I Have Issues (21)

The Super Group Comic
By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

In celebration of Justice League America 200 a group of creators, rivaling that of the members of the team they were writing joined together to give the team the Anniversary issue to end all issues. Combining and contrasting the original team and the new Satellite era teams this comic boasted a star studded cast, and I am not just talking about the spandex clan in the four color pages.

(W) Gerry Conway, (Overall Art direction) George Perez, (Art in the chapters) Pat Broderick, Jim Aparo, Dick Giordano, Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Brian Bolland and Joe Kubert!

This comic is a 72 page special with no fill in stories and no ads! I have never read it before so this will be the first time I am writing the synopsis as I am reading a comic for the first time.

Roll Call (Original Team)
J’onn J’onzz, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern(Hal Jordan), The Flash(Barry Allen), Batman, and Superman
S--- even Batman is smiling, this must be those good old days all the people refer to.

Roll Call (Satellite Team)

Firestorm, Red Tornado, Zatanna, The Atom, Elongated Man, Black Canary and Hawkman

(Special Guests)
Green Arrow, Adam Strange and Phantom Stranger
Seven glowing meteors fall from the sky. Each one of them carries an alien that plans on using Earth as a battlefield to determine the ruler of another world’s throne. Going into battle with the heroes separately, five of the aliens are defeated by J’onn, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash. Together they team up to go after the sixth and radiation turns their bodies into wood.Using teamwork the heroes beat the wooden menace and feeling pretty confident in their abilities decide to finish the Seventh meteor. The Alien from that meteor was already battling Batman and Superman and the meteor itself was made of Kryptonite (isn’t that always the way?) Again the heroes work together and finish the alien off. The Meteors are then buried all over the Earth and the Aliens are sent back to their planet Appelax. This was the first adventure and the mission that formed the Justice League of America.
Chapter 1 Firestorm The Nuclear Man versus Martian Manhunter

Fast forward to today (today being 1982 that is) and Firestorm is bored as he is on the Satellite Headquarters and watching the monitor. Suddenly a green streak shoots up from the earth and crashes into the headquarters.  J’onn angrily asks where the JLA are and who the hell is Firestorm?! Firestorm uses his powers to atomically restructure the hole that J’onn had just created in the wall. Ronnie (Firestorm) asks J’onn who he is and what he’s doing at the satellite. J’onn mentions that his JLA signal went off and it led him to the satellite. Firestorm wonders why J’onn has a JLA signal device since only members should have them. Both heroes continue to be dumbfounded by the situation and each other. The Manhunter turns invisible and flies off through the satellite claiming he needs to find the meteors before the Earth turns again upon its axis. Ronnie notices that the Manhunter is scared of the flames coming from his head and uses that information to heat up the area around the green hero. J’onn grabs a trophy case one of those huge ass trophy cases that the heroes always seem to have laying around smashes it into Firestorm! The Martian picks up another trophy case and Ronnie catches it on fire and then tries to reason with him. J’onn uses his Martian vision to blast a hole in a water pipe above Firestorm and douses the flame. He then grabs a chunk of the floor beneath his feet and throws it into Firestorm slamming him against the wall and knocking the fire headed hero out. Ronnie eventually wakes up and sends out a triple priority signal to every Leaguer on earth. 

Seven heroes answer the call and appear on the satellite to survey the damage, Red Tornado, Black Canary, Hawkman, Elongated man, Zatanna, Atom and Green Arrow. Red Tornado deduces from Ronnie’s story that the damage was done by J’onn J’onzz. Firestorm had never met the Martian before this. Everyone wonders why none of the original members answered the call. Oliver (Green Arrow) explains that he thinks he knows what’s going on as he knows the story of the seven meteors that fell from the sky and helped form the original JLA. The heroes check a map, and it shows them where the other six meteors are hidden. Green Arrow is one smart motherfucker as he figures that all seven of the original members are now searching for the meteors and have their minds controlled by something. It’s now up to the new JLA to seek out the meteors and stop the original seven from completing their task. (Can anyone say flimsy plot excuse to get the heroes fighting each other?) Another intruder alarm goes off in the satellite and out from the transporter tube steps Snapper Carr (regular Joe and one time mascot to the original big seven. He’s the DC Rick Jones.) Much to his chagrin Firestorm is left with Snapper to watch the monitors as the rest of the team goes to stop the original JLA.

Chapter 2 Aquaman versus Red Tornado

In the Indian Ocean Aquaman is searching desperately for one of the meteors. It is noted that he, as well as the original seven members have all had their minds reverted back to the time of the formation of the team. Thus, none of them remember or recognize any of the members on the new team. The volcano is erupting nearby and Aquaman steps ashore to search but is knocked aside by a powerful gust of wind. Red Tornado tries to reason with Aquaman but Aquaman simply leaps and knocks the android into the water. On land Aquaman finds the meteor and has a strong will to take it to the original JLA headquarters outside of Metropolis, though he does not know why. As Red flies out of the ocean to take Aquaman down the Phantom stranger that has been watching the fight cast a lightning bolt to take Tornado out of the fight. The Stranger states that the greater good is at stake. And as much as he hated to do it he had to side with one Leaguer over another. The Stranger then transports Red back to the satellite, which confuses the hell out of Firestorm and Snapper.

Chapter 3 Zatanna versus Wonder Woman (and no this is not slash fan fiction.)

Zatanna, using her backwards magic floats to Paradise Island, home of the Amazons. As she sets down, she finds that Diana (Wonder Woman) has beat her to the island and is in the Temple of Athena grabbing the next meteor. As Diana is just about to grab the green glowing rock Zatanna cast the spell sending it into the earth. Wonder woman much like the other Leaguers doesn’t know who Zatanna is and throws a stone slab at her, to which the magician cast a spell to crush the rock with an eruption of earth. As Zatanna recovers Diana has already gone into the earth and grabbed a meteor. Wonder Woman is just about to enter her invisible plane with meteor in hand when Zatanna cast a spell for the ocean to stop her. Diana simply Spins her Lasso and redirects the waterspout to knock Zatanna out.

Chapter 4 Green Lantern versus the Atom

Ray Palmer travels through a phone line and comes out in Zimbabwe at a military command center. Speaking with the general in charge Ray secures a jet to seek out Green Lantern. Before they see Hal, he creates a green fist that clinches the jet and tosses it aside. Unbeknownst to Jordan, Palmer leapt from the plane and comes down with a sucker punch to knock Green Lantern down.  The Atom tries to explain the situation to Jordan, but Hal simply uses the time to recover and traps Palmer in a green force field. Lantern flies away with the meteor and though Ray shrinks small enough to get out of the force field he is too late to stop Hal. Back in the satellite the beaten members of the league meet and discuss their options. Red tornado explains that the fact that the original members don’t know who they are gives them an advantage that they may not be able to overcome.

Chapter 5 The Flash versus elongated Man

In the countryside of northern Italy, the Flash speeds towards the next meteor. Barry Allen stops to ask a man for directions. The man responds that he doesn’t speak English and the flash is off again. Ralph Dibney (Elongated Man) reveals himself as being the stranger and as Barry runs off he wraps him up in his elastic arms. The surprise trips Allen and he lands face first onto a rock. Ralph checks Flash’s pulse and find’s out that his friend is okay. Barry vibrates causing a small earthquake and Ralph falls into a crevice that opened up in the ground. The Flash is off again and Ralph pissed, stretches out of the hole and attempts to wrap Barry up again. Instead, Alan vibrates and the elongated Man goes right through him. The Flash knocks Ralph from behind revealing he used an after image to trick him into grabbing someone who wasn’t there. Allen spins into the ground and grabs the meteor.

Outside of the hidden cave that used to be the JLA headquarters five of the original members that have retrieved their meteors are trying to figure out what’s going on. J’onn suggests that they work quickly to unravel the mystery.
Chapter 6 Green Arrow and Black Canary versus Batman
If God were to hire an artist to draw him, he would hire Brian Bolland.

Oliver and Dinah are slogging through the swamp land of the Carolina coast. (Brian Bolland does the art on this section and this would be the first time he’s drawn Batman. His more famous Batman story? The Killing Joke with Alan Moore.) Leaping down from a tree-top Batman tackles green arrow. Oliver manages to fire a rubber tipped arrow, but misses. The arrow bounces off a tree and nails Canary in the head. Batman leaves. Oliver handcuffed and leaps off. Dinah uses an acetylene arrow to burn the handcuffs off as Green arrow complains that these are the reasons that he quit the league in the first place.

On the beach, Batman uses a device to find the meteor and digs it up. Shortly thereafter Canary and arrow reach the shore and see Batman crouched down on the sand. Black Canary uses her sonic scream to knock him down. But as they approach the figure they find it’s not Batman at all, but a dummy left behind to confuse them.

Back on the satellite Oliver and Dinah have joined the others in defeat.

Outside of the old headquarters Batman has joined his team with another meteor added to the collection. As the meteors are joined together they began to glow.
Chapter 7 Hawkman versus Superman

Carter Hall (Hawkman) gathers an arsenal of weapons for his battle with Superman. Hawkman approaches Greenland, where the final meteor is buried and sees the familiar red and blue blur of the man of steel. Carter throws a net around Superman and nails him with the Trident to which Superman explodes revealing himself to be a robot. Hawkman then realizes that Superman must have sent one of his robot decoys because the meteor is made of kryptonite and he himself would not be able to touch it. Another Superman decoy charges Carter from the sky to which he fires a crossbow and blows this robot up as well. Hall sees another blue and red blur arcing down towards him but has a feeling there’s something different about this one. Hawkman swings his mace and it breaks on the Man of steel’s body. This time it’s the real Superman and he lays one powerful punch that knocks Hawkman into space. Superman using a lead container scoops up the meteor and flies away to join the rest of his team.

Hawkman drifts unconscious in space but is transported to the planet Rann where Adam strange finds him in the infirmary. Adam gets word to the JLA that he is transporting Hawkman back to them. (What a totally contrived appearance.) Back on the satellite, everyone knows they failed to stop whatever mission the original JLA were trying to accomplish.

The original team watches as all seven meteors begin to glow and wonder why they felt the need to gather them in the first place, then the meteors crack open and the seven aliens that the team put down all those years ago rise again. And as the villains always seemed to do in the old days they proceed to explain what’s been going on and I won’t try to explain it myself. So here word for word is the entire plan.

“We concealed seed clones of ourselves in each of our meteors programming the meteors themselves to impart a timed hypnotic suggestion in the minds of our Earth conquerors. A suggestion that would force them to gather our meteors together and thus activate our seed clones at a time when the stars had shifted into a new cosmic pattern.” (Hey, isn’t that Scientology?)

Now, the aliens will resume their battle to decide who will be the leader of The Appellax Imperium. With the illusion shattered the JLA go on offensive. The largest of the aliens is a towering stone creature. Superman streaks and to take him down but is fired upon with kryptonite eye blasts! Martian Manhunter flies in and clocks the stone creature. Green Lantern fires his ring at one of the aliens that is a towering flame creature but before his blast can reach its mark another of the aliens that is a giant yellow bird blocks it. (This was back when Green lanterns ring would not work against anything yellow.) The flame giant then shoots a blast to take J’onn out. Batman is struck and knocked out by the crystal alien with a powerful light blast. The Flash is smothered beneath the Mercury body of another. The wooden alien strangles Aquaman to take him out of the fight. With the rest of the league fallen the aliens all turn their attention to Wonder Woman. Diana deflects attacks with her bracelets and using her strength fights valiantly but in the end she can’t stand up to the combined onslaught of the aliens. 

With the heroes down the aliens decide to resume the battle with each other for ultimate supremacy of their planet.

Later Batman awakens to find a green arrow in his face. The new team has found the original team and everyone reconciles and they all join together to make a super JLA squad to face down the Aliens.
If the Aliens wore underwear, they would need to change them right about now.

Using teamwork this time they plan on putting a hurt on the invaders. The Wood–King wraps up Hawkman as he swoops in for an attack. Superman comes down and splinters the Alien to a million pieces but the pieces are tainted with Kryptonite and he has to be rescued by Wonder Woman. 

Hawkman is still being strangled but Oliver shoots an explosive arrow and blows apart the remnants of the Wood-King. Zatanna traps the Mercury Monster in a bubble of energy and continues to heat the molecules with her backwards magic until the monster is merely vapor. Black Canary dodges the crystal creatures flying shards of diamond while Batman gets in position and throws a Batarang that Shatters it to pieces. The Flash tries to take the glass fish alien out quickly but is blasted with a light blast reflected by it. Aquaman leaps from behind and pulls the glass creature down into the ocean. Further and further the creature is pulled until it is shattered from the pressure in the depths of the sea. Elongated Man twists and winds his body trying to avoid the fire breath of the flame monster. 

Red flies above the towering inferno and whips up a tornado so strong that the aerial vortex pulls all the oxygen out from around the monster and snuffs it from existence.

In New York City the last two remaining Aliens battle it out like Godzilla and Rodan. Firestorm changes the falling debris molecular structures to make them into harmless mist. Green Lantern traps the Rock-God in a force field and creates a jackhammer that crushes the alien to pieces. J’onn is fighting off the big golden bird and Hal creates a small cannon that fires the Atom like a bullet. Ray Palmer lands an unsuspecting attack that distracts the creature long enough for Manhunter to obliterate the alien with one super punch.

Later Green Lantern takes the pieces of the aliens and their meteors and carries them out to the sun where Red Tornado funnels the pieces down into the star. 

The heroes all praise each other for their teamwork and as Green Arrow is about to leave the JLA again he is talked into staying and accepts that he does not have to be loner; he has a family with the League.

The whole thing reads like the ultimate Super friends episode. I did enjoy the comic despite the silly concept; the art is like a who’s who of DC from the 70’s and early 80’s. If you’re an old school fan you should pick this up if you don’t already own it that is. A very fun book with amazing art!

By, J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])
Get your comics here http://www.mycomicshop.com/
Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/