Thursday, August 14, 2008

Justice League of America #252 - July 1986

sgAll hell breaks loose as Despero arrives on Earth, looking for the Justice League of America!

The Story: "Arrival" by Gerry Conway, Luke McDonnell, and Bill Wray. As we saw last issue, Despero makes his way to Earth, enveloped in a giant ball of fire.

Despero doesn't have much time for niceties, as we see him use his mental powers to extract from a human he stumbles upon where the Justice League is. Once he gets what he needs, he immolates the poor sap (and his dog, the bastard).

While he is disappointed to learn the Justice League he last fought and imprisoned him is no more, he is more than happy to go after the new one, since it is led by one of his old enemies, Batman:
Meanwhile, we see Zatanna try and escape from the hospital bed the megalomanic Adam has put her in, but some sort of electronic headband keeps her from going too far, but not before she sees Adam putting himself through some sort of bizarre experiment, starting with an electronic arm cutting him open with a scalpel!

Later that night, Bruce Wayne and Mari McCabe are having dinner. But of course, the dinner is interrupted by big trouble:

Bruce turns to Batman before Mari even has time to think, but she quickly changes too into her superhero togs and they see who's the cause of all this destruction.

Batman is a little unprepared for the sheer amount of power Despero is now showing, as the ground shakes and breaks open, with demons spewing forth.

Despero grabs Bats, who gets a punch in, which infuriates Despero for the sheer effrontery. Vixen then knocks Despero into a pit of fire, but that only makes him angrier, so angry that he shoots himself into the sky, causing a massive ball of fire to explode in the night sky!

Back at the Secret Sanctuary, the League has assembled, Batman having sent a JLA distress signal. They head to New York, and they don't like what they see:
To be contnued!

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

Notable Moments: This issue's cover is inked by Kyle Baker, of all people. I wonder how that came about.

Luke McDonnel gives this battle a real sense of scope--he doesn't skimp on shots of lots of lots of buildings surrounding this massive conflagration caused by Despero.

Elongated Man's new costume makes its first appearance in the book.


Scurvy said...

I absolutely loved this cover when it came out. Despero looks scary as hell to me on it.

Probably my favorite issue of this arc, but i never bought how a hunter up in the northern most section of my home state would know so much about the comings and goings of the JLA.

Earth 2 Chris said...

I may have been a bit too harsh on Luke McDonnell yesterday. He did a bang up job here. He was really good at dark and moody. Like I said before, he'd been great on Batman or Tec. Still don't care for his women, but that's true of a lot of comic artists.


Commander Benson said...

By the time the series had shifted to the "Detroit JLA", I was pretty much reading these on auto-pilot, so I noticed, in your synopsis, something which got past my notice 'way back when.

What on Earth is the Batman doing, revealing his identity to the Vixen like that? For a man who professes to be a loner by nature, and clearly demonstrated a penchant for preserving his own security, it makes absolutely no sense for him to disclose his most valuable secret to her, teammate or not.

There is no logical reason for the Batman (or any other member, for that matter) to reveal his secret identity to the rest of the League. (And, yes, I am aware of JLA # 122--but that story is about as far away from logic as they come.)

I hate it when writers toss out internal logic simply so they can include a cute little scene.

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