Friday, October 18, 2013

Justice #10 (April, 2007)

Previously in Justice

Black Manta was at a formal celebration taking place at a veritable Hall of Doom in one the the super-villains' cities, as was Brainiac. Arthur Curry Junior apparently had the perfect mind to be wired up by the Coluan and serve as vanguard to a replacement race for Brainiac's home world. "Yes, Arthur. Your father is coming for you. Of course, you'll be more my son by then, won't you? First of my people, the new Coluans." Sure enough, Aquaman in his protective armor and fellow heroes burst onto the scene. The Superman villain Parasite leapt at him, threatening to steal the Sea King's powers and then go after his wife. "Wrong thing to say, Parasite. Way wrong thing to say. You're not touching anyone." Without hesitation, Aquaman speared the creep through the chest with his trident, then slammed his body hard enough against the ground to shatter the floor. Manta came at him next firing eyebeams, so Aquaman harpooned his helmet. "You will never come between me and my son again, Manta!" Unfortunately, these distractions allowed Brainiac to escape with Aquacyborgbaby to another city via transport tube. "NOOOO!!"

Meanwhile, Batman knocked Riddler and Poison Ivy around in his "Beyond" looking red and black armor. Martian Manhunter preoccupied himself with Gorilla Grodd and Giganta. Zatanna secretly teleported Green Arrow and Black Canary to a sewer, then returned to the battle before she could be missed. Members of the Metal Men pretended to act as protective armor for the two missing heroes, while in fact working independently to conceal their absence. Still, the ruse was eventually detected, and Clayface dispatched to stop the duo. In a moment the creators failed to establish beforehand, Elongated Man (wearing a sort of Shadow Thief/ninja alternate costume) turned out to have been pretending to be Ollie's "shadow" in near light-less tunnel. "I want to see Plastic Man do this." Elongated Man encapsulated Clayface, who continued to writhe and press within. The Emerald Archer thought to himself "Ralph's wife isn't even one of those that were taken. He's here for us... Some look at Ralph as a joke. Next time anyone says anything about him, I'll tell them of this moment..." Elongated Man cried that Clayface was chewing on his insides, and that there was only so much pain and stress he could take. Ollie called out, "You're a helluva Leaguer, Ralph." Queen went on to locate the kidnapped supporting casts of the various heroes, and smuggled a power ring to John Stewart...

"Chapter Ten" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite. I'm guessing Ross and company thought they'd crafted the Elongated Man redemptive moment that would be praised by Wizard Magazine for years to come. Instead, it established that he was still motivated by his ego to go up against a second rate Batman villain and whine about it all being too much for him within the span of a few panels. Plastic Man gets a lot more done in subsequent issues, a reminder of what Ralph tried to keep from getting accomplished because of his stupid pride, and then throws a spotlight at his minimal competence for unflattering measure. They had better luck inspiring Geoff Johns' very popular "Have Trident, Will Skewer" take on Aquaman, but despite this being out of continuity, the guys he stabbed regenerate like video game players without a scratch on them in later issues. The Aqualobotomy subplot dragged on unbelievably, but "a Brainiac ate my baby" does its best to match it for incredulity. Mad props for giving Aquaman his big moment in the series while wearing a lame all-green armor that renders him virtually unrecognizable, by the way.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:

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