Some people have been anticipating this project since
negotiations began over 20 years ago. Does it deliver?

General Information

Title: JLA / Avengers #1

Author: Kurt Busiek

Illustrator: George Perez

Original Publication Date: September 3, 2003. (Some areas
may not
receive it until September 4, due to the Labour Day holiday.)

ISBN: 0-7851-1389-4

Cover Price: $5.95 US, $9.50 Can

Premise

Cosmic beings are disrupting the Universes, allowing heroes and
villains from Marvel and DC to meet each other head to head.

It’s printed in the Prestige format, which means that it’s more
expensive than most comics, but it’s also twice as long and
ad-free.

High Point

“Oh, right – NOW I got it! These losers – they’re nothin’ but a
bunch
of Squadron Supreme wanna-bes!”

Batman’s encounter with the Punisher was a close second.

Low Point

The “two super teams are tricked into fighting each other” plot
device
is grossly overused in this sort of thing. It’s used well here, and
seems to have some excellent motivation, but it’s still overused.

The Scores

The plot revealed thus far doesn’t seem particularly
original. However, given the amount of set-up
required for
this sort of thing, not to mention the fairly limited number of ways
to get the two teams to meet, it’s fairly forgivable, particularly in
light of how the misunderstanding occurs. I’ll be expecting more
from
later issues, though. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork by George Perez is very much on
target. He’s got
great story-telling skills, and can pack a lot of detail into some
very character-filled pages. He’s got a huge task to accomplish
here,
and he’s pulled it off. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is well crafted so far, even if it does use
some
stock elements. Still, it’s hard to avoid some of these given the
nature of the material. I give it 5 out of 6, again expecting more
from later issues.



The characterization is decent. Most personalities
come
through clearly, but the cast of characters this story will require
simply doesn’t allow much depth to them. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was high at
moments. I
haven’t really been a huge fan of either team, so I don’t feel quite
as much fanboy glee as some. Still, the fact that the story still
works is a testament to the way it was made; this story could
stand on
its own. People who don’t know either team would still find this
an
entertaining read. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow through the story is excellent, particularly
given
the dense artwork and the reality-hopping that the script
demands.
The pace starts fast and doesn’t slow down, which is very
promising
for the rest of the miniseries. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a solid story that sold me on the rest of
the
miniseries. It’s a classic superhero slugfest with some of
comicdom’s
most recognizable characters. Last December, Wizard picked
this as
their most anticipated project of the year. So far, the only title
that has impressed me more is Supreme Power.
This is a great
comic; devoted fans of either team should pick it up before it sells
out. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, JLA/Avengers #1 receives 35 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

This is likely the last week I’ll be reviewing comics on
Wednesdays
for a while. My labs and courses will keep me on campus past
the
closing time of my preferred comic shop Tuesday through
Thursday, so
starting next week new comic reviews will come on Fridays.

Reviews of Eternal #4 and Ultimate
Spider-Man #45

will be up later today.