Wednesday, January 19, 2005

JLA: Classified #2
writer: Grant Morrison
artist: Ed McGuinness
published by DC Comics

OK. I know I'm behind on my comics buying/reading/reviewing.
But, I've committed a sin...
I missed the first issue of a Grant Morrison book.
I know. I'm surprised about it too. And disappointed in myself. Why? Because it was Morrison's late 90s run on JLA that got me back into comics. Because he's hands down, the smartest comic writer on the planet. Yes. He's smarter than Alan Moore. Deal. (Notice I didn't say he was BETTER than Alan Moore -- and shut up, will ya?).
So, the JLA have been drawn into an infant universe without superheroes on the trail of a supervillain by the name of Black Death (I've never heard of him before, but I'm no expert on DC continuity). And Grodd, with the aid of a being called Nebulo has attacked the Ultramarine Corps, subduing them with tiny creatures called Spine Riders, and turning them into superpowered weapons, essentially.
Batman, left behind by the League, plans an offensive against the gorilla and his new pawns, but things go wrong real quick. And as the JLA return, they look to be in for a bit of a dust-up.
As with his previous turn on JLA, this is superhero storytelling at its finest. Tight, fat-free and so fast paced you might think you missed about 16 pages by the end of it. Morrison juggles high-concept with purely visceral adventure so easily, you'd think this could never be the man who wrote The Filth or The Invisibles, two of the most mind-blowingly dense reads I've ever come across.
As far as the art, let me say. I was wrong. I've been one to trash Ed McGuinness' art, and I was wrong. I've been loving his stuff in Batman/Superman (picked up the HC and loved it long time), and I'm willing to admit it. I didn't give the guy a fair shake. He makes superheroing look...well, super.
Now I gotta track down the first issue...

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