Tales From the Bargain Bin: JLA Black Baptism

By Max

In this four part mini-series the Justice League of America face off with a demon gang known as the Diablos. Issue one of the series introduces us to the Diablos and their attack on the Sentinels of Magic and opens up with Superman and Plastic Man coming to the aid of Zatanna. The story continues down a path where the JLA must find out who the Diablos are, why they are attacking the DC Universes magic users, and what the end goal is.

Black Baptism was written by Ruben Diaz and Sean Smith, penciled by Jesus Saiz, and inked by Keith Champagne. Issue one was released in May of 2001 and the trade paperback of the series was released in 2011.

After reading this issue the first thing I really noticed was the amount of questions that popped into my head, it caught me, and I wanted to know more. Not everything I read does this, hooking me right away. I got invested in the story and was asking the questions the writers probably wanted me to be asking. I like to see this in a book. It isn’t the best thing put down on paper in comic history but it has a wonderful concept and I’m a huge fan of super teams. Not to mention DC’s magic users are pretty cool in my book.

I might be a little biased with JLA comics, being they are my second favorite super team behind the Outsiders, but I’ll do my best to set that aside and tell it how it is. The story opens up with Zatanna being interrogated by a group of demons, who we learn are a gang called the Diablos. Soon Superman and Plastic Man show up to help Zatanna. I love that they used Plastic Man. I feel he’s a very underutilized character. He has some good zingers along the way in the story.

The writing is the best part about this comic, it has a good story so far and it made me want to continue reading to see what happens. It brings in characters that aren’t as common, such as Ragman, Faust, and Blue Devil. I hadn’t read a story involving the Sentinels of Magic, so it expanded my horizons.

They did a great job at leaving out just enough information to enhance the mystery without leaving the reader groping in the dark for answers. It was done well and it’s not always easy to leave a reader in the dark and keep interest.

It’s also nice to see a book utilize Superman’s weakness to magic as opposed to Kryptonite. Kryptonite is over used in the DC universe to weaken Supes and magic is very much under used. Hell some people forget about it.

With that, the writing doesn’t stand out. None of it really does. It’s a very average comic. This isn’t a bad thing. I’ve read much worse and enjoyed many far less than this comic. It reads well and keeps true to the characters. For as little as there is to appraise there is just as little to complain.

The art of the book is standard comic fare; with the characters drawn to represent the early 2000s look of each. I didn’t much care for the look of Superman and of course there’s the lumberjack Aquaman which I’m torn between liking and disliking. It’s nice to see a variation but I’m not sure it was the smartest choice on DC’s part to change it to that look. Aquaman always looked less like an Atlantian to me and more like a Viking.

Overall it’s a very average comic. I’m not disappointed and will read the whole series, but it isn’t a must have. It’s a great story especially for fans of DC’s magic characters and JLA aficionados. If that doesn’t appeal to your tastes skip it or find a copy to read.


3 Responses to “Tales From the Bargain Bin: JLA Black Baptism”
  1. Eagle says:

    The paragon of unrndstandieg these issues is right here!

  2. spune:Ori mergeÅ£i la alt ierarh, ori refuzaÅ£i. AÅŸa ceva este inadmisibil. Cred că cazul trebuie făcut public. Nu trebuie să vă fie frică…

  3. Jeg lopper på Ingerslev i Århus hvis i skulle bo i nærheden kom endelig det er et super marked!!Skoene er næsten helt nye kun lidt ridser på sålen men de er produceret i 70erne der står 7,5 i sålen og i indlægget made in Denmark men af hvem ???det er gået af på en eller andens fodsål ;-)

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