Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Justice League of America #258 (1/87)

Martian Manhunter: Following their defeat by Brimstone during "Legends," the team returned to their Secret Sanctuary to regroup. A fight broke out between Vibe and Elongated Man, which Manhunter broke up, and speaking of breaking up: "That will be enough... We've all been through quite an ordeal these past hours... and although I can't condone it, I understand why you two have reacted this way. But it doesn't make what I'm about to say any easier. Our League was once a much-needed and much-respected organization. I think we were well on the way to being that again. But, considering the President's recent statement ordering all so-called super-heroes to withdraw from public life-- I see no alternative. Until further notice, I am disbanding the Justice League... It's only temporary... till the President rescinds his order... I fully intend to keep in touch with all of you in the coming weeks. Just because we can't function as a team doesn't mean we can't function as friends. And in the end, it is your friendship that I've come to value most. Believe it or not, Vibe-- that includes you. For some months now, I've had the pleasure of watching you all grow... evolve... reach toward your full potential... You've made me very proud."

Elongated Man: Vibe began to openly disparage the team, sending Ralph into a rare fit of rage. "Vibe-- shut the hell up!!!" Elongated Man snared and punched Vibe, under protest from J'Onn J'Onzz. "Forget it, Manhunter! I've had it with this arrogant punk!" Vibe tried to fend off Ralph, but continued to be ridiculed until Martian Manhunter broke up the pair. After things cooled down, Manhunter announced the disbanding of the team, to some relief from Ralph. "Maybe it's time we all got our personal lives together." Ralph tried to apologize to Vibe, but was rebuffed. Ralph said goodbye, and left.

Sue Dibney: Not featured, but Ralph assured, "I, for one, owe my wife a vacation. A long one. Starting right now."

Gypsy: Protested the disbanding. "No! The League's too important to the world... to us!" Settled down by Vixen, then tried to console Vibe. "My friend Pam's waiting for us. Maybe the four of us could go out to eat or something."

Vixen: Took the news the easiest. Talked with Gypsy about reuniting with her parents. Tried to calm Steel and Vibe, to no avail.

Steel: Shattered the meeting room table. Stormed off.

Professor Ivo: Completely insane, Ivo blamed the Justice League for the physical deformity caused by his own immortality formula. Ivo had created an army of android duplicates with his former, human appearance. Bolstered by the rhetoric of the demagogue G. Gordon Godfrey, Ivo unleashed his automatons with murderous intent. "My dear old comrades, Batman and Superman and Aquaman and the rest, thought they could escape me by resigning from the League-- and leaving those untrained babies in their place." Ivo decided to kill the League's "children" with his own.

Vibe: "We blew it!! Firestorm came to us for help-- and what do we do... get our butts wiped all over the street!" Vibe verbally assailed his teammates, until Elongated Man delivered a beating. An invisible Manhunter separated them. "Hey-- Where'd you come from?"

Vibe wandered the South Bronx, reminded of home and his own failings. "Man, I coulda killed Elongated Man for sayin' what he said. 'Specially since it was true. I've been nothin' but a loud-mouthed, whining brat since I hooked up with the League." Vibe met a Latino boy on a stoop drawing Superman, whom he first criticized for not idolizing one of his own people ("Vibe, man!") then let alone. Vibe was attacked by one of Professor Ivo's robots, as the kid shouted, "Vibe? You mean-- you're a real super-hero?!" Vibe tried to send the kid away and fend off the robot, but wavered. "I can't stop a guy who ain't human! I can't! I'm not Batman... or the Martian Manhunter... I'm just Vibe! I'm just a joke!" Vibe rallied as he thought of the boy and others. "...What about JJ? ...I'll be damned if I'm gonna let him down! Maybe I wasn't ready for the League when they took me-- but I'm ready now!"

Vibe ripped into the robot, causing it to malfunction, and earning a devoted fan in the kid. As the boy departed, Vibe prepared to cart the android back to League headquarters. Suddenly, its hands detached from its body and choked Vibe to death. The automaton left a mask resembling Ivo's human face over Paco's as a calling card. "Father will be so proud."

The Creators: J.M. DeMatteis begins one of the greatest League epics of all time, and certainly the best Vibe story ever. The humble, somber figures of Luke McDonnell compliment the tale of a League revealed in its inadequacy.

J’Onn J’Onzz’s Nicknames of the Issue: "JJ" -Vibe

Most Embarrassing Vibe Quote of the Issue: "What's with this Superman thing everybody's got? I've seen the guy-- he ain't nothin' special."

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