Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Justice League of America #242 (9/85)

Aquaman: “For the past six weeks he’s lived for duty and honor. But now he knows duty and honor are not enough. A man must have love in his life... Six weeks ago, his wife left him. For six weeks he tried to bury her memory. He could not. He is determined to find her, or die in the trying.” Checks the sunken city of New Venice off the Florida coast where he used to live, but fishies redirect him to the Place of Dark Currents. There he’s reunited with Mera, and it feels so good. Reunited! Now--it’s understood! “After our son’s death... I thought, if I ever truly acknowledged that I was suffering... that it would destroy me... When I cut off the grief, I cut off the love.” Also, the “do not telepathically manipulate your charges” light.

Zatanna: Left under a rock. No, not figuratively, but I can see how you might take it that way. No, she was literally beaten by Amazo’s use of invisibility, heat vision and super-speed, tied up, dumped in a pit, and covered by a boulder. Oh, and foiled by her one weakness, a gag. You thought fire was lame...

Steel: Same as above, but with elasticity, super-strength, and especially the Canary Cry.

Vibe, Vixen: As above, but just plain beat.

Gypsy: Fended off attacking grizzly bear with her powers of illusion, seeing as it could still smell through her invisibility.

Elongated Man: The master detective failed to notice the above, but was on hand to help Gypsy fall to Amazo.

Dale Gunn: Woke up before J’Onn, complaining of a ringing in his ears and a feeling of helplessness that was worse than his time in ‘Nam. “J’Onzz... you don’t look too good, Big Green.” Dale helped J’Onn to a nearby watering hole, where the Martian uttered Golden Turkey dialogue, “Dale... Water... So much water...Water. Drink. So much water, so rich a land." I still can't figure whether Gerry was writing Hulk or Super Chief there, but I digress. While his team was buried alive in a big ol' hole, J'Onn flew off with Dale in search of the Fortress of Solitude. Dale questioned the move, but J’Onn brushed his concerns aside. “Have no fear for them, Dale Gunn. My orders were clear—they will not engage Amazo in combat, without first consulting me,” who was absentee and incommunicado. Ouch.

Martian Manhunter: Steel ignored Manhunter’s order not to engage Amazo, as the android was in the midst of clobbering Steel and Gypsy. Zatanna held back, followed orders, and tried to contact J’Onn, who was still sleeping off the effects of his attack. So who was in the right, Steel or Zee? There was a half-assed explanation in that J’Onn’s signal ring was busted, but Dale’s worked fine, and scouting the area (especially with night having fallen) should have been first priority. Let's just say J'Onn's not a natural leader, or else he was pulling his “tough love” shtick, and move on. If not, I’m bound to make a pun about J’Onn being green in his role. Oh, dag.

Introduced this issue: Martian Manhunter’s leadership ineptitude. No wait, that was last issue. It was introduced that the signal rings aren’t a good idea, but we knew that already, as well.

The Creators: Gerry Conway & George Tuska w/Mike Machlan.

J’Onn J’Onzz’s Nicknames of the Issue: “J.J.” –Dale Gunn
“Big Green.” Dale & Vibe.

Most Embarrassing Vibe Quote of the Issue: While tripping and falling down a slope, “S-serious? AHH-KHEWW! I’ll tell you serious, señora! KHEWWWW! I jus’ figured out... I got... ahahaaa--ahhh----KHEEWWWW----hayfever!”


Luke said...

So who was in the right, Steel or Zee?

I'd have to say Steel; J'Onn may be new to the position but not new to the game, and he's had literally hundreds more adventures under his belt than Steel, who should have followed Big Green's orders. But of course, this is Steel, all filled with rage and angst and, uhm, circuitry.

Who was writing Legion of Superheroes at this point? Because it seems like DC had some serious "Auteur Theory" going on with it's team books. Conway on JLoA, Barr on Outsiders, and Wolfman over on NTT. They really let them run with their respective balls (some runs, ahem, longer than others).

J'Onn had a good appearance in the first of Dixon's BATO, but it doesn't surprise me that he's leaving soon -- DC pretty much said that already, and if Dixon confirmed it then that's that. Still, I think he might be replaced with Geo-Force, so it's not all bad. No, the bad comes from Batgirl (ugh) and Green Arrow (UGH!) joining the team. At least Catwoman (who took an impressive two pages before irritating me) is shipping off as well.

Luke said...

Err. I mean, Zee was in the right. Steel was in the wrong. Doh!

Diabolu Frank said...

I'd actually side with Steel in this instance.

Paul Levitz was on "Legion," so the theory is sound. Does that make Conway "Michael Cimino" and Wolfman "Coppola?"

As I think I noted before, I was looking forward to the tension of a long-term partnership between Batman and Catwoman, but it was not to be. I've got a problem with Ollie, but he was in JLElite, which had pretty much the exact same m.o. No problem with Batgirl at all, as she fits in not only this type of team, but their specific circumstances. Cassandra Cain deserves another shot.

Luke said...

I was looking forward to the tension of a long-term partnership between Batman and Catwoman

I can see the appeal of that, even though its not necessarily something I would be interested in just given my tastes.

Ollie, ehhh, I keep waffling on him. He's a good character, excellent at rousing the rabble, but I find that he tends to hog a spotlight. Like everyone has to look at him when he is talking. Batgirl I know nothing about. I'm mostly groaning because of another Bat-person on the Outsiders, heh.

But if Geo-Force takes J'Onn's place, that's a win-lose for me. I like Geo-Force, and think he should be an Outsider, but I was excited about how Bedard had set up the notion of MM working outside the lines. And he seems to have calmed down a bit from his miniseries!

ANYWAY. You'd side with Steel, hmm? Being more proactive and seeking out a known threat rather than hanging back? Interesting. With his lack of experience, it doesn't surprise me that J'Onn would have Steel not engage a powerful enemy like Amazo, but sometimes there is an imminent danger. Hmm.

Diabolu Frank said...

Not in general, but in this specific case, I think Steel was in the right. The team was essentially abandoned by their leader, making Steel the Cpl. Hicks to Zatanna's Lt. Gorman when the Aliens start dropping from the walls. Or maybe more like that buddy of Vasquez's who gets nailed by the spray of acid blood, seeing as Steel ended up in a hole regardless of his actions.

I've never liked Geo-Force, so it's a win for me that I can take my $3 and buy JLA: Classified instead. Cassandra Cain is a great character who, even when "turned evil," was believably redeemed by a few lines typed into Geoff Johns' Titans scripts. I really wish that girl well, and I expect Dixon will do right by her. Y'know, this is the second time Chuck's picked up a half-Asian top 5 world class martial artist character created by Kelley Puckett. Weirdness, but he should run with it.

Adama said...

So I've been reading this blog ever since I saw your posts over at Luke's bunker, and have finally decided to comment.

I'm going to have to side with Zee here as well. Steel had no clue what he was up against, and the more experienced leaguers did. "Hey, Steel, you may be partially made of metal and superstrong, but that dude has all the powers of the big 7, at least, back the hell off!"

As for Ollie in the Outsiders...We all know I love 'im, but Ollie works better solo or with a close family group. I agree with Luke here, he's a little too showy and bombastic to work well in an Outsiders "lay low" type team.

Diabolu Frank said...

My feeling is that the blog itself is J'Onn J'Onzz's domain, for whom I am sometimes advocate, sometimes critic. My feeling is that the Comment section belongs to whomever bothers to visit J'Onn J'Onzz's domain, myself included, so the conversation can go where it may (within reason.) I think, especially in light of Manhunter being a sorta/kinda Outsider (JLAnalogue see:Phantom Stranger, Adam Strange) that the team is fair game.

Adama, part of the fun of having Ollie on any superteam is waiting for him to flame out. He's one of the few fan-favorite spoilers, but that is his role exactly. As much as I would have liked to have seen Ollie in the Detroit League, the only way it would have worked is for him to become the hipster doofus trying to roll with the kids against "The aquaMAN," wherein he'd have slipped into parody. The Outsiders always bugged me in part because, especially with someone like Black Lightning on board, they were far less social crusaders than, say, the Titans. That never made sense to me, and maybe Ollie can help serve that role (though doubtful under Dixon.)

I've always wanted to like Katana, but she's always struck as just so damned lame I can't summon interest, much less affection. Meanwhile, working with Ollie makes a Cassandra Cain/Connor Hawke coupling possible, and that would be such coolness my nose and toes might need to be amputated.