Secret Origins Featuring the JLA : 3 of 5

I love finding graphic novels on PaperBack Swap, since I know I'll enjoy just about any DC Comics edition I can find, and it feels like I'm getting them for free! This particular book isn't quite as slick as other comic collections (the pages are basic newsprint rather than glossy paper), but it's still a nice long set of seven stories that I found pretty interesting. The first story features the entire Justice League facing yet another alien invasion, but the rest of the chapters all focus on the origin tale of each hero. Of course, some of these have been told a million times - it must have been really rough to figure out yet another way to relate the Batman story, but I think they did a nice job with Batman himself somewhat narrating at a crime scene similar to one that took the lives of his parents. A few of the origins are extremely complex and complete, covering the full history of the character (including previous Golden and Silver Age versions!). Things move a little too quick just to fit everything into the book, but I still was totally fascinated to read classic facts I never knew before, such as the final end of Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern, all the different versions of the Flash, and especially the sweeping tale of Aquaman, which is definitely long enough to be it's own book (and it probably is!). Since Superman's story is so well known, the angle this time involves Bruce Wayne going undercover to talk with the Kents, which was pretty cool. Some fans might be disappointed in the "rush job" these stories get (admittedly, a few are so compact they read like an encyclopedia entry), but I had a great time reading this book!

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