Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Justice League of America #184 - Nov. 1980

sgPart 2 of the JLA/JSA/New Gods team-up!

The Story: "Apokolips Now!" by Gerry Conway, George Perez, and Frank McLaughlin. Continued from last issue, our heroes are none too happy to see that the villainous Darkseid, rumored to be dead, seems to have been brought back to life by the Injustice Gang!

Three heroes, Power Girl, Firestorm, and Orion, try and take on the Injustice Gang, consisting of the, er, less than terrifying combo of The Shade, The Fiddler, and The Icicle.

They manage to subdue two of them, until The Fiddler lays some bad tunes on them
...that's a beauty of a page, and an early indication of the genius comic book storytelling George Perez was capable of.

Anyway, we cut to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Big Barda, who have discovered an organized, armed resistance against Darkseid's minion, the creepily-masculine Granny Goodness. Disturbingly though, this band of armed fighters are little more than children.

They use a mutant telepath child named Playto to learn how Darkseid ended up in cahoots with the Injustice Gang (he was less than polite in asking for their help), and then they search for Granny.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fate, Green Lantern, and Oberon rescue Highfather, who tells them he knows what Darkseid's ultimate plan.

Also meanwhile(!), the perfect combo of Batman, Huntress, and Mr. Miracle break into another part of Granny's stronghold, where they learn what the ultimate plan is...transporting Apokolips to Earth-2, and destroying the universe in the process! To be continued!

Roll Call
: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Firestorm

Notable Moments: The JLA Mail Room page makes the official announcement of Dick Dillin's passing:
The page is filled with tributes by those who knew and worked with the man, like Jack Harris, Paul Levitz, Len Wein, Bob Rozakis, and his nephew, Steven Leary, who tells stories of watching his "Uncle Richard" draw these amazing stories.


Anonymous said...

I was just 6 when this issue came out. The 'Dick Dillin tribute' was the first time I could recall a comics publisher acknowledge the passing of one of its employees in print. The remembrances from the staff, and from readers a few months later, were heartfelt.
Sad to say, but I don't think history has been as kind to Dillin's work as it should have been-he's either ignored, or kind of downplayed by some comics history sources.
Luckily, all the people who appreciate a beautifully-drawn JLA story hang out here!
Thanks, Dick.

russell said...

I remember this issue fondly, as the Perez art was AWESOME, and the comments about Dick Dillin were certainly heartfelt. However, I am also one of those people who thougth Dillin overstayed his welcome, and should have left JLA a few years earlier. That being said, I did appreciate all his hard work, and his earlier work is inarguably wonderful. In fact, one of those readers whose letters you liked so much was mine! It was one of the first times I ever got a letter in print. Hopefully Rob will reprint it in a few days. :-)

Butch R said...

I remember picking up this issue and wondering what had happened to the art. Not that it was bad or anything but just wondering what the change was. I think this was the first comic book where I noticed an art change (at the tender age of 10!). And was really sad when I read the last page. Little did I know how rare I had been seeing was.
Still, Mr Perez was a fine choice to bring in & follow Mr Dillin up. And I thought the story was good as well, even if I wasn't (and remain) not much of a 4th World fan. Darkseid actually seemed like a worthy foe for the JLA & the JSA rather than just one hero. Too bad DC didn't keep it that way.

Earth 2 Chris said...

I've read so many interviews where George Perez has stated he came to DC and agreed to do Titans just to get a shot at JLA. He always says it was bittersweet because of the way he did get the gig...

I think Dillin was vastly underrated and was one of DC's more consistent talents, esp. in the late 70s when the pickings were pretty slim at DC. Seems like Marvel had most of the classic guys and lots of the new ones. Perez coming over started a trend.

Oh, and Dillin apparently drew 2 and a half pages of this issue before his death. Page 1 and part of page 3 are on display in Roy Thomas' All-Star Companion Vol.3 from TwoMorrows.


Outburst said...

Perez is one of my all-time favs. Sucks that he got the gig under these circumstances but this is around the time that I fell in love with this series.
Can't wait 'til the Royal Flush Gang shows up!

CaptainJersey said...

I wrote a story about this issue in the sister blog: http://heykidscomix.blogspot.com/2008/01/george-rears-1980.html I was a huger Perez guy, and for the first 20 or so pages, I was in heaven, then on the last page, when I found out why George Perez was doing the artwork, I felt like a heel. Like a lot of others, my JLA left us when Dick Dillin left us.

George Rears

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