Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Justice League #185

Justice League
Justice League #185

Get ready for a BIG finish!

"Crisis on Apokolips or Darkseid Rising!”
Writer – Gerry Conway
Artists – George Perez and Frank McLaughlin
Letters – Todd Klein
Colorist – Gene D’Angelo
Editor – Len Wein
December 1980

If yesterday was all windup, then today DC’s Justice League swings for the bleachers.

You might recall the opus I spoke of yesterday, part two of a three part Darkseid story written by the great Gerry Conway and penciled by Perez/inked by McLaughlin. If you don’t, here’s Metron…

…riding around in his crazy Mobius Chair down a history-lesson Boom Tube to tell you all about it…

…so, heroes from Earth’s 1 and 2 joined with a handful of New Gods to stop the Injustice Society from bringing back Darkseid and yadda-yadda-yadda…now he’s going to blow up Earth-2 and take over that universe.

And Metron could have saved everyone lots of time last issue by telling them all this, but no. He did not. Why? Because he’s kind of an aloof jerk know-it-all who feels he’s above all this crap. I mean, the Watchers at Marvel I get. Their race possibly screwed up something big in the past…so big they stopped interfering with any race’s development. But Metron…naw, not so much. He just doesn’t like to get his hands dirty.

Plus, he might have to stand up or walk around or something and what they don’t tell you is that Mobius Chair is INFINITLY comfortable. I mean, a guy has to have his priorities straight, right?

It’s back to Apokolips for the rest of us, where we find Batman, Mr. Miracle and Huntress are freaking out a little. They’ve just discovered that Darkseid is coming back to life and his plan is to destroy the Earth that Huntress comes from in order to take over an entire universe. They need to get out of there and warn the other Leaguers and the rest of the Justice Society, fast.

Opps! Not THAT door Scott!

Yay! FINALLY! Part III of his story and the big man makes his appearance at long last. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. And he ain’t alone folks.

But first Darkseid takes time to smell…and then utterly crush…the flowers. Ahh, it must feel nice to return from the dead like that. I’m sure it gives one an awful powerful “morning breath” effect. Or perhaps that should be “mourning breath.”

But on to those guys waiting for Darkseid’s reappearance. You know, his minions – the Injustice Society.

His helpers! The guys that froze his enemies. Including his son, Orion. Oops!

Yup. Darkseid don’t want no one taking down his son. Not even his own bagmen. So the Injustice Society gets “retired” before any other heroes get a crack at them. 

Then Darkseid proceeds breaking down his master plan for those in the audience who didn’t tune in last month. Or for the first few pages. He’s going to send the planet Apokolips to the Earth-2 universe where there is no New Genesis to fight him, and as an unfortunate side-effect, this planetary dimension-hopping will blow up Earth-2. Convoluted much?

Meanwhile, Batgirl has to take down Jet-Set Jessie, Jewel Thief extraordinaire using nothing but her wits, high-heel kicks, and golden delicious Hostess® Twinkies® cakes... 

What do you mean I did this same joke last review? Fine! Did I do THIS one too?

That’s right! And O.J. Simpson says “If the boot don’t fit, the state of Nevada says you must do 33 years with eligibility for parole in 9 years.” Buy Dingo’s boots everyone!

Anyway, back to DARKSEID’s malicious plots and the heroes who foil them. We find our squad of rogues (Batman, Huntress, and Mr. Miracle) rescuing the three captured supers from Icicle’s cold storage. I’m not even certain these guards mind. Taking a short nap beats having to drag this giant block of ice to the dungeon any day.

While all that biff, bam, and pow is going on, Dr. Fate runs interference for Green Lantern who is transporting Oberon and High Father to Darkseid’s fortress. Fate really packs a wallop here and I’m totally digging it…

…even more so when GL and High Father get in on the act too. Note that High Father’s even come with a bit of Kirby Krackle. 

Unfortunately, looking that awesome takes too much out of High Father. As he faints, GL and Fate rush in to keep him safe.

As all this takes place, Supes, the Wonder Woman from Earth-2 and Barda are trying their hand at sneaking in to Granny’s orphanage, using a child named Crimson to lead the way. Crimson has a bit of a grudge against Granny, given how many of his friends the old child dominatrix has tortured to death.

Superman and Wonder Woman are almost as surprised by this admission as they are Crimson’s sudden lunging at these two guards. They are easily outmatched by the trio, sure. But Crimson’s ready to draw blood…

…until Superman melts his dagger and tries to talk sense into the lad. However, after ripping off the door to Granny’s inner sanctum, Superman might change his mind…

…the kid’s class room is also Granny’s bedroom. EWW!

At least they are chained down and pointed AWAY from her bed. I’d shudder to think what the implications would be had the room been arranged a bit differently. 
Anyway: nice proper “weight” is given to Ms. Goodness this time and right feisty, fiery attitude. The battle is soon joined, but one look at Superman in the bottom panel tells you all you need to know about how long this skirmish will take.

While Supes takes down the guards, Crimson rescues his friends and Wonder Woman disarms Granny.

However, the old woman proves too wily for the Amazon Princess and she escapes through a booby-trapped secret escape tunnel…

Or at least she almost does.

Time to check in on Batman’s group and the bitchin of the recently thawed out Firestorm…

Sheesh! One of this guy’s main enemies is Killer Frost, right? You’d think Ronnie would have figured out some tricks to get out of being frozen in ice by now.

And right on cue, Ronnie brings up his ex and that time she fought him and Superman. I like these panels most of all because we get some honest interaction between Kara and Ronnie, albeit a very brief bit of dialogue. I want more of that at this point. I’d even take another whole issue to get to our conclusion if we could get more of these.

But we have to rush to the ending, so the teams split up with Batman leading people to rescue the Injustice Society and Orion taking the fight to Darkseid himself.
The story follows Batman first as he and Mr. Miracle attempt to free the Injustice Society from their “chained up, windowless box perched precariously over a bubbling lava pit” of a prison. It’s easier said…

…than done. 

That epiphany moment between Bats and Scott is SOOOO Good! Scott sets to work and in no time…

…they are playing “Let’s Make a Deal” with some super-criminals.

Things aren’t going so well outside however. GL and Fate are fighting fatigue as much as parademon warriors.

And of course, Metron won’t get out of his chair to lend a hand…

He’s off to the palace, where Darkseid’s careful calculations are about to be interrupted by the arrival of his son. Firestorm gets a moment to shine here…

…and it doesn’t suck. Turning the Omega Force back on Darkseid has the benefit of having the villain defeat himself in the end, with only Orion laying a finger on him. Sadly, Darkseid has his finger already on a button too. With one press, he starts the mechanism that will destroy Earth-2.

Time has run out for Fate, GL, High Father and Oberon too. The heroes are spent. Just before they are beset, however, Batman leads a charge of “New Genesisians” to the rescue. Neat seeing Lightray in the fore.

Unfortunately, they are all just in time to watch as the beam fires that will destroy Earth-2 and transport Apokolips into its place…

…except the beam hits Darkseid instead!

Appears that Metron did get out of his seat, if only for the moment it took to realign Darkseid’s aiming device to target the evil dictator and not Earth-2. Sadly, that’s where this tale ends and I feel like it has only whet my appetite for more.

Thus wraps up this three part storyline and begins the brief Perez era of the Justice League. Issue 183 was the last Dick Dillin issue after an unheard of 12 year run, encompassing 115 issues. He passed away after completing the first three pages of issue 184. Those pages were left unused.

It is an awful way to pass the baton, but he left the Justice League in great hands.

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