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Saturday, November 23, 2013

JLA: Year One #3 - March 1998

"Untitled" by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Barry Kitson.

Vandal Savage is busy vivisecting (ick) one of the defeated Apellax Aliens, the Golden Roc, part of the plan to destroy this "Justice League" ever before it is fully formed...

Meanwhile, in Chicago:
The bad guys blast at Black Canary, who is "saved" by The Flash, who moves her out of the way, without her knowledge or desire, even. This leaves Dinah mad at Barry, and it is the straw that breaks the canary's back: she's sick of all the men in the League thinking she needs saving!

After a brief press conference, our three heroes visit genius tinkerer Ted Kord, who has been working on a high-tech security system for the JLA. After they cart it away, Kord decides, then and there, that he doesn't want to continue the family business...he wants to be a superhero!

Also meanwhile, in Rhode Island:
Green Lantern and Black Canary get to know one another, with Hal going so far as to sharing his origin with her. Things seem to be going well, until he clumsily hits on her--again--causing Dinah to walk away in a huff.

Aquaman, Flash, and Martian Manhunter do the same--minus the sexual harassment--with Arthur and J'onn finding a lot of common ground, so much so they leave Flash alone to his thoughts. He is soon joined by the Black Canary, who flirts with him, leaving Barry stuttering for words. Soon after, they all crowd around their newly-christened meeting table, which Barry has included a sixth chair: one for...Superman? You see, Barry wants to ask the Man of Steel to join. As the heroes debate, Superman himself shows up!

Actually, it's not Superman--it's J'onn, using his shape-shifting powers in front of his teammates for the first time, and showing a sense of humor, also for the first time. This lightens the mood for everyone, except for:
...To be continued!

This is a definitive low-stakes issue; other than the two pages with Vandal and his gang, this whole story concerns itself with character moments. Not that that's a bad thing, but I will admit after a little while I kinda wanted the JLA to just punch someone already!
Aquaman is major-league cranky this time around; writer Waid took an interesting angle with the Sea King, making him hyper-sensitive about not being welcome in his new surroundings. I was glad to see him and J'Onn strike up an immediate friendship, even within this small group. That relationship was occasionally hinted at in the original JLA book, but never had the chance to develop (J'onn was gone from the original series before any of the JLAers even got recognizable personalities)--at least until much, much later.
One relationship I didn't need to see again was the return of Snapper Carr! I didn't like him as a kid, I don't like him as an adult. Having the chance to remove that annoying jerk from (then-)newly-established DC continuity was one I would have taken with both hands. It's a new time period, a new JLA, and yet, here's Snapper again. *sigh*
And finally, Vandal Savage performing an autopsy on the Golden Roc is just gross.


Count Drunkula said...

When I read this I had to think of it as out-of-continuity or an Elseworlds tale. Despite how much I liked the series and how much I like Black Canary, the plain ol' simple fact is she ain't one of the original Justice Leaguers. Now having said that, I really enjoyed her interactions with Hal and Barry in these issues. It's interesting how she rejects Hal's advances and sidles up to Barry... and then eventually, she ends up with Ollie, who is much closer to Hal in terms of machismo and bravado? Anyway, I agree that Aquaman is a bit too grumpy for a good portion of this series.

The Flying Dachshund said...

Makes one wonder how long before Snapper Carr appears in the New 52........ EGADS!!

I always felt there was room for BOTH Wonder Woman AND Black Canary in a founding Justice League... But alas, they didn't take advantage of that with the brand new continuity either time... Just mentioned it after Infinite Crisis, I believe....