Saturday, May 31, 2008

Justice League of America #188 - March 1981

sgTwo...two...two stories in one issue!

The Story: "The Metamorph War" by Gerry Conway, Don Heck, and Frank McLaughlin. Continued from last issue, we have the faux-JLA (actually duplicates created by supervillain Proteus) about to rob a bank they are obstensibly hired to protect.

But as they try to get away, they are stopped by...a construction worker, an office worker, a chef, and a waitress!

No...this is not a team-up with the Village People, these are the "regular people" identities that Proteus made the real JLAers believe they are!

The real JLAers quickly discover that their duplicates are faking their powers via machines, so between that and their lack of experience, they are easily defeated.

The Flash manages to take out Proteus, who tells the Scarlet Speedster that the machine he used to do the old switcheroo is damaged due to the Flash's punch, leaving Zatanna stranded in her "other" identity as a bag lady!

He finds Zee, and connects with her emotionally, reflecting their recent romance, which snaps her out of her fog. They both admit that they maybe they work better just as...friends.

Roll Call: Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Elongated Man, Zatanna

Second Story: "The Miracle at 22,300 Miles!" by Gerry Conway, Rich Buckler, and Frank McLaughlin

Up at the satellite, the Halls are pining for their home planet, Thanagar:
While they can't return home for now, Carter reassures his wife that maybe someday they'll be able to.

Meanwhile, Ray and Jean Palmer are attending a Hanukkah celebration, where the theme of hope is again celebrated.

No rest for the Batman, however, as we find him and Black Canary busting up a ring of computer thieves! They make quick work of them, when they receive a distress call from the Hawks!

Turns out some sort of small satellite is attacking the JLA HQ, and since it has knocked out their satellite's defense system, Hawkman heads out into space to attack it head on.

Batman, Canary, and the Atom arrive, only to have the JLA's main computer--the one that controls the life support systems and the transporter beam--blow-up! This leaves them with just an hour, or they will all run out of oxygen!

The Atom heads into the system to try and repair the damage, while Hawkgirl heads to the Hawks' orbiting spaceship to get a replacement component. She does, and life support is restored.

But...the Atom reveals he couldn't fix the computer in time. Yet...the life support system continued to work the whole time. How is that possible?

The Atom says they may have witnessed a miracle, like the one that happened in a temple 2,000 years ago...

Roll Call
: Batman, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, Hawkgirl

Notable Moments: I really enjoyed the second story--its a neat little holiday piece, and it probably wouldn't have worked as an issue-length tale. Pairing it up with the second half of the Proteus story (another tale that really didn't need to go past its page count) was a nice move.

Our pal Rich Buckler's art for "Miracle" is just great here--I loved Shayera's pensive look on the splash page.

Tomorrow would normally be issue #189, of course, but we have two days of special posts first. Be sure to check 'em out!


Anonymous said...

Another great "They're all gonna DIE!" cover, a la # 186! Great coloring, too!
The Proteus story, as Rob mentioned, was about as long as it needed to be. The two-story format for this issue was nice. It was refreshing to actually see one of those 'other cases' that always kept the other JLAers busy!

Looking forward to tomorrow and # 189...Huh, wha?...'TWO days of special posts?' Rob? Are you feeling OK? You didn't go fishing and get zapped by...STARRO? Hey..what's this thing on my face-AAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH...

John Trumbull said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the first (and probably only) story that identified Ray Palmer as Jewish? I don't think he's especially devout, but it's still an interesting development, considering how WASPy most super-heroes tend to be.

Anonymous said...

Ray wasn't identified as Jewish in that story. The Palmers were guests of an old friend (and presumably colleague) of Jean's, named 'Stu',and he was the one who told the Hannukah story (after Ray had commented 'I hope you'll forgive me, but I'm not very religious').

rob! said...


i do not know what you are referring to. the sentinent blogger known as rob! is the same person he has always been.

that is all. please go about your business.


Matt Celis said...

The Chanukkah story was pretty good although the ending was heavy-handed. It's nice to have a super hero with a religion, any religion, and a secular Jewish physicist is rather easy to take (Sagan, Feynman, etc.). Much better than fake over-the-top suddenly Catholic Matt Murdock. I have no use for religion but it's good for our cast to reflect the real world even in such a minor way.

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