JLA 9: Terror Incognita

jla volume 9 terror incognito cover trade paperback
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Christmas issue

Joker: Last Laugh tie-in is confusing for those who didn't read the series

Comic Info

Comic Name:  JLA

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Mark Waid/Chuck Dixon/Scott Beatty

Artist:  Mike S. Millar/Bryan Hitch/Darryl Banks/Cliff Rathburn

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2002


JLA #57

Reprints JLA #55-60 (August 2001-January 2002).  The White Martians are back and threatening to destroy the Earth with their latest plan to overtake it unless the JLA can stop them.  Plus, the JLA deals with fallout from Joker’s gas attack when Doctor Polaris goes insane, and Plastic Man relays the events which had Santa Claus joining the JLA.

Written by Mark Waid, Chuck Dixon, and Scott Beatty, JLA Volume 9:  Terror Incognita follows JLA Volume 8:  Divided We Fall.  The collection contains the four issue “Terror Incognita” storyline involving the White Martians in addition to a Joker:  Last Laugh tie-in and a Christmas issue.  The issues have also been collected in JLA—Volume 5.

I really liked the JLA relaunch.  I wasn’t much of a DC reader at the time, but buzz about the launch with Morrison’s writing got me picking it up.  When Waid took over the tone changed, but the stories remained strong.  This entry is strong as well, but very typical Mark Waid.

I’ve always argued that Mark Waid is a really good comic book writer…but he doesn’t really try to go above and beyond that.  Writers like Morrison, Gaiman, and Moore try to change the medium by writing more adult and more detailed stories…that don’t always work.  I don’t think that writing true comic book stories is a bad thing and Waid is one of the best writers in that sense.  I just go into a Mark Waid story expecting pretty much what is visible on the surface and with very few layers.


JLA #60

The book does suffer a bit from a tie-in story that has very little context.  JLA #59 ties into the bigger Joker:  Last Laugh crossover event.  There is no background in the book and all of the sudden the JLA is rounding up crazies like Polaris.  A one page summary of Joker:  Last Laugh would have been a nice bridge to understand the story.

The last issue in the volume is also quite fun (but not tied in to anything larger).  The story features Plastic Man telling Woozy’s nephew about Santa Claus being part of the JLA.  There is a nice throwback feel to the story which easily could have taken place in the early days of DC…but it has a modern writing style which gives it a weird feel.  It is fun and light and worth checking out in itself.

JLA is one of DC’s consistently better books from the late ’90s.  The comic industry was just getting out of the Image boom and returning to solid storytelling over art.  I still recommend the JLA for a nice team-book and would love to see the current series try to match the tone and storytelling of this line-up.  JLA 9:  Terror Incognita was followed by JLA 10:  Golden Perfect.

Followed By:

JLA 10:  Golden Perfect

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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