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Sunday, December 05, 2010

JLX #1 - April 1996

"A League of Their Own!" by Gerard Jones, Mark Waid, Howard Porter, and John Dell.

This book hits the ground running--er, flying--with the Justice League Avengers fighting a battle against their former teammates:
The "other side" is led by Aqua-Mariner, who is hesitant about being the cause of his friends to fight one another.

During the battle, Angel-Hawk is severely injured, and plunges into the water. He's rescued by Captain Marvel:
Aqua-Mariner and his friends depart, on their search for Atlantis. Using clues found via mystical totem called the Serpent Crown, they head deep into the ocean to where they think Atlantis is.

Unfortunately, the ship they're in starts to buckle from the deep ocean pressures, and Aqua-Mariner has to literally keep the roof from falling in, using his amazing strength.

But finally they reach Atlantis...empty, and silent as a tomb. Aqua-Mariner is aghast:
The attackers are Will Magnus and his army of Sentinels, and Aqua-Mariner and his friends find themselves in another fight. Magnus' beloved sentinel Jocasta is destroyed, and Marco Xavier shows himself to be who we would know as the Martian Manhunter.

Magnus, cradling Jocasta's severed head, departs, promising a rematch and "death for mutant-kind." Some of the team want to chase after him, but J'onn--the last survivor of the Skrull race--advises they stay behind to search for any Atlantean survivors.

Aqua-Mariner agrees, and his team of mutant friends prepare for their next mission:
Not to be continued!

Man, when it comes to comics, this whole Amalgam thing is about as "inside baseball" as it gets.
I missed all of it at the time (the mid-90s were a low comic-buying-time for me, and by 1996 I was just sort of getting back into it in force), so I'm sure only reading this one book (out of the dozen or so they put out) doesn't help in understanding what's going on--but of course that's part of the point, since this book footnotes other comics that don't exist.

Combining Aquaman and Sub-Mariner is a natural of course, but there wasn't too far to go with him--Aquaman is routinely criticized as a jerk, and Subby is an even bigger jerk, not making for the most empathetic of heroes. But thanks to artists Porter and Dell, he sure looks good though!

(For further reading, check out this page which explains all the fake publishing history of Aqua-Mariner!)


IADW said...

This was my first intro to Howard Porter and boy was it amazing from that perspective.

Since this issue I waited for his Hawkman, and while he's touched him here and there since I still think he'd do an awesome job with that character :D

David J. Cutler said...

I've read a handful of the Amalgam books--Spider-Boy, Darkclaw, Dr. Strangefate, Lobo the Duck--but never this one. So we have Aquaman-Mariner, Nightcrawler-Creeper, Professor X-J'onn J'onzz, Quicksilver-Impulse, Cyclops-Ray, and Phoenix-Fire. Anyone know who they amalgamated with Gambit and Rogue? I don't recognize the DC halves. Is Gambit Obsidian?

Siskoid said...

Gambit is Obsidian and Rogue is Gypsy.

The Aquamariner also appears in his Golden Age incarnation in Super-Soldier: Man of War #1, part of the second wave of Amalgam books.