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Saturday, March 21, 2015

JLA: Year One #12 - Dec. 1998

"Justice For All" by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Barry Kitson.

We have (finally!) reached the conclusion to the epic JLA: Year One series, with the Apellax aliens prepared to square off against not only the still-wet-behind-the-ears Justice League, but the throng of other super-powered heroes who were kept as prisoners.


Each of the JLAers have spread out across the globe to deal with the threat, teaming up with different groups of heroes. Aquaman is in the ocean (of course), alongside The Sea Devils and Animal Man:


The battle is so massive it spreads to the ectoplasmic plane, where The Spectre and Wotan have teamed up(!) to fight back the forces of evil. Wotan, being Wotan, uses this as an opportunity to sabotage The Spectre as well, but the Ghostly Avenger is one step ahead, and turns the spiritual tables on him. 

The fight goes on, threatening to engulf the planet. The real mastermind behind all this, Vandal Savage, has a weapon that can pierce the minds of the Apellax aliens and kill them. The League does not want to kill anyone, even alien forms, so Martian Manhunter takes control of it, using his powerful telepathic powers to stop the aliens, but not kill them. It takes extraordinary effort, and the rest of the team make like The Guardians of the Galaxy and joins hands, so they can take some of the mental load from their colleague:


The plan works, with the aliens being sent back. That leaves a giant mob of heroes, with sore fists and pounding heads. Superman takes this moment to congratulate the JLA and offers himself up to help out whenever he's needed. But first he has to get back to his day job:

Not The End!

Well, it only took a little less than two years, but we have finally concluded the Shrine's look back at the JLA: Year One maxi-series. I didn't read this at the time, so I was discovering it as I read it for these posts and it was a lot of fun. Of course, with only five founding members in the post-Crisis continuity, Aquaman got a lot more to do, and for that I am always grateful. Writer Mark Waid, of course, was the guy who gave us the "I command 3/4ths of the planet" line in Kingdom Come, a piece of iconography that has followed Aquaman to this day. And there were definitely moments in this series where I felt like Waid was really enjoying writing the Sea King in action, something he really hasn't had much chance to do, before or since.

Of course, all this retconning now now been unretconned, and the JLA has been restored to the classic seven, in one iteration or another. Thankfully, Aquaman has been part of every one of those iterations, and so on into infinity.

This post marks a bit of a change with the Shrine, starting in a couple of weeks. After we review Aquaman #40 next Saturday, we'll actually start taking some time off. After eight and a half years of daily posts, I want to lighten my blogging load a bit. So while we'll still be covering every new issue of Aquaman, the Convergence books, etc., if there's a week off for Aquaman, we'll be taking a week off too. I need to go outside, at least occasionally!


Earth 2 Chris said...

Go smell the roses, Rob. You and the Shrine have done your job. You've elevated Aquaman's status, and helped to wipe away the comical stench that was put upon him by lesser minds. Time to bask a bit in the sun, I think!

Oh, and JLA: Year One was great. Highly underrated.


Joseph Brian Scott said...

I don't begrudge you taking an aquabreak one bit, Rob. You deserve some rest and that's what archives were made for.

Andy Luckett said...

Great job on this series of posts, Rob! JLA: Year One has long been one of my favorite series; I read it probably twice a year. Mark Waid's talent for detail (such as Aquaman's initial mumbling because of the sound differences between underwater and the surface) is always a delight to read.

Kick your feet up, man, and enjoy some time off! Your body of work re: Aquaman has reached legendary status!