Friday, April 10, 2009

JLA/Haven: Arrival (2001)

"Lamont, California. Population: 12,412. 2:43 A.M." The tip of a space-faring vessel the size of a major metropolis began its crash landing on Earth. "Adjusted Population: Zero." The situation was little better aboard the vessel itself, as buildings crumbled, and its heroes were crushed in its wake.

En route to the scene, the Flash telepathically asked Manhunter how something so massive could come out of nowhere with no one wise to it. "Evidently it dropped out of warp space just before it entered Earth's atmosphere." Wally West snorted "What-ever... Are we some kind of interstellar tourist trap?"
"Not to my knowledge."
"Well, you would know."

Martian Manhunter confirmed the evacuation of the nearby Wasco (15,031 strong) by Flash and a pair of alien heroes. After a failed attempt to steal all the speed from the collapsing star-craft, Flash was rescued by another hero of this extraterrestrial Broken City, though not without personal cost to the being.

At The Pentagon, President Lex Luthor received a debriefing from General Norville. "Our observation of the ship since it began its crash reveals a city-like structure within. We estimate the on-board casualties in the hundreds of thousands." In a fun twist, the older white male butch general argued for helping the aliens, while a lean bespectacled black woman named Nicole Stein pushed to nuke the ship.
"This is obviously a planned invasion gone wrong..."
"Invasion? What kind of invasion fleet has children involved in it?"
"The long-term kind... We know absolutely nothing about these aliens. Better safe than sorry."
"My God, you're cold-hearted, Stein! There are babies on board!"
"Since when has that stopped us?"
Luthor choose to offer humanitarian aid through Norville's troops, but reassigned Stein to the post of Ambassador to Extraterrestrial Interests. "Congratulations."

Martian Manhunter carried a Plastic Man "basket" full of human citizens escaping more towns in the collapsing space-city's path, later morphing his own arms into tentacle-like forms to catch falling debris. In the midst of this process, Manhunter contacted Green Lantern Kyle Rayner to learn the status of his attempts at saving faltering buildings. Rayner was hampered by a massive sinkhole opening up, until he was aided by a trio of new alien super-heroes. "You three are going to need costumes, a secret clubhouse, and code names. For your information, Green Lantern is taken. J'Onn?"
"Kyle, where are you?"
"Almost there. Tell me, have you noticed anything a little strange about the crash victims? Like they can control energy and reality and stuff?"

By this point, J'Onzz had mentally contacted the military, learning they had evacuated yet another town themselves. Superman queried, "Any luck in communicating with our visitors?" Manhunter replied, "None. The language is foreign, even to me. I am feeling their fear and panic, though... If we can contact some of the authorities on the ship, perhaps we can develop a course of action." Wonder Woman asked, "J'Onn, can your telepathy do anything about understanding these people?" Picturing a pale-skinned, heavily pierced alien woman with pink "Bozo the Clown" hair, he answered, "Possibly. I may be able to learn their language easily-- but I need someone who can give me that information quickly... another telepath. I have felt an extremely open mind on the ship, someone who shares my talents... I shall try to guide them to us." Manhunter located this woman, and found her to be a telekinetic, as well. They paired off to save innocents from falling rubble.

The scientist most responsible for the Broken City's continued survival was the green-skinned and tattooed Siv. Through his cybernetic eyes and energy emitting nanites, he managed to activate reverse boosters before the city-ship fell into the sea. The task wasn't quite accomplished, so the boosters were aided by Superman and Wonder Woman pushing the ship from one side, and Green Lantern with Valadin (a bald Caucasoid with purple tattoos across his eyes and head) on the other. The final nudge that kept the Haven on dry land was buttressing an end against the Coast City Memorial. Alien criminals escaped confinement during the disaster, and upon finding Valadin seemingly vulnerable, a band of them demanded of the JLA in their foreign tongue "Back off, weirdos... this hero's ours!"

By Ashley-Jayne Nicolaus & Matthew P. Schuster with art by Ariel Olivetti.

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