Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The JLA's resident ancient Native American(?) shaman Manitous Raven vanished under mysterious circumstances, leaving only mystical "telling stones" as a trace. Meanwhile, murders and other crimes involving the circled "x" symbols started turning up in various cases involving the League, as well as active metagene youths (not unlike Marvel's merry mutants.) The Atom was called up by apparent current team leader Batman (based on the orders he was casually throwing around) to help investigate.
The Martian Manhunter brought Manitou Raven's telling stones to the Atom, and when conventional technology failed to detect anything within them, the Tiny Titan shrank down to explore close up. The Mighty Mite vanished into the stones, as J'Onn J'Onzz tried in vain to reestablish telepathic contact.
"Suffer the Little Children," part one of "The Tenth Circle," was by the famous X-Men creative team of John Byrne and Chris Claremont, joined by the heavy inks of Jerry Ordway. It was not magical. Byrne took top billing, so he presumably plotted the piece and drew it, and as a consequence he gets most of the blame. The story is uninspired and crowded, while the art looks more like Ordway hampered by Byrne's pencils rather than accentuating them. The script by Claremont is long, rambling and funky, with dialogue that doesn't sounds like it belongs in any of the known characters' mouths.
Also, apologies in advance for my scans throughout this series. Something about the paper stock or inks made these a bugger to clean up, so there are more scanning artifacts than usual, and darker overall images.
The Tenth Circle