Harras, Bob

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

3 out of 5

(2 books)

JLA: World Without A Justice League

(Art by Tom Derenick and Dan Green)

Part of the lead up to the the Infinite Crisis mega-event story.  Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman have all left the Justice League of America.  The disappearance of the Martian Manhunter and the mysterious destruction of the JLA's base on the moon are the final nails in the League's coffin. 

However, a few heroes are determined to keep the spirit of the league alive.  But with the upheaval of the Infinite Crisis leading the heroes in different directions and causing further rifts in relationships, things rapidly deteriorate.  So, when an immensely powerful telepath begins a plan to kill all mankind by kidnapping Manitou Dawn, only Green Arrow and Black Canary are left to confront him, which leads also to a confrontation with the distrustful Batman. 

This is a good self-contained story within the dark times immediately before 'Infinite Crisis' and I liked the fact that the three heroes who end up saving the world are those without titanic powers.  It's also great for setting the tone of paranoia which is prevalent following the revelations of 'Identity Crisis'. 

My one major gripe, and the reason I've only rated the book as a 3, is that Green Arrow is the main character here and I rapidly grew sick of his self-centred whining.

3 out of 5

 

Nick Fury Vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.: Book Three - Uneasy Allies

(Art by Paul Neary and Kim DeMulder)

Book 3 of 6.  Discovering corruption at the highest levels of SHIELD, Nick Fury has become a fugitive.  Unsure of who he can trust, Fury tries to gather allies and get to the bottom of SHIELD's infiltration.

Now, I've not read the preceding two parts of this story (you buy a job lot of graphic novels, you take what you get) and this one falls right in the middle of the story, so there's no beginning nor end to the narrative here.  However, despite all that I actually found it quite enjoyable.  Having SHIELD become the enemy is a solid story premise (so much so that the MCU went with it too) and its nice to see Fury having to operate entirely on his wits, without the resources he's used to.  And on the subject of the MCU, I found it amusing to see which characters from the 1988 story have turned up in the movie/TV franchise ('Mac' Mackenzie, Alexander Pierce, Jasper Sitwell, Eric Koenig and even Jimmy Woo).

There are two major problems with this book, however, one of which is the fact that it is merely a fragment of a larger story.  The other major flaw is Fury himself.  Now that we have Sam Jackson's charismatic version, it's jarring to be reminded that the original white Nick Fury was a really unlikable arsehole.  Among his many annoying character traits is the fact that he seems to enjoy being horrible to the people helping him (if I were Pierce I would've left the miserable git to fight SHIELD on his own after the first round of insults).

3 out of 5

Collaborations & Anthologies:

Avengers/X-Men: Bloodties (here)

Prelude To Infinite Crisis (here)

Read more...

DC Comics (here)

Marvel Comics (here)