Saturday, April 5, 2008
Justice League of America #250 (5/86)
Sue Dibney: Fallen form lorded over by "Junior," who had emerged from its tentacle blob form to become a bronze-skinned bipedal Adonis not named Adam Warlock (as he had a blond crewcut and convenient green trunks, rather than a lustrous blond 70's mane and convenient red trunks.
Green Lantern: Recently reunited with his beloved power ring, Hal Jordon was chasing a comet when he heard the League's distress signal. Scanned fallen Detroit team for "minimal life signs." Went looking for "Junior" with Green Arrow, only to have his life force drained before making any significant contribution. Somewhere, Zatanna let out a knowing sigh, I'd assume.
Zatanna: Hal heard the signal from Mercury, but Zee missed it entirely at a NY dock. Finally tracked her sub-letter to a suspicious "social group" at a marina boat, only to be conked on the head with a lead pipe. This was on the order of the "group leader," the rather Aryan "Adam."
Steel: Emaciated and aged, looked a lot like his grandfather. I mean now, after years in the ground. Felt better and hung with Hal Jordan, the most obvious Republican of the old timers.
Black Canary: Asleep on Ollie's couch when she heard the signal. Donned awful 80's costume to investigate. Ordered to sit with the infirm while the top-billed boys searched the Secret Sanctuary for "Junior." Comforted Gypsy, and in talking with her deduced that her powers were telepathic in nature, which protected her. J'Onn's being a victimized telepath and Gypsy's having previous been effected never came up. Later helped Ollie draw out "Junior" with her Canary Cry.
Green Arrow: Along with Dinah's urging, Ollie dug through his closet to find a mothballed signal device arrow. Really. Joined and was forced to rescue Green Lantern when confronted by "Junior," who he singed with an electrified arrow. Double-teamed "Junior" with Black Canary.
Gypsy: Dreamt of an idealized version of her suburban home life before running away, which turned into a nightmare pitting her against her withered teammates. Her Manhunter taunted, "We are your family! ... Now and evermore," prompting Gypsy to push him away, but instead caved in his chest. She awoke to find her youth restored, and that she was encircled by former League members. Broke down in tears, blaming herself for her friends' malady. "I never want to hurt anyone, but its like I always do. Ever since I got the power, my life's been a mess... I'm just so scared..." Figured out "Junior" had become what it ate, confirmed by the creature's simplistic internal regarding it making it all the easier to hunt amongst mankind.
Superman: Was putting out a fire when he heard the J.L.A. Alert signal. Learned more from the Dark Knight Detective before being attacked by "Junior." Thought to himself, "Eh? The Batman's gone--? I may not like him, but I never expected him to run..." Used his body as a conduit to redirect the Leaguers' life energy.
Elongated Man: Hung out with Kal-El and his wife, presumably to keep the Man of Tomorrow away from the riff-raff. My theory backed-up by his being the one to suggest and press the League veterans to stick around.
Batman: Halting a terrorist attack on Gotham when he heard the signal. Investigated the scene and ordered his fellow veterans around. Clearly, the brusque control freak pre-dated Frank Miller. Found the records J'Onn J'Onzz browsed last issue and laid the blame at Superman's feet for the mess. Saved the Man of Steel from Junior. Lured the creature into an electrified elevator shaft, which both flash-fried "Junior" and released his stored energies. Devised method of sending those energies through the Last Son of Krypton back to their rightful carcasses.
Vibe: Unintentional humor from the sight of a geriatric Paco with silver hair, shades, and a plunging neckline. Got along with Green Arrow for once through bonding over their mutually unfortunate facial hair.
Vixen: Formed a girl power conversation clique with Dinah and Gypsy, once she felt equally fit.
The Atom, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Aquaman: Far removed from any signal receiver, as they were all away from home on important affairs, meaning solo mini-series.
Martian Manhunter: A passive lump for most of the issue, until talk of recalling veteran Leaguers to service came up. He approached the distant Batman, saying "Old friend, I've been told you left the League... unhappily. I cannot judge the right or wrong of that leaving. Nonetheless, today's events prove this is where you belong. You should lead the League, not I." Green Arrow concurred, while Vibe and of course Batman briefly protested. An again tearful Gypsy pleaded "We need you! I hear you were an orphan. So are we, sorta. Orphans gotta stick together, right? Right?" Batman patted her head and promised them a year. "Gypsy thinks she convinced me... but I have my own reasons for rejoining the League. And when I reveal those reasons, she'll be very surprised..."
The Creators: ...so would we all. Batman's "year" turned out to be one story arc before he abandoned the group and the never-resolved Gypsy sub-plot. The issue at hand fell into cliche quickly, though it ushered in what will be last hurrah of half this creative team.
Most Embarrassing Vibe Quote of the Issue: [Of Batman] "That dude? Get serious. We'd chew 'im up, and spit him---- out. Uh, well, maybe not."
EPILOGUE: On the planet Kalanor, atop a narrow spire leading to garbed aliens standing before an enormous pyre... "Hail, O Master... You have braved the cleansing, transforming Flame of Py'tar... and no longer are you the creature you were when you welcomed that all-consuming embrace. In form, in substance, you are reborn. What is your will, Walker In The Flame?"
"My will... is vengeance against mine enemies. My desire... is the destruction of the Justice League. And when I tread their bloody remains beneath my booted feet, I wish only one reward: let them whisper my name in horror...
DESPERO, THE REBORN! DESPERO, THE DESTROYER!"