Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wanted TPB: JLA Destiny

Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: Tom Mandrake
Publisher: DC Comics (2002)
Includes: JLA Destiny #1-4

Clipped Review from Pulp and Dagger:

The "what if...?" aspect of the scenario is that Batman and Superman don't exist here. In fact, when the Wayne family was attacked by a mugger, it was young Bruce Wayne and his mother who were killed, but his father survived, using his fortune to bankroll a super hero team -- first, the Justice League of Gotham, then the Justice League of America. But beyond the "Elseworlds" gimmick is an attempt to set the story against a vaguely evocative geo-political realism.

There's a nice attempt to mix the provocative and high brow...with the action/adventure of a super hero comic (unlike, say, The Watchmen, or Supreme Power, which tended to be more talky and cerebral). Arcudi tosses in, and tosses out, some intriguing ideas and themes, some of which genuinely seem fresh and provocative -- at a time when I was beginning to think these sorts of sagas just recycled the same themes and scenes. And despite the "high brow" aspects, the pulpy story telling factor is still at play, with some surprise twists and turns as we go.
But Destiny is an above average work, managing to work as a pulpy page turner, with some twists and turns, dressed up with moody art, while also doing the unusual of managing to tread into the much trampled fields of both post-Watchmen meta-realism, and of Elseworlds gimmicky scenarios...and still seeming a bit fresh and original.
In fact, re-reading it, it's too bad the series isn't better known among fandom.

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