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JLA: The Morrison Years/Issues 13 to 30-  Okay, just got in a batch of Grant Morrison's run on JLA, and all I can say is WOW! I've never been a huge Morrison fan, and JLA in all its incarnations has never been on my must buy list, but from the first issue I read to the last, this series had me captivated. The first issue I read was part of the Rock of Ages storyline. I was first stuck by the quality of the comicbook, the quality of the paper, the vibrancy of the colors, considerations that usually don't make an impression on me, jumped off the page and slapped me. And the artwork by Howard Porter and John Dell, you first want to dismiss as just adequate, a little too rough, and cartoony. But it grows on you very quickly, Howard Porter's artstyle is very kirbyesque, and that has been said of several artists but Howard Porter pencils actually captures the heart of that compliment better than any other I've seen. Kirby was a master animator, he was a master of the action scene, of imbuing a static scene with overflowing energy. His work on Captain America pops immediately to mind, his covers for the Avengers(issues 151 to 158 of the original series) remains to this day some of the best examples of cover artwork in the genre(not to mention being just a great run of comics). Kirby understood the nature of the heroic.  People who have grown up with the artwork of an Alex Ross or a Tim Vigil tend to dismiss Kirby as being overpraised, but once you really start looking at Kirby' work, his cartoony, rough work, it jumps off the page at you, it moves you, it sweeps you along.  And the only way to explain it is, Kirby understood the nature of the heroic, and was able to distill that nature, perfectly to the comics page. His strengths as a visual storyteller overshadow any perceived weaknesses as an artist. The same is true of Howard Porter, he imbues his scenes with power, with movement, with heroism. Like Kirby, Howard understands the nature of the heroic and it complements perfectly Grant Morrison's larger than life storylines. That's the appeal of these JLA storylines, they contain true heroic icons, our icons, Superman, Batman, WonderWoman, Flash, part of out cultural gestalt, our need for ancient Gods and men, placed in grand, sweeping dramas. It touches us,  those parts of us, stilled awed by dreams of Camelot.

Also I'm a huge fan of Kirby's Darkseid, and seldom has he been more effective, and more menacing than in this story of the Rock of Ages. For just great storytelling, issue 14 that keeps you guessing up till the end about the narration, is just one of the best. And indeed, my favorite issue of the run. But the whole run is full of such superior touches, full of scenes and moments of awe. Issue 16 and 17 the 2 pt. Prometheus storyline, Waid's 2pt, Adam Strange Storyline in issue #20 and 21., the 3pt. Ultramarine Storyline in issues #24-26, and issue #27 with the best self contained storline, the Amazo Story. Or the current five part JLA/JSA crossover, only marred a little by a foul mouth J.J. Thunder. Overall a great run of comics. I'm disappointed to hear that Morrison will be leaving the book soon, but he has left a rich body of work, and deep shoes to fill. JLA 13-30 . Highly Recommended.



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