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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JUSTICE LEAGUE # 231-232 (O-N'84) Family Crisis/Battlegrounds by Kurt Busiek and Alan Kupperberg, edited by Alan Gold.

It begins with a mysterious being trying to probe the Earth, stating that an equally mysterious Champion is trying to stop him. There's a montage of Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, Adolf Hitler, the Blackhawks and Batman.  All he knows is that there is a Justice League that could defeat him so he looks for them and finds them divided. Green Lantern has been exiled, the Phantom Stranger seems to be walking through one of Doctor Strange's dimensions and the Atom is searching for his tiny alien princess! The other JLAers are involved in the Earth/Mars War of the previous three issues so all that remains are: Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash, with Supergirl showing up as well! Flash wants to talk about his ongoing trial but suddenly three young people show up! No it's not Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog, though that might have made it more interesting.

It's actually the debuting Champion Family (sister and brother Victoria and Ian and young aunt Meredith). Their presence upsets the mystery voice terribly but the Champions teleport the JLA (plus 1) to Earth-Two where they find the legendary Justice Society battling flying monkeys and I wish I was joking!

The JSA consists of Doctor Fate, Green Lantern, Starman and Doctor Mid-Nite. After one page of exposition where a beat cop tells a small boy about parallel Earths (without emotionally scarring him), the monkeys are defeated in two pages, one of which is just the bad guy summing up the JLA/JSA rosters. He's not impressed with Doc Mid-Nite!

Suddenly an image of an older man appears, demanding their surrender and threatening a second assault on their "command post". No one seems overly concerned but they are majorly annoyed! They find the Champions and learn that they are related to Dr. Joshua Champion, an all around genius who vanished, then reappeared as an energy being, grants them undefined super-powers including teleportation, suffers from a split personality and once more vanishes! They quickly divide into two teams; one to search for Dr. Champion, the other to prevent the coming attack with malcontent Ian wanting nothing to do with any of this!

When Ian suggests that the attack may happen at the Pentagon, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Doctor Fate goes along with that and sure enough, out come an army of monsters!

More To Follow!

I bought this comic off the stand in 1984 and all I can remember about it was the conversation between the cop and the kid about Earth-1 and Earth-2.  Sorry to say that early Kurt Busiek didn't take the world by storm.

It's astounding to think that ordinary people on Earth-Two knew their world was called Earth-Two and why! Somehow the people of Earth-One were blissfully ignorant of their doppelgangers!

Kurt Busiek showed a lot in other stories but this one wasn't his best, even at this stage of his career.

This was during one of my breaks from comics (1980-1988) and so I haven't read this one yet. I've been getting the "Crisis on" TPBs but haven't waded into them yet. It's a big surprise to me that the non-super denizens of either Earth had any knowledge of the other's existence. I don't remember anyone other than heroes or villains knowing about the parallel Earths. Was this acknowledged in any earlier issues?

Philip Portelli said:

After one page of exposition where a beat cop tells a small boy about parallel Earths (without emotionally scarring him).......

Busiek was pretty inconsistent early on.  He'd go from a strong story, like the Paragon one shot, to rather weak stories, like these couple of issues.  I'm curious Philip, what did you think of the Red Tornado mini that came out around the same time?

 Incidentally, over on Formspring, Busiek mentioned that from among the early characters he created, fans tended to be quite fond of Paragon but to his knowledge the character was never used again until he brought him back for a Superman story a couple of decades later.

Was Paragon in his post-IC Superman run?  Can't remember him...

 

These two issues do look a bit like something from the back of Busiek's drawer that he wrote when a little younger and then dusted off at short notice.  It made me think of the epic superhero 'Battle of Lexington' comic that Scott McCloud talks of making with Kurt Busiek in their high school days.  Just as that sounds like, these Justice League comics are a mash-up with lots of superheroes involved, but not necessarily an intrinsic reason for these particular superheroes to be involved. 

 

I think the fact that this doesn't really have to be a Justice League/JSA story is one of the reasons it seems to be a disappointment to people here.  Of course, I've argued against intensely continuity-driven 'fixes' as story subject before, but there is a happy medium, where events unfold from the personalities, histories and inter-relationships of the characters.

 

I'll have to read it again, as not much of it 'stuck' first time around.  Only a few weeks ago.  Another bad sign...

I'm afraid that I don't have strong memories about Red Tornado #1-4 (Jl-O'85). It was in that nebulous period between the Pre- and Post-Crisis DCU. What I do recall was that it emphasized the Android Ace's artificiality and separated him from the JLA. His very-opened minded gal pal, Kathy Sutton was featured.

The art was by Carmine Infantino and it didn't even stand up to his recent Flash run. IMO, he was the wrong artist for this project.

Even worse, Reddy fought the Construct, Steve Englehart's Ultron analogue (an evil A.I. that always comes back) who revived the Whirling Wonder in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #146 (S'77) to attack the JLA!

Still, the point was to give the Tornado a new direction. However, very quickly in fact, the Red Tornado was transformed back into an Air Elemental in Justice League of America Annual #3 (N'85) and turned against humanity!

Not that I know that much about the Red Tornado! ;-)
 
Border Mutt said:

Busiek was pretty inconsistent early on.  He'd go from a strong story, like the Paragon one shot, to rather weak stories, like these couple of issues.  I'm curious Philip, what did you think of the Red Tornado mini that came out around the same time?

 Incidentally, over on Formspring, Busiek mentioned that from among the early characters he created, fans tended to be quite fond of Paragon but to his knowledge the character was never used again until he brought him back for a Superman story a couple of decades later.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #231-232 (Part Two):

While one group of heroes defend E-2's Pentagon from monsters, the other group (Superman, Flash, Starman, Doctor Mid-Nite, Victoria Winters Champion and Meredith Champion) arrive on an alien world where, after the action-packed scene where Vicky gets her lip caught in her braces (no, really!), they head for the only city on the planet, which makes searching for Dr. Champion simpler.

After a page on E-2 with Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Green Lantern, Doctor Fate and young Ian Champion whopping monster-butt, the others find the "sanctuary" of the mysterious adversary, introducing himself as Commander Adam Benson! Sorry, no, just the Commander! Who immediately hypnotizes them all including Superman! They all have a drea of their perfect worlds (Supes, a world of peace, Starman, recognition {Dude, you're an amateur astronomer, remember?}, the Flash, a world with both Iris and Fiona {Barry, you dawg!}) All except the blind Doctor Mid-Nite, who was dissed as insignificant! He frees the others with his patented Black-out bombs, they find Dr. Champion strapped to some machine and fly away only to be attacked by the suddenly insane city-dwellers!

Think about that for a minute, they are flying away, see the people begin to run amuck and suddenly land in order to get attacked!

Back on E-2, Doctor Fate casts a spell to remove the defeated monsters. This battle seemed pointless as the heroes were too powerful and never in real jeopardy.

The others return to Earth-Two unaware that they are still under the mental control of the Commander. (Except Doctor Mid-Nite, again). How do we know this? The Commander has been narrating the whole story! He's a helpful conqueror!

More to follow!

Dr Mid-nite was obviously going to save the day when they were all dissing him in part one.  What good can a blind person and an owl do?

 

He's not "Daredevil" blind, Figs. He can see in the dark and uses his infra-red lenses in the daytime.

And there's no owl in the story, either! :-P

Actually in a rare case of reality when it comes to the passage of time, there was an issue of Infinity Inc where it shows that Doc has a fourteenth pet owl named Hooty, though he still contends that the original Hooty was far more intelligent than the average owl!

Kinda like Trigger!

My question was of course, rhetorical, putting words into the mouths of the more 'superior' albeit more easily hypnotised superheroes around at the time. 

 

As for Hooty, I must have been making the story better in my mind...

Was Paragon in his post-IC Superman run?  Can't remember him...

Yup, starting in issue 674.

Even worse, Reddy fought the Construct, Steve Englehart's Ultron analogue (an evil A.I. that always comes back) 

Never having gotten into the Avengers except when Stern was writing it, I'm not all that up on Ultron, however I thought it was kind of cool that the Construct was basically the internet becoming sentient... before there was an internet.  Was that part of Ultron's schtick as well or was he just a creation of Pym?

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