JLA 7: Tower of Babel

jla volume 7 tower of babel cover trade paperback tpb batman
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Good Batman story

Not up to the level of Morrison's run

Comic Info

Comic Name:  JLA (Volume 1)/JLA 80 Page Giant/JLA:  Secret Files and Origins

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Mark Waid/Dan Curtis Johnson/Christopher Priest/John Ostrander

Artist:  Howard Porter/Steve Scott/Mark Pajarillo/Pablo Raimondi/Eric Battle

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  2001


JLA (1) #43

Reprints JLA (1) #42-46, JLA 80 Page Giant #1, and JLA:  Secret Files and Origins #3 (July 1998-December 2000).  When the world is divided by language scramblers and the JLA are under attack, Ra’s Al Ghul seems to know the JLA’s every step.  Defeating Ra’s and his daughter Talia might be impossible, but Ra’s and Talia have a secret ally.  The JLA has meant their greatest match…Batman.

Written by Mark Waid with additional work by Dan Curtis Johnson, Christopher Priest, and John Ostrander, JLA Volume 7:  Tower of Babel and a new writing team for the series and followed JLA Volume 6:  World War III.  The series was loosely adapted for the DC Universe Animated Original movie Justice League:  Doom in 2012 and is often listed as one of the best Batman stories.  The storyline was also collected in JLA:  Deluxe Edition—Volume 4.

Mark Waid is a tricky writer.  He is a comic book writer and he doesn’t experiment as much as Grant Morrison from whom he took the reins of this hit series.  That being said, Mark Waid generally writes solid comic book stories.  While I like Tower of Babel, I wonder what the story would have been like with an edgier writer.


JLA (1) #44

The core story of the collection is the collection of JLA (1) #43-46 (July 2000-October 2000).  Story feels big, but also feels a bit small at the same time.  It seems like the story needed to be expanded and fleshed out a bit more.  There is a lot of substance in the story from Batman’s betrayal, the JLA not trusting their own powers, Talia’s mistrust of her father, and Ra’s Al Ghul’s plot to overtake the world…it feels like it needs an issue or two more to really get into the issues.

The story has an intro story from JLA (1) #42 (June 2000) which is almost like a Twilight Zone episode with the JLA discovering a society living in the body of a dying boy, and it also contains short stories from JLA 80 Page Giant #1 (July 1998) and a Tower of Babel tie-in tale from JLA:  Secret Files and Origins #3 (December 2000).  These stories are fine, but I think an extra issue or two in JLA proper would have been a better choice.

JLA 7:  Tower of Babel is a good start in the challenge of following up Morrison’s record breaking run of the series.  JLA shows a bit of a decline here and continues to decline after this entry.  The series does have some high points now and then, but it never reaches the level of this volume or Morrison’s entries before it.  Tower of Babel is currently out of print as a stand-alone graphic novel.  JLA 7:  Tower of Babel was followed by JLA 8:  Divided We Fall.

Related Links:

Justice League:  Doom (2012)

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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