Grant Morrison has been working with DC Comics for twenty five years, after beginning his American comics career with acclaimed runs on ANIMAL MAN and DOOM PATROL. Since then he has written such best-selling series as JLA, BATMAN and New X-Men, as well as such creator-owned works as THE INVISIBLES, SEAGUY, THE FILTH, WE3 and JOE THE BARBARIAN. In addition to expanding the DC Universe through titles ranging from the Eisner Award-winning SEVEN SOLDIERS and ALL-STAR SUPERMAN to the reality-shattering epic of FINAL CRISIS, he has also reinvented the worlds of the Dark Knight Detective in BATMAN AND ROBIN and BATMAN, INCORPORATED and the Man of Steel in The New 52 ACTION COMICS.
In his secret identity, Morrison is a "counterculture" spokesperson, a musician, an award-winning playwright and a chaos magician. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Supergods, a groundbreaking psycho-historic mapping of the superhero as a cultural organism. He divides his time between his homes in Los Angeles and Scotland.
An attack from the 5th dimension makes for the wackiest JLA adventure yet, and there’s more where that came from! Here is my review of JLA Vol. 5: Justice for All:
This first story had a ton of great character moments. Batman uses his brain rather than his brawn to take on the Shaggy Man. Plastic Man is crackin’ jokes as the comic relief. And Superman has an awesome moment with a group of military men. It’s f***ing Superman, put your weapons down if you know what’s good for you!
I liked the idea behind the Ultramarines. This team was created to protect the US on a national scale, just in case the JLA is off saving the world someplace else. When the two super teams go at it, there’s a lot of action-packed fun to be had. This is where the art goes to 100 real quick! Big, bold, action-filled panels with lots to look at.
Although short, I liked the brief change in direction with the Atom storyline. He finally got his moment in the spotlight. Amazo as the mean muggin’ villain was cool! He adapted to whatever JLA team he was up against, which was complimented well by the art. I was also excited to see a couple superhero cameos thrown into the mix.
ATTACK FROM THE 5TH DIMENSION
Not going to lie, I was confused as hell when this attack from the 5th dimension started. But, I appreciate how the story spends some time clearing the air. Everything to do with the 5th dimension was just a lot of f***ing fun! This story chronicles the JLA on the worst acid trip EVER! But the art was highly creative, from panels falling off the page to little details hidden in the background.
SHAZAM! I mean, Captain Marvel, had a fun guest appearance. There’s a great altercation between him and the Man of Steel. And, as you may know, I love my superhero team-ups! So seeing the JLA and JSA kickin’ ass together was a lot of fun and made for some really great dialogue. Surprisingly, the Huntress and Wildcat duo ended up being one of my favourite pairings by the end.
This story is also full of badass moments from the JLA. Superman has his grand re-entrance just when you forgot he was even in this story. And even Steel stood out as he held down the fort at the JLA Headquarters from the devious Triumph. It was nice to see someone else from the JLA have their moment to shine.
This single-issue that follows Huntress was unexpectedly great! She kicked some serious ass and even had a deep philosophical conversation with Superman. The ending was excellent – highlighting the fact that Huntress is just as vital and capable a JLA member as Superman…but not as vital and capable, I mean, it’s f***ing Superman. The most overpowered character of all time (or maybe that’s Goku).
BRUCE WAYNE VILLAIN?
This was another single-issue story that had some solid character moments. Plastic Man had me laughing so hard at one point, I had to stop reading and collect myself. Orion literally lights himself on fire and goes full Wolverine berserker mode! And a few other JLA members get their 15 seconds in the spotlight, which was nice to see.
Although I liked the idea of the Ultramarines, I hardly remember the actual characters that made up the team. They were forgettable and just felt generic. It’s also funny how their origin at first is VERY similar to the Fantastic Four’s origin. Then later on, their true origin comes to light and adds this “they’re dying” plotline, which is never really resolved.
When the JLA and Ultramarines are going at it, there’s this electromagnetic shield surrounding them, which was used as a cheap way to neutralize some of the JLA members. It was random and lazy. And the way they defeated General Eiling felt wayyy too easy. Let’s just use that convenient transporting device in the corner and zap our problems away! What a coinkydink!!
Easily the worst part of this story is it’s sh***y ending. How do you defeat someone who can match the abilities of every JLA member? Oh, you just disband the team?! Wait a minute, you mean it’s that easy?! This just felt like such a cheap ending. It’s like saying, “If we all believe hard enough, then we can win.” I would have preferred a more creative, action-packed conclusion.
There’s also a bunch of dumb clichés that I just didn’t buy. “Oh hey Atom! Gee-willikers! Glad you showed up just in time to save the day!” And there’s, “Let’s move Amazo’s body before he wakes up! Oh…we can’t? Ohhh, because a nuke will go off if we do…mmkay.” The set up was fun and felt like we were in for an action-packed finale, but it just got lazy in its resolution.
ATTACK FROM THE 5TH DIMENSION
Thankfully, the story spends some time explaining what was going on, but I was confused as sh** when it started. We also have this Spectre storyline, which was honestly just a waste of paper! It makes it out to seem like we need him to save the day, but by the time he comes into the mix, the day has already been saved. It had very little payoff for the amount of time spent on this storyline.
A death of a hero was prophesized by Hourman throughout this story. And once you realize who it was, you feel sad for all of 30 seconds before they come back to life and start crackin’ jokes again. I mean, I was looking forward to seeing a hero actually fall – some actual consequences. But nope, to have this person die and come back almost instantly, there was no real payoff. If they stayed dead-dead, I think it would’ve been better. Sad, but better.
There was a subplot following a few other JLA members, which was just boring. They were somehow jumped by a couple of Locus soldiers with the worst plan ever. “Maybe if we catch them by surprise, our guns will hurt them this time!” “Oh, great plan man!” Like no one has tried shooting the JLA before…
BRUCE WAYNE VILLAIN?
What really threw me off was the fact that no one knows Batman’s secret identity. I just assumed that the team knew who he was, but I was wrong. I wish this information was relayed at the beginning rather than at the end. It just made Bruce Wayne as the villain confusing. And even when you get passed this, the story is straight as an arrow. A few good moments, but still forgettable.
Another large book with too many stories to count, and for the most part, they’re actually decent! The attack from the 5th dimension is definitely my favourite, and the single-issue Amazo story was probably my least. Wacky fun, albeit slightly confusing – pretty much sums up Morrison’s JLA run.
Recommended for: Anyone looking for a variety of JLA stories, or wanting to know what acid feels like. Don't do drugs kids!
Justicia para Todos es un cómic un poco especial para mí, porque con él, después de muchos (muchos) años alejado de DC, fue con el que volví a llegar a estos héroes, a Superman, Batman y compañía. Y fue en la edición (horrible) de Norma Editorial, que tenía una manera muy especial por así decirlo de publicar cómics de DC.
Con Justicia para Todos tenemos un nuevo número que recoge varios arcos argumentales de la JLA, y en este caso, por primera vez, no todos ellos son de Grant Morrison, ya que incluye varios tie-in con guión de Mark Millar, Mark Waid y Devin Grayson (bueno, son tres grandes nombres para hacer números de relleno, todo sea dicho). El primero de ellos continúa directamente los acontecimientos de Un Millón, donde Montevideo resultaba destruída tras el ataque de Vandal Savage utilizando los Rocket Red, y nos cuenta el conflicto entre la JLA, de corte internacional, con un equipo de metahumanos desarrollados por el ejército de Estados Unidos y dirigidos por el General Wade Eiling, que se hacen llamar los Ultramarines (y que son una versión retorcida de los Cuatro Fantásticos). Superado el conflicto con los Ultramarines, tenemos un número en el que la Liga tiene que enfrentarse a un Amazo que intenta liberar el Profesor Ivo y que va acumulando todos los poderes de los miembros del equipo.
Y tras este número (escrito por Mark Waid) llega el arco que más peso tiene en el tomo, Crisis por Cinco, en el que la Liga se une a los miembros de la antigua Sociedad de la Justicia para hacer frente a una amenaza que puede destruir la propia realidad, el conflicto entre dos genios de la Quinta Dimensión, Yz y Lkz, siendo el primero el antiguo genio de Johnny Thunder en la Sociedad de la Justicia. La presencia de entes de la quinta dimensión en nuestro mundo (incluyendo a Qwsp, un viejo enemigo de Aquaman), hace que nuestro mundo se vaya desmoronando, mientras además, Lkz manipula el mundo para atrapar al propio Espectro o enviar a un héroe olvidado, Triumph, acompañado de dos de sus compañeros en lo que fue JLA Task Force (Ray y Gipsy, JLA Task Force fue el intento de DC en los 90 por crear una colección de tipo Image... mejor no recordarlo), contra la propia JLA.
El tomo cierra con dos números autoconclusivos, donde vemos la participación de la JLA en uno de los eventos más importantes de la historia de Batman, Tierra de Nadie (donde a raíz de un terremoto y sus consecuencias, Gotham se ve apartada legalmente de los Estados Unidos y en el que se ha basado tanto la tercera película de Nolan sobre Batman como la última temporada de la serie Gotham), y luego vemos como Batman envía a la Liga a luchar contra... Bruce Wayne.
Con Justicia para Todos, Morrison da el último paso hacia el que sería el final de su etapa en la JLA, la llegada de Maggedon, la amenaza de la que se llevaba hablando prácticamente desde el primer número de la colección, y que tendría lugar en Tercera Guerra Mundial... Un tomo que Norma no llegaría a editar nunca y que tendríamos que esperar años para leer (de hecho, curiosamente, Norma se lo saltó y pasó a las siguientes etapas de la JLA... lo dicho, eran muy suyos).
So I'm reading through these volumes of JLA because of Grant Morrison's run on the title, but he isn't the only author to have a hand in this one.
Though this volume features what may be the most "Morrisonian" story yet in his run on JLA, we have some other stories and authors to look at, too.
The book begins with the 3-issue Ultramarine Corps story which was one of the ones done by Morrison. The Ultramarine Corps are bascially four soldiers who gained strange powers after being exposed to some alien dimension and then were enlisted and brainwashed by a corrupt commander in the United States military to try and wipe out the Justice League.
The Ultramarines were fun, pretty straight-forward superhero fare. Morrison did make it interesting, though, by showing a little humanity in some characters that you least expect. He also plants seeds for future JLA stories and hints at a future for the Ultramarines.
The next story was an Amazo story by Mark Millar that involved The Atom. Some folks say it's a filler issue. While it TECHNICALLY may be, I loved it. I love Mark Millar's work, as well, and I love Amazo. C'mon! An android with all the powers of the whole Justice League! That's awesome! And I love the DC heroes and I really don't know why, but Amazo always seems to give them a run for their money and I think it's fun to watch!
The next story was called "Crisis Times Five" and this was the more Morrison-esque story that I mentioned up above. It deals with beings from the 5th Dimension and Morrison mingles in the occult, magic, perception of time, alternate selves, and a few other themes to really put his stamp on it. Good stuff.
If I had to pick two issues that I thought were the filler of the book, it would be the last two issues. A story involving No Man's Land (a story of an earthquake in Gotham City that had impact on the whole DCU at the time) and a story where a white Martian, like the ones from the very first story arc of JLA was posing as Bruce Wayne. Not terrible stories, I guess, but not stories such as the ones by Morrison and Millar.
This one's a nice superhero read throughout, though, and I'd recommend it to any fan of that genre or any fans of the creators contained within.
I grew up reading Marvel comics and I haven't much familiarity with the DC Universe beyond some non-cape titles (Swamp Thing, Constantine, Sandman), and, of course, Batman. So I figured I should at least read something DC, as a lot of people I respect enjoy DC comics, and this one was on the shelf and was by Grant Morrison (I hated The Filth, but I loved We3 and Arkham Asylum).
So I was okay with the team having two gods on it after I found out that "New Gods" was a title and not a description, but an angel? With no apparant theme of religion/faith/etc.? And then a robot from hundreds of centuries in the future shows up and I lose track of what's going on.
In fact, it was difficult to tell what was going on through most of this volume. Morrison would jam together story arcs with no real resolution or motivation, and the art was so inconsistent that I didn't know if someone was being manipulated by fifth dimensional genies (what?) or was just being drawn without any apparant reference to reality. Each foe was A More Powerful Threat than Ever Before, but the JLA was able to beat them without much trouble or any interesting uses of powers or interaction with each other.
I guess this wasn't a great place to start, or maybe JLA just isn't for me.
The Ultramarine Corps is misled to destroy the Justice League? Okay. Captain Marvel knocks out the Man of Steel as a 5th Dimensional war starts off? Okay. A techno-virus is taking over the world? Okay. Bruce Wayne has gone rouge? Okay.
Of all the thrills, massive destructions and catastrophe that befalls the league on such a huge scale, what pisses me the most about Grant Morrison and his team is that they have made Superman so vulnerable at times. One almost feels pity for the Man of Steel when a two-bit amateur kicks the shit out of him.
Apart from that, the Dark Knight continues to play a major role as he is touted to be the saviour who saves the hide of the JLA at the last moment with a crude trick out of his dark cape.
Eiling was a refreshing character and so was the Captain Marvel cameo. However, the Bruce Wayne-Martian storyline could have been presented in a better manner.
None the less, it is always a joy to see the world's greatest heroes come together to address any conflict that threatens it and it's interests.
The first Morrison story was solid, tho a little bit repetitive from other "superteams that beat up on our superteam" stories in this series and others. They could've at least stretched out the threat from the arch super villain across another issue or two - seemed he went down a little too easily.
Millar was pure filler.
Second Morrison storyline was fun and suitably weird - lots of brain-bending screwiness with perception and physics, plus a "what if?" subplot that gave us a suitable anchor back to humanity. And was this the first major intersection with the JSA in the 21st century?
Waid/Grayson's story was intriguing, nice little "wtf?" to get dropped into and have to piece together as it went along. Hope the rest of Waid's work on JLA is as interesting.
Nel tempo Morrison non riesce a garantire una qualità costantemente alta, qui è giusto accettabile. Le storie sono quelle successive al cross-over 1 million, con lo scontro della JLA con gli Ultramarine, l'Uomo Peloso, Amazo e poi la storia dei 5 della Crisi del tempo con ospite la JSA, forse la parte migliore del volume. A chiudere una storia che si ricollega a No Mans Land, nella Gotham devastata dal terremoto, e una che riporta in causa i Marziani bianchi visti all'inizio della gestione.
Really liked the Ultra-Marines. Wish more writers had used them better, given them more of a chance in the spotlight. Loved the story with the JSA and the Thunderbolts feud. Had a nice old fashioned, larger than life feel to it that was fun. The Batman stuff was decent. I wasn't much of a Batman reader, but the story stands on it's own well enough.
My favorite of the series so far, I enjoyed the story lines more than I thought I would. However, several of them still feel like a "villain of the week" set up. All this hype setting the crisis up and the denouement is just a bit "meh." Like, why go through all that bother to set up a Big Bad if it's that easy to solve?
Sometimes I really liked this, and sometimes I thought it was really cheesy. I'm glad that they revamped DC heroes because that was one of the reasons why I didn't like this. Too much silly, and not enough seriousness. Was okay. I would reccomend it for kids, but not a very good read for adults or teens.
Ok read. The Ultramarines are a nice idea, but it seemed to be a bit cliched. Loved the Amazo story with a kick yourself ending. The 5th dimension story is slightly cute, and the No Man's Land tie-in is nice but doesn't add much.