Monday, 13 May 2013
Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.
The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!
JLA: OUR WORLDS AT WAR #1 - 2001
Superman and the rest of the world face one of their biggest threats: Imperiex and his fleet of enormous, world devouring robots that are miniature versions of himself. Every hero on Earth - or at least those operating in America - voluntarily come under the leadership of President Lex Luthor who is coordinating the fight against the invaders.
First up is the Justice League who take on one of the Imperiex probes with little success.
Even the combined might of Wonder Woman and Aquaman can only delay it; it's not until Superman - spurred on by the destruction of Smallville and the apparent death of the Kents - joins in the battle, having managed to defeat an earlier probe. Wonder Woman, however, breaks the probe's shell, causing a huge explosion which renders her injured.
With news that a probe has attacked Atlantis, Aquaman returns to the oceans and does what only Superman has been able to do: defeat one of the probes, but at a terrible cost. By the time Superman arrives to help, Aquaman has been shunted out of the present, leaving only his empty armour behind.
The loss of his parents, the severe injury to Wonder Woman and now this send Superman over the edge and, somehow, his rage is enough to part the ocean:
It's a bombastic image but this issue is full of them as most of the first dozen or so pages are two-page spreads but with the scale of the story - a full on invasion of Earth - they don't look out of place. Despite this being a JLA title, the Imperiex storyline was one that originally ran across the Superman books and only tied in to a few one-offs and a couple of issues of other series but it seems right that the JLA get involved, even if they do get their arses kicked in the first few pages.
If memory serves, the wounding of Wonder Woman would lead to her mother taking on her role and, ultimately, falling in battle while the disappearance of Aquaman would lead into the JLA story The Obsidian Age where the team discover he's been sent back in time.
Not a bad one-shot in a not bad story line.