Comics Reviews: JLA 200, Legion of Super-Heroes 285, New Teen Titans 17, All-Star Squadron 7

JLA 200 coverJustice League of America #200 – “A League Divided” – Gerry Conway/George Perez/Brett Breeding

This is a special anniversary issue of JLA, clocking in at a whopping 72 pages. It features a number of top artists of the day drawing different chapters. As indicated above, George Perez and Brett Breeding did the framing story and climax, and the whole thing was written by Gerry Conway. I’ll give art credits for each chapter as we get to them. The issue opens with a recap of the League’s origin … more precisely, of their fight against the Appellaxians in JLA 9. The Appellaxians were aliensrecap of first Appellaxian story who came to Earth in meteors, taking various forms (stone, wood, metal, etc.), as they fought each other to determine who would rule their world. They were opposed by seven separate superheroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman) who then banded together to form the Justice League of America. The meteors the Appellaxians used contained kryptonite, so they were buried in various places around Earth after the aliens were sent home. The final meteor was taken to the JLA Satellite as a trophy. That was quite a few years ago; things have changed since then. Our story starts with Firestorm on the Satellite, bored out of his mind by monitor duty …

Chapter 1: Firestorm vs. Manhunter from Mars – Pat Broderick/Terry Austin

Firestorm’s tedium is interrupted when J’onn (Martian Manhunter) J’onnz busts into the Satellite looking for something. J’onn is confused, wondering Firestorm vs Martian Manhunterwho the hell Firestorm is and where the JLA might be. J’onn says he found the team’s headquarters deserted and used a JLA signal that led him to the Satellite, which he doesn’t recognize. But I’m sure J’onn knows about the Satellite, so he’s either got some kind of amnesia or he’s a time traveler. Professor Stein notices J’onn’s reticence to get too close and realizes he’s scared of Firestorm’s flames. Firestorm uses that, but J’onn douses him with a water pipe and smashes him. He takes the Appellaxian meteor and leaves. When Firestorm wakes up, he sends out a top priority emergency signal, which is answered by a number of his fellow Leaguers: Atom, Ralph (Elongated Man) Dibny, Zatanna, Black Canary (who drags Green Arrow along), Hawkman, and Red Tornado. Firestorm thinks it’s strange that none of the foundingSnapper shows up members responded, but when the others find out J’onn was the aggressor and that he took the Appellaxian meteor, Green Arrow figures the other founders are probably looking for the other meteors. They’re surprised by another arrival in the teleport tube … honorary member Snapper Carr, who says he got the emergency signal too. Green Arrow figures J’onn’s mind must be affected by something (maybe the Appellaxian meteor) causing him to believe it’s years earlier. Arrow says the other founders may be under the same delusion, so they’d better split up and find them before they grab the other meteors. The team divides up, leaving Firestorm and Snapper on the Satellite to monitor events.

Chapter 2: Aquaman vs Red Tornado – Jim Aparo

This chapter is narrated by Phantom Stranger, who’s observing events as they happen. In the Indian Ocean, not far from the Seychelles, Aquaman Aquaman vs Red Tornadosearches the sea floor frantically for one of the Appellaxian meteors. He’s jumped by Red Tornado, who he doesn’t recognize, and quickly pounds him. Aquaman finds the meteor and knows he has to take it to the old JLA headquarters outside Metropolis … but has no idea why he feels compelled to do so. Red Tornado recovers from the beating and prepares to grab Aquaman, but Phantom Stranger zaps Reddy, knocking him out. Phantom Stranger says the fate of the world depends on the original JLAers completing their mission, so he had to interfere. He uses his magic to send Reddy back to the Satellite, where Firestorm puts him in the medical bay.

Chapter 3: Zatanna vs Wonder Woman – Dick Giordano

Zatanna arrives on Paradise Island and meets Hippolyta, who tells her Wonder Woman is already there and she’s acting weird. Wonder Woman is in Athena’s Temple, digging up the Appellax meteor; she’s surprised that she knows exactly where to find it, but can’t remember how long ago sheZatanna vs Wonder Woman buried it there. Zatanna tries to stop her and Wonder Woman (who doesn’t remember Zatanna, even after Hippolyta reminds her) almost smashes Zatanna and her mother. Wonder Woman grabs the meteor and redirects the water spell Zatanna uses, almost drowning Zatanna. Wonder Woman takes off and Hippolyta takes Zatanna to be healed. She says something must be affecting her daughter’s mind, since she’d never fly off and leave someone half-drowned. Zatanna tells her the Appellax meteors have affected all the original JLAers, and fears they may be too late to stop whatever’s going on.

Chapter 4: Atom vs Green Lantern – Gil Kane

Atom sends himself through the telephone to Zimbabwe, where he gets a ride in a jet from a General Matambe. Green Lantern is digging up the Atom vs Green LanternAppellax meteor and tosses Matambe’s jet far away. Atom already bailed out and decks GL. Atom tries to talk some sense into Lantern, but the ringslinger won’t listen; he traps Atom in a green energy container and takes off with the meteor. Atom shrinks down and slips between the soil molecules to escape Lantern’s cage, then heads back to the Satellite to report his failure. The others commiserate with him, saying they were outclassed by the original Leaguers’ power and experience. Red Tornado (who’s recovered) says it isn’t just experience that gives the original JLA the edge; they’re basically fighting strangers, so they have no qualms about giving it all they’ve got. In contrast, the newer Leaguers know they’re fighting their friends, so they’re holding back.

Chapter 5: Elongated Man vs Flash – Carmine Infantino/Frank Giacoia

In Northern Italy, not far from Lake Como, Flash zips around looking for the Appellax meteor. Ralph surprises him and they mix it up. Flash fakes being unconscious and creates an earthquake, almost burying Ralph alive. Ralph comes back and tries to grab Flash, but gets faked out again by an afterimage. Flash knocks Ralph out and finds the meteor; he wonders whoRalph vs Flash Ralph is and how he knew Flash’s secret identity (Ralph addressed him as “Barry”), but his compulsion to take the meteor back to the old JLA headquarters overrides his curiosity. When Flash arrives, he finds some of his teammates (J’onn, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and GL) waiting with their own meteors. Flash mentions his encounter with Ralph and the others say they’ve noticed certain inconsistencies too, starting with the fact their headquarters is in ruins and has obviously been abandoned for years. J’onn says he woke up on a strange planet instead of Mars and Wonder Woman points out her costume is different. J’onn says they should try to figure out what’s going on.

Chapter 6: Green Arrow and Black Canary vs Batman – Brian Bolland

In a swamp off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Green Arrow and Black Canary are jumped by Batman. He knocks Canary out with one of GA’s arrows and leaves GA handcuffed. Canary wakes up and frees Green Arrow Green Arrow and Black Canary vs Batmanand they go after Batman, who’s found the sixth meteor. Canary blasts him with her sonic cry, but it turns out to be a dummy … the real Batman got away. Back on the Satellite, Green Arrow complains about falling for Batman’s trick and says he never should’ve gotten involved again. (Arrow quit the League back in JLA 181.) Atom says they’d better start thinking about what might happen when all the meteors have been recovered. In the JLA’s old HQ, Batman brings his meteor in and tells the others about his encounter with Green Arrow and Black Canary. Batman didn’t recognize Canary, but he knew Green Arrow, although he noticed Arrow’s new costume and beard. The others say they all feel weird, like they caught in a dream and trying to wake up. J’onn points out that the meteors they’ve collected are starting to glow.

Chapter 7: Hawkman vs Superman – Joe Kubert

Hawkman catches up to Superman in Greenland, where the last meteor is buried. Hawkman smashes Superman with his mace and we see his adversary is actually a Superman robot. Hawkman expected that, since theHawkman vs Superman kryptonite in the meteors preclude Superman from getting too close. Another robot attacks and is smashed by Hawkman, but when the third one comes in it turns out to be the real Man of Steel. He tosses Hawkman into the upper atmosphere and grabs the meteor; Supes is wearing a shield of lead around his body, beaten so thin it’s transparent. [This is where the Perez/Breeding art starts again.] Hawkman drifts unconscious in the upper atmosphere, but right before he rises out into space he disappears. He reappears on Rann (in the Alpha Centauri system) where he’s recognized by Adam Strange and Alanna. They figure the zeta-beam must’ve locked onto Hawkman and brought him to Rann, but because of the recent Rann-Thanagar War, Hawkmen aren’t too popular at the moment. Adam removes the zeta energy Adam sends Hawkman backfrom Hawkman and sends him back, giving the JLA a sub-space call to let them know. Hawkman appears outside the Satellite and Ralph goes out an airlock and stretches to his limit to grab Hawkman. In the old HQ, the seven meteors are put in a lead-lined chamber (for Superman’s safety) as the Leaguers try to figure out why they were compelled to recover the meteors in the first place. The meteors glow even brighter and the Appellaxians start climbing out of them; the aliens apparently left seed clones of themselves in the meteors and implanted hypnotic suggestions for the JLA to bring them together when the stars lined up a certain way. The shock of seeing the aliens reborn is enough to break the hypnosis and the JLA remember everything. They tackle the aliens, assuming they can defeat them the same way they did originally. But the aliens have been telepathically comparingAppellaxians pound JLA notes since their first defeat and they mix things up this time, using their powers to best advantage against the heroes. The aliens pound the JLA and leave to continue their original contest to see who’ll rule their planet. This time the Appellaxians decide to have a Royal Rumble of sorts, splitting into teams to whittle things down until only one of them is left … and if Earth is destroyed by their combat, well, so what? The original JLA wakes up to find their newer teammates ready for another fight. They quickly explain about the hypnosis and the Appellaxians’ plan and the League bands together to go after the aliens.

Superman gets kryptonite poisoningChapter 8: (Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, and Hawkman vs Wood King, Crystal Creature, and Mercury Monster) – George Perez/Brett Breeding

In Vermont, the three Appellaxians are already in combat when the JLA shows up. The heroes know they have to work together to defeat their foes, but Superman almost gets killed trying to beat Wood King himself. (Apparently Wood King’s sap contains kryptonite.) Green Arrow chops Wood King down with an arrow while Zatanna boils away the Mercury Monster. Black Canary and Batman team up to shatter the crystal creature.

Chapter 9: (Aquaman, Ralph, Flash, and Red Tornado vs Glass Man andJLA attack aliens Fire-Lord) – George Perez/Brett Breeding

Off the coast of Ireland, the JLAers attack the aliens, who are distracted by their own fight. After Glass Man blasts Flash, Aquaman takes Glass Man down to the sea bottom where the pressure crushes him. Ralph distracts Fire-Lord, giving Reddy time to catch the fiery foe in a vortex and snuff him like a candle.

Chapter 10: Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, Firestorm, and Atom vs Stone-God and Golden Roc) – George Perez/Brett Breeding

In New York, the alien titans are smashing buildings like Godzilla and Golden Roc smashedRodan when the JLAers show up. Firestorm uses his molecular changing ability to stop the destruction, while Green Lantern jackhammers Stone-God to rubble. J’onn distracts Golden Roc as GL launches Atom at the birdlike alien’s head. Atom’s strike breaks Golden Roc’s concentration, allowing J’onn to deliver the knockout punch that blows the Appellaxian to hell. The JLA gather all the pieces of their foes (and the meteors they rode in on) and dump them into the sun. Superman says he hopes that’s the last time they’ll have to fight the Appellaxians, but doesn’t want to tempt fate by celebrating too much. J’onn heads back to Mars II and Snapper leaves as well (having gotten Firestorm into the annoying habit of snapping his fingers all the time). Green Arrow is ready to take off too, but on a whim decides to rejoin the League, making all his friends happy. So that’s issue 200; it was pretty cool to see the guest stars and the different artists (who were well chosen). There was a write-up on the inside covers about the issue and about the JLA’s history in general; I’m including it here so you can all take a look. Next issue won’t be quite so momentous, as it features the return of Ultraa, but I hope you’ll join me anyway.

LSH 285 coverLegion of Super-Heroes #285 – “Night Never Falls at Nullport” – Paul Levitz/Pat Broderick/Bruce Patterson

This one starts at the titular facility (Nullport), which is a space drydock on a big asteroid floating in space. It doesn’t seem like Nullport orbits Earth, so I assume it orbits the sun in between planets somewhere, although it’s mentioned that they get perpetual sunlight from an energy field so maybe Nullport is in interstellar space somewhere. A handful of Legionnaires (Shrinking Violet, Shadow Lass, Mon-El, Colossal Boy, and Star Boy) are on Nullport to pick up a new Legion Cruiser (a fancy new Model 494) and take it for a shakedown flight. The new Cruiser isn’t ready yet, so they’re just goofing off as the maintenance crew services their old Cruiser. Suddenly, the old Cruiser starts shaking and topples over, endingVoxv has a heart attack up partially wrecked. After rescuing a few service people, Mon-El lifts the smashed Cruiser to let Shrinking Violet out of the wreckage, where she shrank when the ship toppled over. Violet says she got a look at the Cruiser’s monitors and the signal for the ship to fall over came from the command tower. Across the galaxy on Orando, Karate Kid and Projectra are waiting to see Projectra’s father, King Voxv. Orando is a medieval planet that prefers its “backward” ways to the high-tech decadence of the United Planets. Karate Kid had to go on a special quest to prove himself worthy of marrying Projectra, but he still has to get final approval from Voxv. Voxv has a heart attack before he can pronounce judgment … which might be a blessing in disguise, since it kinda talking to H'hrnathsounded like he was going to turn Karate Kid down. Back on Nullport, the Legionnaires talk to the facility manager (H’hrnath, a dude who looks like a horse with tentacles … no, seriously). H’hrnath tells them the facility is error-proof, so they suggest someone may have wrecked their ship on purpose. H’hrnath doesn’t believe that, but revises his opinion after a quake hits the planetoid and damages several more ships. The Legion rescues the workers and Violet finds more evidence the destructive signals came from the control tower. On Earth, Brainiac 5 receives the news about the trouble on Nullport and wonders who the perpetrators could be. Timber Wolf suggests the Khunds, which stuns Brainy since he’s always thought Timber Wolf was a dimwit. On Nullport, H’hrnath lets the Legionnaires check out the controlViolet checks the computer tower and Violet shrinks down to go inside the computer. She finds a circuit interrupter that lets someone relay control signals from afar. She destroys the relay, but says it was definitely Khundish manufacture. Obviously the Khunds are planning something, probably a strike against Nullport to cripple the United Planets’ shipbuilding facilities. H’hrnath offers them the new Cruiser for free if they stop the Khunds, but Star Boy says they’re not mercenaries so they’ll do it for free. Personally, I think they shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth … yeah, I said it. We see a Khundish battleship not far away, preparing to attack Nullport, so I guess their theory was right. Before the Khunds can get within striking distance, Colossal Boy, Mon-El, and Star Boy attack, with Mon-El doing a fastball special with Colossal Boy, Colossal Boy smashes the Khund shipsmashing him into the Khund ship. As they take the Khund ship apart, Shadow Lass envelops Nullport in darkness and Star Boy increases the gravity on the planetoid. H’hrnath doesn’t like that (he’s from a low gravity world), but it’s necessary to keep Nullport from falling apart while Mon-El moves it to a new location farther inside United Planets space. Between the darkness and the new position, the Legion hopes the Khunds won’t be able to find Nullport again. H’hrnath is so grateful he gives the Legion five new 494 Cruisers for the price of one (plus their old Cruiser in trade), insisting all the time that they’re doing him a favour. The Legionnaires head home with their new ships. In the last panel, we see that King Voxv has died, which means Projectra is now Queen of Orando.

Dream Girl on Naltor“The Forgotten Future” – Paul Levitz/Keith Giffen/Larry Mahlstedt

This one starts on Naltor, Dream Girl’s home planet. Dream Girl has been summoned home because the Naltorians have lost their ability to see the future and it’s starting to affect their society. Dream Girl’s precognitive powers disappeared as soon as she came to Naltor, so she knows it’s something on the planet affecting them. She flies around to check things out and foils a bank robbery, using her brains and her fighting ability. She goes to her sister’s place (White Witch, who’s off-planet at the moment) and studies recent news stories to figure out what’s going on. She comes across a story that she thinks is significant … not long ago, Naltor built a giant gyrostabilizer to stop the persistentDream Girl fixes the gyrostabilizer earthquakes that plagued the planet. The quakes were mild, but annoying, and the Naltorians had been talking about building a gyrostabilizer for years but it was only recently finished. Dream Girl goes to the gyrostabilizer and readjusts it, which immediately restores the Naltorians’ precognition. Apparently the gyrostabilizer was sending out vibrations to cancel the earthquakes at the same frequency as the Naltorians’ brainwaves; a slight adjustment restored their precog powers while still canceling the quakes. The story ends with Dream Girl having a vision of her and Star Boy banging back on Earth.

New Teen Titans 17 coverNew Teen Titans #17 – “The Possessing of Frances Kane” – Marv Wolfman/George Perez/Romeo Tanghal

This one starts in Blue Valley, with Wally (Kid Flash) West finishing class at the local college. He runs into a classmate (Frances Kane) who he’s known since they were kids. She asks for help studying and Wally offers to come over. Frances is reluctant, reminding Wally that her mother hasn’t been the same since the accident that killed Frances’s father and brother. Apparently, Frances’s mother has gone a little whacko, trying to contact her dead husband’s spirit through occult means. When Wally and Frances arrive, Mrs. Kane is wearing a robe and chanting beside a pentagram. She quickly cajoles Frances into joining her, but doesn’t even seem to notice Wally. Wally figures the whole thing is bullshit, but he gets aFrances goes wild shock when a weird vortex appears above the pentagram. Stuff around the house starts moving and Mrs. Kane is knocked out by a flying lamp. Frances is in some kind f trance and stuff is really flying now (all of which seems to be made of metal … hmmm), so Wally changes to Kid Flash to protect Frances from flying debris. She finally wakes from the trance and everything stops moving. Wally changes back to regular clothes before Mrs. Kane wakes up. Frances can’t remember anything and doesn’t know why the house is wrecked, but Mrs. Kane says it’s all Frances’s fault; she should’ve died in the accident too and now she’s cursed. Wally figures that’s bullshit, but Raven protects Francesdecides to call Raven for help since she’s an expert on spiritual matters. Raven immediately reads Mrs. Kane’s grief and anger, but as soon as Frances is possessed again, Raven says her mind is a complete blank. Metal objects start flying around again and Raven uses her soul self to protect Frances while Wally protects her mom. When Frances recovers, Raven says she’s become the nexus between reality and somewhere else, but Raven doesn’t know what exactly the outside force is or why it’s affecting Frances. Mrs. Kane insists Frances is cursed because she was meant to die in the accident and the spirits are angry that she’s still alive. A couple weeks later, after a comprehensive series of tests, Frances is in the Blue Valley hospital (or maybe it’s a branch of STAR Labs, it’s hard to tell), undergoing more testsFrances out of control as the Titans and her mom watch. The doctor says the only medical data she can find indicates Frances is anemic and her brain has high levels of magnetic activity. Mrs. Kane keeps harping about Frances being possessed by the devil and when Frances goes into another trance and metal starts flying around (including Cyborg), there is a strange humanoid shape that coalesces around Frances’s body. Mrs. Kane figures it’s Satan and even Robin is freaked out, but the others are too busy trying to keep the building together. Raven holds Cyborg in her soul self to keep him from flying around and Mrs. Kane decides to end things by stabbing Frances with a scalpel. Kid Flash stops her, but she says she done with her demon-Frances talks about the accidentpossessed daughter and leaves. The Titans take Frances to their headquarters in New York for more tests. She reveals she knows Wally is Kid Flash (they have known each other for almost twenty years) and thanks him for all his help. Cyborg has figured out the obvious magnetic connection and is over at STAR Labs having some modifications made to his metallic bod. Frances tells them about the accident that killed her father and brother: they were coming home from a trip and she was driving. They were on a steep, winding road and the car suddenly went out of control. Frances tried to steer away from the cliff, but car seemed to move on its own. Even the guard rail broke before the car hit it and when the car went over the cliff, Frances remembers hanging in mid-air as the car plunged to the ground. The Titansmagnetic storm over Manhattan scan Frances’s brain and she goes into another trance; this time, the humanoid figure that grows out of her is gigantic, dwarfing Titans’ Tower and flinging stuff around like leaves in a hurricane. The demonic entity (everyone seems convinced that’s what it is, although I have to say its outline looks vaguely familiar) starts drawing metal from all five boroughs, bringing a veritable rain of stuff toward Titans’ Tower. Raven figures Frances is the key, so she uses her soul self to protect herself and Robin as they head into the Tower. The others try to stop the rain of metal, but are overwhelmed. Kid Flash heads inside to help with Frances, but none of them are sure how to reach her. Cyborg shows up and says he has the answer. Everyone has magnetic waves in their brain, but Frances’s waves are being Cyborg cures Francesboosted to dangerous levels by something. Cyborg uses an anti-magnetic reverser that was just built into his cybernetic body to put Frances’s magnetic brainwave activity back to normal. Frances recovers right away and the demon thing disappears, leaving a big mess behind. Later, Frances thanks Wally again (and says she might be falling for him), but her mother still wants nothing to do with her so she’s going off by herself to get her shit together. In another dimension, a dimension made entirely of magnetic force, we see the “demon” that tried to possess Frances … it’s Doctor Polaris. When he discovered Frances’s brain had excess magnetic waves, he tried to use her to escape the magnetic dimension Green Lantern banished him to (in GL 135), but no dice … looks like he’s stuck there for a while yet.

Noticeable Things:

  • Starfire doesn’t appear in this issue; she’s said to be recovering from the death of her boyfriend “last month”, which is last issue our time.

All-Star Squadron 7 coverAll-Star Squadron #7 – “Carnage for Christmas” – Roy Thomas/Adrian Gonzales/Jerry Ordway

This one starts with Al (Atom) Pratt wandering through Washington and (literally) running into a couple of rude assholes, one very tall and the other quite short. Al gets a bit miffed, but figures it’s not worth a fight and lets them go on their way. Maybe he should’ve paid more attention because the pair turn out to be Nazi agents Baron Blitzkrieg and his dwarfish lackey, Zwerg. They go through a secret door to meet with some Bund spies. The spies show Blitzkrieg film of President Roosevelt greeting Primefake film Minister Winston Churchill and bot of them exploding when they shake hands. Turns out the film is of robots made to look like Roosevelt and Churchill; they intend to send the film to Europe, where it’ll be shown in neutral and occupied countries. Blitzkrieg wonders if people will realize it isn’t really Roosevelt in the film, since he’s standing without support. Zwerg reminds him that Roosevelt has hidden the extent of his polio and says the real Roosevelt and Churchill will be dead soon—blown up by another robot—and the film will be accepted as real. Speaking of Roosevelt, Atom reunited with Squadronit’s him Atom was going to see at the White House. Roosevelt thanks Atom for saving him (which happened in a retcon story about the formation of the JSA) and Atom fills the President in on what all the JSA members are doing now that they’ve disbanded. Roosevelt mentions the All-Star Squadron and Atom is surprised to find a bunch of them already at the White House. (Liberty Belle, Firebrand, Johnny Quick, Robotman, Hawkgirl, and Shining Knight) They greet Atom and Roosevelt tells them Churchill is secretly arriving tomorrow for a meeting with him, but there have been rumours about an assassination attempt. The All-Stars say they protect the Prime Minister, but Atom wonders if Roosevelt might be a target too. The next day, the All-Stars patrol the ocean and the shore near Norfolk, Virginia inLiberty Belle snags the sub anticipation of Churchill’s ship (the Duke of York) arriving. The ship shows up, but it’s torpedoed near shore by a German U-Boat. Robotman and Atom board he ship and see the submarine slipping away. Robotman grabs some steel cable and tosses it to Liberty Belle, who’s been patrolling with Shining Knight on his flying horse. The sub surfaces briefly then dives. Liberty Belle isn’t ready to give up and dives into the frigid water after it. She swims down and attaches the cable to the sub’s conning tower and comes back up to be grabbed by Hawkgirl. Robotman attaches the cable to a huge stanchion on shore and tries to haul the submarine in. On the Duke of York, Churchill is getting restless but gets a shock when he’s confronted by Baron Blitzkrieg … pounding the U-boat crewand another Churchill! Robotman hauls the U-Boat to shore (with help from a huge winch) and the base commander says he’d like to take some of the Nazis alive. The All-Stars tell the Navy guys to clear out and when the submarine crew comes out shooting, the All-Stars wade into them and start pounding them. Churchill quietly disembarks and gets in a car bound for Washington, but we see Blitzkrieg and Zwerg have the real Churchill tied up nearby. They’re planning to send him to Berlin so Hitler can kill him personally. In Washington, Roosevelt waits to meet Churchill, but Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle are there too, thanks to Johnny’s fleet feet. Belle finds it strange that Churchill doesn’t remember her (and his cigar’s not lit) andBlitzkrieg takes off with Churchill figures he’s not the real deal. Before Johnny can react, Churchill blows up as soon as he touches Roosevelt. Turns out Churchill was a robot, but it’s okay … Roosevelt was really Plastic Man! Plas’s pliable form lets him survive the explosion and he explains that he’s been masquerading as Roosevelt in case something like this happened. Back in Virginia, Robotman catches Blitzkrieg and Zwerg trying to flee with the real Churchill and tries to stop them. Bitzkrieg surprises Robotman with his strength and after tossing Atom around, flies off with Churchill under his own power. He’s intercepted by Shining Knight and Hawkgirl, so he dumps Churchill (Hawkgirl catches him) and blasts Knight with his eye-beams before flying off. In all the excitement, Zwerg managed to slip away too, but at least they saved Churchill and can get him to Washington for his meeting with Roosevelt. A couple days later, the All-Stars look on as Roosevelt lights the White House Christmas tree and Churchill gives a speech, as he was known to do on occasion.

Noticeable Things:

  • Atom tells Roosevelt (and us) about each JSA member now that they’ve joined the armed forces … though he doesn’t reveal any secret identities. Atom himself is the Tank Corps, stationed in Virginia; Hawkman’s in the Army Air Corps on the West Coast; Sandman’s training in an anti-aircraft battery; Dr. Fate joined the paratroopers; Dr. Mid-Nite (and his girlfriend, Myra) are in the Medical Corps, working on an antidote for tropical fever in the Pacific; Starman is in the Air Corps too, training at Fort Randolph, Texas; Johnny Thunder joined the Navy; and the Spectre is doing his usual mystical crap on the home front. Apparently Green Lantern enlisted as well.
  • Atom has an inferiority complex; he feels inadequate next to some of the other All-Stars because he doesn’t have any powers, even though there are others on the team in the same boat. It makes sense, I guess, but his constant whining gets annoying. It’s all leading up to him getting super powers eventually.
  • Churchill actually did come to the states on December 22, 1941 (when most of this issue is set) and did give a speech at the white House two days later, some of which is reproduced on the last page of this issue.
  • Technically, this is Baron Blitzkrieg’s earliest appearance, at least as far as internal chronology goes.
  • When asked about impersonating Roosevelt, Plastic Man says “if George M. Cohan can do it, so can I.” That’s a reference to the Broadway play “I’d Rather Be Right” from 1937, in which Cohan did play Roosevelt.

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