Saturday, June 21, 2008

Justice League of America #205 - Aug. 1982

sgPart 3 of the JLA versus the new Royal Flush Gang...and Hector Hammond!

The Story: "The Final Hand!" by Gerry Conway, Don Heck, and Romeo Tanghal. Continued from last issue, Black Canary and Elongated Man arrive back at the JLA satellite to find a comatose Green Arrow.

But Ten is still there, and tries to get the drop on them. It almost works, but Black Canary is so pissed off she lets loose her Canary Cry, knocking Ten out.

Green Arrow is added to the list of patients at UCLA Medical Center, and Elongated Man notices the similarity to the loss of brain function the JLAers are suffering from, and what happened with Derek Reston last issue--how he "lost his mind", as well.

We then see Firestorm's other identity, Martin Stein, as he desperately tries to wake his other half up. It's only Stein that knows the real villain behind all this is Hector Hammond, since they both exist on the same ectoplasmic plane (that's fun to type).

Ten is also at the hospital, and when she almost reveals the big plan, Hammond goes ballistic and induces a heart attack in her!

Meanwhile, Batman and Flash have been called in, and are heading to the desert with Canary and Ralph to find the Royal Flush Gang's HQ. Ralph is temporarily fooled by the image of his wife Sue, and is zapped by Queen.

They wind their way through a giant maze, and each get attacked by the Gang, and are defeated. They wake up strapped to giant playing cards, which Ace blasts into the sky. Ace is ecstatic of his victory over the JLA, and finally Jack has had enough:
Jack reveals the truth about Ace, who doesn't bother to deny it, and now says the rest of the Gang are "disposable now that the League has been smashed!"

Oh, really?

Ace suddenly explodes, the victim of Black Canary's Canary Cry! Jack cut a deal with the JLA--he saves them, they save him from Ace.

Unfortunately, the JLAers are still in a coma, and Hammond reveals his real plan--to steal the brain energy from the JLAers, taking it in for himself, which would allow his corporeal form to finally move again!

This drives Martin Stein to "create" a body for himself, and he decides to open a can of ectoplasmic (see? fun!) whoop-ass on Hammond:
Stein beats up Hammond, who backs down like the little twerp he is, releasing the JLAers out of their comas.

Firestorm wonders why Martin Stein seems so happy, and Stein promises he'll tell him later. At the moment, the JLA is wondering why Firestorm is talking to himself!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Firestorm

Notable Moments: A solid ending, I've always liked the idea of a villain cutting a deal with the heroes to save his own skin. I also like how much of a sniveling little jerk Hammond is. Big head, little guts.

The JLA Mail Room page has letters concerning JLA #200, and the response was uniformly positive, although some take the editors to task for not having Hawkgirl involved.


outburst said...

One of my all-time favourite issues.

Earth-2 Randy said...

When I bought and read this issue way back when, I thought the fact that Professor Stein finally took an active role in things was the coolest thing ever.

Part of me still does.

I think it's high time I reread this story.

Thanks for the memories this site brings.

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