Comics Reviews: JLA 237, Legion of Super-Heroes 9, Tales of the Legion 322, Tales of the Teen Titans 52, New Teen Titans 7

JLA 237 coverJLA #237 – “Lest Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot” – Gerry Conway/Chuck Patton/Mike Machlan

This one starts with Aquaman moping over Mera leaving him. Vixen points out that Aquaman is a hard guy to get through to, so maybe Mera leaving was the only way she could get his attention. Vixen advises Aquaman to go after his wife, but he doesn’t want to walk out on the League. He’s also wondering what happened to Superman, Flash, and Wonder Woman, since he’s heard nothing from them since the new League formed (which we learn was only three weeks ago). As if on cue, the proximity alarm goes off on the trashed Satellite and the monitor shows a blip moving toward it. They’re baaaaack! Up in orbit, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash are shocked to see the Satellite is aspy satellite explodes wreck. Apparently, the trio think they left to fight the Commander (in JLA 231) only a few hours ago, so I guess they aren’t aware it’s been three weeks. I’m not sure what that means for their ongoing titles, but DC have never been sticklers for continuity, so I suppose we have to accept that it all fits somehow. While examining the wreckage, Superman runs across a spy satellite, which explodes when he tries to grab it. Since Wonder Woman works at the Pentagon, she recognizes the satellite as belonging to the Russians (still the USSR at the time). In the Bunker in Detroit, Aquaman has been monitoring everything happening in orbit (and getting no response from Supes and friends on their JLA communicators), so he rouses the rest of the fighting off Soviet missilesJLA to tell them what’s up. (And we see that Gypsy is now living at the Bunker with the rest of the team.) Steel knows his grandfather (Hank Heywood, who’s funding the new JLA) is with the CIA, so he figures maybe he can find out what’s going on in Russia. Speaking of which, Superman and his two pals cause quite a stir when they appear in the sky over the Russian space centre. After fighting off some (non-nuclear) missiles, the trio land and ask to see whoever’s in charge. Instead of some General, they meet a goofy-looking dude dressed like a symphony conductor and holding a keytar. (Yup, definitely the 80s.) Flash thinks the instrument looks familiar, but before he has time to ponder it, the guy starts playing and some demons manifest out of thin air and pound the JLAers. A General named Gorki lauds the Maestro’sSteel throws his grandpa through a window “performance” and we find out Gorki was dismissed from command and has gone rogue. In Virginia, Steel, Ralph (Elongated Man) Dibny, and Dale Gunn go to see Hank Heywood, Steel’s grandfather. Hank is a total prick, telling Steel his friends are criminals and scumbags and that they should turn them all over to the cops and start a new League. Steel tells him to go to hell and throws him through a window. Ralph catches him before he’s hurt (and notes that he weighs a hell of a lot more than he should) and Dale tells Ralph he’ll try to smooth things over with the General. In Russia, General Gorki tells the Soviet leaders he wants command of the entire Army and to be Party Chairman. When he’s refused, he has the Maestro use his fancy keytar to Gorki tells the heroes he's going to kill one of themsummon more demons that slaughter everyone. On Gorki’s estate, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash are held by some invisible force that saps their will. They run into their old foe Anton Allegro (from JLA 163) and Flash realizes it’s his synthesizor that the Maestro is using. Allegro is still deaf, but his comrade explains that Allegro escaped from prison and defected to the USSR, where Gorki soon stole his synthesizor and gave it to the Maestro. Gorki arrives and confirms the story, telling the JLAers that he’s going to prove how serious he is to the Soviet government … by executing one of the helpless heroes.

Legion of Super-Heroes 9 coverLegion of Super-Heroes #9 – “Reunion” – Paul Levitz/Steve Lightle/Larry Mahlstedt

This one starts with the Legionnaires having a meeting at their headquarters, discussing their teammates who have been missing for the last few issues. Cosmic Boy reiterates that they need new blood in the Legion and Dream Girl assigns Wildfire to look for new members. Before any other business can be concluded, the five missing Legionnaires (Element Lad, Shrinking Violet, Phantom Girl, Ultra Boy, and Chameleon Boy) show up and Dream Girl gladly turns the leadership duties back over to Element Lad. In a park outside the city, Shvaughn Erin is looking for a missing kid (who just happens to be Chief Zendak’s nephew) and gets a hand freeing the kid from a fallen tree when Element Lad shows up. Shvaughn is so happy she’s ready to do him right there, but the kid reminds them to use a little restraint. Later, the Legionnaires throw a party to celebrate their teammates’ return and we get a few character moments. welcome home partyWe see COMPUTO’s robot servant screwing up, which has been happening a lot lately; I assume this is setting something up where COMPUTO goes evil again. Shrinking Violet gives Yera shit for impersonating her and says she’d better never do it again. And Timber Wolf takes off, heading out with an alien named Ziirf without telling anyone where he’s going. Later, Elementfighting thieves in Hong Kong Lad and Shvaughn are about to bang when Element Lad gets a call about some trouble in Hong Kong and has to leave. We get a couple of quick scenes of R.J. Brande meeting with some Proteans (who have been agitating for independence) and the Science Police investigating Laurel Kent’s shooting last issue. In Hong Kong, Element Lad and his team (Shrinking Violet, Lightning Lass, Chameleon Boy, and Invisible Kid) save some Science Police and bystanders from people who are shooting up the Interstellar Trading Mall. Invisible Kid recognizes them as Sklarians, the organ thieves the Legion has fought before. We see Timber Wolf and Ziirf heading to Tokyo and it sounds like Karate Kid made Timber Wolf executor of his will, which includes several billion credits. In Hong Kong, the Legion Espionage Squad (Cham, Violet, Shrinking Violet gets madand Invisible Kid) infiltrate the Sklarian Embassy to find proof they were involved in the attack on the Mall. (The Sklarians made peace with the united Planets a couple years ago, so the Legionnaires have to tread lightly.) Shrinking Violet gets pissed off and starts a fight, but they get out of the Embassy without being recognized, and Invisible Kid finds the proof thy need. The Legionnaires go to the spaceport and disable the robots loading the contraband into the Sklarian ship, then lure all the Sklarian thieves there with a little subterfuge. After pounding the thieves, Element Lad heads back to Metropolis to finally bang Shvaughn.

Tales of the Legion 322 coverTales of the Legion #322 – “Lost Among the Missing” – Mindy Newell/Dan Jurgens/Karl Kesel

This one starts pretty much where last issue left off, on the Exile planet. A high priestess is preaching about Kol’s will and how Jhodan has fallen away from the true path by sheltering an evil outsider (i.e. Dawnstar). The Reverend Mother says Jhodan (and Ina) will have to be punished. Meanwhile, Dawnstar is testing the strength of her wounded wings, hoping to look for Brainiac 5. Ina (who hates Dawnstar because she thinks Jhodan is hot for her and Ina is already hot for Jhodan) starts a fight with Dawnstar. Jhodan stops it and Ina says Dawnstar was trying to escape, but Jhodan isn’t interested in her excuses. Dawnstar can’t understand their language, butBrainiac 5 hangs out with Spliff the tone tells her that Ina is in love with Jhodan and that he’s oblivious to it. Dawnstar and Jhodan both wonder if they’re in love with each other. Meanwhile, Brainiac 5 (who’s looking pretty buff for a guy who’s supposed to be all intellect) is still hanging out with his schizoid friend, Spliff. Spliff draws some symbols on the ground and starts chanting to Kol. Brainy realizes the symbols represent Earth and wonders if Spliff is from Earth, or has just heard about it somewhere. Speaking of which, back at Legion Headquarters Wildfire gives Dream Girl shit for modifying Dawnstar’s powers and sending her and Brainy out to look for the missing Legionnaires (who are now back). Dream Girl reminds Wildfire mad at Dream Girlhim that Dawnstar volunteered, but Wildfire is still mad, thinking he’s lost Dawnstar forever. On the Exile planet, Jhodan stops at an altar to pray and a storm suddenly blows up. In the nearby city, the Reverend Mother sends out a bunch of soldiers to bring Jhodan back (and to kill Dawnstar and Ina), telling them the storm means Kol is displeased with Jhodan. Meanwhile, Spliff’s chants to Kol bring a bird that drops food (“manna”) for them to eat, which makes Brainy even more curious about his new friend. The soldiers find Jhodan and surround him, but Dawnstar takes off, trying to gain some altitude on her wounded wings. Jhodan stops the soldiers from shooting arrows at her and Dawnstar comes back to help him fight the soldiers. She ends upDawnstar accidentally kills a guy accidentally killing one (he tripped and fell onto her sword) and is overwhelmed with guilt. We check in on Dev-Em, who’s been infiltrating the Dark Circle homeworld for the Interstellar Counterintelligence Corps. Dev-Em has uncovered some disturbing info and transmits it back to Earth, not suspecting that the Dark Circle have been monitoring the whole time and know exactly what he’s doing. Brainy and Spliff reach town, where everyone is glad to see Spliff and he food he’s brought. I wonder if Spliff is meant to be Jesus in this little religious allegory? Brainy explores a temple to Kol and finds something rather anachronistic for such a primitive society … some computer tapes. Dawnstar is pretty worked up over killing the soldier and Jhodan tries to comfort her. Dawnstar and Jhodan get closerThey almost end up making out, which pisses Ina off so much she heads back to the city to see the Reverend Mother. Dawnstar tends to Jhodan’s wound and wonders if she was meant to meet him and stay on this planet. In the temple, Brainy ponders what the computer tapes might mean, determining they date from the time of the Great Wars. He has no way to play the tapes, so he steals one and heads outside. Noticing everyone heading for the town square, he follows and is shocked to see a mob forming around Dawnstar and Jhodan.

Tales of the Teen Titans 52 coverTales of the Teen Titans #52 – “Jericho’s Story” – Marv Wolfman/Rich Buckler/Mike DeCarlo

This one continues from last issue, with Adeline Kane being held in the Middle East (in the fictional country of Qurac … I think this may be the first mention of it) and tortured by President Marlo because he wants the info she has on Kyran military strength. Adeline refuses to talk, so Marlo turns her over to one of his thugs and meets with a weapons dealer named Krigor. Marlo needs to replace the weapons that were seized when the Titans raided the warehouse in New York last issue, but Krigor says Marlodebating Jericho's loyalty will have to pay again. Krigor asks for Marlo’s priceless art and Marlo agrees, planning to double-cross Krigor once the weapons are delivered. In New York, Joseph (Jericho) Wilson meets with one of his mother’s old friends (Amber) and tells her about Cheshire abducting Adeline. Amber offers to help Jericho find his mother and won’t take no for an answer. At Titans’ Tower, the team are still debating whether to trust Jericho or condemn him, although Changeling has already made up his mind. His conviction that Jericho is a traitor gets more solid when Lilith tells them Joseph took a plane to the Cheshire takes Jericho out againMiddle East with an unknown woman. The Titans aren’t inclined to go after him and Cyborg invites them to stop by STAR Labs with him, which gives Lilith a premonition that something at STAR will change her life forever. In Qurac, Jericho and Amber get into a bar brawl while asking about Adeline. Cheshire shows up and kicks Jericho’s ass again and Amber is hauled off to the dungeons. In New York, the Titans see the container brought back from the North Pole with something—or someone—inside it. The container starts to overload and everyone but Cyborg evacuates. Lilith has another premonition and goes back in to help him, but the containerJericho hides inside Adeline explodes. In Qurac, Adeline tells Marlo what he wants to know to keep him from killing Jericho. When Marlo leaves them in the dungeon, Adeline comes up with an escape plan. She and Amber start freaking out, which brings the guards into the cell. They see that Jericho is missing, but he’s just using his powers to hide inside Adeline. He emerges and pounds the guards, then frees Adeline and Amber. In NewYork, a winged man (Azrael) emerges from the remains of the blown up chamber and sees Lilith pinned to the wall by the energy. As soon as Azrael sees her, he’s smitten. In Qurac, Amber Jericho tosses the grenade awayinterrupts Marlo and Krigor’s deal but ends up fighting Cheshire again. Jericho is reusing the “hiding inside someone” trick and pops out of Amber, decking Cheshire. As Jericho goes after Marlo’s guards, Cheshire decides it’s time to get the hell out of there. Marlo pulls the pin from a grenade and Adeline urges Jericho to shoot him, but Jericho is no killer. Marlo tosses the grenade and takes off. Ignoring his mother’s orders to run, Jericho grabs the grenade and throws it out the window. Adeline is pissed off that he let Marlo get away, but Amber points out that Jericho saved them … and the priceless artwork.

New Teen Titans 7 coverNew Teen Titans #7 – “The Origin of Lilith” – Marv Wolfman/Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez/Romeo Tanghal

This one starts with Lilith having a weird nightmare about burning. Later, Azrael stops by her place because he’s still infatuated with her, but she’s not there so he gets all angsty and emo. Lilith is in Greenwich Village with Starfire at an outdoor art show, where they run into Jericho, who’s exhibiting there. Azrael swoops down to grab Lilith and flies off with her. Starfire gives chase, although Lilith doesn’t seem to mind Azrael’s tongue in her mouth. But when Lilith starts glowing, Starfire figures AzraelThia wastes a guy for being a traitor is responsible, even though he claims innocence. (The same thing happened—or will happen—in Tales of the Teen Titans 53, which hadn’t been published when this issue came out.) Lilith tells Starfire and Jericho the weird glowing has happened when Azrael wasn’t around, so they agree to believe in his innocence and go somewhere to talk. Uptown at a company called Sun Publishing, the CEO comes in and everyone is scared of her like Miranda Priestley in The Devil Wears Prada. Turns out there’s good reason, as she immolates an employee she discovered has been giving information to her competitors (after looking like she was going to bang the dude … talk about Thia fights Starfireharsh). Turns out she’s Thia, the Titan sun goddess from Olympus and she’s looking for someone; I wonder who that could be? At Lilith’s place, she’s lamenting that she doesn’t know anything about her past and Azrael offers to go with her anywhere she wants. Before she can respond, Thia shows up and grabs Lilith, informing her she’s her mother, which would explain all the heat-related stuff that’s been going on with Lilith lately. Starfire tries to fight Thia, but the goddess’s mastery over the sun gives her an advantage, since Starfire draw her power from the sun. Thia vanishes with Lilith and Starfire says they’d better get some help fast. At Titans’ Tower, they use a computer program toParadise Island deserted reconstruct an image of the person who took Lilith and Wonder Girl recognizes her as Thia. Nightwing points out that they’re a little out of their league going up against a goddess, so Wonder Girl suggests they go to Paradise Island for help. But Paradise Island is wrecked and the Amazons are all gone. Wonder Girl assumes Thia (and her fellow Titans) are responsible and swears to get the Amazons and Lilith back, even if she has to storm the gates of Tartarus.

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