Review by Megan Sinclair
Grant Morrison’s third volume of JLA collects another set of action-packed stories, setting the Justice League up against both old and new challenges and threats. In keeping with Morrison’s style, an array of colourful, often forgotten characters make an appearance amongst the regular cast such as the 1950s hero, Adam Strange. In his story arc he tricks the JLA into coming to his planet, only to enslave them and force them to bring his world back to its former glory. However, as is the case with most of Morrison’s narratives, things are not always as they seem.
A particular stand-out story is ‘Perchance to Dream’ which incorporates Vertigo’s Sandman into the plot. The new Dream of the Endless Daniel appears to aid the Justice League against It, a nightmarish race of creatures who have sent most of the world to sleep, draining their freewill and turning them into mindless slaves through dream. In a change from the norm, the JLA must rely on both Daniel for guidance and the hope of a young boy, whose imagination is so powerful, that despite the effects of the It he clings to the dream of Superman, and the good and heroism he represents. The story has Morrison’s typical larger than life quality with a very Lovecraftian edge, but it nevertheless feels unique alongside the other story-arcs, as the superheroes who are deemed as Gods come face to face with an actual one.
Howard Porter is the prominent artist for the JLA run (the first story arc ‘Out of Luck’ features both a guest writer and artist) and improves upon his previous work on the series. This is evident in in the four-part story where the wartime Justice Society of America re-group and join forces with the Justice League of America in order to defeat a fifth dimensional threat. As is expected with a narrative centred around dimensions, the story is often otherworldly and experimental. Porter’s designs perfectly capture this existential aesthetic, throwing both the readers and the superheroes out of their depths and into the unknown.
Overall, JLA: Volume 3 offers a strong collection of stories, bringing together both popular, well-known characters alongside the more obscure. There are some narratives that fall short here and there, but in large Morrison and Porter work very well together to bring the vibrant and exciting world of the JLA to life. Most of the content was previously issued as Strength in Numbers and Justice For All.