Sunday, July 27, 2008

Justice League of America #236 - March 1985

sgPart 4 of the introduction of the new Justice League!

The Story: "Rebirth: Part Four--Gypsy Genius" by Gerry Conway, Chuck Patton, and Rick Magyar. Picking up from last issue, the JLA finds itself in the clutches of a new team of super-baddies called The Cadre!

The Cadre is run by a giant, masked man named The Overmaster, who speaks of himself as "I/We." He considers himself a god.

Overmaster does seem to have almost god-like powers, as he shoots blasts of energy out of his hands, scattering the JLA. After they get to safety, he then unleashes his Cadre after them.

First up is Black Mass, a guy who can change his internal mass and control gravity. Next is Shrike, an evil pixie-like harpy with a sonic scream. Both of them attack the JLA simultaneously.

Meanwhile, back in Detroit, Dale Gunn is met by Gypsy, who is waiting for him back the JLA's HQ. She tells Gunn she thinks the JLA are in trouble.

She's right, of course, and we see the JLA barely holding its own against The Cadre. Crowbar tells them that all he has to do to retain the powers Overmaster gave him is to kill the JLA, which he tries to do. But luckily Aquaman is now getting his bearings
:
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...I love this sequence. After so many issues of being a hard ass, Aquaman gets to be cool.

Anyway, Shatterfist destroys the oncoming crowbar, and smashes the ground, creating a giant crevice, which the JLA escapes into. Aquaman wonders, as he and his team has to run, if he has made a giant mistake.

While Dale Gunn and Gypsy try to find where the JLA went, we see they make an amazing discovery in the bowels of the mountaintop hideaway of the Overmaster: that the entire HQ is made of up high-tech machinery!

They follow a tunnel, and make an even more amazing discovery:
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While Manhunter tries to read the creature's mind, they are found by Overmaster and the Cadre, who attack them again.

Aquaman and Manhunter hatch a plan, and J'onn takes off towards the creature. To buy him some time, Aquaman leads his team on a forward charge--after all, they are the Justice League!:
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Manhunter discovers a glowing jewel above the creature, which seems to be the source of the telepathic presence both he and Aquaman sensed. Overmaster doesn't like this, and tries to stop Manhunter. But he is distracted by an attack from...Gypsy!

Manhunter then takes on Overmaster directly, and tells Gypsy to touch the jewel. Finally deciding to risk her life for something other than herself, she does, which shoots off a blinding light, taking all The Cadre with it.

Dale Gunn then arrives, and tells the JLA he has brought a new shuttlecraft.

On the flight home, Aquaman and Manhunter tell the rest of the team what they figured out that--that this Overmaster was really just a parasite, feeding off the energy of this sleeping creature, who has been on Earth for millions of years and been involved with various species' birth or extinction.

They then watch as the mountaintop rumbles and shatters, and a giant spaceship, carrying the sleeping creature, blasts off into space.

Roll Call: Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man, Zatanna, Vixen, Steel, Vibe, Gypsy

Notable Moments: Probably the best issue of the new JLA's run, since after this the team gets involved in either wrapping up loose ends (like what happened to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash) or getting carried away by story lines that were occurring outside of the regular JLA book (the Crisis, the upcoming Aquaman mini-series). In a lot of ways, this new JLA got hobbled before it ever really began.

The covers to issues 233-236 were released as a poster around this time. If you combined all of them, they made one large image:
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...they don't quite line up right (there's overlap which interferes with the disembodied heads), but at least DC was trying to give the new JLA a little promotion.

That said, it occurs to me as write this, I don't think I ever saw one ad for the regular JLA comic at this time...

5 comments:

Scurvy said...

In the years since this new league debuted, I have had time to consider the characters. Vibe...meh. Nno great loss I suppose. He seems pretty dated now. (for some reason I don't remember him being so...yellow) Gypsy...intersting powers, but never fully explored IIRC.
Steel...probably my favorite out of them, I was most upset with his outcome. I did like his costume change with the exposed hair. Very 80's looking, and I have always felt that the covered dome masks would be very hot to wear.
And Vixen, she too I like, and I am glad that she is currently an active member in the league.
Thank you for posting the 4 covers together. I find these types of covers seldom line up right tho.

Randy said...

If memory serves me...and it often doesn't...I think DC released a poster of the four covers back then.

I'd get it if I could ever fine it, but I haven't been able to.

Anonymous said...

Dick Giordano mentioned the poster of the four covers in one of his "Meanwhile..." columns. I think the full image was also shown in 'DC Sampler'.

Earth 2 Chris said...

Yeah, the poster was released. I remember ordering a ton of stuff from one of those big comic retailers that advertised in the comics (American Entertainment or Bud Plant) in 1989, and they listed a JLA poster. I ordered it thinking I'd get either the classic JLA or JLI. Imagine my disappointment when I got a big headshot of vibe to look at! I guess they had been sitting around for 5 years gathering dust.

Chris

Joel said...

I bought this poster on eBay. I plan to have it framed and displayed. I started reading comic books when the Detroit-era Justice League of America formed. It remains my favorite incarnation of the League. I am happy that Vixen and Gypsy are still alive and well.

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