Friday, August 24, 2018

Retro Review: JLX #1


Team Work

Written by: Gerard Jones and Mark Waid
Art by: Howard Porter, John Dell, and Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Price: $1.95
Release Date: April 1996

What is better than the Justice League and the X-Men?  A combination of both, of course!  The JLX is the result of the DC/Marvel Amagalm Universe and one of the best concepts ever.  I know I keep saying this in these retro reviews, but we all need a bit of this Amalgam action to return right here and now!  I would line up just to throw all my money at it and I can't be the only one.  Enough of Captain Obvious, though, let's get on with the review...



The issue opens with a huge battle and with all these Amalgam characters just thrown at you, it gets a bit confusing...in a good way!  Howard Porter's art is incredible right off the bat and the craziness of it all put a smile on my face as I was trying to get my footing in this fight between the Judgement League Avengers and the JLX.



Continuing, the battle rages on until the JLA has to retreat after Angel-Hawk nearly dies, but only after Mr. X probes his mind and realizes he is indeed a mutant like the JLX members.  This issue plays the game a lot of the other Amalgam stuff does...pretending that these books are all long-running series complete with editor's notes to "classic runs and issues".  It is one of the fun things about it all.

With the JLA gone, the JLX can get back to business...finding their ancestral mutant city.  Mr. X (An amalgamation of DC's Martian Manhunter and Marvel's Professor X) probes Aqua-Mariner's (DC's Aquaman and Marvel's Sub-Mariner) mind and finds a clue.  After some personal moments with Apollo (DC's Ray and Marvel's Cyclops) and Firebird (DC's Fire and Marvel's Phoenix) we get quick moments with the rest of the team before narrowly making it to Atlantis.



Atlantis appears to be deserted until the team is attacked by Will Magnus and his Sentinels, intent on destroying all mutant kind.  The stakes are pretty high and characters are getting knocked around left and right.  Jocasta (DC's Platinum and Marvel's Jocasta, Sentinels and Millie the Model) gets eliminated, which only angers Magnus more and Runaway (DC's Gypsy and Marvel's Rogue) would have died if not for Mr. X showing his Martian Manhunter colors.  Magnus escapes, but the team is now aware that Mr. X is not a mutant like them, but an alien.  The issue ends on a cliffhanger involving the continued investigation of where the Atlantians have gone as well as the ominous warning of " Apocalypso".

This issue is all about the characters.  There isn't much of a story overall and most of it is fighting, so if you are not into seeing (and figuring out) who these combo-characters are and what they can do, you may not get a whole lot out of this one.  I did like it and one of the big reasons was Howard Porter's art.  It's so good and you can see the fun he's having with these characters in every panel.  I wish this could have gone on for 103 issues or more!

Bits and Pieces:

This one has all the Amalgam tropes (fake editor's notes and callouts to interactions that never were) and I had a good time with it.  Sure, there is no real solid story within the cover, but it's a ton of fun for both DC and Marvel fans and boy, the art is great.  If you are going to read this one, though, I'd save it for after you've read some of the solo books first as it may help you ease into the craziness here.

8.0/10




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