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You know, for an evil cube-creature it looks rather cheerful – Justice League of America #52

September 18, 2010

This is a pretty interesting issue, in that it answers the question of just what the Hell the other Leaguers are doing when they’re absent from the drama of a particular book. In issue #50 various characters hadn’t answered the call to assemble, and this story shows what they were up to.

“Missing in Action — 5 Justice Leaguers!” is brought to us by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Sid Greene, and our guide on this trip down memory lane is the League’s obnoxious looking honorary member, Snapper Carr:

He has the mein of someone who needs a good smack in the face. Sort of a smug little bastard, you know? Though it could be that I’m just jealous of his access to the world’s greatest heroes.

And I like the fact that the League members are setting down their remembrances on their state of the art reel-to-reel tape recorder. My technophile grandfather would have been so proud of them back in the day.

First up is Hawkman, who was on a case with Hawkgirl. They battled the jowly villain Faceless, but Hawkman got a rude awakening when he engaged his foe:

In the course of their fight Hawkman’s wings were set on fire, and only after that did he put Faceless down for the count. Then he unmasked him:

It turns out that the Martian Manhunter was infiltrating Faceless’ gang, but was hypnotized by some strange force, and actually believed he was Faceless. Oops. After mopping up the gang they headed off to figure out what the strange force that messed with the Manhunter was.

Now we hear from Green Lantern, who was investigating what had been interfering with his power battery when he stumbled onto a farm family menaced by an enormous dog:

Seriously, this thing is huge. Jeff makes Stephen King’s Cujo look like one of those yippy little things that socialites carry in their purses.

When using his energy on Jeff only made him grow larger, Green Lantern surmised that Jeff was somehow affected by the energy sapped from his battery. Back to the drawing board he went, and he coated his hands in yellow and gave the poor pup a good whack:

You have to feel for little Bobby — no bond is stronger than the one between a boy and his dog, even when the dog becomes a rampaging mutant devil-beast.

After this, Green Lantern tracked the source of his energy drain to Hawkman and the Manhunter. It turns out that Faceless’ gang had tapped the battery’s power and used that to hypnotize J’onn. Green Lantern puts a “special aura” around it to make sure this never happens again, in a classic case of closing the barn door after the horse has already run away. I find this final resolution to these two stories utterly ridiculous (low-rent hoods pirating the energy from an outer space device), but hey, what’s a guy to do?

There’s one panel that shows what the Atom was doing (he was back in time in issue #27 of his own book). A tiny mention for a tiny character.

And now we come to the big guys. Superman and Batman were wrapping up a case when they come across the rampaging cube dudes from the cover. Check out Superman’s cringe inducing thought ballon in the third panel:

Ugh. No super-wit to go along with the super-breath and super-hearing.

The cubes proved to be worthy adversaries, and resisted all attempts to knock them down and keep them down, that is, until Batman got a bewilderingly preposterous idea. I’ll let him explain:

Whatever you say, Caped Crusader. And check out Superman’s reaction — you have to love the rivalry between these two super-studs:

Sure you would have. Sure.

The cubes beat a hasty retreat, but later, when Superman was alone in the Fortress of Solitude, a mysterious force transported him to another planet:

They didn’t really whack Superman with a giant stick, did they? DID THEY?!:

At least they didn’t hit him with an enormous rolled up newspaper. “Bad Superman! Bad!”

Superman realized that he’d been depowered by this world’s non-yellow sun, so he devised a filtration device under the pretext of helping the cubes learn the secret of his powers. They went along with the whole thing, proving that they might be the biggest f*****g morons that Supes ever faced, and were once again clobbered. Then Supes headed to the HQ to tell everyone about his adventure:

If you’re confused (I was), Eddie Brent was a character from the aforementioned issue #50.

While I like the tie-in with earlier material and answering a question that a fan would actually find rather pertinent, some of the plot devices in this issue were beyond stupid. But the giant dog bit was fun, and the cube creatures battering Superman made me laugh out loud.

You have to feel for the guy on that one. In the future, maybe he should just take out some insurance with Old Glory:

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2010 6:02 am

    Hey Jared

    i just put up a posting about a hypothetical ROM ” What If ” issue complete with a cover concept in which i actually used in part some of Steve Dikto’s art. yep believe it or not after all that belly aching and bitching on my part it actually seemed appropriate. i’d sure like to get your thoughts on the ROM “What If” issue when you have the time.

  2. September 20, 2010 9:57 am

    BATMAN: “If they hadn’t hit Superman with that giant stick, I would have.”

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