Monday, July 28, 2008

Justice League of America #237 - Apr. 1985

sgThe missing JLAers return, only to meet an old foe!

The Story: "Lest Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot..." by Gerry Conway, Chuck Patton, and Mike Machlan. We open in the new JLA's Detroit headquarters, where the team's leader, Aquaman, keeps a quiet vigil.

Vixen happens to see Arthur by himself, and asks him what he's thinking about. Turns out his missing wife, Mera, is on his mind. He's angry at her for leaving, yet cannot get her out of his mind.

Vixen suggests he go look for her, but he dismisses the idea, saying he can't leave the League. Also, he's been wondering, where have "they" been all this time?

The "they" are Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash, who disappeared without a trace just before the Earth-Mars war, and haven't been seen since.

Their timing is fortuitous, since, at that exact moment, the old JLA's satellite proximity alarm goes off
We find our three heroes understandably confused as to what has happened to their satellite, since, according to them, they've only been gone half a day's time?

Superman notices a small satellite hovering nearby. Wonder Woman recognizes it to be of Soviet design. A few moments later, Aquaman alerts his League that his friends are heading into Russia. Steel says he'll ask his grandfather, with his extensive government contacts, for more information.

Once Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash show up in Soviet airspace, they are fired upon, but they make short work of them. They get the Soviet pilots to land, saying they don't want to fight.

On the ground, they are met by a group of Russian soldiers, strangely-dressed man, carrying...a keyboard? Flash says the hardware looks vaguely familiar, but before he can place it, the man strikes:
These demons that emerged from the man's keyboard attack the three heroes, and knock them out, with the man then encasing them in some sort of greenish amber.

Later, at KGB Headquarters, demands are being made of the Russian Premier. With the three heroes--and this seeming supervillain--under the control of General Gorki, he demands total control over the country. When the offer is refused, the Premier and his guards meet with the same gruesome hate at the hands of these demons.

Later. we see the three heroes, paralyzed, being tended to by some male nurses, including one who the JLA knows as...Allegro!

Turns out, after his defeat by the JLA (way back in JLA #163), he defected to Russia, where he was institutionalized by Gorki, and his powerful weapon stolen from him.

Gorki arrives, and says he is here to begin the next phase of his plan...executing one of the Justice Leaguers! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man, Zatanna, Vixen, Steel, Vibe, Gypsy

Notable Moments: I like bringing Allegro back, I think it gives a nice verisimilitude to the DCU--after all, what happens to these one-shots super-villains once they finish their jail time? Not everyone can be a professional bad guy like Luthor or the Joker.

Aquaman makes an off-hand mention here about Green Lantern, having "accepted" what happened to the JLA, making his departure from the team official. Kind of a shame that a founding member ends his run with the team with such a whimper, but this was around the time Hal had quit the Corps in his own book.


Brian said...

It was good to see the old team back in action in this issue, but I agree they seemed a little wasted here as the new JLA was trying to begin. I guess sales warranted a few solid-bet guest stars, and the new guys had to step out of the spotlight a little.

russell said...

I don't know if it was a sales issue or not, because I kept reading up until 250. After that, with Aquaman totally gone and "dark" Batman back, I jumped ship. Basically I switched my allegiance to the Legion of Super-Heroes, which kept up the quality for another five years or so?

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