Monday, 22 July 2013

Monday Memories #29 - Justice League Annual #1

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!


With Giffen and DeMatteis writing this, the first annual of the Justice League title that they had recently revitalised (this takes place after issue #4 of the main series) you might expect it to be a hysterical romp through a superhero adventure. There are chuckles dotted throughout the annual, without a doubt, such as:

but for the most part it's played quite seriously.

A deserted island is home to a research facility, recently bought up by Kord Industries. Four technicians from Kord are sent to investigate it and find a native who infects them with a sentient virus, something that leads to a hive mind status: each of them are instructed to return to civilisation in order to spread the infection.

Alerted to the situation, Batman splits the League into pairs and has them head off to investigate, just like the old League used to do. Booster Gold and Black Canary succumb in Paris; Blue Beetle and Mr Miracle in LA; Batman and Guy Gardner in Tokyo (complete with cameo from Dr Light):

leaving Dr Fate and the Martian Manhunter in Sydney. While Fate's human host falls victim, J'onn's alien physiology renders him useless for the purposes of the virus. Figuring out that Fate (rather than the host) might be able to help, leads J'onn to put the helmet on:

And is it just me, or is that a cool look?

Discovering the ground zero, J'onn heads to the island where the virus uses the League and then the natives against him before, with the aid of Fate, he manages to absorb the virus, holding it prisoner within his own cell structure. With the virus contained, both the League and the civilians are returned to normal, Fate informing his team-mates of J'onn's sacrifice:

I miss this Martian Manhunter - the quietly dignified character who came to be the heart of the League, an able leader and one who was respected by his peers.

Heck, I just miss a League that works together.


  1. Wow, just wow! I need to go find this one at my local shop now. Thx;)

    Love the image of J'onn wearing Dr.Fate's helmet. That scene reeks of awesomeness.

    Yep, this is how J'onn should be, and not the emotionless NU52 cipher that's taken his place:(

    1. Yeah, J'onn's cool in this, and indeed most of the JL run this is from. He does only appear in Fate's helmet for a second, though!

  2. J'onn was never better than in the post-Crisis League and the John Ostrander series - I wonder if he still has his cat secret identity.

    1. Totally agree - the Ostrander series is a sadly overlooked run of excellent comics.


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