JLA 3: Rock of Ages

jla volume 3 rock of ages cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Morrison does interesting things with the characters

The overall story is kind of inconsistent

Comic Info

Comic Name: JLA (Volume 1)

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist: Howard Porter/Gary Frank/Oscar Jimenez/Greg Land

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 1998

jla #10 cover rock of ages team

JLA (1) #10

Reprints JLA (1) #10-15 (September 1997-February 1998).  The new Justice League of America is already fracturing.  Wonder Woman is dead and the JLA are under attack from a new Injustice Gang.  Fighting to stop the Injustice Gang led by Luthor, the Flash, Aquaman, and Green Lantern find themselves off on their own adventure into the future when Metron warns about the danger of Darkseid and the Philosopher’s Stone.  Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Flash are about to learn that saving the Earth might mean stopping the Justice League.

Written by Grant Morrison, JLA Volume 3:  Rock of Ages is a DC Comics team book.  Following JLA Volume 2:  American Dreams, the collection features art by Howard Porter, Gary Frank, Oscar Jimenez, and Greg Land.  The issues in the volume were also collected as part of JLA—Volume 2 and the JLA by Grant Morrison Omnibus.

Grant Morrison set a spark under the JLA.  While Marvel’s team books always seemed like they really came together, Justice League of America always felt like a second tier book despite having all of DC’s heavy hitters.  JLA made the team a force, and Morrison’s team was different in that Morrison used the characters different than previous writers…which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t work.

The story for this volume has some interesting aspects.  It has the team split in two.  The first team is involved in a pretty traditional Justice League adventure with the Justice League facing off against the Injustice Gang, but the second story is a bit different.  Shuttled to the future, Aquaman, Flash, and Green Lantern find themselves in battle with Darkseid and his forces in a future where Earth has fallen.  The reason the Earth has fallen is because of the Justice League.  Of course, the alternate-Earth is stopped by the JLA who correct their mistake, and it feels a little bit of a letdown in that sense.  The story had really big implications and it feels like it ends too easy.

jla #13 cover martian manhunter

JLA (1) #13

Morrison does continue to have fun with the characters.  He does things like having J’onn tap into the Joker’s madness by expanding the areas of his brain that allow him to think like the Joker.  New team members Aztek and Green Arrow both face challenges themselves in the form of the corporate control of Aztek and Green Arrow’s realization that a “guy with arrows” might do better on a smaller scale when fighting crime.  Superman gets to play more with his new energy form, and Green Lantern’s insecurities also come into play.  This is kind of how the Avengers have worked for decades and it is interesting to see it direct the JLA title.

Despite being fun and a new direction for the Justice League, I will say that I don’t think Morrison’s run holds up as well as some other writers.  It was inventive and what the JLA needed at the time (he also manages to skirt the event crossover series Genesis in this volume which was a smart move).  Reading issue by issue, you weren’t quite sure where the title would go…something that often was lacking in the Justice League before that.  Morrison tries to find a happy medium between Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’s “fun & funny” Justice League and an action comic.  He mostly succeeds, but some of the novelty of the original run has worn off.  JLA 3:  Rock of Ages is followed by JLA 4:  Strength in Numbers.

Preceded By:

JLA 2:  American Dreams

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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