Sunday, August 10, 2008

Justice League of America #249 - April 1986

sgThings get worse with the mysterious alien visitor Junior!

The Story: "All Fall Down!" by Gerry Conway, Luke McDonnell, and Bill Wray. The JLAers are stunned to see what has happened to Vixen--she is suddenly aged to the point of near death, and they don't know why!

Meanwhile, Steel and Vibe want to imprison Junior, but Gypsy is having none of it. She insists Junior means no harm; a point that takes a beating when Junior zaps Steel when he tries to touch it!

Then Vibe inadvertently causes a small cave in when he tries to use his powers, trapping him and Steel inside, leaving Gypsy and Junior outside.

While all this is going on, Manhunter and Elongated Man try to figure out what's wrong with Vixen
As Manhunter finds a piece of Junior's skin on the floor, Ralph starts to feel woozy and weak. Steel and Vibe find them, and he tells them they must find Junior--now.

Meanwhile, Zatanna is on the search for her missing friend, which involves consulting a fortune teller named Mama Larue. She tells Zee about a "voodoo man" who came to town recently, and uses something called Graveyard Dust, the stuff that Zee found in her apartment.

Back at the Secret Sanctuary, Sue Dibny is driving there to meet up with her husband, when she runs into Gypsy and Junior, and we see now Gypsy is starting to age just like Vixen!

On planet Kalanor, however, we see the mysterious alien undergoing a ritual with The Flame of Py'Tar, which, if it doesn't destroy you, leaves you with great powers. He enters the flame, and screams.

Back on Earth, Manhunter consults the JLA's computer memory banks and learns that Junior came from a spore that attached itself to Superman many years ago when he visited an alien planet, and landed in the Secret Sanctuary when he got back. It has been living here all these years, unbeknownst to anyone.

Turns out the Junior is unknowingly sucking the life energy out of the people around it, and we see that this is now happening to all the JLAers!

Sue Dibny sees all this, and then sees Junior start to glow, and crack open. A shadowy, energy-draped figure emerges:
To be continued? Yes, To be continued!

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

Notable Moments: It was good this Junior storyline started to ramp up; after a few issues it kind of got like "Is this going anywhere?"

I also like that this whole thing sprang from a mission Superman went on years ago? Doesn't he check himself before he returns to Earth?

The art team of McDonnell and Wray are exceptional at rendering withered old people--they look like actual old people, not the people you know but with some extra lines on their faces.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Superman checks himself in his OWN stories, but in the JLA, no hero can ever be the genius they are in their solo adventures, so he's prone to mistakes.
Actually, I thought that was just another lame aspect of a terribly boring story.

Randy said...

Yeah, I agree. This story really does suck. The next one is slightly better, in my opinion.

It's the only story from the JLA Detroit era that I still reread from time-to-time, other than the Annual.

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