Sunday, July 20, 2008

Justice League of America #231 - Oct. 1984

sgThe final JLA/JSA least, as we knew them.

The Story: "Family Crisis" by Kurt Busiek and Alan Kupperberg. So where the heck have Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash been during the Martian Invasion? We're about to find out!

This issue opens narrated by an unknown being, as it surveys the history of Earth...cavemen, baseball, Batman, the Eiffel Tower, I Love Lucy, advertising...all of it.

We see this being hone in on something called "the League" and we find Green Lantern deep in space, the Phantom Stranger wandering a dimension beyond understanding, and Ray Palmer on a search to find a lost city.

We also see many of the other members of this "League" heads toward Earth as it prepares to meet up with the strange spaceship heading towards the East Coast...and less then a few moments after that, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and guest-star Supergirl arrive
Suddenly three...children(!) arrive, claiming to need the Justice League's help! The JLAers agree, and they all disappear together.

They arrive on Earth-2, in time to see their JSA friends under attack by a group of...flying monkeys? The JLA pitch in, of course:
This strange narrator takes stock of all the heroes, deeming them all to be "obstacles"...except for Dr. Mid-Nite, whose paltry powers seem insignificant compared to the rest of his fellow heroes.

Suddenly, the flying monkeys disappear, replaced by the giant visage of a man, who demands absolute surrender!

Turns out this this man is the kids' Father, and they tell the heroes that one day, their fatherm, while working for the FBI, suddenly vanished without a trace. He then reappeared in the same ghostly form, talking gibberish about bloodlines and great power.

The kids learned that when the three of them are together, they have amazing powers, and they can seemingly "follow" their father's trail. Dr. Fate has them divide up into teams to try and find the place where the next "attack" (that the kids' father warned of) is going to take place.

One of the kids makes a random comment about the Pentagon, and the heroes, not having a better idea, head there. When they get there, they discover a horde of demons!

Meanwhile, the other group of heroes arrive in an alternate dimension, where they discover a fantastic domed city. When they make their way in, they are met by a machine that calls itself The Commander, which flashes a light at them, causing them all to live out their deepest fantasies:
...oops, looks like Dr. Mid-Nite isn't quite so useless!

The doc throws one of his blackout bombs that wakes the others up, and they find the kids father, hooked up to the weird machine. They grab him and take off, heading for home.

The other heroes defeat the demons at the Pentagon, and as they await their friends' return, we learn that this is all part of The Commander's plan! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash

Notable Moments: Is it me, or was Supergirl written as a more interesting, captivating character just before she was bumped off? She's a lot of fun here, kinda making jokey asides during all the action. I would've loved to have seen this Supergirl maybe join JLA Detroit!

The Dr. Mid-Nite bit is a great moment; he's dismissed early on but ends up being the only one who can save Superman, Flash, and Starman! Pretty good, no?

The JLA logo gets a face-lift as of this issue, the first time in about fifteen years.

We'll be a little out of sequence tomorrow, since we'll be talking about the second part of this story in JLA #232, instead of Justice League of America Annual #2, which came out this same month.

Instead, the second Annual will be covered on Tuesday, to be followed by an all-new JLA Satellite interview with...Gerry Conway!


Randy said...

This story should have been a lot better than it was. I loved the characters used to represent both the JLA and the JSA. I just think there could have been a more interesting threat for them to face.

And yeah, I definitely liked the way Busiek wrote Supergirl. And the JSA members too. You could see early on with this and issue 224 that he was going to someday be a force to be reckoned with in the comic book world.

russell said...

I thought this issue was overly complex and dry. I think I read it once and then tossed it aside. Maybe I should try to re-read it. Anyway, I never understood how/why the JLAer and JSAer number of members participating should always match up like this. If it isn't a Transmatter switch, the numbers should never be even!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Busiek's come a long way since then. (Trinity notwithstanding, which I'm not liking very much so far.) The casual chatter with Superman up there at the top is painfully awkward.

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