(2007) Jim Krueger, Alex Ross and Doug Braithwaite, Titan Books, £12.99, hrdbk, 160pp, ISBN 978-1-845-7-6630-X
This is the third and final volume collecting together the 12-part Justice League of America series, (see also Justice vol.1) set firmly in the DC Universe's 'Silver Age' when Barry Allen was still the Flash. In the previous volumes we have seen super-villains, including Lex Luthor, the Riddler, Gorilla Grodd, Bizarro, Black Manta, Poison Ivy, the Scarecrow and many others as they seem to be doing good deeds around the world, curing the sick, reclaiming deserts and building gigantic flying cities for the world's dispossessed. But we have also seen them taking down the members of the Justice League, and Brainiac performing brain surgery on Aquaman. Now that the superheroes have regrouped from their earlier defeats, can they find out what is really going on and, if they do, will they be able to do anything about it in time? So, this book picks up as the League are about to make their first assault on the villains' stronghold. Having discovered nano-machine control devices are in use, the JLA press the Metal Men into service as suits of armour to protect against incursion by the tiny technology. In the meantime things aren't going quite so well for the villains either. You really shouldn't upset the Joker if you know what's good for you.
This is a really good example of just how fine 'mere' superhero comics can be when the creative team are on top of the game. Krueger's plot (in its Silver Age context) is excellent and makes full use of the large cast; Braithwaite's pencil's are a triumph of composition and dramatic precision; and Ross's painted artwork is a complete and utter joy to behold. This is a very special book (alright, three books!) and well worth a place on anybody's shelves.
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