Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Justice League of America #213 - Apr. 1983

sgThe JLA travels to another dimension to save one of their own!

The Story: "Into the Microcosmos" by Gerry Conway, Don Heck, and Romeo Tanghal. We open with the Tiny Titan, the Atom, seemingly lost and adrift in some bizarre sub-atomic dimension!

Back at the JLA satellite, Hawkman is telling some of his JLA friends a story, one that begins with a frantic phone call from the Atom's wife, Jean Loring.

Jean tells Carter that her husband Ray is acting very strange, like a man possessed, and he won't leave his lab. Hawkman comes to investigate, and is shocked with his good friend Ray sucker punches him!

Reeling from the shock, Ray turns into the Atom and disappears out the window. They assume he's headed for his lab at Ivy University, and they are correct.

They find Ray, who has built some monstrous machine, and now, totally mad, he disappears into it
...I love how nutty The Atom looks in that panel. Nice job, Mr. Heck!

The JLA heads down to his lab, examine the machine, and use it to follow Ray...wherever he went!

They arrive in an unfamiliar world, with only a vague memory of who each of them are. While trying to collect their thoughts, they meet a stranger:
This woman, the Wanderer, has seen their friend. She tells them he bears the mark of Golitha, who has taken control of this land by force.

Their discussion is interrupted by a gang of giant, green-skinned monsters, who she says are part of Golitha's guard! The JLA makes quick work of them, not even exactly sure how they can do what they do.

The Wanderer takes them to a shining city named Ch'Anar, where we see that the sceptre the Wanderer has can do amazing things, like control people's minds.

They find Golitha's citadel in the heart of the city, and it bears the familiar mark of the Atom over its door. But when the Wanderer says it's been this way for over a hundred years, Black Canary says it has to be a coincidence.

Little does she know, their friend, giant-sized compared to everyone else, lies unconscious, just on the other side of the citadel. To be continued!

Roll Call: Batman, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, Red Tornado

Notable Moments: This story has a little bit o'everything--superhero action, emotional melodrama (tensions in the Palmer marriage), some "City on The Edge of Forever" from Star Trek, ending with a scene right out of Gulliver's Travels. Fun.

There's the conclusion to a poll listed on the letters page, where DC asked readers what, if any, new female member should join.

Batgirl and Supergirl, with 24 and 21 votes respectively, dominated their fellow heroines, with none of the rest (like Mera, Black Orchid, Catwoman, etc.) getting anything more than two or three votes.

The exception--with seven votes--is The Vixen. Hmmm...

The JLA appeared--sort of--this same month over in Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #14:
...I dunno, I think I could've read a whole book like this.


John Trumbull said...

Oh, don't be silly Rob. Vixen would nNEVER join the JLA! They'd take a breakdancer before that happened!

"Into The Microcosmos" was a fun storyline, but now, I can't help but look at it as the beginning of the end for the satellite era. After this, Conway would leave the book, leading to a year or so of fill-in writers as the book searched for a new direction. It found another direction with Conway's return & the Detroit League, but the book was never really the same.

Love the Justa Lotta Animals, though. The story I heard is that they were originally pitched as a Saturday morning cartoon, but due to some sort of legalities, DC was unable to publish a monthly book featuring funny-animal parodies of its own characters! So they created Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew instead (using the JLA as occasional guest stars).

For the record, the 6 heroes pictured at the bottom are Wonder Wabbit, Super Squirrel, The Crash (another turtle speedster), The Green Lambkin, Aquaduck and Batmouse.

My favorite name HAS to be "Stacked Canary", though. >:)

Anonymous said...

"Oh, don't be silly Rob. Vixen would NEVER join the JLA! They'd take a breakdancer before that happened!"
BWAH-HA-HA! (Oops, wrong incarnation of the League!);-)
John, you may already hae the 'funniest comment on this issue' award!

I can't remember if 'Batman and the Outsiders' had already been announced when this issue hit the stands, but I definitely got that 'end of an era' feeling with the conclusion a few months later.
By this time, DC was too busy screwing around with 'redefining' itself; CRISIS was two years away, but was really meant to be published in '83(as'The History of the DC Universe'), so presumably the rash of new and revamped characters was meant to tie in with that. As far as I'm concerned, it just screwed with the makeup of the team when the editors of other books insisted that 'their' characters couldn't be in the JLA any more.
That 'Sword of the Atom' thing may have been a logical next step from this story arc, but turning Atom into a six-inch tall Travis Morgan cheapened the conclusion of the Microverse tale.

Earth-2 Randy said...

I hated this story as a kid. Just too...I don't know. For whatever reason, the story just seemed to drag on for too dang long.

Loved the Justa Lotta Animals though. I had created my own version as a kid. Mine were a bit different though. And my artwork was horrible. My adventures lasted for a whole entire page, front and back.

russell said...

Hated the JLA story;loved the Justa Lotta Animals. Wasn't this the issue where Shayera actually shows up but Carter tells her NOT to help Ray? As for the Animals, funny how there was no Hawkwoman (wombat?) in this League, either. Shayera never gets any respect...

Earth 2 Chris said...

Yeah, we're getting into the last days of the League here. As soon as Batman leaves for the Outsiders, it's all down hill from there. I did enjoy Chuck Patton's artwork though. Where'd he run off to?

I was a big fan of Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew and the JLA "crossover" was my absolute favorite story from that title. As much as I love Stacked Canary, I really dug "Boyd, the Robin Wonder!"


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