Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Justice League of America #170 - Sept. 1979

sgThe entire JLA turns out to save a burning world--" The entire JLA, huh?

The Story: "While A World Lies Burning" by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin, and Frank McLaughlin. Picking up from last issue, the Earth is experiencing massive fires all over, due to the increased oxygen that started occurring last issue.

While Batman remains in the JLA satellite trying to figure out what's causing all this, the trial of the five JLAers continues.

During the trial, Ultraa leaps from his chair and starts attacking his lawyer, and the JLA try to stop him. After fighting most of them all, Ultraa's lawyer assumes his true shape, the pink globby collection of tissue, which explains it rigged this whole trial as a distraction from its real plan to destroy Earth!

Back at the satellite, Batman, after calling out the other available members of the League (plus Supergirl), decides to take on the problem head on. He dons a spacesuit, grabs a small spaceflier, and heads to a "rogue" asteroid that has been orbiting Earth for a short while.

Once there, Batman discovers its not an asteroid, but a small spaceship! He gets inside...

Meanwhile, on Earth, the JLA destroys the propulsion machine that was sucking all the Hydrogen out of Earth's atmosphere, and Ultraa is knocked out during the battle. They then get a communication from Batman that he redirected the "asteroid" and sent it hurtling out of the solar system, restoring Earth's natural balance.

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

Notable Moments: Despite what the cover says, the "entire JLA" does not participate in this issue--Atom and Hawkman are mentioned to be on a mission in deep space, and Hawkgirl and Zatanna are not mentioned at all. And yet Aquaman, not shown on the cover, does appear, albeit briefly.

This issue features a nifty subscription ad for the book:
...I could mention here that Aquaman is once again not included, but I won't.


Tick-Tock Tyler said...

I have a theory that this story was originally intended to follow immediately after #158 (Ultraa's last appearance). In fact, I think the story and artwork support my theory. Here's the evidence:
1) Zatanna is omitted, almost as if she wasn't a member. Of course, she joined in #161. But if this story was written and drawn before #161...hmmm.
2) Supergirl is shown doing her part against the worldwide destruction. She is the only non-JLAer shown in this panel, and she had just worked with the JLA in #157.
I'll even go out on a limb and say that Supergirl's inclusion in that panel was laying the groundwork for Kara to join the JLA. But then the gears shifted, and Zatanna was chosen instead. I can almost see Miss Ponytail holding up a newspaper with the headline "SUPERGIRL JOINS JLA!" and laughing gleefully, with the knowledge that her mind-control spells were successful. Supergirl fans are inconsolable. :(

OK. Seriously. Aquaman was left off the cover -- again??? I'm telling you, he only gets on the cover when a big disembodied head is putting his lights out.

russell said...

Is this the issue where Red Tornado at the end says, "I hope we always have a Batman around to save our asses"? Boy, I hated this issue.

Neal said...

This was the issue that got me back into reading JLA on a regular basis after abandoning the series about five years earlier. I was drawn back in because Batman was featured on the cover and played a critical role in the story (pretty rare for JLA). I also got sucked in by that subscription ad and signed up for the year. I dropped out again a few years later when they started making a lot of changes.

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