Pick of the Week

July 27, 2005 – JLA: Classified #10

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Size: pages

Story by Warren Ellis
Art by Butch Guice
Colors by David Baron
Letters by Phil Balsman

Published by DC Comics | $2.99

Spider Jerusalem is back and he looks a lot like Perry White!

Warren Ellis is on record all over the internet and in books with his general disdain for superheroes. That’s not a secret. Unfortunately for him, he write superheroes better than he writes anything else and better than most anyone around. That’s gotta suck for him.

It’s good for us, the readers, though.

Here we get the JLA filtered through the unique Warren Ellis lens. The characters are familiar, yet a bit darker and more twisted with a harder edge. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman all get the Ellis treatment here. Batman’s a bit more… uh, to the point. Clark Kent is more of a hard-nosed reporter (Lois too). Diana, uh, doesn’t show up until the end. The only character with a radical personality transplant is Perry White, who spends most of his time ranting about killing his reporters in dialogue straight out of Warren Ellis’ classic journalism comic book Transmetropolitan. I like it. It works. It made me laugh. I think Warren misses Spider.

The title of this storyline is “New Maps of Hell!” and it has a lot to do with a rash of suspicious suicides of LexCorp employees in Metropolis, corporate assassinations in Gotham City, and that the fabled university at Themyscira was just blown up. I’m not sure where it’s going yet, but it seems like it’s going to be going to a really cool and dark place.

It is ironic that this comic was my Pick of the Week because I had a brief discussion with someone today about Warren Ellis. Five years ago he was such a force in my comic book life and in the lives of most comic readers I was friends with. It seemed like he was everywhere writing everything. Now? I couldn’t tell you the last thing by him that I read and I don’t automatically buy anything with his name on it anymore. I still always enjoy his work, I just don’t feel the burning need to pick them all up anymore. I’ll probably give his new Marvel book a shot and I really liked what he did here, and for me that’s enough for right now.

Conor Kilpatrick
Welcome to Hell

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  1. did that really happen?
    do people really click on things like that?

    anyway, my POW or rather POMonth so far is the first issue of Shaolin Cowboy. What a kick in the pants. It’s dated as dec 2004, but I go to the shop every month and I’ve never seen it before.

    It’s the bloodiest thing ever.

  2. You’re probably refering so a spam post, of which we get a lot everyday. A lot.

    Who publishes Shaolin Cowboy?

  3. Burly Man comics, which I understand to be run by the Wachowskis. The art was done by the guy that does their storyboards.. Geoff something. Superdetail man. He did Hard Boiled with Frank Miller.

    Anyway, there was hardly any dialogue, just a lot of kicking ass and bloodshed. it made me very happy. There was a talking crab with swastikas on it’s back.

  4. Geoff Darrow!

    He’s awesome. He did HARD BOILED.

    I met him at a con when I was in high school – he was surly. Our theory was that he would be happier if his work was less detailed/time consuming/daunting.

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