Penciller: Joe Staton
Inker: Ian Gibson
Cover: Above the logo on the left is Hawkman; on the right is Captain Atom.
The central yellow and blue figure is the Highmaster of the Manhunters whom we met in the previous issue; left to right above his arms are Dr Fate; Green Lantern (GL) Hal Jordan; and Martian Manhunter. Left to right below his arms are Hawkgirl; GL Driq; GL Arisia; Firestorm; Superman; GL Katma Tui; and Harbinger.
In the foreground are the Chosen: Floronic Man; Janwillem Kroef; Celia Windward; Gregorio de la Vega; Tom Kalmaku; Takeo Yakata; Xiang Po; and Betty Clawman.
Page 1: These are the same heroes we’ve just seen on the cover, but that’s life. At the front is Superman, and juse over his shoulder is GL Hal Jordan. The rest I’ll do left to right: Dr Fate; GL Arisia; Martian Manhunter; Firestorm; Captain Atom; GL Katma Tui; GL Driq; Hawkman; Harbinger; and Hawkgirl.
Page 2 – Panel 1: Orinda, the Manhunters’ home world, exploded in the Crossovers Week 5 issues of FIRESTORM #68 and JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #10; the Highmaster of the Manhunters escaped in JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #10.
Page 2 – Panel 3: The Highmaster abandons his escape attempt and attacks the heroes.
Page 3 – Panel 3: Here’s a better look at the Highmaster. The “fruit” he refers to is likely the new Manhunters he was creating in JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #10 that Superman destroyed, as well as the heroes on Earth spoiling his plans.
Page 4 – Panel 1: The debris the Lanterns are using is that of Orinda itself.
Page 4 – Panel 3: However, the Highmaster is able to reverse the Lanterns’ plan and send the remains of Orinda back to them.
Page 5 – Panel 1: It’s just Superman and the Martian Manhunter against the Highmaster now.
Page 5 – Panel 3: While he knows he and the Martian Manhunter may die, Superman thinks “the Chosen are worth any price!”
Page 6 – Panel 1: The Highmaster’s assault has left Superman and Martian Manhunter stunned.
Page 6 – Panel 2: Though the art makes it look like the Highmaster is shrinking, he’s actually teleporting.
Page 6 – Panel 3: While the other heroes think they’ve lost the Highmaster, Dr Fate has a plan. He telepathically contacts the previous Dr Fate – Nabu, the ancient Egyptian wizard and/or Lord of Order, and his human host, Kent Nelson. At this point, Dr Fate is actually a combination of Eric Strauss and his step-mother Linda Strauss. And you thought Hawkman’s continuity was complicated.
Page 6 – Panel 4: This is Kent Nelson’s body, currently inhabited by the spirit of Nabu. As he says, this Dr Fate has only recently taken on the role and isn’t as powerful as he will be. Due to that, Nabu can’t give Fate the advice he needs.
Page 6 – Panel 5: So Dr Fate says “To Hell with it!” and takes a risk casting a spell . . .
Page 7 – Panel 1: . . . that really doesn’t work out so well.
Page 7 – Panel 3: Fate realises that he must capture the life essences of the heroes and implant them into just two of the group.
Page 7 – Panel 5: Both Katma Tui and Arisia nominate Hal Jordan – at this point in time, Jordan was always considered to be the best Green Lantern ever. Of course, this was before he went mad and killed a ton of Lanterns . . .
Page 7 – Panels 5 and 6: Firestorm and Captain Atom nominate Superman because . . . well, he’s Superman.
Page 8 – Panel 1: Dr Fate puts the life essences of the heroes into Hal and Superman, leaving the rest of the team comatose.
Page 8 – Panels 2 and 3: Superman claims saving the Guardians is the reason they came here – when it clearly isn’t. They came to destroy the Manhunter home world and ended up in this dimension because Dr Fate cast the wrong spell.
Page 8 – Panel 4: Back with the Chosen on Earth whom we last saw in the previous issue. Laying on the ground, left to right, are Floronic Man (toward the back of the scene); Celia Windward; Gregorio de la Vega; Tom Kalmaku; Betty Clawman; Takeo Yakata; Xiang Po; and Janwillem Kroef. Watching over them are Nadia Safir and Herupa Hando Hu. The Chosen are apparently seeing “visions of the unity permeating the universe” which will “shape them and all the universe for a millennium!”
Page 9: Clockwise from the top: Celia’s vision appears to be the embodiment of space, a jet black figure; Janwillem sees himself as leading a white power rally; Takeo oversees an ordered company of workers; Gregorio is either coming apart or connected to a web of colour.
Page 10: Clockwise from the top: Tom sees himself amongst the Green Lantern Corps at the Central Power Battery; Xiang has a vision of a dragon; Betty is all alone in the outback; Floronic Man is, presumably, at one with the Green.
Page 11 – Panel 1: You’d think with him experiencing a power fantasy, Janwillem would be happy, but he’s clearly in distress here.
Page 11 – Panel 2: Nadia says what we’ve all been thinking since they introduced Janwillem – he’s clearly going to be the bad guy.
Page 11 – Panel 3: Working from the front of the panel back, we have Wonder Woman, Batman, GL Guy Gardner, and climbing on the spaceship, Blue Beetle.
Page 11 – Panel 4: Wonder Woman mentions disappearing and the god, Pan, who was discovered to be a Manhunter. This happened in WONDER WOMAN #13 and is covered in Crossovers Week 5.
Page 11 – Panel 5: Man, Batman’s a jerk at times.
Page 11 – Panel 6: The Outsiders disbanded in THE OUTSIDERS #28, again covered in Crossovers Week 5. Booster Gold, a member of Justice League International, sided with the Manhunters in BOOSTER GOLD #24 in Crossovers Week 3, and has been working with them ever since.
Page 12 – Panel 1: As mentioned earlier in these notes, Wonder Woman at this point hasn’t long been active in “man’s world” and hasn’t had that much interaction with them.
Page 12 – Panels 3 and 4: Gardner and Batman head to Booster’s home.
Page 12 – Panel 5: The main reason Booster joined the Manhunters, as seen in BOOSTER GOLD #24, is because his agent Dirk Davis, himself a Manhunter agent, had embezzled all of Booster’s money, leaving him broke.
Page 13 – Panel 2: Gardner is convinced that Booster is playing at being a Manhunter agent and that, in reality, he’s still on the side of the heroes.
Page 13 – Panel 3: Booster shows Guy that he’s wrong.
Page 13 – Panel 4: But Guy still won’t believe him.
Page 14 – Panel 1: It’s a little unusual, Booster referring to Guy as “Green Lantern” as they’ve been JLI team-mates for a while now.
Page 14 – Panels 2 and 3: Booster absorbs Guy’s blast and expels it, knocking the other heroes off their feel and allowing him to escape.
Page 14 – Panel 5: As has been mentioned previously, Guy’s gentle outlook at this time is due to repeated blows on the head; it would be some months before her returned to his normal self.
Page 15 – Panel 1: Back with the Chosen once more, as they wake from their visions.
Page 15 – Panel 3: Herupa mentions Salima – this is Salima Baranizar who was killed by an angry mob (which the Manhunters later claimed responsibility for) in BLUE BEETLE #20, covered in Crossovers Week 2. Both Nadia and Herupa are looking a lot older than they have been.
Page 15 – Panel 4: Nadia says Floronic Man is better than their first choice, Terra, who had died prior to the events of MILLENNIUM. While Nadia expresses doubts about the Floronic Man, despite her vote of confidence moments earlier, Herupa admits to having more concerns over . . .
Page 15 – Panel 6: Tom is greeted by, left to right, his son Keith, his wife Tegra, and his daughter Kari.
Page 16 – Panel 1: Keith asks if his dad has taken “anything… ‘funny’?”
Page 16 – Panel 2: And follows up with “You’re supposed to just say ‘no’, dad!” This ties in with the Just Say No campaign to prevent kids getting into drugs. Ironically, it was spearheaded by Nancy Reagan who, we found out in earlier issues, is a Manhunter agent.
Page 16 – Panel 4: Gregorio somehow knows that there is more work to do against the Manhunters.
Page 16 – Panel 6: Where the other Chosen all appear to have come away with something positive from their experience, Janwillem has done the opposite.
Page 17 – Panel 1: Ever the isolationist, Janwillem is convinced that the work of Nadia and Herupa will cause chaos throughout the world and insists that it is stopped. The “concept of eight” that Nadia mentions is part of the teaching.
Page 17 – Panel 2: Janwillem threatens to leave . . .
Page 17 – Panel 3: . . . and Nadia calls his bluff.
Page 17 – Panel 4: And Janwillem heads off, promising some form of revenge.
Page 17 – Panel 5: Xiang reminds Takeo that they’re working for the entire human race and shouldn’t give in to the hatred of Janwillem’s kind.
Page 17 – Panel 6: As GL John Stewart arrives, Janwillem is just leaving . . .
Page 18 – Panel 1: And is more than happy to help send him and his bigotry on his way.
Page 18 – Panel 2: And with a vow of vengeance, Janwillem sets himself up to be the villain of the Chosen.
Page 18 – Panels 3 and 4: The Floronic Man sneaks away from the Chosen once more.
Page 18 – Panel 5: And he meets with his punk-haired Manhunter contact that we last saw him speaking with in issue #4.
Page 18 – Panel 6: The “uplink in the swamp” is a reference to the Manhunter temple in the Louisiana bayou that was destroyed in various issues shown in Crossover Week 4. It is also revealed that many of the people who have been blackmailed into working with the Manhunters no longer fear them and have left.
Page 19 – Panel 1: The Manhunter agent tells Floronic Man to assassinate one of the Chosen.
Page 19 – Panels 2 and 3: But Floronic Man’s perception has changed thanks to the teaching and the vision he had.
Page 19 – Panel 4: The agent realises something’s not right but before he can act . . .
Page 19 – Panel 5: . . . Floronic Man sinks into the earth . . .
Page 20 – Panel 2: . . . and uses his plant powers to take hold of the Manhunter agent.
Page 20 – Panels 3 and 4: It’s not completely clear what happens here; either Floronic Man drags the punk into the ground and then pops him back up closer to the citadel and the heroes; or he simply moves him across the surface of the ground. Either way, Floronic Man delivers the Manhunter agent to the heroes. In the bottom right are Jade and Skyman of Infinity Inc.
Page 21 – Panel 1: The heroes take hold of the agent and take him to the citadel; in the background, just to the left of Celia’s head, is Guy Gardner who’s clearly returned from Booster Gold’s house, while to the right of her head is Obsidian.
Page 21 – Panel 2: To the right of Jade are Batman, Nuklon and Black Canary.
Page 21 – Panels 3 to 5: Batman threatens to kill the agent if he doesn’t tell them where the remaining Manhunters are. I’d have expected Batman to start small – break bones, remove digits, that sort of thing before threatening to kill him.
Page 21 – Panel 6: A few more heroes have joined the scene. At the back, behind Skyman, are Aqualad and Aquaman; Blue Beetle in the centre; Kilowog and Mr Miracle at the back on the steps.
Aquaman’s line about Batman “striking terror in criminal hearts” is a riff on Batman’s very first origin story as shown in DETECTIVE COMICS #33 from 1939.
Page 22 – Panel 1: We last saw Beetle and his suspicions about the saucer at the end of the previous issue; the drone attack he mentions happened in JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #10 and was covered in Crossovers Week 5. He and the others have determined that the saucer came from within the Earth as opposed to outer space.
Page 22 – Panel 2: No need to torture the punk after all as his expression gives away the fact that the heroes are correct.
Page 22 – Panel 4: And so the heroes decide to head into the centre of the Earth to finally finish off the Manhunters once and for all.
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