Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dr. K's 200th Page Super Spectacular

For my very special 200th post, I decided to return to the wonderful world of 100-Page Super Spectaculars from which the blog takes its name.

Justice League of America 112 is of contemporary relevance, too. It is the second part of a two-parter, and the first part, which introduces the villain Libra, who is currently featured in Final Crisis, was reprinted in this:
However, that story ends with this cliffhanger, where the Justice League has defeated Libra, but they failed to regain the powers that he stole from them:

(Actually, the Justice League doesn't really defeat Libra. They just stand by and watch as Libra absorbs too much power and has his molecules scattered throughout the universe. But a forfeit is still a win.)

Unfortunately, DC didn't see fit to show readers how the heroes got their powers back. However, Dr. K, who is always looking out for you, can help remedy that situation.

The story opens with the dejected heroes resigned to the fact that they may never get back the half of their powers that Libra stole, and Black Canary tries to console them by serving them coffee and sandwiches I guess because, at this time, Wonder Woman was no longer a member of the JLA that all the kitchen duties ended up falling to Black Canary.

Batman is among those affected by Libra's power-theft, which really doesn't make sense. However, it's explained in this story that Batman has lost half of his courage and intellect, whatever that means.

The Justice Leaguers, led by The Atom, who wasn't affected by Libra's attack, come up with a plan to get their powers back that seems pretty half-baked. Apparently, their lost powers are contained in molecules that are scattering throughout the universe, and Atom proposes to redesign the villainous robot Amazo to absorb those power molecules the way he normally absorbs the JLAs powers. The idea that Batman would have lost some courage and intellect molecules doesn't make much sense to me, but then I don't really know shit about science, so I'll give writer Len Wein the benefit of the doubt here.

Come to think of it, though, I probably lost some intellect molecules the other night when I drank half a bottle of Maker's Mark, so I guess this does make sense. But I think I actually gained courage molecules at the same time.

So, the League gets to work on redesigning Amazo:

Superman and Flash replace Amazo's reel-to-reel, while Atom welds up his brain, and Black Canary gives him a new costume.

Just to recap for a moment--Black Canary's contributions so far: serving food and sewing. When was Black Canary replaced by fucking Martha Stewart?

The Justice League has now programmed Amazo to believe that he is dying, and that the JLA is refusing to give him a cure, so he must chase them around the world. While he's chasing them, he will also be absorbing the missing power molecules.

This is a pretty dickish plan. In the previous issue, Libra had duped the villains in the Injustice Gang to fight losing battles with JLAers in order to give him an opportunity to collect their powers. Now, the JLA is treating Amazo the same way, manipulating him into inadvertantly helping them get their powers back.

In classic JLA fashion, the heroes split into three teams, each located in a different part of the world--Africa, the Arctic, and Brazil--all the while playing keep-away with Amazo. Amazo, however, has absorbed half of Batman's intellect, and apparently he got the good half, and not the half that remembers where Alfred keeps the plunger for the bat-toilet and what the lyrics to the themes to "Good Times" and "Diff'rent Strokes" are. So, Amazo figures out right away that the JLA is trying to manipulate him, and he only feigns defeat in order to lull the League into a false sense of security.

Interestingly, Libra didn't steal half of Batman's ability to kick ass, and the Dark Knight ends up making quick work of Amazo:
That's right--Batman just needed one chop to decapitate a robot with half the powers of the Justice League.

Bonus Content:
JLA 112 also features a reprint of an awesome Seven Soldiers of Victory story from the Golden Age. Among the highlights:
The Crimson Avenger x-ray punches a dude decades before Sonny Chiba made it cool.

Vigilante makes nursery rhymes kick ass!

Vigilante shoots a giant rabbit in the face!


googum said...

Aw. Poor little, giant bunny.

I have a soft spot for Amazo, solely from his brief appearance in "Rock of Ages." I imagine the reprogrammed android as being friendly, personable, and helpful; yet having no idea that he looks like ass.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

I don't know why, but as I grow older I find the image of the original Vigilante cooler and cooler. He's a super-cowboy! That's awesome! We need more super-cowboys! As a kid, had I known about the Vigilante, I would have found him corny and dumb; as a grown up, of sorts, he strikes me as wicked cool.

Marc Burkhardt said...

It would have been cool if Libra had stolen half of The Atom's powers and Ray was stuck at being two-feet tall.

Also, I love how Aquaman is wearing a water-bubble on his head.

Oh, and I agree with Harvey: Super-cowboys shooting giant rabbits are wicked cool.