Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Justice League of America #195 - Oct. 1981

sgThe JLA and the JSA versus the Secret Society of Super-Villains!

The Story: "Targets on Two Worlds" by Gerry Conway, George Perez, and John Beatty. We find various supervillains (The Monocle, Signalman, the Cheetah) being approached by other supervillains (Killer Frost, and some mysterious, shadowed figure) about joining the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Ah, open enrollment day!

The creepy Flash villain Rag Doll is rescued from a botched bank robbery by The Monocle and the Psycho Pirate, and Killer Frost, the Cheetah, and Signal Man drag Jason Woodrue (aka The Floronic Man, aka The Plant Master) into their scheme, as well.

We find yet another villain, the Mist, and how he deals with former accomplices who have done him wrong
:
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...The Mist may be a goofy villain, but he's hardcore.

The Earth-1 villains meet up with another villains, Brainwave, and he teleports them all to Earth-2, where they meet up with the other bad guys, and they meet their leader...the Ultra-Humanite!

He explains to them his cockamamie theory that, if you remove certain heroes from each of the two worlds, it will throw the "cosmic balance" out of whack, causing the permanent removal of all the heroes from one of the worlds!

Meanwhile, the JLA and the JSA are having their annual get together at the satellite, with The Atom telling bad jokes, Firestorm hitting on Power Girl (can't blame a guy for trying), and Batman happy to see his quasi-daughter, The Huntress. All the JLA are in attendance, even former members
:
sg
...how can we miss you if you won't leave?

Anyway, after all the heroes clear out, Canary is left behind on Monitor Duty. So lost in her reveries, Canary doesn't notice that the Mist has sneaked onto the satellite, where he sucker-punches her, knocking her out.

The Monocle and The Cheetah get the drop on the Earth-2 Hawkman and Wonder Woman, respectively, and all three heroes are kidnapped and taken to the SSOV's headquarters, as per the plan.

We find that the Ultra Humanite has been lying about part of his plan--he knows full well which Earth will be de-heroized! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Red Tornado, Hawkgirl, Zatanna, Firestorm

Notable Moments: I like the running gag of Firestorm trying to score with Power Girl, and it was nice to see Aquaman (if only for one panel), since he seems to rarely show during these JLA/JSA team-ups, for some reason (although that will change soon).

DC raised their price with this issue from 50 to 60 cents, but gave you two extra pages of content. In this issue's case, a nice JLA/JSA pin-up by Perez:
sg

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of the dozen or so JLA-JSA team-ups that I've read, I'm tempted to call this one my favorite(the following year with the All-Star Squadron is close, but as I mentioned the other day, I never got to read the whole thing).

Even though the villains dominated this issue(and most of the next two!), it was still exciting to read, especially back when it came out! That Mist sequence reprinted here was very intense for an early-80s comic!
The selection of both heroes and villains was very strong, something that had really been lacking from the last few years' team-ups. I'd never heard of any of the Earth-2 villains before, but they all became my new favorites(luckily, Roy Thomas included many of them alongside UH in a different body a couple years later in a similarly-themed All-Star Squadron epic).
From the predictable boredom of 'Earth-2 Wonder Woman and Earth-1 Superman', we have...um...Earth-2 Superman and Earth-1 Wonder Woman'! ;-D Seriously, Gerry Conway did a nice job of including some of the neglected heroes from both teams(By God, yes, the Atom IS still in the JLA!) And at last ,Gerry remembered to acknowledge Dinah's Earth-2 past by pitting her against the Mist!
Even with a reduced role, the heroes got some good dialogue for their reunion. Frankly, it bugged me when JSAers would appear only in these little cameos, but neve take an active role in the stories.
I kind of wish we'd seen that 'talk' between Batman, Huntress and E-2 Robin-presumably they cleared the air from Alan Brennert's story in B & B, which was published a few months after this story, but must have taken place before it.

Butch R said...

I think that by now (actually for a while), Perez had hit his JLA stride. I remember thinking that GA was a lucky man after seeing Perez's Black Canary. Why was he so grumpy? j/k
A great team up, this is one of them I really remember when I think of the "old days". Another winner!

russell said...

I love that "photo" poster. I bought an extra copy so I could tear the poster out and hang it on my wall. I hated that The Sandman wasn't part of the JSA group shot, but other than that I was lovin' it. Even now, I have a color copy of that poster up in my room. :-) BTW, Rob, you don't mention Hawkgirl in the roll call, but wasn't she there hanging with her husband??

rob! said...

whoops! after all my bitching about Hawkgirl not being included in things, here i go and do it!

yes, she is at the JLA/JSA party. duly corrected!

Anonymous said...

Russell, shortly after this issue appeared, Sandman turned up in a Bob Rozakis 'Whatever Happened To...?' story in DC COMICS PRESENTS, which explained that, after the team-up in JLA #111, Sandman gave up his super-hero career to try to cure Sandy(which he eventually did).

Randy said...

As anonymous pointed out, a lot of focus is given to the villains of this story. I remember liking that at the time. I was 11 years old when this book came out and by this time I had been faithfully buying JLA every month since 190.

This book began my fascination with the villains of the DCU and how fascinating they could be. People I game with would tell you that some of the more memorable stories I've ran have been ones told from the villains point of view. Like my Flash Rogues Gallery campaigns.

All that stemmed from this story first. Suicide Squad too, but that came later.

russell said...

I remember that DCCP issue with Sandy and Sandman. By I also remember that Sandman was in the last issue of All Star. It just seemed like he was more a part of things than The Atom (who would eventually return to star status, but not in the 80s...)

John Trumbull said...

When I was 9, I started subscribing to 4 DC books: Batman, Flash, Superboy and JLA. This was the very first issue of my JLA subscription, and what a first issue it was! It introduced me to Earth-2, the JSA and George Perez, three of my lifetime loves. If you want to blow a 9-year old away, just show him this comic!

You know, 27 years later, that pin-up STILL looks great!

Matt Celis said...

That's SSoSV, not SSOV!

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