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Kyle Bastian

Yesterday, I bought many DC Comics and as a trick or treat bonus, I got both Justice League United #5 and Justice League United Annual #1. These two comics continued the Justice League Canada's adventures. Let's take an uplook at both:

Justice League United #5 "The Midayo and the Whitago" began with a recap of what happened in JLU #0-#4, retelling all the crucial events, from the team's gathering to the supposed death of Hawkman. We find the team, save Adam Strange, in their Canada bunker, with the toddler Ultra, Miiyahbin, and her friend Heather. Alanna, Adam's girlfriend, tells the group that Miiyahbin encountered the Whitago, which is even worse than the Abominable Snowman. As Miiyahbin was telling the team her story, Green Arrow's transmitter goes off. It is revealed that Hawkman was paging him (although he is dead, or so we think). Martian Manhunter thinks that someone has access to Hawkman's gear. He sends Supergirl, Stargirl, Animal Man, and Green Arrow (all blondes) to the Polaris system to investigate Hawkman's pager. Sardath and Adam Strange send them by Zeta Beam (before they were sent, Green Arrow called Animal Man Fish Breath). Martian Manhunter sends Alanna to take the girls home and find out more the Whitago while he stays behind with Ultra.

In the Polaris Star System, the four heroes visit a bar complete with alien bounty hunters. In Moose Factory, Heather says goodbye to Miiyahbin and Miiyahbin and Alanna reunite with Miiyahbin's grandmother. Miiyahbin becomes Equinox before her grandmother's eyes. Later on, her grandmother says "Keewahtin" with her and they transport to where their power comes from. The grandmother reminds Equinox that they are Midayos, protectors of the land and that seven grandfathers have guided them. The Seven Grandfathers represent Love, Humility, Bravery, Truth, Respect, Wisdom, and Honesty. But there are seven other forces which are all evil: Dominion, Control, Aggression, Deception, Greed, Selfishness, and Fear, all of which are embodied by a terrible force called the Whitago. Among those which the Whitago controlled was Equinox's father, although Equinox believed that her father died in a car crash. Now Equinox has been chosen to become the next protector of Earth and that she must fight fear with bravery. Alanna and Equinox fly over to Moosonee to find the Whitago. The Whitago approaches Alanna and grabs her. Equinox fights the Whitago by removing the darkness from him. The Whitago is revealed to be Miiyahbin's father and he apologizes to her and wastes away to dust. Alanna thinks she would make a great super hero and that one day Equinox will meet Wonder Woman. Back at the Justice League bunker, Martian Manhunter witnesses Ultra speaking. Just as Ultra was talking, Equinox and Alanna return and Mon-El (of Legion of Super Heroes fame) smashes in to tell the Justice League that Ultra must be destroyed in order for the Legion of Super Heroes to live.

The story continues in Justice League United Annual #1, which begins the Infinitus Saga. We find Martian Manhunter fighting Mon-El since J'onn is overprotective of Ultra. During the battle, we see Alanna being replaced by Adam Strange and the battle is joined by the space hero. Mon-El grabs Adam, but Equinox says the magic word "Keewahtin" and Mon-El falls into ice. Adam asks Equinox where the others are and Equinox tells him that they were investigating the whereabouts of the late Hawkman. Mon-El busts out of the ice and reminds the League that Ultra must be destroyed.

On The Polaris Star System, Green Arrow, Supergirl, Animal Man, and Stargirl encounter alien bounty hunters, which causes Supergirl to fight the bounty hunters. Green Arrow finds the certain bounty hunter and Supergirl chases after him, to Green Arrow's chagrin. Green Arrow asks where he got Hawkman's device, but Supergirl is more unorthodox with her questioning. The bounty hunter tells the four heroes that he traded the device with Byth.

In the Justice League United Bunker, Adam and Alanna change places again as Martian Manhunter continues the fight with Mon-El. Mon-El's fellow Legionnaires Brainiac 5 and Saturn Girl subdue the two combatants with the help of Phantom Girl. Mon-El is more rash than the other three Legionnaires about killing Ultra. Martian Manhunter tells the Legionnaires that Ultra is not harmless. However, Brainiac 5 tells the JLU that Ultra is linked to Infinitus (or Infinite Man if you've read the old Legion comics). The Legionnaire tells that he, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, and Phantom Girl were all members of the Legion of Super Heroes (whose ranks include Star Boy, Ultra Boy, Phantom Girl, Colossal Boy, Element Lad, Blok, Polar Boy, Tyroc, Matter Eater Lad, Timber Wolf, Sun Boy, Tellus, Shrinking Violet, Brainiac 5, Mon-El, Shadow Lass, Dream Girl, Cosmic Boy, Bouncing Boy, Lightning Lass, Duo Damsel, Dawnstar, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, and Gates). Infinitus fought Thanagar and Psion to a standstill and destroyed both planets and the next stop was Rann. During the battle with the Legion of Super-Heroes, Infinitus put Shadow Lass in a coma, which enraged Mon-El to this day. Brainiac 5 concludes with the fact that Ultra will become Infinitus.

On the Moon of Ryngor, Adam Strange and Sardath zeta beams Green Arrow and his team. Animal Man calls his wife Ellen while Supergirl finds a strange symbol on a rock, which Green Arrow thinks is the symbol for infinity. Green Arrow informs Supergirl that she ignored his orders and that she's now part of the Justice League team. Meanwhile, Animal Man and Stargirl talk to Ellen and tell her that they are in outer space and that they will miss Maxine's gymnastics event. During the call, Stargirl finds Byth capturing Supergirl and Green Arrow. Supergirl fights Byth using her super eye beams and Green Arrow asks where Hawkman's body is. Byth surprises the group (and us) with the fact that Hawkman is still alive and is working for him (see, I told you he was still alive).

Back in Canada, Mon-El grows more angry and is concerned that Shadow Lass will be killed. Saturn Girl and Phantom Girl remind him that Shadow Lass will recover. Martian Manhunter doesn't believe the Legion and considers the fact that the Legion will murder Ultra a theory. Brainiac 5 reminds him that Ultra will become Infinitus and will annihilate a large portion of alien lives. Martian Manhunter later gets a call from Green Arrow that they found Hawkman and Byth and that Hawkman's still alive. What follows is a battle between old friends Hawkman and Green Arrow, which leads to a fight between the four Justice Leaguers and their old teammate and Byth. Supergirl fights Byth using her super punch, but Byth tells Supergirl that he created Ultra as a vessel. He also tells Supergirl that his Cadre is about to fight the Justice League. If you remember the old Justice League Detroit stories, the Cadre were the first villains the lamented group fought. Present in this issue are Overmaster, Black Mass, Nightfall, Shatterfist, and Shrike. Where's Vibe when he is truly needed? Or Simon Baz? Or Katana?

The story ends with a strange occurrence on both planets that Infinitus will be born. The story continues in November's Justice League United #6.

Overall, these two issues were gems, just like the other Justice League United storylines. Kudos to Jeff Lemire for his storyline and more kudos to the artists, which I think are equal to Mike McKone's artwork. Also, kudos to Jeff Lemire for bringing back the Legion of Super Heroes and, surprisingly, the Cadre. And a final kudos to Mr. Lemire for bringing Hawkman back to life. Here's hoping he returns to the team. However, I am hoping for Atom (Ray Palmer) and Black Canary to join the team later on. Also, I'd like to see Katana, Simon Baz, and Vibe guest star in one issue as they reunite with Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Hawkman, and Stargirl and even meet Adam Strange, Animal Man, Supergirl, Equinox, Atom, and Black Canary (I know the three ex-JLA members won't fit in the team or storylines, but it wouldn't hurt to see them catch up with their old teammates). But most importantly, Jeff, PUT THE ATOM ON THE TEAM!!!

Here's looking forward to November's JLU #6.

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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008

The chief overriding impression given from Justice League United for me is how very much it looks and reads as an example of early 1990's DC/Marvel Comics. The non-descript art (McKone exempted), bloated plotting with some vaguely drawn threat, a tour of the universe with squabbling heroes in search of something, the army of costumed and generic alien characters stuffed onto every page, all of it could be a chapter from one of the post Giffen/DeMateiss League with the return of The Overmaster or the war against the Tormocks.
In a way the arrival of the Legion of Super-Heroes compounds this sensation, dragged from their metaphorical graves in comicbook limbo to serve as fodder in a storyline which, in their hayday, they would hae handled amicably themselves. More than this ramshackle division of the Justice League it is the Legion of Super-Heroes who are best equipped to deal with Infinitus, and I do not for one minute see them as entrtaining this idea of passing through time specifically to assasinate a mere infant in order to save their future. This tactic and philosophy simply isn't their code. Though given this Legion is clearly not the same as the one we left last year at the end of their own series it is difficult not to see them as superfluous and artificial.

The fault with Justice League United though is really bound up in in its lack of clear mandate - here is a book set on earth. In Canada. In Outer Space.
Responding to local emergencies? Global threats? Cosmic calamities? Their own internal problems...?

Jeff Lemire is simply doing far far too much in this book, the result is it reads and looks bloated. Too much a Sound & Fury exercice. And all too 1990's, and not in a flattering way. \(geek\)

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neil edwards

hi kyle thanks for a great review and glad you enjoyed the annual, hope you enjoy issue 6!!
bes, neil edwards

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