Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Justice League of America #185 - Dec. 1980

sgThe conclusion of the universe-shattering JLA/JSA/New Gods team-up!

The Story: "Darkseid Rising!" by Gerry Conway, George Perez, and Frank McLaughlin. We open with the New God Metron, who gives us a nice overview of what has happened so far.

Then we see Batman, Huntress, and Mr. Miracle, having just learned what Darkseid's ultimate plan is, are none too pleased to see that Darkseid himself has arrived, with the Injustice Gang in tow.

The Icicle brags that they have trapped three of the heroes--Firestorm, Power Girl, and Orion--in ice. You'd think Darkseid would be happy, but he's a moody guy. He doesn't take too well to seeing his son humiliated like that, and his blasts the IG, transporting them into a permanent prison chamber!

Meanwhile, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Big Barda make their way into the bowels of Granny Goodness' dungeon, where they see her overseeing a pit of forced child labor!

During the melee, Granny escapes using a secret passageway, but she doesn't quite get away
:
sg
...that's a great, mean, angry face Perez gives Barda there. *shudder*

In the meantime, the frozen heroes have been freed by Batman, the Huntress, and Mr. Miracle, who then continue on to the prison chamber holding the villains. Since The Fiddler is controlling the people of New Genesis, they need him to free them from their hypnotic trance Darkseid put them under.

Batman and Mr. Miracle are like kids in a candy store, figuring out a death-trap ridden, seemingly-impenetrable prison cell:
sg
Of course, the villains are freed, and made an offer they can't refuse.

The other heroes make their way to Darkseid, and the combined might of Green Lantern, Dr. Fate, and Metron turn the tables on Darkseid, turning the energy in his universe-destroying machine back on him, seemingly destroying him. Yeah, right.

But, for the moment at least, New Genesis is safe.

Roll Call
: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Firestorm

Notable Moments: As sad as it was to lose Dick Dillin, DC couldn't have found a better, more exciting replacement than George Perez.

Perez had--has--the ability to render wonderfully grand, exciting superhero battles, on a truly cosmic scale, but also could put across quiet little moments of characterization with a staggering amount of detail.

Look at the page above--just before Bats and Mr. Miracle break in to the prison cell, they have Huntress stand guard. Then they climb atop the cell, and in panel seven, we see Huntress doing just that in the background, a nice touch that a lot of other artists might have forgotten about or just not bothered to add.

4 comments:

Butch R said...

You know, I don't think I gave this story it's due "back in the day". It does have an epic feel to it. The stake are pretty big and the villain is a definite threat (though I maybe remembering wrong, he doesn't actually do a whole lot in this story). I thought Batman/Mr Miracle team up was good, though maybe not giving Scott Free is due (on the page Rob shows here). Was kind of surprised the way Powergirl, Firestorm & Orion were taken down so quickly as they aren't a group to be sneezed at.
All in all, a good entertaining story and a good JLA/JSA team up.

Neal said...

I hesitated commenting on the previous issue lest you think I have ice water in my veins, but since you brought it up with this issue, I was actually excited when George Perez take over the art chores for Dick Dillon. Although Dick Dillon was a solid artist dealing with a challenging title and his untimely death was sad, I preferred George Perez and felt that he actually raised the quality of the book. He gave the title a much needed shot in the arm for a brief period of time.

russell said...

Neal, I'm with you. Dick Dillin was solid, like hamburger. George Perez was more fun, like pizza. There's no right or wrong, just choices. After years and years of hamburger, I was ready for pizza. I'm sorry Dick Dillin wasn't around to enjoy the convention circuits etc, but I *was* happy to have Perez on board.

JonnyQuest037 said...

This storyline contained one of my all-time favorite Darkseid moments (& one of the few not done by Kirby): He sniffs a flower handed to him by one of his minions, and then immediately crushes it in his hand, exclaiming, "I shall never forgive myself for such weakness. NEVER!"

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