Reviewer: John Babos
Story Title: Syndicate Rules Part One: Maintenance Day
Written by: Kurt Busiek
Penciled by: Ron Garney
Inked by: Dan Green
Colored by: David Baron
Lettered by: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Michael Siglain
Editor: Mike Carlin
Fan-favorite writer Kurt Busiek (ASTRO CITY) joins the JLA art team of Ron Garney and Dan Green for “Crime Syndicate of Amerika,” an 8-part story that explodes from the pages of Busiek’s JLA/AVENGERS! Research has continued on the mysterious “space egg” left behind at the end of JLA/AVENGERS, leading the JLA to take steps to ensure that Krona stays put in his “prison.” But this distraction could prove fatal, since the real threat at the moment may come from another Earth!
Flowing from the events of the 20 years-in-the-making JLA/Avengers mini-series writer Kurt Busiek launches a run on DC’s JLA (Justice League of America).
While you don’t need to have a knowledge of the stories that preceded this JLA run, if you want a bit of a scoop, check out Nick Piers’ JLA/Avengers hard cover review.
JLA #107 feels a bit slow as we don’t get any real focus on the CSA (Crime Syndicate of Amerika) – the JLA dopplegangers from Earth 2.
The story really is a “breather” story that shows the behind-the-scenes duties of JLA’ers as Martian Manhunter and the Flash cope with seemingly boring, but vitally important work.
They deal with an imprisoned techno-organic villain the Construct, which leads to me to believe that he (it) will play a role in this arc. The rest of the JLA is coping with what do about the growing cosmic egg that is a universe-in-the-making from the pages of JLA/Avengers (where DC mega-villain Krona is trapped).
We don’t get a lot of action in this book, well not earth-shattering JLA-level action, but we do get some character-driven moments and the set-up of future CSA-filled stories. This “light” issue will probably read better as part of the obvious trade paperback of this CSA arc.
The weakest part of the book is Busiek’s characterization of the Flash. His Flash is impatient and immature, everything that the character has grown out of over the years.
Ron Garney’s art gives the JLA and CSA an almost larger-than-life feel. His characters just look strong with some solid weight behind them. It really adds to the intended epic feel of the arc, even though this issue felt like a “filler” and certainly not epic in many ways.
JLA #107 is a quieter JLA issue that leads into next month’s CSA spotlight. It illuminates the behind-the-scenes responsibilities of the JLA where they save the world in less flashy ways. Its the saves that they don’t necessarily get credit for in addition to the splashy battles they are known for.
A decent opening salvo by Busiek, Garney and crew.