Thursday, March 6, 2008

Justice League of America #107 - Oct. 1973

sgThe JLA and the JSA meet The Freedom Fighters!

The Story: "Crisis on Earth-X!" by Len Wein, Dick Dillin, and Dick Giordano. The JLA and the JSA are preparing for their yearly get together, using their new matter transporter(basically a big metal box).

Of course, it doesbn't go right, and none of the heroes show up--instead, they've been transported to another Earth, where they are immediately attacked by tanks bearing Nazi swatstikas!

But these aren't any old Nazis--their weapons seem to have super-advanced powers, and they knock around our heroes pretty good, until they are rescued by a team of superheroes--The Freedom Fighters!

Their leader, Uncle Sam, explains that on this Earth, The Nazis won World War II, and they are the last surviving superheroes, still fighting the power. To mollify the population, the Nazis came up with a sort of mind-control device. The FF has developed an immunity, so they will not relent.

The JLA and the JSA of course agree to help the Freedom Fighters defeat the Nazis(haven't they heard of the Prime Directive?), and Dr.Fate uses his powers to find the source of the beam that projects the Nazis' hypno-ray.

Several places around the globe appear, so the heroes split up to search, leaving Red Tornado behind to coordinate. Batman, Dr.Fate, The Ray, and the Human Bomb head to Paris.

Dick Dillin was not known for his work being particularly moody--Batman pretty much looked like another costumed hero--but occasionally he outdid himself, like this imposing panel of Batman about to bust some Ratzi head
The four heroes find the machine sending out the beam, and it looks more like a giant robot, one that creates four demon-like creatures to dispatch the heroes.

The demons are quickly defeated, and the heroes smash the machine. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to make a difference--everyone is still under mind control!

Meanwhile, back on Earth-1, the remaining JLAers are trying to figure out where their friends went. They begin to wonder...what if they're dead? To be continued!

Roll Call: Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Red Tornado

Notable Moments: The first issue in a looong time that didn't feature Superman, although they sort of got him in, in that the Earth-2 version participates.

A Nazi planet is just too good a story concept not to try, whether its a comic book, a novel, or an episode of Star Trek.

Dick Dillin was one of the few artist that could draw Phantom Lady and not make the comic look like something you'd have to hide from your parents.


russell said...

I never understood why Black Canary was not the focal point of these JSA crossovers. She should have not been interested in participating (too many painful memories) or she should have jumped at the chance to see her old friends. I thought that was a major mis-characterization of her.

BentonGrey said...

You know, that's a good point Russell.

Ahh, Nazis, an infinite source of comic book goodness. They are the ultimate punching bags and the ultimate symbol of clear-cut evil.

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

We really have to admire the Batman's determination in that scene on the Eiffel Tower. How many super-heroes would turn introspective and lose their sense of purpose after being called "die Fledermaus" which translates to "the flying mouse"? But the Batman shrugs off the slight, and proceeds to hammer the rhythm section of the Horst-Wessel-Lied on their heads. Who else could do this as effectively? Daredevil? Captain America? I doubt it.

rob! said...

>>hammer the rhythm section of the Horst-Wessel-Lied on their heads.<<

quite possibly the best line ever written on this blog.

Adama said...

Man, if I were those German soldiers, I would start running and not stop until I hit ocean, then gotten a boat, and sailed as far away as possible.

Earth 2 Chris said...

Quick question since I don't have this original issue: Does E2 Supes have white in his hair in this issue? In the "Crisis on Multiple Earths" volume reprinting this one, he has a thin line of white about mid side-burn. I didn't know if that was a later addition by a new colorist or authentic to the original issue.


Luke said...

Dick Dillin was one of the few artist that could draw Phantom Lady and not make the comic look like something you'd have to hide from your parents.

A difficult task indeed!

russell said...

The graying temples of Superman E-2 are chronologically correct. They aren't very evident in this issue (not shown in the JSA scenes, showing up later on Earth X) but next issue they are consistently applied.

Earth-2 Rev. Nørb said...

It should be noted that Wein wanted to call this issue "Crisis on Earth-((Swastika))" but was prevented from doing same by the powers that be.

It should also be noted that Earth-X is now officially known as "Earth-10." Get it? Roman numerals? Crazy.

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