My latest foray into the DC world is an Elseworld book that’s much better than the Island of Dr. Moreau book I reviewed a while ago. Unfortunately, it’s also older and harder to find.
Title: JLA: Created Equal
Author: Fabian Nicieza
Illustrator(s): Kevin Maguire
Original Publication Date: 2000
Cover Price: $5.95 US, $9.25 Can for each of the two parts.
A plague from space wipes out the male half of humanity. Superman is
the only known male on the planet.
The selection of the new Green Lantern.
The rapid resolution. I don’t believe that the entire crowd of
villains at the end would have just stopped fighting like that. No,
they wouldn’t fight alongside their old leader, but I think some of
them would still fight.
Repopulating the earth with a limited selection from one gender isn’t
terribly original, but I think this is the first time I’ve
seen that concept not used as an excuse for porn. I give it 4 out of
The artwork was clean, but often lacking in detail. I found
that it gave the book a rather cartoony feel, which didn’t really
match the tone of the story. The fact that only one adult character
really aged in the sixteen year span of the story was rather
meaningful, given what that character must have gone through. I give
it 4 out of 6.
The story is a very interesting idea. The core of the story
is great, and could have been told with or without involved people
with superpowers, which is always a good sign. I give it 5 out of 6.
The characterization was consistent, but not really
illuminating. I’m not familiar with most of the DC Universe. (I
think this is the first time I’ve read a comic with Lois Lane, for
example.) This particular title didn’t really help me learn anything
about the characters. There was some illumination of Superman and
Wonder Woman, but the rest of the cast was really pushed to the
background. I give it 4 out of 6.
The emotional response this produced was mostly interest in
the story, and some frustration about not knowing who some of these
characters are. Perhaps the problem is that I’ve been reading
“Elseworld” stories when I’m not familiar with the main line. (One of
these days I’ll track down a TPB that will be a better introduction.
I’m open to suggestions on
that end, by the way.) I give it 4 out of 6.
The flow was very good. There were no real battle sequences,
so the dialogue in battle wasn’t much of an issue. In terms of the
flow of the story, it seemed to start and end too quickly, as though
that was just incidental, and the writer was far more interested in
writing about the world in despair. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, it’s an interesting idea, and an entertaining book.
If you’re looking for something other than the usual super battle, or
the “what if we made one change in continuity” story, then you’d
probably be happy with this. It might also be a good place to start
if you’re not much of a comic reader. As much as I was disappointed
about not learning about the characters here, anyone who’s been
watching recent TV shows based on DC properties (ie. Justice
League and Birds of Prey in particular) will have no
problems understanding what’s going on, even if some faces are
unfamiliar. I give it 5 out of 6.
In total, JLA: Created Equal receives 31 out of 42.