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Justice League of America, Vol. 2: The Lightning Saga Paperback – January 27, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–In this rather melancholy book, the past, present, and future versions of the Justice League come together. There is a cerebral quality that is strong here, as the concepts of time, change, and personal interdependence are explored in remarkable ways. How I love proving Clark wrong, Batman states early on. Each chapter is drawn and lettered in a different way–from classically bold to ultra postmodern with extreme digitization (that's hard to read). Overall, this title comes across as a history of these characters. The Flash, one of DC's oldest, is drawn as an old man. The younger heroes–GeoForce, Dream Girl, etc.–stand around in awe of the Big Two, Superman and Batman. The latter, with his sour disposition, makes for the better read, although the story is frequently taken a bit far. A fascinating collection of meditations on where the Justice League has been and where it potentially will end up, The Lightning Saga is an intelligent and fun title.–John Leighton, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Meltzer delivers a script with the same polish and suspense he brought to the hugely successful Identity Crisis, bringing humanity and personality to the many members of the League that few writers in mainstream comics are capable of delivering... A satisfying and meaty story that should thrill new and old readers equally. Grade: A."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; Reprint edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401218695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401218690
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle and The Book of Fate, as well as the bestsellers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, and The Book of Lies. He is also the author of the nonfiction bestsellers, Heroes For My Son and Heroes For My Daughter, collecting heroes from Jim Henson, to Rosa Parks, to Mr. Rogers. Brad is also the host of the History Channel TV show, Brad Meltzer's Decoded -- one of the co-creators of the TV show, "Jack & Bobby" -- and is the #1 selling author of the critically-acclaimed comic books, Identity Crisis and Justice League of America, for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award. His newest book, The Fifth Assassin, will be published in January 2013.

Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. You can find him regularly on facebook.com/bradmeltzer or at bradmeltzer.com.

For authenticity, The Book of Fate was researched with the help of former Presidents Clinton and Bush. He was selected by the Department of Homeland Security to brainstorm different ways that terrorists can attack the US. The Inner Circle is about a young archivist in the National Archives who finds out that George Washington's secret spy ring still exists to this very day.

His books have spent nearly a year on the bestseller lists, and have been translated into over 25 languages, from Hebrew to Bulgarian. In The Tenth Justice, the opening lines are: "Ben Addison was sweating. Like a pig." In the Hebrew translation, it became: "Ben Addison was sweating. Like a horse." We're not sure if it's a kosher thing or what.

Brad has played himself as an extra in Woody Allen's Celebrity and earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, which became The Tenth Justice. He also co-wrote the oath that the President of the United States gives to all AmeriCorps members. Before all of that, he got 24 rejection letters for his true first novel, which still sits on his shelf, published by Kinko's.

Brad currently lives in Florida with his wife, who's also an attorney.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jon on June 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'll make this brief. I really enjoyed this book - based on comments on here, the book well surpassed my expectations. After reading Identity Crisis I was instantly a big Brad Meltzer fan, and this was more good works with a blend of very funny moments with very deep overall writing. The first component of "The Lightning Saga" (hereafter "TLS") was basically a "training" story. After all of the fascinating-but-yet-emotionally-tiring seriousness of DC over the past half-decade this was a nice moment of traditional (JLA & JSA just "hanging out" together) relaxing enjoyment of the two "super teams" and their go-betweens.

The main component of TLS fits in and explains more about Starman & Karate Kid with regards to Final Crisis (Countdown) and the JSA run. I have honestly never read a story about the Legion - they seemed more like cheesy kids to my assumptive perspective. But the main component story arc was: a mystery; an ultimate team-up of the newer JLA & JSA with the blends of older heroes & also the "legacies"; and a resurrection.

The third component was a more seemingly-random story that I wasn't sure why it was included, but was impressed with the deep simplicity of the writing (two heroes caught in a life-threatening situation and trying to find their courage).

The final component is a very nice retrospective on the history of the JLA sort of in a memory scattershot of poignant moments. The single page with Batman and Wonder Woman lamenting the death of Superman from that epic 90's story still evoked a surprising amount of emotion.

I felt that this was an awesome book for the amount of content and WELL WORTH the money.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roochak on March 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
This review is from: Justice League of America Vol. 2: The Lightning Saga

For all the hard work that Brad Meltzer, Geoff Johns, and half a dozen pencillers and inkers have put into the title story of this collection, "The Lightning Saga" reads like an evening of Dungeons & Dragons enacted by characters who think they're in a Jacobean revenge tragedy. The reader is urged repeatedly to consider the pain of betrayal as one explanation for the characters' actions, yet by the end there doesn't seem to be anyone responsible for having done the alleged betraying. This is a story without a villain, despite walk-on roles for four of DC's bad guys; what we're left with, not to give too much away, is a story about a handful of 31st century heroes who've been sent back in time on a rather goofy suicide mission. Conveniently amnesiac on arrival, they succeed mostly in making nuisances of themselves.

If "The Lightning Saga" is all sound and fury, things improve drastically in the standalone story, "Walls." Red Arrow and Vixen, both seriously injured, have to rescue themselves from a collapsing building. The panels, on pitch black pages, get narrower and more claustrophobically oppressive as the heroes find themselves running out of time, space, oxygen, and hope. It's a virtuoso piece of visual storytelling by Meltzer and artist Gene Ha, easily the one must-read story in this collection.

The last two stories are more typical of Meltzer's comics writing in that they're both elegant fantasias on decades of Justice League history.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Penrose on July 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a really big fan of both Geoff Johns and Brad Meltzer but this trade left me scratching my head raw. The Legionnaires have always been a slightly confusing topic to start with then you add in a JLA adventure with the JSA abd you too many characters who have as much of a hard time as the readers figuring out what is going on. Maybe this project was too ambitious. I don't know exactly why but this didn't come together well. On the positive side the solo part involving Roy and Mari was excellent but overall not good at all.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Lightning Saga continues Brad Meltzer's relaunch of Justice League of America, and crosses over with Geoff Johns' Justice Society of America. This hardcover collects issues from both series' (mainly JLA) as the Justice League (now also sporting Geo-Force as a member) and the Justice Society team up to discover why members of the Legion of Superheroes are trapped here in the present day, and just what their mysterious agenda is. Sadly, Meltzer's parts of the story just aren't all that interesting. The segments written by Johns, arguably the best superhero writer in comics today, are undoubtedly the best parts of The Lightning Saga, where as Meltzer's segments just seem kinda boring. All that being said, The Lightning Saga concludes with the return of a hero that departed back during Infinite Crisis, and the book also finishes up with an excellent issue called "Walls", written by Meltzer and with art by Gene Ha, in which Red Arrow and Vixen are trapped and running out of time. Justice League of America #0 is included as well (and features art from everyone to Dick Giordano, to George Perez, to the Kubert brothers, to Jim Lee among others), and the book as a whole includes great work from Ed Benes, Dale Eaglesham, Shane Davis, and Fernando Pasarin. All in all, despite an uneven feel, The Lightning Saga is a worthy read for JLA fans, and with seeds planted to lead up to Final Crisis, why not give it a try?
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