Sunday, January 11, 2009

Justice League #4 (8/87)

Batman was upset by how Maxwell Lord IV had breached the League's headquarters with Booster Gold in tow, as well as replicating their signal devices, and representing the team without their authorization. Mr. Miracle was tasked with installing a new security system, but the Manhunter from Mars insisted, "Our security system isn't the issue. Maxwell Lord is the issue. A very disturbing issue." Batman emphasized, "The Manhunter is right. There's more to our millionaire entrepreneur than meets the eye-- and we'd better get to the truth if this League is to continue."

Lord was sequestered with Booster Gold and Doctor Light II (Kimiyo Hoshi,) both of whom he'd duped into believing were members of the new Justice League. Kimiyo expressed her disdain. "You're very smug, Mr. Lord. You're also a fraud and a liar... I QUIT!!!" The League confronted the remaining pair, and feeling Max was "begging" for him to be let on the team, a prideful Booster Gold also walked... just not very far.

While speaking with the media waiting outside, another security breach occurred, attracting Booster Gold to the culprit Royal Flush Gang. Cameras were catching their conflict outside the headquarters, so Batman decided the team should just observe for now. The Martian Manhunter felt it would be a better choice with one less audience member...

"If you'll follow me, Mr. Lord...?"
"But, I want to--"
"This is not for your eyes."
"Don't provoke me, Mr. Lord."
"I wouldn't dream of it."

Booster Gold managed to bring down most of the Royal Flush Gang, and was literally applauded by the Justice League. Batman even cracked a smile.Then an extraordinarily powerful robotic Ace (in the hole) appeared. "Manhunter-- you and Captain Marvel are our first wave!"

"I don't think Captain Marvel will be needed, Batman. I can-- YARRGH!"

Ace's mechanical voice spoke as a flame thrower was unsheathed from within its forearm: "Fire. The one earthly element that can terminate a Martian." Manhunter was swept away by an eruption that engulfed his head and torso, though Captain Marvel immediately placed himself in the line of fire. Ace had capabilities that exploited the League's vulnerabilities, so that none fared well before it. Immolating itself like an inhuman torch, Ace claimed, "It is child's play to defeat you, just as it will be child's play-- to incinerate you all!"

Since Ace was clearly programmed to address the League's powers, it would take a non-member to handle him. The first ever teaming of the Blue (Beetle) and the Gold finally folded Ace, prompting much excitation for Booster. "Did you see that, world?! Did you see what Booster Gold and the Justice League did?!"

The recovered Manhunter joked, "He'd be a fine addition to the team, Batman-- if only he wasn't so lacking in energy and enthusiasm." The Dark Knight concurred, and welcomed the young hero back into HQ as their newest team member. Still, the place was hard won, as Gold discussed with the Martian.

"...Oh, man-- I'm aching all over."
"And every ache was earned, Mr. Gold."
"Call me Booster-- and thanks!"

Back to Justice League #3 (July 1987)

Forward to Justice League Annual #1 (1987)

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