Thursday, February 2, 2012

JUSTICE LEAGUE #3


Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Patrick Brosseau
Editor: Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

While Silas Stone attempts to save his son Victor’s life by performing an experimental Promethium skin graft process, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the Flash fend off a horde of Parademons in Metropolis.  They are soon joined by Wonder Woman, who aids the heroes in their battle, but they quickly realize that the Parademons are collecting humans and transporting them out to see.  An alien tower rises up from the ocean, prompting the arrival of Aquaman, who wants answers…

Notes

Page 1:  First appearance of Steve Trevor.  Historical first appearance in All-Star Comics #8.  A transcript of his debriefing with Amanda Waller appeared last issue.  Currently acting as Wonder Woman’s liaison to the United States government. 

It seems that, when Diana first left Paradise Island, she made Washington, D.C. here base of operations.  In the present day, she lives in London, England, as seen in the pages of her own title. 

First appearance of Mr. Orr.  Historical first appearance in Superman (second series) #205.  He’s a pretty mysterious guy, usually involved with government black ops organizations. 

Page 2:  First appearance of Wonder Woman.  Historical first appearance in All-Star Comics #8.  Real name Princess Diana of Paradise Island.  Possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, endurance, superior hand-to-hand combat skills, flight and armed with the Lasso of Truth. 

Note that Wonder Woman's tiara differs from its appearance in Wonder Woman.  

I really want to call Wonder Woman’s island home “Themyscira,” because that’s what it’s been called for the past twenty years or so but, thus far, I can only find reference to it was “Paradise Island” in the New 52 DCU.  Does anyone know if this is an official change or not?

“Has anyone seen a harpy?”  A harpy is a winged spirit from Greek mythology that was known for stealing food from Phineas, the Phoenician King of Thrace

Page 3:  

I like the conversation Diana has with Raquel.  It shows that, even though the world believes that Wonder Woman is a threat and menace, she is just a young woman learning to adjust to this new world in which she has found herself.  

Page 4:  “You sound like my mother.”  Diana’s a bit rebellious, and always has been.  When Hippolyta called for a contest on Paradise Island to decide who would travel to “Man’s World,” she forbade her daughter from entering.  Diana, however, entered the contest anyway, and bested all of her sisters, giving her the right to don the name and mantle of Wonder Woman.

“I’m your appointed liaison.”  Trevor was apparently made Wonder Woman’s liaison after his debrief by Waller. 

PING PING PING”  I wonder what that sound could mean…

Page 5:  Oh, more Parademons.  Got it. 

"My name is Wonder Woman, you can call me Diana.  My interests include talking walks through your nation's capital, eating ice cream, and fighting winged monsters.  And you?

Page 6:  First appearance of Professor Anthony Ivo.  Historical first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #30.  Pre-Flashpoint, Ivo was responsible for the creation of Amazo, the android that could absorb the powers of the Justice League of America.  It remains to be seen whether or not his life in the New 52 DCU will take a similar course. 

First appearance of Dr. Thomas Morrow.  Historical first appearance in The Flash (first series) #143.  Pre-Flashpoint, T.O. Morrow created the Red Tornado as well as the robotic hero’s “siblings” – the Rd Torpedo, the Red Volcano and the Red Inferno.  As with Ivo, whether or not his life repeats itself in the New 52 DCU has yet to be seen. 

Victor Stone was injured by Parademons last issue. 

Page 7:  “I already saw his mother die.”  Pre-Flashpoint, Victor’s mother Elinore was killed in the same accident that injured Victor and forced Silas to transform his son into a Cyborg.  The circumstances of Mrs. Stone’s death in the New 52 DCU have yet to be seen. 

The abandoned printing press that Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the Flash gathered in last issue is revealed here to have belonged to the Daily Planet.  I was unsure if it was the property of the Planet, the Daily Star, or some other Metropolis newspaper.

Pages 8-9:  “This is judgment day!”  I think that news reporter is going a little overboard, don’t you?  I mean, just because winged demons are appearing all over the world and an evil god from another reality is about to subjugate everyone doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world…

Hmm, on second thought, carry on…

In the annotations for Justice League (New 52) #1, I mentioned that Superman’s first chronological appearance was in Action Comics (New 52) #1.  However, I must amend that to Action Comics (New 52) #3, which contains a flashback to an infant Kal-El on Krypton before the planet was destroyed. 

Batman has a pretty good idea about how
Green Lanterns' power ring works.

“Batman doesn’t have powers?”  Once again, most people seem to believe all of the “urban legend” stories about Batman, and don’t realize that he’s just a man in a costume. 

Pages 10-11:  Superman is off on his own, reinforcing the idea that the New 52 Superman is more of a loner than his pre-Flashpoint counterpart. 


He is also very physical and always moving.  As Grant Morrison says in the behind the scenes text pages in Action Comics (New 52) #2, “I constantly put Superman up against very physical objects:  a wrecking ball, a tank, a train, solid stone.  It was designed for the motion of that muscular, 1938 Superman – to really tie him into physical things, to big, heavy objects.  Using a truck to swat away a wall of Parademons definitely applies. 

Page 12:

This is the first tender moment we have seen between Silas and Victor.

Page 13:  “I can do that too.  See?”  Green Lantern is incredibly competitive with everyone else, especially Superman. 

Pages 14-15:  Wonder Woman definitely knows how to make a first impression. 

“Back to Hades!”  Hades is the ancient Greek god of the underworld.  It can also be used to describe the actual abode of the dead, as Wonder Woman does here. 

Page 16:  The Flash, Green Lantern and Superman are impressed by Wonder Woman’s appearance.  Strange that there’s no reaction from Batman; he’s probably off scowling somewhere…

“You’re Strong.”  “I know.”  I read this as an affirmation that not only is Wonder Woman physically strong, but she can stand on here own apart from the other heroes.  She’s not just a female version of a male hero, but an individual character in her own right.  Am I reading too much into this?

Page 17:  So what’s the deal with this Red Room anyway, you say?  And why the heck is it so important and special?

Well, I’m glad you asked…



Page 18:  “The Promethium skin graft.”  Promethium is a near-indestructible metal.  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, it was created by Steve Dayton, the former hero known as Mento, and used to create the Hybrid.  Cyborg’s cybernetic and bionic components were also made of the metal. 

So, where exactly were these nanites that Silas injected into Victor recovered from, hmm?

Page 19:  Hmmm, I wonder who that big, hulking, stone-skinned guy standing atop a flaming mountain and surrounded by a horde of swooping Parademons could possibly be?

Page 20:  “BOOOM”  That would be the sound of a Boom Tube opening up in the ocean.  Probably not a good sign, if you ask me…

The gang's (almost) all back together...

This panel makes me happy.  It’s been a long time since this group was together as a team like this.  In fact, if I am correct, the last time Hal Jordan, Clark Kent, Barry Allen, Bruce Wayne and Princess Diana were together, as the Justice League of America, was in Batman and the Outsiders (first series) #1, way back in 1983, when Batman quit the JLA because they would not enter Markovia to save Lucius Fox.  Shortly thereafter, Barry Allen died in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8, there were reboots and revamps, Hal Jordan went crazy, and even though Grant Morrison’s JLA brought back together The Big Seven, it was Wally West and Kyle Rayner filling out the group.  So this is a panel a long time coming…

Page 21:  That looming citadel seems to have traveled to Earth via that Boom Tube.  I knew that thing was up to no good. 

Page 22:  First appearance of Aquaman.  Historical first appearance in More Fun Comics #73.  Real name Arthur Curry.  Possesses superhuman strength, dexterity, durability, the ability to survive underwater, mental telepathy and control of sea life.  He also carries a big honking trident. 

“Who’s in charge here? I vote me.”  Great, like we don’t have enough egomaniacs in costume already…

Pages 23-27:  This issue’s text pages feature an excerpt from David Graves’ The Secret History of Atlantis, published by Historic Publications.  Some interesting notes include…

Page 23:  David Graves was mentioned in Amanda Waller’s debrief of Steve Trevor last issue.  She mentioned that David Graves has written dozens of books on the mysteries of the world.

Page 24:  This book seems to be quite popular at the South Orange Public Library, especially in 2007, which would have been shortly after the new age of superhumans began. 

Presumably, the South Orange Public Library is located in South Orange, NJ.  According to the Township of South Orange Village’s website, Melissa Kopecky is the librarian there.  Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Wednesday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sundays.  They are closed on Saturdays during the winter. 

Page 25:  “David Graves is the best selling world-renowned writer of some of the most popular books on the paranormal, supernatural and mythical, but he became the most important author of our time when he wrote his first-hand account of the formation of the Justice League and their role of saving him and his family.”  I wonder if this event will be seen before this story is over?

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind reading The Justice League: Gods Among Us.  Any takers?

Page 27:  “I’ve spoken to Dr. Stephen Shin, the famed oceanographer and marine biologist who spent his life searching the seas for signs of the lost empire and even claims there’s an Atlantean now living among us.”  Dr. Stephen Shin first appeared in Aquaman (New 52) #3; apparently he and Aquaman had met at some point in the past and had some sort of conflict that has yet to be revealed. 

“I’ve traveled across the world myself to take part in Dane Dorrance’s expeditions to the deep, uncovering what I believe are the remains of a path to the central city of Atlantis on the ocean floor.”  Pre-Flashpoint, Dane Dorrance was a member of the Sea Devils, a team of undersea adventurers.   Whether or not the Sea Devils exist in the New 52 DCU remains to be seen. 

Pages 28-29:  Sketchbook of Green Lantern’s new costume.  Concept art by Cully Hamner, design by Jim Lee. 

Overall, Green Lantern’s costume has changed less that any other hero’s; with the exception of a few new lines and the boots being changed, it’s pretty much the same as before.  Not a big fan of the boot change, but I guess they had to alter something.