Thursday, September 29, 2011
JLA: Welcome to the Working Week
Since Patton Oswalt decided to completely give up on DC Comics yesterday, I decided that now would be as good a time as any to take a peek back at a time when the relationship between the two comic entities wasn't quite as contentious.
(Yeah, I know you were expecting a "fill in the blank" Thursday, but it's the one weekday that never had a regular feature. Our fault. Way to go Thursday.)
Welcome to the Working Week is a sort of "behind the scenes" account to a typical week in the life of the JLA. It's a unique portrait that's sort of a second cousin to The Unauthorized Biography of Lex Luthor.
Basically Marlus Randone is a guy who has his own zine about super heroes called Save Us! When his neighborhood is attacked by aliens, the entire population is transported to the JLA Watchtower for their protection while the JLA deals with the threat.
Once the threat is dealt with, everyone except for Marlus goes home. He stays and decides to crash on Watchtower and investigate what the JLA does on their downtime.
Marlus sees Batman broker a deal with a super villain and Superman literally offer refuge to a foe. He catches a glimpse of Wonder Woman's training regimen and Batman testing his own personal limits. And he sees what it's like when Plastic Man throws a party.
The story even has some moments of tenderness, but to detail them would be spoiling.
Oswalt is a comic fan and his love for the characters shines though. While the book never reeks of fan fiction, there is an occasional whiff of it. Oswalt also has a keen eye and ear for pop culture, so all of the references really do ring true.
Welcome to the Working Week also provides an early glimpse at the super hot talent of Patrick Gleason. Currently a hot property, back in 2003 when the book was released, Gleason was a rising talent. It's really interesting to see how his work as changed over the years.
It's as shame that Oswalt has decided to bail on DC, because it seems that they could really use someone with this a) geek cred b) celebrity and c) unique voice working on a title right about now.