of the JLA, he is aware of the tremendous power that each of his fellow mates in team possess, so, he does what any paranoid man would domaking contingency plans to beat each member of the JLA, in case, one of all of them would turn evil and or controlled by a villain.
You can t blame him entirely if you think of cases like Green Lantern Hal Jordan.
However, his biggest mistake wasn t technically having those counter strategies, BUTnot keeping them secured enough, since a third party, with deep knowledge about Batman, takes those plans against the JLAand put them in practice Of course, Batman never revealed to his allies that he had such insidious designs planned to beat each of them, so when all this is put into lightthe JLA won t be the same any Am I the only one who thinks that if you re hanging out with Batman at least a couple of times a month, you should expect that he s keeping secret files on you This is a guy who s the greatest detective on Earth AND who manages to be a celebrity billionaire while maintaining a highly fantastical secret identity the dude clearly knows how to gather information and keep a lid on it.
Anyway the Justice League gets all surprised and offended when they learn that the one member in their group who is universally regarded as quasi nutjob A hole has been studying and recording their individual weaknesses in case they one day go rogue and he has to take them out How do they find out about this Ra s al Ghul steals those files and uses them quite effectively himself.
That s the setup, the book a collection of issues from a 2000 JLA story arc looks at the execution of al Ghul s plan, Batman s efforts to stop it, and the the Justice League coming to terms with what many of them consider a profound betrayal There s also an unrelated story in the beginning of the collection about Atom shrinking a few members of the team down so they can fight off a microscopic civilization wreaking havoc in a kid s brain tumor yeah It s a very solid story and it picks apart one of the most interesting aspects of the Justice League how Batman fits into the group Not only is he the only guy hanging out on the Justice League Watchtower base who doesn t have powers, he s also disliked resented barely tolerated by almost every other member of the group for being a stern, overbearing, humorless bastard I love Batman but yeah he kind of is This book addresses that head on and for that, and the way it skillfully picks apart the heroes weaknesses, I have to give it the praise it deserves.
But the art.
Oh God Damn The art is atrocious Like, laughably bad on than one occasion I m not at the level of comic book fan where I can sling artists names and work around with any kind of sophistication, but I know what resembles a 1990s Burger King Kids ad and what doesn t and this stuff could easily have been used to sling JR Whoppers during BUSH I s administration This is most obvious whenever a character has to register shock surprise on their face in a closeup it invariably looks like someone with a JLA fetish had a blowup doll custom designed with glass eyes Thank god the story is solid enough to make this bearable.
Anyway, a solid read Definitely a JLA ensemble piece, but Batman than anything else If you can get past the art it s well worth your time.