Going the Hard Route
October 24, 2004
By Avi Green
JLA #100: Elitism
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Tom Nguyen
The idea of this 100th milestone issue of the now acronym-titled
Justice series is to set up the premise for Justice League Elite, a
maxi-series also written by Kelly, starring Vera Black, the sister
of the late British mercenary and Superman adversary Manchester
Black, who’s trying to clear her family name, but also to go an
extreme route in dealing with justice and crimefighting.
It’s not a 100-percent perfect setup, but it’s fairly effective and
interesting nevertheless, as Vera for starters faces off with the
JLA when trying to state her cause in hard terms. She comes at first
and attacks the District of Columbia with a team of other metahumans
who’d appeared before, The Elite, and they certainly prove a very
hard bargain for even Superman, and even Plastic Man, who gets
pretty stunned by one of their blasts.
Her intention is to show them all
just “how things should be done”
and by that she means to take a very hardlined stance against crime
and evil in the world. But the League just ain’t interested…well,
most of ‘em anyway. The whole incident ends up dividing the ranks of
the League in the end, as Flash, Major Disaster and a few others
decide to join up with Vera’s cause.
As the start of a storyline to be focused upon in JLElite, it’s got some
interesting potential for a story whose purpose is to center on a
group of hardlined crimefighters who feel that the more liberal
approach being used by the regular league isn’t doing the job,
something that’s also been the focus of JSA’s Black Reign story arc of early 2004. Problem
is, it’s only skin-deep in what’s its getting at, and it’d be a lot
more satisfying if they’d just have given some more meaty details,
even in metaphorical terms.
However, that does appear to be what’s being done in JLElite already, so I guess I
can certainly overlook any flaws in the writing here.
Vera Black is an interesting character, whose premise is that she
had her original set of arms blown off in an accident and replaced
with special organic ones that could turn into guns, and by that I
mean pretty big guns. There’s raw-force girl power for you.
The artwork is pretty good, and so is the job on Wonder Woman,
drawing her again with a straight ‘do, and the battle dialogue is
appreciatively well done, with the usual trade between characters
even as they’re fighting, something that some of the trendier
writers of comics today don’t always seem very keen on these days.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to read JLElite all at once, and I’ll probably have to
wait for the trade, but as far as the 100th issue of JLA goes, it’s an okay start.
Copyright 2004 Avi Green. All rights reserved.
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