Saturday, January 10, 2009

Justice League America #63 (June, 1992)

Maxwell Lord IV introduced Oberon and most of Justice League America to their new home base, a complex leased from the United Nations in New York. The starstruck Ice was too concerned about how the absent Superman felt about this move to join her teammates in being inexplicably impressed with the lame design. The exterior was a squat gray rectangle with large windows. Woo. At least Kilowog had installed numerous technological improvements.

In space, having evaded gun ships and hunter squadrons, a messenger piloted his wounded ship from Almerac to Earth. Sh'kirry, captain of Maxima's personal guard, splashed down in a hard ocean landing. Maxima was pained by his psychic signal, and in his death throes warned his queen of the conqueror who was laying waste to her world. Maxima soon announced her leave from the League and left Earth. Green Lantern Guy Gardner was hot to follow, while Booster Gold felt, "It's her planet-- not ours! Let her majesty take care of her own problems!"

Guy noted the reappearance of "that loner Breakwynd" amongst his teammates, and rebuffed Max's offer to customize his apartment space. "Please leave it empty, Mister Lord. I'd prefer to supply my own furnishings." This did nothing to diminish Blue Beetle's suspicions. "What's the big secret, Bloodwynd? Don't want to tip us off as to who you are by telling us what you need? Look, we don't know a thing about you! Where you come from, who you are-- All we know is that you can whip up some pretty good magic tricks!"

"I will tell you only that which you need to know. My life-- is my own."

The inquisition was interrupted by one of Superman's own, directed at Max. Ticked about the digs, complete with receptionist, he warned "We'll talk about this later, Lord. Believe me, we'll talk. Right now I want Maxima. I have a warrant for her arrest! ...She allegedly killed a man during her first visit to Metropolis." Superman ordered the retrieval of the downed Almeracian ship, both to follow-up on Maxima's whereabouts, and to insure no toxic contaminants were leaking from it. Bloodwynd surprised Beetle with his telepathy, and by proving familiar with the ship. "I delved into your mind that I might see what your eyes see. I am also acquainted with alien technology."

"You're trouble, Bloodwynd!"

The League learned of the threat posed to Almerac by Warworld when it was under Brainiac's control during "Panic in the Sky", which first caused Maxima to abandon her homeworld for Earth. Even after that matter was resolved, Maxima remained away, leaving an exhausted Almerac easy prey when another tyrant appeared. Superman announced, "I've heard enough. We're going to Almerac." Booster protested, and the Man of Steel took it personal with low blows like "all you've ever stood for-- is a quick buck!" Blue Beetle was also unconvinced, leaving Guy the only enthusiastic supporter of the plan, until Superman tried to boss him around, as well.

"Y'know, I'm not so sure I like your tone! Nobody ordained you to charge around here barkin' out orders! I got news for you, pal-- we do fine on our own! Maybe you're sore at Lord for buildin' this dump without gettin' your express written permission-- but the rest of us like it!" This degenerated into a spat between Guy and Ice, before Fire showed up and a Power Ring carted everyone to Almerac. Almost immediately, hostilities reignited. "This League ain't big enough for the both of us, Blue! Somebody's gotta go! Who's it gonna be, gang? Me? Or the big blue umpire over there?"

No one stood for Guy-- not even his girlfriend-- so he flew off back to Earth. The team was stranded with no clear means of return, and Superman's assumption Guy would return proved false. Gardner instead fought Hal Jordan for the right to wear a Power Ring in another book, and lost. Bloodwynd, at least, still backed Superman-- even if he was among the worst team leaders ever. Besides, the Man of Steel had a strong hunch who they were about to fight. "If I'm right, it's someone the League and I faced long ago..."

A dark-clad, lanky figure appeared behind the Justice League, grinning, with a beaten Maxima lying unconscious in his arms. "Superman, I am truly touched that you remember me! That you remember the awesome killing force of-- STARBREAKER!"

What, you don't? Then check out my synopsis of Justice League of America #96 (February, 1972) at DC Bloodlines?

Dan Jurgens continued to bring the mediocre, this time without the benefit of Jackson Guice, though Rick Burchett did nice work on the finished inks. Fire starts 4 sentences with the word "like." She, like, totally only spoke like, 13. Gag me with 31% of all lines spoken. She also changes from her awful '80s hair band groupie outfit that was several years out of date to an awful jazzercise outfit that was a decade out of date. Her perfect body language was stayin' alive like a physical flashdance. Vibe looked down from heaven, and pop-locked his approval.

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