Friday, June 27, 2008

Justice League of America: The Lunar Invaders

sgOne of the most obscure JLA adventures ever, complete with words, pictures, and sound!

The Story: "The Lunar Invaders" by Marv Wolfman, Ross Andru, Rich Buckler, and Bob Smith. On the moon, a collection of astronauts from different countries are working on Moonbase Peace, a livable space colony being built there.

Suddenly, they and the base are attacked by...the JLA satellite?!?

Yes, the satellite starts firing missiles at the base, destroying most of it, leaving the astronauts diving for cover.

NASA sends a distress signal, and members of the JLA--who are home, on Earth--respond to the call and can't believe what they are being told:
The JLA is completely baffled, since the JLA's weapons are defensive weapons, and can't even be used to attack anyone or anything. Yet, it has happened, which makes the JLA confused and angry, none more so than the Atom, apparently:
Wonder Woman is the current chairperson, so she sends Superman and Batman to the moon to help out there, and the rest of them to the satellite to see what's going on up there!

They try to beam up there, but find the teleporters aren't working, so Green Lantern uses his Power Ring to transport them there.

They find the airlock doors sealed shut, but Red Tornado blasts his way in using his tornado powers (again, how exactly does Reddy do that in airless space?) and then the JLAers search the satellite for intruders.

Gas starts seeping in the air vents, almost knocking the heroes out until Reddy connects to the computer and has the gas sucked away.

Meanwhile, on the moon, Superman and Batman discover giant monsters, which threaten them. Superman tries to fight them, but finds he passes right through them! As Superman tries to engage them, Batman figures out what's going on.

Back at the satellite, the JLAers are attacked by other systems in the satellite. They easily defeat them, but it leaves parts of the satellite destroyed.

On the Moon, Batman tells Superman to use his X-ray vision to scan under the surface, where the monsters emanate from, and he discovers an underground city!

They find their way in, and discover two yellow-skinned aliens pointing ray guns at them. The same thing happens at the satellite, where the heroes find two more aliens in their main deck!

Turns out this race of aliens--called Orians--escaped their doomed planet and moved to the moon, and built giant underground cities. When the astronauts started inadvertently damaging their cities while building the moonbase, the Orians assumed it was an attack and used the nearest set of weapons--the ones at the JLA satellite--to defend themselves, but taking pains to only attack the machinery, not the people.

The JLA makes peace with the Orians, to the benefit of all:
Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Atom, Red Tornado

Notable Moments: This is one of four book and cassette adventures made by Fisher-Price and released in 1982, the others starring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. They run 61 pages, which is presumably why you have the penciling chores spread over two artists, Ross Andru and Rich Buckler.

They are printed on nice paper and in full-color, and with the use of DC stalwarts Buckler and Andru, this looks a lot like any other DC comic of the time, albeit one inside a hardcover.

They feature full-cast recordings on a single audio cassette, and you can listen to an mp3 file of this story
here, something I fully suggest you do, JLA fans!


russell said...

I remember seeing this in the day and not buying it because it didn't have Aquaman. :-)

Butch R said...

Hmm... Never heard of this before, Thanks Rob for bringing it to my attention and the link.
Now if I can just find that image of Superman wearing some harness pulling a planet (Earth?). I think it's by Neal Adams if anybody else remembers it.

Earth 2 Chris said...

butch r,

Although I also think Adams did it again on one of the DC calendars of the 70s.


Butch R said...

E2 Chris-
Thank you! I would have to see the calendar one to make sure which one it was but I really appreciate it!

Earth 2 Chris said...

butch r,

Found an image of the front of the calendar. Supes is towing the moon on this one.


Earth-2 Randy said...

I had this when it came out. There was a Batman one that I had that started with Robin's origin and then had them fight Joker, Penguin, Catwoman and Riddler.

There was another with Superman and another with Wonder Woman but I could never find those.

Butch R said...

Earth 2 Chris

That's the one I remember. (sorry for thinking it was Earth. it's been years or more likely decades since I saw that)
Thank you Sir!

Citizen Scribbler said...

This was a childhood favorite of mine. I had all four of them, but I loved the Justice League one the best. Just re-listened to all four and it brought back a lot of memories. Especially all that classical music they used. I'm curious to find out who the personnel were doing the voices.

-Citizen Scribbler

Anonymous said...

I noted that someone asked who the voice work was done by. Well, it was actually done by some famous Muppet voices! Did you wonder why the Russian astronaut at the beginning sounded JUST like the Count from Sesame Street? It was because the voice work was done by the Count's performer, Jerry Nelson! See

The 1982 book and audio set, Justice League of America: The Lunar Invaders was directed and produced by Christopher Cerf. As such, a large number of Sesame Street employees are also featured as characters and worked as crew on the project.
- Produced and Directed by Christopher Cerf
- Engineering by Doug Epstein (engineer on the albums Born to Add and Jim Henson Presents Silly Songs
- Guest Piano Soloist: Genevieve Cerf (Christopher Cerf's wife)
- Narrated by Kathy Mullen
- Jerry Nelson as Green Lantern and Yuri Pudovkin
- Richard Hunt as The Flash and Han Chin
- Nile Rodgers (Sesame Street session guitarist[3]) as Kenan Masud
- Michael Kingsbury Frith as The Batman
- Frederick R. Newman as Red Tornado and an Alien
- Christopher Cerf as The Atom
- Special Thanks to Thaddeus Mumford, Jonathan Frith, Sharon Lerner

BTW, the theme music is from Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben (A Heroic Life)

Most appropriate for superheroes.

Best, Ariel Segal

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