Monday, May 26, 2008

Justice League of America #183 - Oct. 1980

sgThe annual JLA/JSA team-up...this time on New Genesis!

The Story: "Crisis on New Genesis" by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin, and Frank McLaughlin. The annual JLA/JSA meeting is hijacked--again--when the heroes from both Earth-1 and Earth-2 find themselves transported to...New Genesis!

Superman explains to his bewildered pals where they are, since he has been here before. His use of the phrase "New Gods" irks the Earth-2 Wonder Woman, and as they squabble, they notice one of their party is suddenly missing...Firestorm!

Turns out the young hero got bored and went exploring, where he runs into the, er, less-than-even-tempered Orion, who blasts him with a bolt of energy.

The JLA and JSA find Firestorm and go after his attacker, and then they are met by the people that brought them here...Metron, Mr. Miracle, Big Barda, and Oberon of The New Gods!

Metron uses the Mother Box to calm Orion down, and they explain that New Genesis has been enslaved by the evil hordes of Apokolips, with assistance from...The Injustice Society of Earth-2!

The heroes infiltrate the royal palace, where they see the Injustice Gang surrounding some sort of giant cannon, which is pumping energy into someone in the distant sky...Darkseid! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Firestorm

Notable Moments: A team-up of gargantuan scale, featuring three sets of heroes on a whole other world.

As nice as the team-up is, this issue is most memorable as the final issue--after fourteen years straight--of JLA with Dick Dillin as penciler.

Dillin's run on the book is simply astounding, and to me only gets more impressive with age, since it seems nowadays if artists stay on a book for six months its a miracle. To say nothing of just how tough it must have been to draw all these heroes every month, along with teams of villains, aliens, bizarre weapons, etc.

This was Dick Dillin's last JLA splash page, and it's a doozy. Click on it to take it all in:
Rest in peace, Mr. Dillin.


Anonymous said...

I would have also liked to see page 1 reprinted here, since it had a good representation of both lineups. Sadly, Conway once again had to pare down both teams just to fit in the by-now-traditional third team. The New Gods never did much for me, anyway, so these three issues made the pwerful but skimpy selection of JLAers look like guest stars in their own title!
It's too bad that Conway couldn't have used some of the other JSAers (glimpsed on that first page in the main story.(Starman, Robin, or even Wildcat or Johnny Thunder, for a bit of the 'everyday Joe' JSAers' perspective on New Genesis!)

russell said...

This was my first real exposure to The New Gods. I had picked up Mr. Miracle's revival in the late 70s because of Marshall Rogers' art, but I frankly did not understand it, and he only did about two issues and then I quit, too. This story made it much more clear to me what the whole New Gods situation was. And I *liked* the JSAers chosen, but I would have preferred Elongated Man or The Atom instead of Bruce or Hal or (blech) Firestorm. BTW, for a three-issue story arc, four JLAers doesn't seem like very many, does it? (sigh)

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

Take a gander at that cover. All those powerhouse heroes (with two of them getting their jaws massaged), and there's the Batman hanging onto Orion's waist. He may not be slowing Orion down, but he's thinking, "If I can reach my utility belt, I've got just the thing to stop him!"

I was never a fan of the Fourth World stuff, so I was kind of disappointed that the JLA and JSA had to share room with the New Gods. After all, there are more than thirty members between the JLA and JSA, but we only get eight in this story. And six of these were in last year's story. They should have had a "Crisis on Earths One and Two, or Where Have All the JLA & JSA Members Gone?".

Dick Dillin's tenure on JLA was incredible. When I began filling the gaps in my JLA collection a few years back, my ultimate goal was to get every issue drawn by Dillin. It took some time, but it was worth it. The man could handle anything the writers threw at him. Thanks for some great comics, Mr. Dillin.

Butch R said...

As anyone that's read just about any of my posts here can guess, this issue was very much the end of an era for me. Of course, I didn't know that at the time. Dick Dillon is one of the most under appreciated artist in comic history, for all the reasons why Rob lists. Nothing against the upcoming Mr Perez in no slight or form, but this was the end of the JLA I grew up with.

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