Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Justice League of America #196 - Nov. 1981

sgPart 2 of the JLA and the JSA versus the Secret Society of Super-Villains!

The Story: "Countdown to Crisis" by Gerry Conway, George Perez, and Romeo Tanghal. Continued from last issue, we have the SSOSV pulling off their plot to kidnap specific members of the JLA and JSA.

Having already captured Wonder Woman, Hawkman, and Black Canary, they are placed in some sort of giant mix-master, until the other heroes needed for this plan can also be kidnapped.

The next hero on the list is Hourman, and we find him being attacked by The Psycho Pirate out in public, in Hourman's civilian identity of Rex Tyler.

The PP projects his emotions onto a giant movie screen, trying to use them on Hourman, in a sequence wonderfully executed by George Perez (how many times have I said that already)
...of course, the Pirate finally gets the drop on Hourman, and takes him back to the base. This segment is a reminder that there really are very few bad characters, its all how they are handled. I woulda read an Hourman solo comic drawn by George Perez, no problem.

Cut to Earth-1, where we find the Dark Knight Detective on patrol
He is attacked the The Signal Man, who turns the citizens of Gotham against him. As Signal Man says: "Mission Accomplished!"

The same fate befalls The Flash by Rag Doll, The Atom by The Floronic Man, Johnny Thunder by Brainwave, Firestorm by Killer Frost, and finally Superman by the Ultra Humanite.

All the heroes are then placed in UH's machine, and it spins faster and faster, until it finally disappears into limbo! To be continued!

Roll Call: Batman, Wonder Woman, Atom, Black Canary, Firestorm

Notable Moments: I like the use of the mostly obscure villains--The Monocle? The Mist? Not exactly The Joker and Black Manta here, but maybe the Ultra Humanite thought they'd be easier to control. We'll see next issue how wrong he was.

All of the issues of JLA in my collection are treasured, but this one a little more than most--I bought it while on vacation with my parents in the Pocono Mountains, where we went ever year in August (during my birthday).

I spent a lot of time sitting on the porch, looking out over the lake, with as many comics as I could find at the numerous bookstores and newsstands that lined the one road through the area. The copy I have here is the same one I bought back in August 1981.

Good times.


Butch R said...

You know, this is one of a very few three parters where part 3 doesn't feel like it's just a holding place. You know, like they extended part 1 a bit and part 3's stretched out also. The action sequences were all well shown (for anyone who can't guess, the Psycho Pirate/Hourman fight happened with Hourman's eye's closed). I had never heard of the Monocle nor the Mist before this issue, but after this, they seemed pretty interesting. So I agree with Rob, there are few bad characters, it's in how they are handled.

John Trumbull said...

Reading this as a 9-year old, I thought that Hourman was BADASS. That striking black & yellow color combo on his costume, and the cool way he handled the Psycho-Pirate, I just loved him. This issue and his prominent placement in #195's pinup (Right up on the top with Superman, WW & Robin) made me perceive Hourman as the Earth-2 equivalent of Batman (I didn't know about the E-2 Bats being dead yet). Heck, a part of me STILL thinks of him that way.

Rex Tyler = Awesome.

Randy said...

I totally agree with you there, John. I was 11 when this story came out and I thought Hourman was cool. I still think he's cool.

Starman, Huntress and Star-Spangled Kid are a few other favorites of mine from the JSA.

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

I think I'm pretty cool, too! Er -- Umm -- I mean, I think Hourman is pretty cool, too! ;)

It was good to see JSAers Hourman and Superman back in action. Also good to see JLAers Wonder Woman and Atom in a JLA/JSA crossover. Last time we saw either of them actively participating was 1972! I could have done without Firestorm, though.

rob! said...

that Hourman sequence is superb. i realize at no point was DC going to "waste" a top-tier talent like George Perez on an Hourman solo feature, but man he woulda rocked that.

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