In this issue, Gehenna quotes Batman: “when you’re not sure what to do next, get more facts.” Words to live by, Gehenna … words to live by.
I really did like the last Firestorm series, and it’s been good to see Jason and Gehenna in the spotlight here. While I don’t expect Trinity to spawn any new series, at least this raises Firestorm’s profile somewhat.
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“I Remember The Day…” was written by Kurt Busiek, pencilled by Mark Bagley, inked by Art Thibert, colored by Pete Pantazis, and lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, associate editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: Jason and Gehenna research the history of the JSI.
– A giant Superman-with-eagle statue stands in Metropolis’ Centennial Park. It once housed Superman’s tomb, and has since been joined by a statue of the late Superboy, Kon-El. This is not that statue. That one (seen, for example, on the cover of The Adventures of Superman #499 (February 1993)) features Superman in a similar pose, but with his right arm akimbo and the eagle landing on his outstretched left arm. It’s an homage to the cover of Adventures #424 (January 1987), which itself is an homage to the cover of Superman vol. 1 #14 (January-February 1942). As far as I can tell, this statue (while still something of an homage to Superman #14) is making its first appearance.
– “Kimberly Avenue”: Jerry Siegel’s boyhood home was on Kimberly Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio.
– “The first time Superman saved the city from alien attack”: looking at Chris Miller’s revised Unauthorized DC Chronology, this could be a few things, depending on how you read “Superman saving Metropolis.” The climax of the Superman: Birthright miniseries (September 2003-September 2004) involves Lex Luthor’s early attempt to discredit Superman through a “Kryptonian invasion” of the city. However, “alien attack” could also apply to the worldwide battles with the resurgent Appellaxians in JLA: Year One #s 11-12 (November-December 1998); or Agamemno’s alien invasion as chronicled in the Silver Age miniseries (July 2000). (Interestingly enough, each of those stories was written by Mark Waid.) However, I think it refers to the events of Action Comics Annual #7 (1995), a flashback to Superman’s first trip into space which ends with him saving Earth from the H’Tros. He gets a parade, so it’s not unreasonable to think a statue was part of the celebration too.
– Okay, I suppose everyone has repressed memories of the “old days,” not just the people who should be dead.
– “Tomahawk,” a/k/a Tom Hawk, Thomas Hawkins, and/or Thomas Haukins, was a frontiersman and soldier in George Washington’s Colonial Army. He was created by Joe Samachson and Edmund Good and first appeared in Star-Spangled Comics #69 (June 1947).
– “That robot guy”: oh, like there’s just one.
– “An atomic explosion in Africa”: I presume this was part of the Orango/M’Changa limited nuclear conflict mentioned in issue #18.
– “The Heywood Corps”: a reference to the original Commander Steel, as we’ll see in a few pages.
– Justice Socialites pictured here include Liberty Belle, Wildcat, Johnny Quick, Hawkman, Hourman, Doctor Mid-Nite, Mister Terrific, Commander Steel, Doctor Fate, Starman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Firebrand II, and Black Canary. I thought Liberty Belle, Johnny Quick, Commander Steel, and Firebrand were members of the wartime All-Star Squadron (which included all of America’s mystery-men) but not of the JSA (renamed the “Justice Battalion” for the duration of the war), but I could be wrong. Here, obviously, they’re part of the JSA.
– Liberty Belle, a/k/a Libby Lawrence, was created by Don Cameron and Chuck Winter and first appeared in Boy Commandos #1 (Winter 1942-43). She married Johnny Chambers in All-Star Squadron #50 (October 1985).
– Johnny Quick, a/k/a Johnny Chambers, was created by Mort Weisinger and Chad Grothkopf and first appeared in More Fun Comics #71 (September 1941). Libby and Johnny are the parents of Jesse Chambers, who started her superhero career as the speedster Jesse Quick and is now the current JSA’s Liberty Belle II.
– Mister Terrific, a/k/a Terry Sloane, was created by Charles Resizenstein and Hal Sharpe and first appeared in Sensation Comics #1 (January 1942).
– Starman, a/k/a Ted Knight, was created by Gardner Fox and Jack Burnley and first appeared in Adventure Comics #61 (April 1941).
– Firebrand, a/k/a Danette Reilly, was created by Roy Thomas, Danette Thomas, and Rich Buckler, first appeared in Justice League of America vol. 1 #193 (August 1981), and first appeared in action in All-Star Squadron #5 (January 1982). She is the sister of Rod Reilly, the original Firebrand, who was created by S.M. Iger and Reed Crandall and first appeared in Police Comics #1 (August 1941).
– This is the original Black Canary, Dinah Drake Lance, the current BC’s mother.
– Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) is, of course, an historical figure. In regular continuity, as portrayed in Adventure Comics #466 (November-December 1979), the Justice Society literally vanished into thin air rather than unmask before McCarthy. This is supposed to have happened in 1951 (also the date of the last issue of All Star Comics, the JSA’s home in print), and it began a long “intertestamental” period in the history of DC-Earth.
– The history of Commander Steel was covered in the annotations to issue #15.
– “Columbus, Ohio”: Commander Steel’s grandson, Nathan “Citizen Steel” Heywood, is also from Columbus.
– “How many times was Eisenhower re-elected?” Great shades of (Watchmen’s) Nixon! Actually, that might not be too far off. The 22nd Amendment, limiting a President of the United States to two terms in office, was ratified on February 26, 1951, towards the end of the Truman Administration. Did Hank Heywood reveal himself to McCarthy in time to affect the amendment’s ratification? On our Earth (and presumably in regular DC continuity), Dwight D. Eisenhower was re-elected in 1956. He was succeeded in 1961 by John F. Kennedy, who defeated Ike’s Vice-President, Richard M. Nixon. Therefore, in this altered timeline, without Kennedy to “end” his political career in 1960, maybe Nixon directly succeeded his old boss after Ike’s third or fourth term (the elections of 1964 or 1968). Eisenhower died early in 1969.
– “Appellaxians”: as told in flashback in Justice League of America vol. 1 #9 (February 1962), when the planet Appellax wanted to choose its new ruler, it sent a representative from each of its races (crystalline, stone, avian, wooden, mercurial, fire-based, and energy-based) to Earth. There they would assemble their own armies and fight each other, with the victor getting the throne. However, they were met by the Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Wonder Woman (and/or, in later accounts, Black Canary II), Batman, Superman, Aquaman, and J’Onn J’Onzz. Their defeat of the Appellaxian invaders led directly to the formation of the original Justice League. The Appellaxians showed up later in JLA: Year One and in Justice League of America vol. 1 #200 (March 1982).
– Let’s think a minute: this page establishes that Hal Jordan was Green Lantern at least long enough to get heckled. However, issue #18 appeared to establish that John Stewart is Green Lantern and Hal is not. There are a number of points in Hal’s GL career where he could have retired and John could have taken over, especially considering Hal’s signature move of favoring Earth (i.e., Carol Ferris and/or Coast City) over the GL Corps. Ironically, though, in this timeline Earth was off-limits to Green Lanterns, so maybe Hal just got burned out on policing everything else in space sector 2814. Alternatively, maybe there is no current Green Lantern from Earth, and John has been “grandfathered in” like Firestorm.
– The accounts on this page make me think that if Black Canary II would otherwise have appeared, she would have joined the Justice Society, which of course makes sense.
– I probably don’t have to tell you that The Creature From The Black Lagoon was a 1954 monster movie starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, and Ricou Browning as the creature. Apparently a remake is coming in 2009.
– “Amazo” is an android able to mimic the powers of the Justice League (including gadgets like magic lassoes and power rings), which in practice tends to mean he can mimic the powers of whoever’s nearby. Amazo and his creator, Professor Anthony Ivo, were created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky and first appeared in The Brave and the Bold vol. 1 #30 (June-July 1960).
– No annotations.
– In The Man Of Steel #1, the original account of the Constitution’s rescue, Clark wasn’t in costume, just either in shadow or moving too fast for cameras to follow. However, Action Comics #850 (July 2007) revised the account by putting him in the familiar super-suit.
– Jason’s father Alvin Rusch was created by Dan Jolley and Chriscross and first appeared in Firestorm vol. 3 #1 (July 2004). Jason’s as-yet-unnamed mother left the family some time before the series began (after Jason’s dad lost his hand, as shown in the last panel). She was first seen in flashback in issue #3 (September 2004).
– “Had some kind of agenda”: again, possibly a reference to Luthor’s attempts to discredit Superman.
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“Bound To Matter” was plotted by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, scripted by Nicieza, pencilled by Tom Derenick, inked by Wayne Faucher, colored by Allen Passalaqua, lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, associate editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: Krona enlists the Controllers in his experiments.
Page 13 (story page 1)
– “Laboratory World 7413″: honestly, most of the references I find on Teh Googel to a “laboratory world” concern Marvel’s Stranger. The Psions, of DC’s Vegan System, once had a laboratory world, but it was destroyed and its remains became part of the Citadel homeworld’s defenses.
– The Controllers were created by Jim Shooter and first appeared in Adventure Comics #357 (June 1967). Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 (October 1985) established them as an offshoot of the same Maltusian race which produced the Oans and the Zamarons.
– “The conscious mind of this plane”: again, this could be Kismet, the personification of the DC Universe, first seen in The Adventures Of Superman #494 (September 1992).
– “Fermions” and “bosons” are subatomic particles. Wikipedia sez “only one fermion can occupy a quantum state at a given time,” whereas “several bosons can occupy a quantum state.” Electrons and protons are types of fermions. Photons and mesons are types of bosons. Science!!!
– “I have seen the beginning! Seen the end!” Krona’s Oan experiments involved examining the moment of creation, as shown in Green Lantern vol. 2 #40 (October 1965) and COIE #7. As for “the end,” he could be talking about the reality-warping events of Crisis On Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, JLA/Avengers, Infinite Crisis, or even the remaking of DC-Earth in this series. The end of the universe happens more often than you might think, I suppose….
– No annotations.
– “Tear the constraints that bind us from the glory of creation!” Sounds to me like another portal looking back to the dawn of time. The “whirlpool” is illustrative of a giant cosmic hand casting the earliest bits of the universe into being, again from GL #40 and COIE #7.
– No annotations.
– The hand in the whirlpool obviously recalls the moment of creation, so the fact that it’s Krona’s hand lends credence to his “I am creation!” statement.
– “The planet was alive…?” Not surprising, given all the Gaea-talk we’ve had over the last several weeks.
– No annotations.
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And so, with Krona off to recruit celestial bodies to his cause, we leave Trinity for another week. Seems like a good bit of the world-(re)building has been accomplished in these three Act Two issues, so I’m looking forward to Firestorm, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Ragman, Hawkman, Gangbuster, and heaven-knows-who-else trying to put everything right.