Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Justice League of America #119 - June 1975

sgAnother great cover by Dick Giordano--and what I love the most is that it's the exact same scene as the previous issue's cover, but with the predicament getting steadily worse. Plus, Batman looks pissed.

The Story: "Winner Takes The Earth!" by Elliot S! Maggin, Dick Dillin, and Frank McLaughlin. These Adaptoid creatures are announcing their plans to eradicate the human race, while the defeated and wounded JLAers watch from the satellite.

Finally the other JLAers--Batman, Atom, Green Arrow, and Elongated Man--get involved, but they prove no match for the Adaptoids, so they are beamed back to the satellite for the JLA to compare notes and regroup.

The news announces that governments are toppling under the assault of the Adaptoids, and Superman, current JLA chairman, calls a "War Room" meeting of the JLA. And when Superman is in charge, he sure lets you know it:

Yes, being in charge and generally just being Superman isn't enough, he has to stand on the table and talk, literally, down to the rest of his teammates.

As they discuss strategy, the Adaptoids show up in the JLA satellite! They beat the JLAers again, when suddenly Hawkman returns, and exposes the creatures to the Equalizing plague by bringing...Hawkgirl!

This equalizes the JLAers and the Adaptoids, which gives the JLA the edge they need to defeat them. The JLA announces to the world they have done so, and Green Lantern comes by(better late than never) to transport the Adaptoids to a barren prison planet, where they immediately start building a primitive society for themselves.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Red Tornado

Notable Moments: Elliot S! Maggin tied in the previous storyline to this one, which was neat. And bringing Hawkgirl back to Earth was needed, as well, so he got a lot of things accomplished in just this issue.

The Atom gets a chance to shine, as his scientific background helps the JLA figue out what to do with the creatures and how the JLA will adapt to have been "equalized."

JLA Satellite fan/F.O.A.M. member Russell Burbage pointed out to me that the JLA made an appearance in Action Comics #443.

I've normally been skipping the JLA's appearances in other books, but I was able to pick up a very cheap copy and besides, that Nick Cardy cover looks like so much fun! (I had hoped to profile the book in chronological sequence--which would've been around JLA #115, but it just arrived yesterday, so please forgive me)

The story is "Clark Kent, Super-Hero!" by Elliott S! Maggin, Curt Swan(of course), and Tex Blaisdell. We open with Superman himself delivering the 6 O'Clock News on WGBS! What's going on here?

Next we see the Queen Bee and her drones robbing a bank, when they are stopped by...a flying Clark Kent?!?

Queen Bee gets away, and she heads back to her "Anti-Justice League" satellite, which looks a lot like a certain Legion of Doom would in a few years. Queen Bee has assembled a team of bad guys, consisting of Brainiac, Clayface, the Harpy(who?), Merlyn, Ocean Master, Sinestro, Chronos, and Gorilla Grodd!

Turns out these baddies have gone after the individual JLAers and defeated them(using a sophisticated plan of attack, calculating and anticipating the heroes' actions), and they are now encased in a cage of the Queen Bee's devising.

Unfortunately for them, Brainiac has not been able to defeat Superman, because he is attacking illogically, doing nothing he normally does! When a tracker he creates pinpoints where Bee's hideout is, he heads there and takes on all the villains himself.

Superman gets blasted by Brainiac, but not before he helps free the Flash, who then frees the other JLAers, who open a can of whoop-ass on the bad guys. I love these two panels in particular
...Ocean Master and Chronos are waking up tomorrow with a headache and a broken jaw, respectively.

They wrap up the villains, and use the Queen Bee's rod to make everyone forget all that they saw regarding Clark and Superman. Done and done!

The JLA is definitely just a guest-star in this story, which makes sense since its meant to be a Superman tale, first and foremost. I like Queen Bee's line-up of villains, I wish this group had come back more!


russell said...

Nice article about the Action Comic issue. I had forgotten about it, to tell you the truth!! LOL! As for this issue of JLA, I loved it, with only two complaints: Hawkgirl didn't actually get to DO anything, and I never figured out why the Hawks didn't just take an Adaptoid to Thanagar and use it to cure the entire Equalizing disease...!

Anonymous said...

Who is that between Hawkman and Green Lantern on the Superman cover? He doesn't look familiar.

rob! said...

its the Black Pirate. there's a BP reprint inside. it does kinda look like he's in the JLA!

Anonymous said...

Was that a new story in Action Comics or a reprint from an early JLA? 'Cause I know the Queen Bee was in an early JLA but that would've been drawn by Dick Dillin. I'd like to track that issue down if it's not a reprint. Looks like a better story than the JLA was getting in its own magazine at the time!

I gotta figure that scene with Superman standing on the table is the result of the artist failing to plan the panels in advance and then realizing "Crap! Where the heck do I put Superman now?" 'Cause otherwise it's just completely retarded that Superman would stand on the table, not to mention totally out of character.

By the by, this blog is great. I always loved the original JLA. All other versions are just pretenders to the throne. I even had all the crappy issues with Vibe and Gypsy just because at least they finally made Aquaman the star.

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

On the JLA #119 cover, it looks like Superman and Batman are about to get mighty un-Super-Friendly on Aquaman. Art's probably wishing Katar would step up and take the heat.

Like russell, I wished Maggin had brought Hawkgirl in early enough to actually participate in the fight. They really missed the opportunity to have Hawkgirl join the JLA, correcting the mistake made way back in #31 (and repeated several times in the interim).

I have that issue of Action! The 100-pagers were really fun, what with the variety of stories you got. In addition to the Black Pirate story, there was also Sea Devils, Matt Savage (a western), and interconnected Adam Strange and Hawkman/Hawkgirl stories. The real problem was that the covers were really fragile. Only a few of mine still have covers at all.

Glenn Walker said...

Regarding the Harpy in the villain group in this story - I believe she is one of the Harpies (plural) from Green Lantern/Green Arrow #82, and was meant to be a criminal counterpart to Black canary.

I also loved this story and the gang o' baddies. This was much too much short a story for all these characters though...

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