Comics Reviews: JLA 230, Tales of the Teen Titans 46, Tales of the Legion 315, Legion of Super-Heroes 2

JLA 230 coverJustice League of America #230 – “Blessed is the Peacemaker” – Gerry Conway/Alan Kupperberg

Last issue, a Martian invasion fleet showed up to attack Earth. J’onn J’onzz (aka Martian Manhunter) preceded the fleet by mere hours, warning the humans about the imminent invasion, but not everyone was convinced of J’onn’s loyalty. J’onn opposes the Martian leader (known as the Marshal) who wants J’onn dead because many Martians look on him as a hero. J’onn decided to go after the Martian flagship on his own and stole a JLA spaceship, leaving a breach in the bulkhead of the Satellite. The breach causes explosive decompression, but J’onn can’t stick around to help. J’onn approaches the Martian flagship and the Marshal fires on him, blowing him away. Inside the ship, J’onn’s ex-girlfriend (J’en) realizes heJ'onn supposedly killed isn’t dead as she’d believed … although after taking a full barrage from the Martian fleet, he might really be dead now. On Earth, President Reagan and Premier Brezhnev discuss what to do about the invasion. So far, the Martians have only attacked military bases, but it’s only a matter of time until they target civilians. Brezhnev suggests they use nukes against the Martians, but Reagan is worried the collateral damage will affect Earth, possibly bringing on a nuclear winter. On the JLA Satellite, a Martian scout force goes aboard and finds the place wrecked, devoid of atmosphere. Turns out the JLAers are playing possum; they’ve donned environmental suits and are waiting to jump the Martians. On the flagship, J’en decides she needs to make up for betraying J’onn Thanagarian trapearlier, so she steals a scout ship and goes out to look for him. Nearby, Hawkman and Hawkgirl use their Thanagarian spaceship to lure some Martians into a trap and blow them away. They wonder why Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern aren’t here helping fight the Martians and assume they must not be on Earth at all. On the Satellite, Ralph (Elongated Man) Dibny and Zatanna ambush some more Martians and pound them. Red Tornado is still damaged and Green Arrow and Aquaman try to repair him. Ralph goes looking for Firestorm, who went after J’onn last issue and was in the hangar when J’onn breached the bulkhead. (Firestorm never quite trusted J’onn, thinking he might be working with the Martians.) Luckily Firestorm doesn’t need to breathe, but when he realizes there’s no air left in the Satellite, he figures everyone else must be dead and goes out to look for J’onn. On the ship J’en stole, she revives J’onn, who was thrown clear when his own shipJ'onn pounds the Marshal was blown up. She revives him and he still wants to end the war, this time by challenging the Marshal and defeating him in front of the other Martians. J’en actually believes the Martian invasion is justified, but she can’t bring herself to kill J’onn because she still loves him. As Earth prepares to launch nukes at the Martian fleet, and the Hawks position their ship to be the first to bear the brunt of the Martian attack, J’onn shows up on the flagship and challenges the Marshal to a duel of honour. The entire fleet is watching and J’onn kicks the Marshal’s ass (even though the Marshal cheats). Bel Juz tries to shoot J’onn in the back, but Firestorm shows up just in time to melt her gun. J’onn convinces the Martian fleet to leave Earth in peace, but he stays behind. Apparently, his presence with the Martians would be a constant reminder of how they sold their souls to a warmongering madman.

Tales of the Teen Titans 46 coverTales of the Teen Titans #46 – “Showdown” – Marv Wolfman/George Perez/Mike DeCarlo

Last issue, Aqualad and Aquagirl showed up at Titans’ Tower to ask for help against HIVE, who have established a new base near Atlantis. The Titans decided this was their chance to finish HIVE once and for all, so they headed underwater in their mini-sub, led by Aqualad and Aquagirl. (Cyborg and Changeling aren’t with them; Changeling has disappeared after Terra’s betrayal and death and Cyborg is out looking for him.) HIVE are aware of the Titans’ approach and the new HIVE leader orders that the Titans not be blown away unceremoniously. She’s kinda weird; she sounds like she’s all full of sweetness and light, but talks about killing people like it’s no big deal. For some reason, she doesn’t wantfighting HIVE attackers the Titans dead just yet, so she orders a minimal response. That “minimal” response is to launch missiles at the Titans’ sub, one of which disables it. Aqualad and Aquagirl destroy the rest of the missiles by hurling underwater stalagmites to intercept them. HIVE sends out six thugs in wetsuits to attack and Aqualad enlists the help of some finned friends. The Titans launch their own concussion missile, knocking out the HIVE men. Aquagirl slips past the fight and sneaks into the HIVE base, where she pounds a few guards before being shot with a stun rifle. Aqualad and Raven both hear Aquagirl’s telepathic cry for help, but Raven gets their faster thanks to her teleporting ability. Raven is Raven goes too farpissed off at Aquagirl being hurt and that lets some of her Trigon influence come through. She uses her powers to fuck up the HIVE guards (it looks like she’s using telekinesis, which she doesn’t normally do) and when Aqualad tries to stop her, she knocks him on his ass. That brings her to her senses. In New York, Victor (Cyborg) Stone returns home after a fruitless search for Changeling and finds his grandparents have broken into his apartment and made themselves at home. He’s not happy to see them, since they didn’t show up for his father’s funeral (or after his own accident) and he mouths off to them. His grandma gives him a slap and explains that their lifestyle (they’re stage performers) takes them away a lot but they did what they had to do to take care of their family. Victor realizes how stupid he’s acting and they makeTitans fall into the trap up. Elsewhere in New York, a woman tells the cops how she was saved from a mugger by a green tiger that came out of nowhere and sliced the shit out of her attacker. In HIVE’s underwater base, the Titans leave Raven to look after Aquagirl and Jericho uses his powers to posses a guard. They head deeper into the complex, fighting their way through numerous guards, but the HIVE mistress is aware of their every move. Starfire realizes to late that they’re being herded into an empty room, but they all realize the danger when the door seals behind them. The room is actually a capsule that HIVE launches from the base into the ocean, where it explodes seconds later. Are the Titans all dead? I doubt it, but we’ll have to wait to see how they get out of this one.

Tales of the Legion 315 coverTales of the Legion #315 – “Judgment” – Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen/Terry Shoemaker/Karl Kesel

This one starts pretty much where last issue left off, with Supergirl, Brainiac 5, and Sun Boy busting in on the Dark Circle. The trio of Legionnaires have come to Dark Circle space to bring back Ontiir, who recently escaped while on trial for spying against the United Planets. Ontiir’s rescuers aren’t so sure of his loyalties though, as he seems to be playing both sides at the same time. The Dark Circle are incensed that the Legion would invade their territory, but before Supergirl can find out who they are, they all teleport away … including Ontiir. And it’s not just the Dark Circle, but everyone on the planet who’s disappeared. At Legion Headquarters, Invisible Kid (Jacques Foccart) has called Dr. Gym’ll to examine Lyle Norg,Invisible Kid times two the original Invisible Kid, who Jacques recently brought back from a dream dimension. Lyle keeps insisting he’s dead and Dr. Gym’ll agrees, but Jacques thinks they’re both nuts. He offers to take Lyle back to the dream dimension to prove he was never really dead and Lyle agrees. On the Dark Circle homeworld, Brainy figures out that the Dark Circle must’ve used their sun to teleport, since nothing else would be up to the energy requirements. The Legionnaires head for the sun to see if the Dark Circle are orbiting in a ship. On the borders of Dark Circle/United Planets space, Chief Zendak and Ambassador Relnic are following the trail of destruction left by the Legionnaires last issue. Their Legionnaires bust inship captain is reluctant to enter Dark Circle space, but Relnic convinces him the die has already been cast, so they may as well see the game through. In a spaceship orbiting the Dark Circle sun, Ontiir is grilled again by the Circle, but insists he was following orders to infiltrate the United Planets when he rose in the ranks of the Science Police. The Circle still aren’t convinced of his loyalty, so they give him a knife and tell him to either tell them the truth about everything, or kill himself. Before he can make up his mind, the Legionnaires bust in and attack the Dark Circle. As chaos erupts, Ontiir grabs a weapon and aims it at Sun Boy and a Dark Circle member, who are struggling nearby. Before OntiirOntiir blown away can decide which one to shoot, Chief Zendak shows up and yells for him to drop his gun. When Ontiir turns toward Zendak, Zendak blows him away. That brings the fight to an end, since the Dark Circle and United Planets no longer have to worry about who Ontiir was really working for. Zendak figures he did the right thing in shooting Ontiir, but Supergirl isn’t so sure; she heads back to her own time, saying she might return … or not.

White Witch sabotaged by Mordru“The Forging” – Paul Levitz, Mindy Newell/George Tuska/Karl Keseel

This continues White Witch’s origin story, with her relating her history to Blok at Legion HQ. She tells him how she went to study magic on Sorcerer’s World and spent years under the tutelage of various master magicians … including Mordru, who would later become one of the Legion’s strongest foes. Mordru was evil even then and arranged for White Witch to fail her final test because he was jealous of her power. Not only did she fail the test, she turned into a hideous hag, which made the other wizards believe her soul was corrupted and that she had to be banished.

Legion of Super-Heroes 2 coverLegion of Super-Heroes #2 – “Where a Villain” – Paul Levitz/Keith Giffen/Larry Mahlstedt

This one starts with Lightning Lord trying to convince his sister Ayla (aka Light Lass) to join the new Legion of Super-Villains and help kill the Legionnaires. Ayla tells him she quit the Legion because she was tired of fighting all the time, not because she turned evil. She also thinks Lightning Lord is nuts, since he keeps going on about how the storm talks to him. She tells him to go to hell and he promises he’ll make her change her mind. Across he galaxy, three of Lightning Lord’s fellow villains (Titania, Magno Lad, and Lazon) are trying to steal some fusion powerspheres from a manufacturing plant when Wildfire and Dawnstar show up to stop them. Dawnstar is barely able to outrace Lazon, but can’t figure out how to defeatLegion meeting him, which leaves Wildfire to take on the other two. Magno Lad uses his magnetic power to burst Wildfire’s containment suit, scattering his energy. Back at Legion HQ, Element Lad informs his fellow Legionnaires about the threat posed by the new LSV. He’s interrupted by a report on the potential powersphere thefts, which Element Lad finds strange, since there’s no black market for fusion powerspheres. In interplanetary space, Dream Girl, Star Boy, and Shrinking Violet are also responding to the emergency call and Violet is very worked up. She can’t wait to pound some LSV members, since they helped Micro Lad escape last issue, and Micro Lad was involved with the villains escape with powerspheresterrorists who kidnapped Violet a while back. Back at the powersphere planet, Wildfire’s destruction distracts Dawnstar long enough for Lazon to blast her. Luckily, more Legionnaires have shown up and Mon-El grabs Dawnstar before she splatters. Ultra Boy tries to grab Titania, but she’s too strong for him and the three villains escape through a space warp (which seems to be par for the course now), taking the fusion powerspheres with them. The Legionnaires tend to Dawnstar and provide a fresh containment suit so Wildfire can reconstitute himself. On Medicus one, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl (who’s about nine months pregnant) hear about the new LSV and wonder if Lightning Lad’s brother (Lightning Lord, in case you hadn’t guessed) is involved. Cosmic Boy tells them to stay out of the fight, since Saturn Girl’s in no condition for field work. Elsewhere, the new Legion of Super-Villainslast supper villain meeting has a big meeting (which Giffen draws to look like the Last Supper), where they discuss their plans for something called the Great Passage. The powerspheres are part of it, but they need a few more things to bring it off. We get glimpses of the fractured nature of their alliance: Esper Lass has to use her power to keep Ol-Vir’s crazed worship of Darkseid under control, and Sun Emperor wastes a servant for fun, which freaks out some of his fellow villains. In Earth orbit, more villains are attempting to steal the next thing they need for the Great Passage, the polymer shield that surrounds Earth and serves various environmental purposes, as well as controlling space traffic. We see fighting villains in orbitwho’s been creating the space warps for the villains: a Gil’Dishpan named Zymyr, who is accompanied by Radiation Roy, Tyr, and Sun Emperor. (By the way, if you think Radiation Roy’s name is stupid, you’ll be glad to know Tyr agrees with you.) Lightning Lad an Saturn Girl have gotten an emergency signal and show up to confront the villains, followed closely by Element Lad, who was monitoring things from headquarters. Saturn Girl’s labour pains start, making her an easy target for Tyr, but before he can waste her, Zymyr finishes transporting the polymer screen and whisks his fellow villains away too. In an asteroid field near where the powerspheres were stolen, Dawnstar uses her tracking ability to find the LSV’s trail. But another villain (Terrus) is lurking in the asteroids and sends a meteor swarm to smash the Legion cruiser. Wildfire and Mon-El try to run interference before the meteors obliterate theirTerrus attacks in the asteroid field friends. On Medicus One, Saturn Girl is taken to the birthing unit and Dr. Gym’ll gives Lightning Lad shit for letting her go into battle. On Orando, Karate Kid and Projectra are returning from their honeymoon when they’re attacked by more super-villains (Mist Master, Hunter, and Magno Lad), who capture them and take Projectra’s Legion ring. They hand it over to someone whose face we can’t see (but who claims to be a former Legion member), who gloats about the Great Passage being ready to commence. He then activates the ring’s emergency signal to bring the Legion running … to their doom.

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