JLA Classified
New Maps of Hell

Author: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jackson Guice
Titan Books
RRP 7.99
ISBN 1 84576 250 9
Available 21 July 2006

For untold millennia, the ancient entity called Z has travelled across the stars, seeking the strongest of species and bringing terror and destruction to those he found lacking. Now Z has at last come to Earth, only to find himself confronted by the planet's supreme champions, the Justice League of America...

New Maps of Hell explores why Lex Luthor's employees seem to be committing suicide in Metropolis. It soon becomes apparent that their deaths are connected to the number 1106. Meanwhile, explosions rock the home cities of Batman, the Flash and Wonder Woman. Someone or something is attempting to manifest Hell on Earth and only the combined might of the JLA can stop it.

This is a worthy edition to the JLA universe - but then this comes as no surprise when you realise that Warren Ellis is responsible for the writing.

Unusually for the JLA there's some very subtle humour woven into this tale - although this is very sparse. There's a very funny panel where Flash has to carry Batman while travelling at speed. He picks him up like a bridegroom carrying his new wife over the threshold for the first time. Batman complains: "I couldn't ride on your back?" To which Flash says: "Your legs would fall outside the speed force and would probably be torn off." Batman simply replies: "This will be fine. Go."

While this doesn't sound overly amusing, you really have to see it in conjunction with the image of Batman been carried.

The artwork is also worthy of note, with the action exploding off the pages.

All in all this is an enjoyable JLA tale.

Nick Smithson

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