Comic Review – “JLA Volume 2: American Dreams”

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General Information

Title: JLA Vol. 2: American Dreams

Author: Grant Morrison

Illustrator(s): Howard Porter and John Dell

Original Publication Date: 1997

Issues contained: Issues 5-9 of the current JLA

ISBN: 1-56389-394-0

Cover Price: $7.95 US, $12.50 Can

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Past comic reviews can be found here.


The JLA face three different challenges this time
around. In round
one, a recruitment drive results in hiring a mole.
In round two, a
fallen angel needs help. In round three, the Key
makes trouble for
them while the Green Arrow tried out for membership.

High Point

I’d have to say the high point was the man who can’t
live up to his
myth stopping the moon during round two. A close
second was Batman’s
self awareness in round three.

Low Point

At one point, the Martian Manhunter’s forearms and
cape are on fire,
and there is no reaction from him, or any of his
teammates. I would
think they’d at least say something.

The Scores

This seemed moderately original. The High
Point I chose is
actually a moment where Morrison takes what seems to
be a horrible
editorial decision and uses it very well. For that,
and for the most
significant event in the Key’s plan, I give him a lot
of credit. For
the other 90 or so pages, it’s pretty standard stuff.
I give it 4 out
of 6.

The artwork seems more consistent than the
first volume.
It’s just packed with details and individuals to keep
track of, and
it’s done well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is pretty well written, keeping
the team off
balance, while still setting up what will be going on
in this
incarnation of the title. The pieces fit together
very nicely. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is not bad. It’s done
mainly through
actions, so there’s clear characters with no growth,
but it’s there.
I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was
good. The only
really jarring part was the electric blue Superman,
but that probably
wasn’t Morrison’s choice. I can’t hold it against
this collection if
it was there for the sake of consistency and
continuity. I give it 5
out of 6.

The flow was very well done, especially
considering the pace
of the story going on here. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good collection, that shows
a significant
group of DC heroes doing what they do best. I give
it 5 out of 6.

In total, JLA Vol. 2: American Dreams
receives 33 out of 42.