The Story: "All Together Now" by Keith Giffen, Peter David, Gardner Fox, and Eric Shanower. On the distant planet Appellax, we see seven would-be leaders--all of whom claim to have assassinated the previous leader--being sent off to Earth to fight to the death.
Whoever is the winner of this battle royale will return to Appellax and claim the throne. Simple, no?
One of them has the temerity to ask, but what if they are overcome by someone, say, from Earth?
The judge says this is absurd: "You are the best Appellax has to offer. If they defeated all seven of you, we'd never go near Earth again."
And so it begins:
The first hero who will meet these would-be Appellax conquerors is the Martian Manhunter:
He faces the giant stone creature, but in the melee his power of invisibility turns off, revealing him to the local citizens. They think he's a special effect from a movie.
Next up is the King of the Seven Seas:
...he encounters the Mercury creature, and with the help of his finny friends, keeps it from turning him permanently into a blob of mercury.
He then hears of a strange meteor that landed in the Florida Everglades, and heads there. Once he arrives, he sees someone else...
But before we find out who, we see the next hero up to bat is Black Canary:
She takes on the Glass Creature, and a well-place Sonic Cry reduces him to bits.
She also hears the story about Florida, and heads there, too. She meets others who have arrived there ahead of her.
Next up is Green Lantern:
He takes on the Golden Roc (of course its yellow!), and then heads to Florida. He gets too close before he can be told he stay away, so...
Last is The Flash:
He fights the Fire Creature, defeats him, and likewise heads to Florida.
He is the last to arrive, and suffers the same fate as the other heroes:
...of course, you all know the story form here...sort of. The heroes use teamwork to defeat the Wood Creature, and the head for Antarctica, where there were reports of one last meteor.
Except when they get there, Superman is already mopping up. He takes no notice of the star-struck heroes, and flies off.
Flash liked how they worked together, and proposes forming a club, or a society? Howabout calling it The Avengers, after that TV show?
No, wait, howabout The Justice League:
...not the end!
Roll Call: Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Black Canary
Notable Moments: There were a couple of reasons not to include this book on the blog: one, it was published outside of the run of the original JLA book, and two, it features the dreaded ret-conning, where classic stories are rewritten to match current storyline concerns.
Normally that stuff make me roll my eyes, since I think a lot of damage can be done to great, classic concepts for the sake of momentary necessity.
This is such a case--the JLA was and is the big seven of the DCU circa 1960, and suggesting the Big Three weren't part of that seems so silly.
Complicating that even further, was replacing Wonder Woman with a later member, Black Canary, which disrupts even more classic JLA stories--every one for the first eight years, actually. I understand the need to have at least five members, and one of them be a woman, and DC had a real lack of heroines from this era--who else was available--Miss America? Firebrand? Phantom Lady? But having Black Canary in here just seems...wrong.
All that said, I included this because this retelling--changes and all--is so darn fun. Its got a good sense of humor, the heroes are real people, and Giffen and David wisely don't mess with the basics of Gardner Fox's immortal story. Plus, the art is gorgeous--Eric Shanower wasn't someone who you saw do a lot of superhero work, so his take on the World's Greatest Superheroes is a real treat.