Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tales from the Library! - JLA #16-#17

Next up for this month is another bad boy: Prometheus. Before you ask, no, he wasn’t named after the movie either. He was created by Grant Morrison and was mostly featured in the series, JLA. Prometheus’s real name is unknown. His parents were essentially a “Bonnie-and-Clyde” ripoff. He sees them get killed in a police shootout and basically loses it. The experience even makes his hair got completely white. He dedicates his life to “annihilate the forces of justice” and take his revenge. He uses the money that his parents stole to get smarter and stronger. After he takes his revenge, he travels to Shamballa and finds an ancient alien ship that has access to the “Ghost Zone.”

Prometheus is pretty much the anti-Batman right down to the origin. Their origins match, they know how to fight, they plan ahead, and they use gadgets. Unlike Batman, Prometheus uses a helmet to do all sorts of stuff. It’s essentially his utility belt. He uses little CD’s to download information from his helmet as well.  Today’s issues are JLA #16 and #17. I read these from the JLA Omnibus at the library. Grant Morrison wrote both issues. Howard Porter and John Dell provided the art to #16 while Arnie Jorgensen, David Meikis, and Mark Pennington did the art for #17.

JLA #16 and #17
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter (#16) and Arnie Jorgensen (#17)
Inks: John Dell (#16), David Meikis (#17), and Mark Pennington (#17)
Colors: Pat Garrahy
Letters: Ken Lopez

It’s a new day for the JLA as they are taking on some new members like Steel, Huntress, Zauriel, Plastic Man, and Hippolyta as Wonder Woman (long story). The JLA is allowing the press to come visit the Watchtower. To mask Clark’s absence, the Martian Manhunter is mimicking as Clark. They’ve even invited a hero called Retro to the Watchtower. Superman (in his electric boogaloo phase) is putting his best face on for everyone. Elsewhere, Batman broods and looks over everything like he does at this time.

Retro wants to know where the JLA restroom is, so Steel takes him to it. Unfortunately, this ends up being a trap as Retro is actually Prometheus in disguise. He infects Steel’s armor with a virus and takes him out. J’onn Jones finds him next but gets taken out by his weakness, fire. Prometheus also takes out the air supply for the Watchtower and that gets everyone panicking. Prometheus then removes Zauriel off-panel by teleporting him to the Ghost Zone with his Cosmic Key.

Yeah, not one of J'onn's best moments.

Huntress tries to take down the villain, but is taken out via hypnosis. Then, the Dark Knight shows up and we get a battle that happens off-screen. Meanwhile,  Superman, Hippolyta, and Aquaman do what they can to keep the press alive. They start to move the the press towards the shuttle bays. Elsewhere, Green Lantern and Flash are checking out what’s happening. Kyle notices that something is off with his ring. Prometheus reveals himself and explains how he’s messed with Kyle and tells Flash that he has set bombs to go off if Flash uses his speed. We then find out that the “impossible” has happened: Batman got beat up.
"I feel a great disturbance in the Force... it's as if many Bat-fans cried out in terror!"

“Prometheus Unbound”
The issue continues with Superman and Hippolyta leading the press toward safety. We then catch up with our villain of the piece. Prometheus is gloating that he’s taken down most of the JLA to Flash and GL. He shoots the two down and leaves to take care of the rest. Batman recuperates and checks on those two. He contacts Oracle (Barbara Gordon) to see what she can find on Prometheus. Unfortunately, she can't get nothing. Elsewhere, Steel is able to undo his virus issue with Plastic Man’s help.

Meanwhile, Prometheus catches up with Superman and the press. He tells Superman to kill himself for the civilians, but Superman doesn’t budge. Aquaman is able to get the sprinkling system on so the fires will stop. Then, another trump card reveals herself. Catwoman had been posing as reporter Cat Grant (ha ha) from the beginning and takes him on. Huntress helps out and Steel is able to mess up Prometheus’s helmet. Realizing he’s beat, he uses his Cosmic Key to teleport to the Ghost Zone. He also uses it to teleport Zauriel back.
Oh.. low blow, Catwoman.

With the day more or less saved, the JLA try to get a handle on things. Suddenly, Orion and Big Barda show up via Boom Tube. It turns out the two have been assigned as protectors of Earth. Metron let the New Gods know that something is coming, so Earth needs to be prepared. Superman does feel a little weird about it, but it’ll have to work for now. In the end, we see Prometheus sulking in his base while this new JLA head out to help with the press.


I thought this story arc was fine for the most part. It really centers on the villain while the JLA is mostly just there. All you need to know about the JLA at this time is that they are getting some new blood in again. I liked most of the newer members on the team. It’s not the best time to see them in action, but I can kind of forgive that here since Prometheus is the main focus. I thought the ways Prometheus took out most of the League were interesting. The twists and humor were also nice.

I did think that a couple members were a little too downplayed here. Martian Manhunter gets taken down too easily here by Prometheus. We also don’t get to see Hippolyta do anything this time around. I can kind of forgive that since I don’t know what she can actually do. Does she have Diana’s powers as well? It’s also too bad that we didn’t get to see the fight with Batman. I get why it was done that way but we should have seen it. Luckily, Morrison does give us that fight later on in his run.

I was a bit mixed on the artwork. I thought the art in #16 was much better than the art in #17. It wasn’t so much that it was bad, but it just didn’t jive with me. If you’re wondering, it’s not talking about Superman’s suit since that suit was not that bad. Maybe I didn’t like the exaggerated-ness of the art in that issue or something. I also think Prometheus’s costume is not that good. It’s like an example of what not to do with a costume. The shoulder pads, the big gauntlets, and helmet just don’t look that appealing. Then you throw the guy in dark purple. Not many can pull that off and he can barely do it.

Overall, these were two pretty decent issues from a nice run from Grant Morrison. Prometheus continued to be a pain in the JLA’s side afterwards. Morrison did bring him back in his run. He kind of got shelved for a while until he was brought back in the pretty infamous story, Justice League: Cry for Justice. I’ve never read that story, but I’ve heard bad things about it. If you want to check out an in-depth look at it, try Linkara. Well, that’s another one down. Next time is going to be something I kind of wasn't planning on doing. Peace, God Bless, and don’t dress like a tool.


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