That’s the final page of the final issue of the HUMAN BOMB mini-series, the third mini by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray that relaunched New 52 versions of The Ray, Phantom Lady (with Doll Man as a partner) and here, Human Bomb. The gentlemen introducing Human Bomb to the others is the New 52/SHADE version of Uncle Sam who has clearly set up a new version of the Freedom Fighters.
I enjoyed Palmiotti and Gray’s previous FREEDOM FIGHTERS series, pre-New 52, and hoped something would come of this group but this went nowhere and, as far as I know, this was their last appearance.
I came across this “100 Issues Ago” panel in an old JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and thought I’d tidy it up and re-purpose it. If one month = one issue, what was I reading 100 Issues Ago?
Palmiotti and Gray had been doing some sterling work with the Freedom Fighters over several series in the years running up to this, bringing the team together in INFINITE CRISIS AFTERMATH: THE BATTLE FOR BLUDHAVEN before a couple of FREEDOM FIGHTERS titles that was coming to an end with this penultimate issue.
Here Uncle Sam battles and finally defeats the Jester who had been trying to take his place as a more tyrannical spirit of America. The celebrations are muted due to the death of one of the team and the issue ends with the President having to shut them down.
I enjoyed the team’s dynamics and, following FLASHPOINT and the rise of the New 52, Palmiotti and Gray would try to launch other versions of these heroes: Phantom Lady (with Doll Man), the Ray, and Human Bomb had their own mini-series but it went nowhere, sadly. It wasn’t until the recent FREEDOM FIGHTERS title that the characters reappeared – but that’s set on Earth-X and features different versions again.
Looking at the other comics in my collection from this time shows various series starting to wind down as something big was around the corner . . . which we’ll have to address next month.