The Story: "Last Stand" by J.M. DeMatteis, Luke McDonnell, and Bob Lewis. We open on Professor Ivo, laying on his side in an insane asylum.
Even here, in a straightjacket, he has dealt a blow to the JLA that all its other foes could only dream of--killing two of its members.
He ruminates on his history with the League, and is conflicted by the impulses in his mind. He wants revenge, but murder is wrong. But Martian Manhunter killed one of his "sons." But...
Ivo blows up his last therapist, still unable to deal with the conflicting thoughts on his mind.
Meanwhile, Vixen--to hell with the Presidential order--is on the hunt:
In Detroit, Manhunter is having a drink with Hank Heywood and Dale Gunn, but he is so racked with anger that he swears Steel will be avenged.
Dale warns him that that's revenge, not justice:
Vixen uses her animal powers to sniff out Ivo, and she finds him waiting for her, with dinner, no less! But Ivo is also in a mental institution, so...
Vixen goes along with this fake civility for a few moments, and then attacks Ivo. Ivo in turn calls out a mob of his androids, who attack Vixen. She's able to fight most of them off, but there are too many of them!
Then Martian Manhunter bursts in, and starts busting more android head. He then grabs Ivo, ready to kill him, but finds he can't.
Vixen is not so squeamish, but:
They find the real Ivo, locked up. Turns out Ivo escaped Arkham Asylum, built the androids, who in turn committed Ivo, realizing their creator was insane. But since they were built from his mind, he could still control them from afar, and his madness led to all this.
Manhunter and Vixen talk at the Secret Sanctuary. Manhunter says that for their deaths to have any meaning, the League must continue in some form, Presidential orders be damned.
Vixen agrees, but says she can't continue with him. This road is too violent, too bloody, and she just doesn't want to keep going. They say goodbye:
...and that is the end of the Justice League of America.
Roll Call: Martian Manhunter, Vixen
Notable Moments: Well, this is it--the last issue of Justice League of America.
While I understand the business end of this--that this book had to be cleared out to make room for the all-new (and immediately big-selling) Justice League book, I wish that Justice League of America--one of DC's flagship books--had been given more of a royal send off.
The cover is fine, except as the last JLA cover ever, and I still--all these years later--hate the fact that the book ends 27 years of JLA adventures with essentially a plug for another book. Jeez, DC, the corpse isn't even cold yet! Would it have killed you to coral George Perez to do a "classic JLA" pin-up or something?
But I got to give them credit--this was a ballsy, gripping way to end the series. Ivo's revenge plan is sinister to the nth degree, and I bet to this day he still brags to other villains that he killed not one, but two members of the JLA. Luthor's been trying to kill one hero for like 20 years.
Goodbye, Justice League of America.
So now what? Is this blog over?
Well, not quite--as I've mentioned a few times before, I've got about a week's worth of fun posts to come. A few sort of "greatest hits" style ones, an interview or two, another special JLA comic that falls outside my timeline but I felt had to be included, all concluding with a final post that I guarantee none of you will expect.
But before we get to all that, be here tomorrow for a chat with the fine writer who brought the original JLA to a close--J.M. DeMatteis!