Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Justice League of America #138 - Jan. 1977

sgAdam Strange is back, and he's apparently mad he never got asked to join the JLA!

The Story: "Adam Strange--Puppet of Time!" by Cary Bates, Dick Dillin, and Frank McLaughlin. We open the story with Adam Strange's bride Alanna making a recording of the events that have just transpired.

She starts her story when she shows up at the JLA satellite to tell the JLA that Adam is in danger and needs help!

Turns out that the Zeta Beam has been grabbing Adam and shuffling him through time. Just before he disappeared for the last time he told Alanna the real menace is in...the 73rd Century!

The JLA head into the future, where they are attacked by Adam Strange! Before they have a chance to figure out what's going on, he blasts Superman and takes off.

As the JLA tries to figure this out, they are met by Green Lantern...of the 73rd Century! Turns out that all the Zeta Beam radiation from the time-hopping has warped Adam's mind, making him fight everyone who comes near him.

They run into Adam again, but Batman figures out a way to calm Adam down, seemingly solving the problem. Unfortunately, Alanna lets us know that she and Adam have inadvertently consigned the JLAers to a living hell! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash

Notable Moments: Its kind of funny that none of the JLA bothers to ask where or if Hal Jordan is still around in the 73rd Century. They just accept this new GL, and move on.

One of the things a little different about Adam Strange and Alanna in terms of them being an adult couple in the DCU were the hints that, unlike the more G-rated Allens and Dibnys, Adam and Alanna were really hot for each other:
...you just generally didn't see Iris Allen or Sue Dibny in bed much. Now we now why Adam Strange never misses a Zeta Beam.

One of Neal Adam's best JLA covers, I think--as exciting as you could ask for in a comic book cover.

A small change to the logo, the only time it was tried I think--red, white, and blue stripes placed within one of the words itself.


Earth 2 Chris said...

One wonders if DC didn't realize many of the Chua/Chan covers were phoned in and went back to Adams to spruce the look of the book up. It worked!


russell said...

Hated that Aquaman wasn't on the cover, but otherwise loved the story. You didn't mention that this story basically featured the remaining original JLAers, Rob, with the GL taking Hal's place. As for the story itself...the art was only so-so...Dick Dillin was really phoning it in by this point, IMHO. Either that or Frank McLaughlin was smothering the art with his heavy inks. Whatever the case, the art was never as good as it had been even a year ago. Next issue: Steve Englehart! Hooray!!!

Butch R said...

Man, that's a sweet Neal Adams cover.

BentonGrey said...

Great cover there, and yay for a happy superhero relationship......they are an endangered species these days.

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

Finally! Neal Adams blasts away the Chua cover blues! (Sorry, bad pun.) But the cover is beautiful! Composition, color, contrast. I like the background with the rays and the black/white gradient stuff (I'm sure there's a technical term for it). This comic leapt from the spinner rack into my hands. The only flaw in the cover is that (once again) Aquaman got dissed.

Inside, a solid story by Cary Bates. Some may think the cleansing fireball and earthquake damping liquid are too far-fetched, but it's an Adam Strange story! Cary came up with classic Rann-like technology ala Gardner Fox and transplanted them to 73rd century Earth.

rob! why would the JLAers expect Hal Jordan to still be around 5300 years in the future? What I found interesting was that the GL Corps will be active in the 73rd century, but apparently will not be in the 58th century.

The artwork definitely took a turn with this issue, but I think the real change was the coloring. Sometimes the dark backgrounds completely overwhelm the art. I couldn't find colorist credits on GCDB for this issue or the ones nearby. Does anyone know if there was a change?

rob! said...

yeah, that cover is a cheat--Aquaman should be on there, ESPECIALLY since the Green Lantern shown--Hal Jordan--is not in the story at all!

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