Random Retrospective #39 – Justice League #2

Ah, the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire League from the late 80s, fresh out of the gate from the end of the old JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA title which ended somewhat ignominiously after the failed experiment that was Justice League Detroit (which I still like, as I’ve said before) and this version which grew from the largely clumsy LEGENDS crossover event. Here, the team is still brand new, with Batman in nominal charge as he tries to hold this group of heroes together as they get to know one another, with mixed results.

While that’s going on, heroes from another world – the extra dimensional world of Angor because this is post-Crisis and there’s only one Earth – have unwittingly allied themselves with the ruler of Bialya in their quest to rid the world of its nuclear arsenal.

The Champions of Angor had previously appeared in the early 70s and were pastiches of Marvel characters – Silver Sorceress was Scarlet Witch, Wandjina was Thor, and Blue Jay seemed to be both Ant-Man and the Wasp rolled into one. In this new, post-Crisis iteration, they were the only survivors of Angor after it had been devastated by nuclear weapons, hence their mission here to save the Earth from itself. It’s just unfortunate that they appear in Bialya and end up working with the corrupt Colonel Harjavti.

The League attempt to get involved when the Champions destroy an Israeli nuclear silo, but they return to Bialya and Harjavti prevents the League from entering his country to apprehend the Champions. Rather than risk an international incident, Batman reluctantly has the League retreat, leaving the Colonel to direct his new friends somewhere else:

Yep, they’re off to Russia.

This iteration of the JUSTICE LEAGUE title would be a breath of fresh air after the old one had faded away, and the first few years of it were definitely the highlight. The spin-off, JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE, would start off just as good, and the Champions of Angor would return in that title, with the Sorceress and Blue Jay eventually joining the team.

100 Issues Ago September 2013

Teased for months with the Trinity War crossover in the JUSTICE LEAGUE titles, the first big, line-wide crossover event since the launch of the New 52 landed – FOREVER EVIL, where the bad guys would win and take out the League, leaving the handful of apparently honourable bad guys (principally the Flash’s Rogues) to strike back and take over.

Of course, that’s all months down the line – this issue is simply the aftermath of the arrival of Earth-Three’s Crime Syndicate where they take out the world’s communications grid, and assemble Earth’s villains as their Secret Society, their army to take over the world. Oh, and they unmask Nightwing on live TV for . . . reasons, I guess. Maybe showing they can find anyone and everyone connected to the heroes, so telling them not to bother to retaliate.

It’s grim, and dark, and not much fun at all.

Elsewhere, the rest of my DC titles were all about showcasing the villains – each series had issues of x.1 or x.2 this month where the heroes were side-lined and their bad guys got the spotlight because of FOREVER EVIL.

Outside of DC it was still FATALE from Image and THE STAR WARS from Dark Horse, the adaptation of George Lucas’ original rough draft.