Before we get started, just a note on Hawkman. Basically, I’m ignoring the recent Jim Starlin Hawkman Special unless/until it is referenced explicitly here. Also, it might also be the case that the altered timeline excuses somehow the events of the Special.
With that out of the way, I thought this week was pretty solid, with both stories ending on intriguing cliffhangers. Looks like lots of carnage in the issues to come — but let’s knock out this installment first!
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“What Paris Should Be Like” 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: As the timeline tries to self-correct, Europe comes under attack from the goddess Morgaine Le Fay.
– “Jerusalem Embassy”: don’t ever remember seeing Justice League International’s Jerusalem embassy. Geo-Force is from the European country of Markovia, but Justice League Europe was based in Paris (and then in London) and featured mostly American superheroes. Therefore, there’s a precedent for filling the rosters with “transplants.”
– Seraph, a/k/a Chaim Lavon of Israel, was created by E. Nelson Bridwell and Ramona Fradon and first appeared in Super Friends vol. 1 #7 (October 1977). He was later identified as a member of the Global Guardians, a team of superheroes from different countries which predated Justice League International.
– For that matter, the Global Guardians first appeared as a team in DC Comics Presents #46 (June 1982). Because the continuity of the time didn’t exactly include the Super Friends comic book, the DCCP story can be considered their first in-continuity appearance.
– Maya, a/k/a Chandi Gupta of India, was a Justice Leaguer created by Gerard Jones and Ron Randall. She first appeared in Justice League Europe #47 (February 1993).
– The mysterious Iranian hero Sirocco was created by Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco and first appeared in Superman vol. 1 #657 (December 2006). He is not to be confused with Scirocco, a female member of The Hybrid.
– When Justice League America reorganized without United Nations sponsorship (around Justice League America #61 (April 1992)), its new headquarters (first seen, I think, in September 1992′s issue #66) was right next to the U.N. building.
– I’m sorry, but I have no idea about the possible symbolic significance of the JSI’s addition to the U.N. building. It looks like an eternal flame to me, but of course that would make the original U.N. building something of a giant lighter. Regardless, it all looks better than it sounds.
– I’m guessing that, in this timeline, Catwoman has become an actual cat-woman. (Shades of “Tyger Tyger,” a 1992 episode of “Batman: The Animated Series.”) However, in early appearances from Fall 1940 (Batman #3) to April-May 1944 (issue #22), she did sport a full cat-head mask.
– In this timeline, the Justice League has a more anti-establishment orientation. This is reminiscent of the Alan Davis miniseries The Nail (August-November 1998), which speculated that without a Superman to serve as an example, the Justice League — even including Batman and Wonder Woman — would have a less wholesome reputation.
– Black Adam, a/k/a Teth-Adam/Khem-Adam/Theo Adam, was created by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck and first appeared in The Marvel Family #1 (December 1945). As Teth-Adam, an Egyptian who was Prince Khufu’s bodyguard, he possessed superhuman powers given to him by the wizard Shazam. Back then, he was a hero known as “Mighty Adam.” However, he became corrupt, Shazam took away his powers and imprisoned him, and yadda yadda yadda, now he’s back and watch out.
– Ares is the Greek god of war, incorporated into DC’s superhero titles by Greg Potter and George Pérez for Wonder Woman vol. 2 #1 (February 1987). (Prior to the volume 2 revamp, Wonder Woman battled the war-god Mars.)
– “I was in Cairo, negotiating treaties”: as the ruler of the Middle Eastern nation of Kahndaq, Black Adam has, on occasion, been a diplomat.
– “Your precious, jackbooted Society”: wonder if there’s some personal history putting Wally (and/or Barry) at odds with Jay in this timeline. “Flash Of Two Worlds,” indeed….
– Just a nitpick, but it’s becoming a recurring one: Hal Jordan’s mask usually covers his nose too. I know, maybe it’s different in this timeline.
– For those who don’t know, that group in the bottom-left corner of panel 1 is the original Teen Titans: Aqualad (Garth of Atlantis), Wonder Girl I (Donna Troy), Robin (Dick Grayson), Speedy I (Roy Harper), and Kid Flash I (Wally West).
– We’ve been introduced already to each original Titan except Aquaman’s sidekick Aqualad. Now known as Tempest, he was created by Robert Bernstein and Ramona Fradon and first appeared in Adventure Comics #269 (February 1960).
– “Fill their roles”: so far, we’ve seen Green Arrow and Ragman for Batman, Black Adam for Wonder Woman, and Tomorrow Woman for Superman.
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– Whose restaurant is that cab advertising, anyway?
– “Opal City”: Tarot’s probably going to meet Charity, the fortuneteller we saw at the end of issue #17. Opal City is more famous for being the home of the Knight family of superheroes, known to us as Starman I (Ted Knight), Starman VI (David Knight), and Starman VII (Jack Knight). Opal was first named (by James Robinson) in Starman vol. 2 #0 (October 1994).
– “Pete” is Pete Ross, created by Robert Bernstein and George Papp, who first appeared in Superboy vol. 1 #86 (January 1961). A friend of Clark Kent’s from Smallville, Pete was one of the few people who knew that Clark was also Superboy. Clark didn’t know that Pete knew, and Pete knew that Clark didn’t know that he knew. The original version of Pete also wound up at WGBS-TV with Clark and Lana Lang. In the regular timeline, the modern version Pete eventually married Lana, became a United States Senator from Kansas, was Lex Luthor’s Vice-President, and succeeded Luthor as President. (At the time that would have made him the 44th President of the United States, since Luthor had defeated both major-party candidates in the 2000 election.) He resigned shortly thereafter.
– “Gateway” is the West Coast’s Gateway City, which Wonder Woman once called home. It was created by John Byrne and first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #101 (September 1995).
– “Clara Kendall”: not to be confused with “Claire Kent,” an alias used by Clark Kent in Superboy vol. 1 #78 (January 1960), after Superboy was transformed into a young girl and had to pose as his own “Super-Sister.”
– By the way, “Tommie” as a nickname for “Tomorrow Woman” might well be an oblique reference to DC’s Silver Age sci-fi hero Tommy Tomorrow.
– “Reinventing bits”: yes, that does get frustrating….
– Like his colleague the Seraph, the Irish Global Guardian called Jack O’Lantern was created by Nelson Bridwell and Ramona Fradon and first appeared in Super Friends vol. 1 #8 (November 1977). There have been four Jacks O’Lantern (the original was Daniel Cormac), but we can’t tell which one this is.
– The French Justice Leaguer Crimson Fox was created by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Bart Sears, and first appeared in Justice League Europe #6 (September 1989). Initially there were two Crimson Foxes, because the twins Vivien and Constance D’Aramis secretly shared the heroic identity; and of course hijinx ensued.
– Kinda reminds me of Magic!Gotham from issue #2.
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“The Easiest Path” 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: Green Lantern struggles against the Void Hound, while Kanjar Ro flees Despero.
Page 13 (story page 1)
– No annotations, mostly because I couldn’t think of a good Wolverine-related “skeleton” joke.
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– “Equivalent to all of Pennsylvania”: indeed, we may never know who would have won the land mass’s 21 electoral votes.
– Panel 4, showing Kanjar Ro’s escape, is a flashback to page 19 of issue #4. Panel 6, where Despero is distracted by Tarot’s presence, is a flashback to page 20 of issue #4. Therefore, if you were wondering why Despero didn’t seem to recognize his cosmic-powered prize back in issue #7, now you know.
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– “DES-PE-RO”: the latest leader whose army loves a good three-syllable chant.
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– No annotations … but again, that’s a mighty attractive cliffhanger: an amped-up Green Lantern versus Despero’s star fleet, with Krona waiting in the wings.
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You know, this alternate timeline has been fleshed out pretty convincingly. I might even go so far as to say it’s a “change I can believe in”–!
Okay, that was a stretch, even for me. It’s been a pretty intense week, though. I should get rested and ready for next time. Until then!