Thursday, July 16, 2009

Justice League International #7 (11/1987)

Green Lantern Guy Gardner finally woke up from Batman's punch, only to bonk himself out again against a desk.

Dr. Fate teleported the Gray Man to a meeting with the Lords of Order, who reduced the villain to ash. Fate returned to Earth, and everything was restored to its normal stare. Dr. Fate had "questions to ponder," and declined regular group membership henceforth. Fate disappeared out of the book, to be replaced by another in his role during a solo mini-series. Fate's spot on the team would not be filled by the Creeper though, as he scurried off. Everyone else piled into Blue Beetle's Bug craft to return home.

J'Onn J'Onzz was unaware of the preceding when he arrived to meet with Maxwell Lord IV at the United Nations. "My teammates are missing... Captain Marvel is recovering from injuries... and I am not in a good mood... The events you've set in motion have forced me to come here, Max. I didn't particularly want to." For Lord's sake, some good needed to come of his manipulations, and Max assured it was forthcoming.

In a U.N. hallway, a security guard asked if the Manhunter was really from Mars, and when confirmed he said under his breath, "Yeah. Sure. An' my uncle Abe's a Vulcan!"

"This is big, J'Onn. Really big."
"I've been fully briefed..."
"The League could benefit greatly from this, J'Onn."
"I was thinking more of the benefits to the world."
"Well, that goes without saying--"
"Does it?"
"Step right in. My own private office. Impressive, huh?"
"Not especially."
"That's what I value about you, J'Onn. Your honesty. Now, just sit down... relax. Can I get you a drink?"
"A magazine?"
"Can we get on with this, please?"
Just as soon as Lord's surprise associate arrived-- teammate Mr. Miracle's longtime confidant Oberon. Speaking of whom, he and Miracle had come to the decision to join the Justice League without consulting the Mrs., and Big Barda wasn't at all happy about it...

Max Lord and Oberon spent time working on J'Onn J'Onzz to get his support for a proposal to the United Nations. Max claimed the success of the new League was just as important to him as to J'Onn. "It can never be as important to you as it is to me. The League, in all its forms, has been my life since I first came to this planet. It's virtually impossible for me to separate myself from it. Which is why I don't intend-- to let you damage us..." Oberon stepped in with assurances, and Manhunter could certainly see the benefits in their goal. So could Superman, who endorsed the proposal to then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

Meanwhile, Captain Marvel rejoined his team at their headquarters, only to find Green Lantern Hal Jordan had stopped by to lecture Guy Gardner about shaping up his act before the upcoming changes, and everyone was shocked when Guy heartily agreed. Guy's suddenly, exceedingly pleasant demeanor unnerved everyone.

The news finally reached a hostile media that the League was seeking international sanction for their activities through the U.N. In the face of criticism, odds were against the measure passing. A mysterious computer program found this unacceptable, and launched an attack from a satellite in Earth orbit. The League's monitors sounded a klaxon, with Captain Marvel hoping he would finally get to fend off an alien invasion. "Maybe it's little green men from Mars! Actually, J'Onn's from Mars-- and he's pretty big!" Reports showed the satellite was "spreading two mile wide heat-based beam across Indian Ocean." At the notice, Martian Manhunter left his meeting with Maxwell Lord, who found the timing of the incident questionable. "No. It couldn't. It wouldn't... Would it? It did. How come I'm always the last one to find out about this stuff?"

The beam was causing natural disasters, and was just hours away from hitting its first nuclear base on its current path. S.T.A.R. Labs managed to trace the satellite, and determine it was not of earthly origin. Batman asked, "What about Mars?" A negative from J'Onn.

S.T.A.R. was equipped to launch the team in a space shuttle within the half hour, but weapons systems modified by Mr. Miracle failed to put a dint in the satellite. A spacewalk was ordered for the super-heroes, during which Manhunter stated, "I assume you have some plan of attack, Batman?"
"Of course-- I just haven't figured out what it is yet."

The satellite launched defenses that threatened to massacre the League, but Manhunter seized one of the barrage of projectiles. "I believe I can deal with that problem-- like-- this!" As the Martian Marvel hurled the missile into a launch bay, Blue Beetle was concerned another volley was forthcoming. "Don't worry, Beetle-- it won't be launching anything ever again!"

Curiously, the remaining missiles failed to target Batman as he made his way to a television camera on the satellite. While studying it, the Dark Knight Detective was electrocuted, yet conveniently was mostly unharmed. Footage from the affair was being beamed back to networks across the globe. Mr Miracle began to add up the facts, and realized aspects of the satellite's design were very familiar, allowing him to disarm it without the slightest injury. Having flown directly into the heat beam, however, caused his fellows to assume he "sacrificed his life in the bargain. Rest well, Mr. Miracle-- you shall not be forgotten." Premature on J'Onn's part, that. The device was, after all, based on a model from New Genesis created to safely train warriors...

"Mr. Lord and Mr. J'Onzz" again met with the U.N., and with the public endeared to the new League, Max's resolution passing was all but assured. The only strings were the United State's insistence Captain Atom join the team, with the U.S.S.R. pushing for Rocket Red #7. Martian Manhunter favored the change in the League's status, but had questions about the satellite he suspected Max could answer. "You're a telepath, J'Onn. Read my mind and you'll see that I don't know any more than you do..."

After much debate and more positive reinforcement from Superman, the U.N. agreed to authorize the Justice League as a "sanctioned international peace-keeping force-- operating virtually as an independent 'city state'-- with embassies across the globe." Batman protested, while Black Canary argued the Caped Crusader was mostly alone in his paranoia and resistance, and shouldn't speak for his fellows. "Although I wouldn't use such harsh language," Manhunter confessed, "I'm in agreement with Canary. This is a good idea."
"Right. As official U.N. liaison, you would agree..."
"That was uncalled for."
"You're right, J'Onn. And I apologize."

With Dr. Fate having resigned and massive changes afoot, Captain Marvel felt this was the time to plead out of the group due to inexperience. With a pat on the shoulder, J'Onn J'Onzz assured, "We understand, Captain. And when you decide that you're ready to come back-- there will always be a place for you among us." Batman then resigned as team leader. "Too high profile. You should know by now that I prefer the shadows. Just as I know that the one person qualified to command the international League is the only one of us who really sees this planet as a unified whole-- and that's you, J'Onn."

The new team was then ushered out to meet their public at the United Nations. Martian Manhunter. The Batman. Black Canary. Booster Gold. Mr. Miracle. Blue Beetle. Guy Gardner. Rocket Red #7. Captain Atom... Oberon, Maxwell Lord, and Captain Marvel looked on...

Once upon a time-- there was the Justice League of America. But that was another era, when the world could afford borders and boundaries, when heroes could claim national loyalties and feel justified in their claims. But in today's world there's no room for borders and boundaries. The walls between nations have to fall if our planet is to survive. So, for the new era-- a new League:
By Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire and Al Gordon.

Back to Justice League #6 (10/1987)

Forward to Justice League International #8 (12/87)

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