Justice is avenged in comic book crossover

Oct. 1, 2003, midnight | By Josh Gottlieb-Miller | 20 years, 1 month ago

JLA/Avengers Book One (of four)

"Batman could totally take Captain America."
"Superman is vulnerable to Thor's magic."
"The Justice League would never lose to the Avengers. Unless we're talking about the 80's Justice League who had members like Booster Gold. Man, anybody could beat Booster Gold."

Notoriously basement-dwelling comic book fans (including myself) have been debating these and similar questions for years. Finally, after false starts dating back to 1983 (according to Wizard The Comics Magazine), Marvel and DC's top superhero teams are facing off in one of the biggest comic book events of the year: JLA/Avengers. The answers to the above questions will be answered definitively, according to Marvel and DC.

In typical comic book fashion the JLA/Avengers mini-series (a finite four part book instead of continuing monthly) adheres to a simple formula. This basic plot follows: Rival teams meet in large, publicized crossover; an event where the separate casts of individually popular comic books appear with each other to boost sales or settle some long-standing conflict. The teams are initially antagonistic to each other; they meet in suspicious circumstances and are both being manipulated by outside parties (in this case the villainous Krona and his opposite the Grandmaster). Assumedly, after a good bit of fighting the good-guys will realize they're on the wrong side and join forces against Krona and the Grandmaster. (The particulars for the plot of this comic book cross over is that Krona and the gambling Grandmaster are betting on which team will first recover 12 artifacts of power scattered throughout the DC and Marvel universes.)

If you're a comic book fan, you're looking at this crossover in one of two ways. The first is that you're an intellectual. You own Batman: The Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen and you have copies of Maus Vol.1 and 2. You consider comic books high art and you speak of them as you would critique any highly professional work. If this is the case the JLA/Avengers slugfest is likely not for you.

However, if you're a fan of popcorn comics and action movies this mindless mini-series is for you. Author Kurt Busiek and artist George Perez are seasoned pros: JLA/Avengers is consistently entertaining, even if it is neither brilliant nor groundbreaking. They make every hero iconic and every fight scene epic, and the battles are paced by traditionally funny banter between and within these two great super teams.

This hugely demanded crossover's false starts have also added to the anticipation surrounding its arrival. Wizard The Comics Magazine even published some of the pages Perez initially drew for the first edition before inter-company politics kept it off the stands and away from expectant fans. However, this time JLA/Avengers is a go and if you enjoy a well-crafted, mindless fight, check it out.

The (double size) 48-page JLA/Avengers Book One (of four) clocks in at an expensive $5.95 and is available at your local comic book shop.

Tags: print

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