There are also discussions about the 60s JLA/JSA team-ups and the 70s JLA/JSA team-ups so feel free to read, comment or add on to those as well!


JUSTICE LEAGUE # 183-185 (O-D'80): Where Have All The New Gods Gone?/ Apokolips Now!/Darkseid Rising!

By Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin (#183), George Perez (#184-185), Frank McLaughlin and Len Wein (editor).

Personal Note: George Perez is an amazing artist whose work has gotten even better over the years. Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Justice League of America and, of course, New Teen Titans have all benefitted from his contributions. Any true fan would want him on their favorite title. And he wanted to do JLA but not under these circumstances.

Dick Dillin, after drawing Justice League of America since #64 in 1968 (missing only two issues in that run) died at the young age of 51. He also had long runs in Blackhawk, World's Finest and DC Comics Presents. He was the artist of two of the first four comics that I ever read. His work improved throughout the 70s and he drew the majority of the heroes and villains of the DCU at one time or another. The news of his passing shocked the fifteen old me and was truly the end of an era. Thinking back, perhaps his passing combined with New Teen Titans #1 signaled the end of the Bronze Age, my Golden Age.

Character Notes:  By this time, Gerry Conway had added to the Justice League his own creation: Firestorm the Nuclear Man! But as he giveth, Conway also tooketh away as Green Arrow resigned because he felt he and the League weren't on the same page anymore. That and his candidate for membership, Black Lightning, didn't even want to join!

The JLA: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Firestorm

The JSA: Doctor Fate, Wonder Woman, Power Girl and the Huntress

The New Gods: Orion the Hunter, Metron, Mister Miracle, Big Barda and Oberon

The InJustice Society: The Fiddler, the Icicle and the Shade

  • In the five JLA/JSA team-ups that occurred after the Earth-One Wonder Woman rejoined in #128, the E-2 WW has appeared in THREE of them. The E-1 WW, NONE!
  • The story starts off quickly as the eight heroes are suddenly transported to a nearly deserted New Genesis/Supertown as Superman gives the needed exposition and gets touchy-feely with Power Girl again! Get a room, Kal!
  • In a nice moment, the original Princess Diana gets a bit offended about beings calling themselves New "Gods" with a comfirmation of her own mythology and monotheism at the same time. She's a Wonder, all right!
  • They forget to strap Firestorm into his stroller and he immediately wanders off!
  • He bumps into a young Andy Rooney, I mean, Orion the Hunter and gets zapped.
  • The others attack Orion and it takes Superman, Power Girl AND Doctor Fate to knock him out! That's powerful!
  • It would have great if Orion was in his Kirby armor but he's wearing his "Super-Hero" outfit complete with mask (and he has no secret identity) and "O" insignia!
  • The other New Gods appear via a Boom Tube. Actually it's Metron and the cast of Mister Miracle! So much for Kirby's vast array of characters!
  • Superman brings up meeting Scott in DC Comics Presents #12 but Batman who met him three times in B&B says nothing.
  • Orion uses his Mother Box to trim his eyebrows and pretty him up. He is feeling very guilty about Darkseid's death from Adventure Comics #460 (D'78). 
  • We learn that Apokolipian forces have enslaved the entire population of New Genesis with the help of the InJustice Society!
  • Metron transports them all to Apokolips when they (surprise, surprise) split up into teams!
  • Batman, the Huntress and Mister Miracle sneak into the Imperial Palace to find out why Apokolips has renewed the War.
  • Green Lantern, Doctor Fate and Oberon (and HE's here again why?) smash up the Shock Trooper Barracks searching for captives from New Genesis and they find someone big!
  • Superman, Wonder Woman and Big Barda go to Granny Goodness' Orphanage to liberate the children of New Genesis, one named Petil to start!
  • Granny would be the only other Kirby villain that Conway uses.
  • Orion, Power Girl and Firestorm fly to the site where slave labor has built a massive machine manned by the InJustice Society that has resurrected.....DARKSEID!!

More to follow!   



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Hmmm... probably the key to my remembered affection for that Adam Strange story is this line, in what I wrote above:

 I felt like Waid righted a wrong in bringing Alanna back.

So in once sense I was watching Adam triumph over death, but in another, I was watching Waid (one of my writer heroes) triumph over a miguided story. (Which came as a relief, too, since in the first chapter, weren't we led to believe Adam was insane? So Waid took us further down a bad road, before revealing the destination as somewhere worthwhile, IMO.) So in a sense, it was a win/win for me. Or, perhaps I was just so glad to see Adam Strange again,,, it had been eight years since his miniseries ended, and there'd been no significant appearances in that time -- or at least the appearances that there were (a GL 2-parter, and a two-part appearance in a longer Superboy & the Ravers story) flew under my radar. (According to GCBD, everything else in those years is all reprints and the occasional crowd-scene flashback.)

Figs, you've completely convinced me that there's a really interesting Black Canary story here, that Roy's continuity interests sabotaged. But it's also a really interesting story that Roy's continuity interests created in the first place. I'm with Border Mutt, in that if Roy couldn't (or wouldn't) explore those themes himself, it would have been wonderful to see another writer pick up the baton. A pity Dan Mishkin & Gary Cohn never had a chance to follow up on this story -- it would have made an interesting complement to the exploration of young womanhood they were doing over at Amethyst. Or Mindy Newell, who almost certainly would have had something to say.

Commander Benson said:

I've read both versions, and in my opinion, the earlier story, by Gardner Fox, was the better tale.  I know that won't come as a surprise to you.


However, both writers failed to address a more glaring flaw in Abin Sur's death.  It was established that a power ring protected its wearer from mortal harm, even if its charge had expired.  So Abin Sur shouldn't have had much more than Excedrin Headache # 34, even after such a devastating crack-up.



Interesting, Commander. But I wonder if that safeguard isn't a detail better off left ignored. It strikes me as a plot point introduced to solve a specific story problem, but one that short-circuits a lot of dramatic possibilities regarding the time limit by lessening the stakes, and the personal risk to the hero. As Fox & Broome built the GL mythology from the ground up, I wonder if they ever had cause to regret elements they introduced earlier?

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

 But I wonder if that safeguard isn't a detail better off left ignored. It strikes me as a plot point introduced to solve a specific story problem . . . .

I agree with you that the automatic-protection-from-mortal-harm function of the ring does significantly undercut the dramatic possibilities with regard to the Green Lantern and any danger that threatens.  And if it had been a one-time plot device, even I would prefer to ignore it.  Unfortunately, it popped several times over the Silver-Age run of the Green Lantern series and even outside it, such as in JLA # 54 (Jun., 1967).  So we're stuck with it.





Wow... I guess killing a hero back then was so unlikely that they didn't see shutting that possibility down as a big loss. But even then, the threat of dying was always there -- or, at least it was in contemporaneous Flash comics. 

Did they ever explain how a dead power ring could keep the life support on? Was it that, at a certain point, it simply had to devote all of its remaining power to that function so that otherwise, it would seem powerless? Or was there some other property at work?

At one time there was that one GL who was still uhm "active" even after dying. His ring was still functioning and doing stuff, so you had a zombie GL running around.

Of course rings no longer protect them from mortal danger, as some Green Lantern's careers are about as long a a mayfly's. Nor do they recharge the ring every 24 hours, but whenever their energy level gets low. IE. when the writer feels like it.

Oh, right, I remember that guy! From back in the Gerard Jones days, right? Was he Dr'zzz't, or am I thinking of someone else?

The first time the power ring's automatic function to protect its wearer from mortal harm was mentioned was in "The Day 100,000 People Vanished", from Green Lantern # 7 (Jul.-Aug., 1961).  At that time, the only limitation was that the wearer had to be conscious and the scope of the protection was more open-ended; the ring automatically protected the wearer from simply "harm".


I'm extrapolating a bit here, but undoubtedly it dawned upon Schwartz and Broome and Fox that such an open-ended safeguard would really winnow down any sense of danger for future stories.  (Plus, it might have been contradicted in earlier stories; I didn't check to make sure.)


So, the next time that particular function was mentioned,  in "The End of a Gladiator", from GL # 46 (Jul., 1966), the narrower "automatic protection from mortal harm" was specified.  As to how that worked, Green Lantern received that information from his power battery:


The ability to protect you rests in a reserve supply of power built into the power ring.  Every time you charge your ring, the reserve supply is replenished!  But it cannot be used by you!  It will only operate automatically by itself in periods of extreme peril!


Now, the phrasing of the second sentence in particular implies that the automatic protection afforded by the reserve supply also vitiates when GL's power ring runs out of juice.  And to be sure, at least one story operated on that premise.  (The aforementioned JLA # 54.)


But in that same tale---"The End of a Gladiator"---the climax shows that the protective reserve supply still remains in his ring, even after the regular charge has exhausted.  (When his ring runs out of power, instead of relying upon the automatic-lifesaving function to protect him from Doctor Polaris' weaponry, GL forces the ring to use that reserve supply to save the life of his buddy, Pieface.)


Most subsequent stories uphold the notion that the ring's automatic-lifesaving function works even when the ring is powerless, e.g., "The Green Lanterns' Fight for Survival", from GL # 56 (Oct., 1967).


In "Journey to Desolation", from GL # 77 (Jun., 1970), the Guardians of the Universe removed the automatic-protection function from Hal Jordan's ring.  This was right after Green Lantern joined the Green Arrow in their cross-country road trip and the Little Blue Guys were still in a snit about it.


Three years later, after the GL/GA "See the U.S.A." nonsense had run its course, the Guardians restored the automatic-protection safeguard to Hal's ring, in "A Death-Threat on Titan", from The Flash # 221 (Apr.-May, 1973).


Hope this helps.


Thanks, Commander -- I should have guessed that, when you didn't reply immediately, you were researching one of your characteristically knowledgeable and thorough answers!

And thanks to the Archives, I can actually take a look at a few of these stories for myself!

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I should have guessed that . . . you were researching . . . .

Yeah, I don't look like a bonebrain quite as often when I do that. Heh.

Yeah it was Gerard Jones, but I don't have a clue as to what his name was.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Oh, right, I remember that guy! From back in the Gerard Jones days, right? Was he Dr'zzz't, or am I thinking of someone else?

Curses! You made me google it myself!

It was Driq.

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