Random Retrospective #4 – JLA #42

Time for the JLA to go all Fantastic Voyage as they shrink down to microscopic levels and journey to a young boy’s brain where the Atom has discovered that what appeared to be a tumour to the outside world is actually a fully functioning civilisation complete with a city and technology. And that’s the problem – the city’s power plant is producing waste materials that are polluting their world (the kid’s brain) and going to lead to its destruction.

It’s hardly surprising, but the natives don’t readily believe the warnings from the JLA – with the exception of one scientist who’s been trying to convince the ruling council for years that this would happen – and they decide to imprison the heroes, a task made easier when the JLA find their powers no longer work.

The scientist manages to break Superman out of his interrogation chamber and the pair of them free the rest of the JLA just as the scientist’s supporters attack the power plant, the fighting causing a massive explosion. In the outside world, this would be seen as the tumour’s chemistry changing and the automated laser surgical device would kick in, destroying the civilisation.

The JLA do what they do best and save as many of the creatures as they can, while the scientist confers with his partner in an attempt to save their offspring:

With the surgical laser firing, Superman stays behind as long as he could to witness the destruction of the world and sees the escape pod make it’s way out of the burning city.

JLA #42 is a nice done in one from guest writer Dan Curtis Johnson, though it’s a little depressing to read an allegorical story from 20 years ago about people’s technology destroying the world and them stubbornly ignoring the evidence, when we take a look at the world around us today. It’s almost as though no-one has learned anything since the year 2000 . . .

5 thoughts on “Random Retrospective #4 – JLA #42

    1. Looking in my database, he contributed to a lot of Secret Files & Origins in the late 90s and early 00s, but doesn’t look to have had anything ongoing, at least not that I picked up at the time.


  1. Oh man, you’re not lying! Depressing, but also a nice break before Mark Waid’s fun run starts.
    The thing that not a lot of people stop and think about, just like I didn’t until just now, is that eventually someone’s going to notice unusual activity inside the boy’s liver and the whole thing will repeat itself as far as the doctor’s trying to get rid of that foreign body. But hey, you could get a nice twist on the old superhero shares body with regular human troupe this way too.


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