Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Justice League of America #202 - May 1982

sgThe JLA get lost in space and have to fight...Batman?!?

The Story: "Star Fall" by Gerry Conway, Don Heck, and Brett Breeding and Friends. We open with Batman, outside in airless space, making some repairs to the JLA satellite.

Suddenly there's a power surge, and a major electrical strike hits Batman, knocking him out, and he begins to float away into space.

As Hawkman prepares to head out and rescue him, plates of the satellite's bulkhead start to peel off, rupturing the life support system! Hawkman strains to hit the JLA distress signal.

Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Red Tornado, and the Atom answer the call (after we see what the others are tied up with), and within a few moments they repair the bulkhead and restore life support...but not before Batman has disappeared off their radar!

They all suit up and get into a mini spacecraft, and head for Batman's last known location. They fly the ship unknowingly right into some sort of wormhole, which transports them a great distance into another galaxy.

They find themselves face to face with a massive star cruiser, which sends out a robotic arm to grab the JLA's ship. It pulls them in, but the JLAers fight it off and make their way into the cruiser itself, its proportions bigger than anything they've ever seen.

Then some sort of robot drone approaches, and responds to the JLA's question of where are they?

It tells them of the race of the people that created it, about how they were an advanced, curious people, who sent of their own, an explorer named Ursak, out to wander the stars.

On one planet, Ursak ran afoul of the people on it, and they damaged his ship's life support system, so he put himself in suspended animation, and put out a distress call to his planet's medical ship, which came looking for him. It has been waiting a long time--approximately 200,000 years--for Ursak to show up!

And when it found the floating Batman, it assumed he was Ursak and "healed" him the best he could, basically turning him into a sort of monster!

The mad Batman attacks the JLA, who does their best to defend themselves without hurting their friend. Hawkman tricks him into charging into a massive computer board, shocking Batman unconscious, where they program the drone to return their friend back into Batman.

In the meantime, Hawkman discovered that the planet Ursak visited was, in fact, pre-historic Earth, and the transmission got garbled, so the medical ship has been waiting all this time in the wrong place!

Hawkman reprograms the ship's navigation computer, and sends it to the correct location to find Ursak, who has been waiting all this time...

Roll Call: Batman, Wonder Woman, Atom, Hawkman, Red Tornado, Zatanna

Notable Moments
: The splash page by Heck is fantastic, and still makes me a little nauseous (in a good way) when I look at it:


John Trumbull said...

That is a great splash page. Brett Breeding's inks added a nice sleekness to Heck's art that was very appropriate for a super hero group book like JLA.

Strange to think that Gerry Conway was writing Batman's earthbound adventures in Batman at the same time he was transforming him into a space monster in JLA.

Butch R said...

You know, I've tried to pick this book up several different times but it was always sold out of the back issues. Being a big Bat-Fan, I was curious to see what the B Man had been turned into. Don Heck's work looks great there on the splash page, agree on the nauseous thought though.

Earth 2 Chris said...

"Strange to think that Gerry Conway was writing Batman's earthbound adventures in Batman at the same time he was transforming him into a space monster in JLA."

I think about the same time Conway turned Batman into a vampire over in his own titles, so not too far of a stretch!


russell said...

Three issues in a row with The Atom? What's going on here?!

Earth-2 Randy said...

This was another first for me when I bought this issue. This was the first issue I didn't like. See, until Dark Knight came out, Batman was never one of my favorites.

Other than JLA, the only other Batman book I would buy at this time was Brave and Bold. And that was more for the guest stars than for Batman.

I don't really know why, other than maybe just the childhood fascination with people who could run at the speed of light or fly or use a magic ring. Batman was someone who didn't deal with 'fantasy' so much.

However, this is an issue I reread from time to time, so what the heck do I know?? LOL

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