Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Justice League of America: Another Nail

(2004) Alan Davis & Mark Farmer, Titan Books, 8.99, trdpbk, 144pp, ISBN 1-840-23944-1

One of the nice things about the 'Elseworlds' books is that it allows fans-turned-pro to turn back the clock and undo (what some might see as) the errors of the past. In this case I refer to the Crisis on Infinite Earths which effectively destroyed the DC multi-verse by attempting to bring all characters into the same continuity. Now on the one hand, I am over it (Jeez, it is only a comic book...) and, what with various re-vamps of characters over the years, these days I treat all the comics I read as though they are set in some parallel universe that did not exist when I was a kid anyway, but on the other hand I love reading books where either the 'Crisis' did not happen (like this one) or explicitly points out why it could never have happened (like Kingdom Come/The Kingdom). And I love the old (original) Justice League of America. And I love Alan Davis's work. And I loved The Nail. So do you really need three guesses to know what I think about this book? Thought not.

In the first book (to remind latecomers) Superman fell to Earth and was not found by Jonathan and Martha Kent, but by the Amish community. Consequently he started his superhero career late though, luckily, in time to help defeat a Kryptonian menace. Now it is a bit later and the fall out of a war between Darkseid and the New Gods threatens the destruction of the universe (and, ultimately, the multiverse). The Green Lantern Corps are forced to join in and with their help (and Scott Free's) Apokolips is defeated. Then things get interesting... And the Doom Patrol are called in. And The Outsiders. And the Metal Men. And Madame Xanadu, Black Orchid, the Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, the Legion of Superheroes, the Blackhawks... You get the picture, I am sure. I can not begin to imagine just how much fun Alan had writing and drawing this (actually, I know very well), but you can see it on every single page of this wonderful book. The splash pages alone would take a novel to describe! My favourite being when the Spectre is revealed after a bit of a search... Anyway, this is a 'must have' book for fans of all ages (since the current lovely cartoon series serves the younger segment of the audience as well as the old JLA title did for crustier fans, like me) and I cannot possibly recommend it enough. Stop reading this stupid review - go and buy it now!

Tony Chester

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