Thursday, December 10, 2009

JLA Classified #19 (Late May 2006)

The first six members of General Dvory Tuzik's mind-controlled Hypothetical Army, created from a resurrected dissident group, spread the Conqueror Strain through China. Their members included:
  • Soldat: Former rebel leader Erich Cross, turned into the ultimate soldier, who could manifest energy blades capable of cutting through anything.
  • Marieke: Cross' former lover, turned cold-blooded water elemental.
  • Dybbuk: Mischievous manipulator of matter.
  • Velocista: A super-speedster who left razor shards of frozen Speed Force energy in her wake.
  • Ghost Lion: Who could create ectoplasmic manifestations of the subjects of fairy tales he would relate.
  • Jin Si: Mistress of martial arts.

Meanwhile, in Three Sisters, Oregon, the Manhunter from Mars condensed his mass to microscopic size and embarked on a fantastic voyage into the body of a Conqueror Strain carrier. For those keeping score, this is the second time the Martian Marvel has replicated the powers of an absent Leaguer in this arc, now subbing for the Atom.

"Starro, conqueror of worlds... we need to talk... Creature... I am not here to fight. I wish to know who it is who has imposed his will upon you. Who is using you, Starro? What has made you their slave? ...I open my mind to you, regardless of the consequences... It's trying... It's adapting. Virus-like, it's attempting to mutate. It wants to be heard. It shouts." Eventually, through a wave of information, J'Onzz gleaned the key term, "'General.' He said, "general.'" Before departing the carrier, the Manhunter made his position clear, emphasized through fangs, "One last thing, creature. I won't see another world die. Our truce ends once I leave this body. And the League goes back to being your species' only natural predator."

The League thought the general could be Zod, or the Shaggy Man that was once Wade Eiling, but Batman knew better. "Tuzik." The Dark Knight Detective determined that most of their foes target Superman first, not Flash or Wonder Woman. "Of all of us, you were the two who put your hands on him." Placed in a politically awkward position, Superman petitioned the deaf ears of a Chinese official, while Wonder Woman challenged the entire Starro-infected army to battle. Other Leaguers followed her lead, to their peril. The Hypothetical Army made the scene, and though Soldat was struggling against his mind control, still ordered his team to kill the JLA.

"The Politics of Heaven" was scripted by Gail Simone, penciled by José Luis García-López, and inked by Sean Phillips. Continuing a trend from the previous installment, the emphasis on the Hypothetical Army gives the strong feeling of a "backdoor pilot." Sean Phillips maintained the incongruously raw inking over the usually smooth García-López that had begun under Klaus Janson, but did so in a more subtle fashion. Not my favorite way to handle the art chores, but at least it was a more palatable course.


LissBirds said...

That is one lovely panel.

I didn't know miniaturizing was also one of J'onn's powers. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

Diabolu Frank said...

Very uncommonly used power that I'm not fond of, dating back to the Silver Age, and rarely seen since.

mathematicscore said...

I would explain it as not actually shrinking, but him taking his remaining mass and making it intangible and invisible. I would do something similiar in a pipedream Superman/JLA Braniac bottled city collection sequence idea.