Virtue and Vice

Authors: David S. Goyer & Geoff Johns
Artists: Carlos Pacheco & Jesus Merino

Titan Books
RRP 24.99
ISBN 1 84023 596 9
Available now

The Justice League of America (JLA), the world's greatest heroes, and the Justice Society of America (JSA), the original superteam, have joined forces on many occasions to save Earth. But this time, they face a challenge greater than any they've ever known - one from within their own ranks...

In an age of Hellboy, Hellblazer and, more aptly, Marshal Law the tale being told in Virtue and Vice is a little on the tired side. While the writers have tried to put a twist on the story this graphic novel still comes out like some dull "hooray for America" 1960s comic. The artwork may have moved on, but the writing seems to have stayed firmly in the past.

If self-important superheroes wearing tight fitting costumes are your thing then you'll love this. For the rest of us, who have grown up, then there is nothing new here to excite.

One of the questions posed on the press release for this collection asked: "Ever wondered who'd win a fight between Batman and Superman?" And the answer is "Yes!" However that scenario has already been explored in Frank Miller's excellent The Dark Knight Returns.

If you grew up with JLA and JSA, then this might be worth a look for nostalgic reasons. But I think you'll be disappointed to see that not much has happened to keep this series fresh since your childhood days. Even the twist idea of superheroes gone bad is nothing new.

While the artwork, and story for that matter, are not that bad I still cannot heartily recommend this collection.

Nick Smithson

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