Comic Review – “JLA: The Island of Dr. Moreau”

My first serious foray into the world of DC comics was not a pleasant one. Let me warn you of a potential waste of time.

General Information

Title: JLA: The Island of Dr. Moreau
Credited To: Roy Thomas and Steve Pugh and Patricia Mulvihill
Original Publication Date: August 21, 2002
Cover Price: $6.95US, $11.50 Can

Premise

H. G. Wells’ The Island Of Dr. Moreau, the Justice League of
America, and the legend of Jack The Ripper combine into this
adaptation of all three source materials that retains Wells’
sentiments about the abuse of science.

High Point

The decision to incorporate the Jack The Ripper legend in at the half
way mark was natural, and it set this apart from being just another
adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Low Point

The artwork in the action scenes didn’t seem to have a lot of action.
Apart from the Flash, there was no blurring, and no motion lines. The
flying projectiles should have those lines as well, but they don’t.
The lack of such in those and other cases makes it harder to imagine
this as full action. It’s a minor problem, really, but it’s the only
element that really seemed below the average quality. Most of this
was right on the average quality.

The Scores

How original can the combination of three concepts be? I
give them credit for combining three elements that haven’t really been
combined before, but it still felt like the combination of the three.
This was particularly true of the first half, which followed Wells’
novel very closely. I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork was usually good, but it had its low points. The
most notable was the low point above, but the other main problem was
that the St. Bernard creation looked more like an ape to me than
anything else. Still, the problems were minor. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story was decent, but most of it was really written by
other people. The combination required some work, though. I give it
3 out of 6.



The characterization was poor. Moreau, Carr, and Ivo were
the same bland characters they were in the Wells original. The JLA
members were a blur, with no distinct personalities among them. I
give it 2 out of 6.

The emotional response this generated was minimal. I was not
given any reason to care about anyone on these pages, which makes it
hard to really get involved on any personal level. There were a
couple moments where the variations from the source material struck me
as interesting, but no more. I give it 2 out of 6.

The flow was somewhat hampered by the inability of the
artwork to really show action where needed. Things seemed to almost
take too long to do, rather than the typical problem of not having
enough time to do them. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, this is mainly a curiosity for people familiar with
the source material. If you’re not familiar with the sources, find
those instead, as they’re much more interesting. I give it 3 out of
6.

In total, JLA: The Island of Dr. Moreau received 19 out of 42.

9 replies on “Comic Review – “JLA: The Island of Dr. Moreau””

  1. chad says:

    Suggested Foray
    If you want to do a serious foray into DC comics, I suggest starting with ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ (available in graphic novel form at all comic shops and here).

    It is arguably one of the best comic-book stories ever written. Even after 15 years it still captivates my attention.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Suggested Foray

      If you want to do a serious foray into DC comics, I
      suggest starting with ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ (available
      in graphic novel form at all comic shops and here).

      It is arguably one of the best comic-book stories ever
      written. Even after 15 years it still captivates my
      attention.

      So I’ve been told. I picked up Lex
      Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography
      and a couple of
      the Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating… books at
      the same time (the Wonder Woman and Green Lantern books),
      but I’ve already been warned that they’re not the best DC
      has to offer. The Dark Knight Returns,
      Sandman, and The Watchmen are the ones I
      plan to dig up next, based on the suggestions of
      others.

      You can find a list of the reviews I plan to write here
      if you’re interested.

  2. YaRness says:

    is there a reason…
    you guys keep toturing yourselves with these horrible story-combo comics (like the x-men/star trek one recently)?

    • fiziko says:

      Re: is there a reason…

      you guys keep toturing yourselves with these horrible
      story-combo comics (like the x-men/star trek one
      recently)?

      I’m the kind of guy that tends to watch Roger Corman
      movies, so sometimes I enjoy that stuff. The X-Men/Star
      Trek crossover was taunting me for a while. (I wanted to
      know if it was as bad as I assumed it had to be.) The JLA
      book was purchased because the graphic novels I have on
      order are still not in yet, and I was craving something.
      I liked the source material, and thought the concept could
      work, so I picked it up. It’s not terrible, but it didn’t
      seem to really add or say anything that wasn’t done in the
      source material, so it didn’t feel like it was a story
      that really needed to be told.

      • YaRness says:

        Re: is there a reason…
        well, while you’re busy lining up comics, throw in some manga as well if you get a chance. i’d highly recommend the akira graphic novels. i’m sure a lot of people here have seen the movie, but the comics just totally surpass the movie in plot content.

        also if you come across anything else similar, it’d give me something to read next. well, AFTER i get through the 6 akira books (at 17-25 dollars a pop, i will prolly stretch it out for a while).

        • fiziko says:

          Re: is there a reason…

          also if you come across anything else similar, it’d give
          me something to read next. well, AFTER i get through the
          6 akira books (at 17-25 dollars a pop, i will prolly
          stretch it out for a while).

          I’m not sure if I’d call it similar, but
          the English translation of Ghost In The Shell 2
          is due in November.

          • YaRness says:

            Re: is there a reason…
            definitely similar (if you get the same thing i got, amazon will “suggest” buying akira volume 1 as well ^_^).

            and now i’ve got yet another thing to buy and read, thanks a lot :P

  3. jbrecken says:

    Who were they
    I couldn’t figure out who all the JLA parallels were.
    Who was the lizard guy supposed to be?
    And who was the electric puppy?

    (And even though they’re trying to make more Elseworlds without the big two, this concept really deserved at least a line about Moreau trying to make a bat man.)

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Who were they

      I couldn’t figure out who all the JLA parallels were.

      The cheetah, dolphin, and albino ape were
      the only three I could figure out, but then, I’ve never
      actually read anything else with the JLA. I was hoping
      this would help introduce me to the team, but it really
      failed to do that.

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