This issue is all about getting together the groups which will carry the fight to the Troika. Some of them even start to remember the Trinity. You might say they’re … what’s the word? … avenging the Trinity’s displacement. First, though, they have to assemble….
Okay, that was a long way to go for a lame punchline. At least now it’s out of my system.
In other news, I am now a happy owner of Jack Kirby’s The Demon! Wish it had come out 25 weeks ago, when I needed it more; but better late than never.
On to the issue at hand!
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“Like Ice Melting” 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: The League and the Justice Society team up; Morgaine and Enigma make up; and Rita and Charity meet up.
– “I-50, heading west”: appropriately enough for a road which goes to the fictional Opal City, there is no Interstate 50 here on Earth-Prime.
– Apparently, Opal City is located in Maryland, as per James Robinson. Since I-95 runs from New York City into Maryland, the interchange with I-50 must be in Maryland.
– “Hartford”: this confused me at first, which I suppose isn’t surprising.
– “Detroit” (I believe the preferred pronunciation is “dee-twaa”…?): The Justice League was headquartered here in a high-tech bunker (called, in fact, “The Bunker”) from Justice League of America Annual vol. 1 #2 (1984) through JLofA vol. 1 #246 (January 1986).
– Leaguers include (clockwise from left) Black Orchid, Vibe, Space Ranger, Lex Luthor, Green Arrow, and Fire.
– Black Orchid was created by Sheldon Mayer and Tony DeZuñiga and first appeared in Adventure Comics #428 (July-August 1973). The original Black Orchid was Susan Linden-Thorne, although apparently she wasn’t named as such until 1988. At that time, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s Black Orchid miniseries filled in Susan’s origin and introduced two new Black Orchids, Flora Black and “Suzy” (the current B.O.). For our purposes, I don’t think it matters which Orchid this is.
– (Nothing to do with the current story, but every time I see Black Orchid I remember an old Amazing Heroes interview with Neil Gaiman. Apparently when he first mentioned the miniseries over the phone to editor Karen Berger she thought he was talking about someone named “Blackhawk Kid.”)
– Vibe, a/k/a Paco Ramone, was created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton and first appeared in the aforementioned Justice League of America Annual #2. Vibe was killed in the line of duty in JLofA vol. 1 #258 (January 1987). He was survived by a brother, Joey … I mean, Armando, who also became a superhero (Reverb, then Hardline) with similar vibratory powers.
– Space Ranger, a/k/a Rick Starr, was created by Edmond Hamilton, Gardner Fox, and Bob Brown, and first appeared in Showcase #15 (July 1958). It’s a little surprising to see him in this context, since (in regular continuity) he lives in the 22nd Century. Either this is an ancestor or time travel was involved; and he’s visited our time previously, so it’s not out of the question.
– Luthor’s battle armor was designed by George Pérez for the 45th anniversary of Superman in Action Comics #544 (June 1983).
– Fire, a/k/a Beatriz Bonilla DaCosta, was originally called “Green Fury” at her introduction in Super Friends #25 (October 1979). She was created by E. Nelson Bridwell and Ramona Fradon. As of Infinity Inc. vol. 1 #32 (November 1986) she had changed her codename to “Green Flame,” and eventually (around Justice League International vol. 1 #19 (November 1988 — what is it with October and November?)) to “Fire,” going along with her colleague Ice Maiden’s change to “Ice.” Fire is wearing the costume she first wore as Green Flame.
– As it happens, after so many years in flashy international superhero teams, Fire is now part of a clandestine organization (Checkmate) in regular continuity as well.
– Originally, Green Fury/Green Flame/Fire could only (literally) spit green fire from her mouth. Her full-body fire powers first manifested in Justice League America #28 (July 1989).
– So, was Morgaine screaming “I’LL KILL YOU I’LL KILL YOU” the whole time?
– Huh. I had thought Morgaine’s and Enigma’s new forms were more or less permanent, or at least not controllable by them. Should have paid more attention to that scene in issue #1, because they’re obviously in their normal bodies then.
– As we all know, Barry Allen died destroying an anti-matter cannon (in Crisis On Infinite Earths #8 (November 1985)), and not while fighting Felix Faust. However, the Elseworlds miniseries Flashpoint (December 1999-February 2000) had Barry paralyzed after thwarting President Kennedy’s assassination.
– Felix Faust was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky and first appeared in Justice League of America vol. 1 #10 (March 1962). That issue also introduced a few other classic Justice League villains, the Lord of Time and the Demons Three.
– Judging from Barry’s memories, the Justice Society didn’t always wear monochromatic versions of their familiar costumes.
– Last issue I wondered if Wally West got his new attitude from Green Arrow. In light of Barry’s recollections, obviously it makes more sense for Wally to have followed his uncle’s example.
– “Those wartime comics I read as a kid”: Back in the days of the original Multiverse, Barry was inspired to become the Flash by reading old issues of Flash Comics, which featured the fictional (on Earth-1, that is) Jay Garrick.
– Wonder why Jay isn’t on this mission, anyway…?
– The Deco touches on Opal’s buildings are a nod to its design aesthetic from Starman vol. 2.
– By the way, Wikipedia notes that the name “Opal City” may well be a reference to the S.S. Opal City, a ship saved by Superman in Action Comics #251 (April 1959).
– No annotations.
– Here’s Charity, our friend from Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion, reintroduced via Starman vol. 2 #2 (December 1994). By now she’s probably married to Mason O’Dare, of the Opal O’Dares.
– From the context, I’m guessing that both Charity and Rita intended to go to the bus station, and it then transformed into an airport (which is not downtown, so they’re out in the ‘burbs — or at least the outskirts of Opal).
– The Opal City Saloon is a nod to Opal’s past, as sketched out in the pages of Starman vol. 2. Opal’s sheriff at the time was Brian “Scalphunter” Savage, who like Hawkman has (or will have) a history of reincarnation, including the modern-day lawman Matt O’Dare and the Legionnaire Star Boy.
– No clue about the lizard-people.
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“Very Different People” was plotted by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, scripted by Nicieza, pencilled by Mike Norton, inked by Ande Parks, colored by Allen Passalaqua, lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, associate editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: Alfred Pennyworth gathers those closest to the Trinity.
Page 13 (story page 1)
– “Bushnell Inn, Hartford, Connecticut”: The American theologian Horace Bushnell is a pretty important figure in the history of Hartford.
– “My Beagle days”: remember, Alfred Beagle was Alfred Pennyworth’s Golden Age predecessor.
– “I break Presidents”: nice pun!
– “Pulitzer-winning”: in fact, the movie Superman Returns (2006) had Lois winning the Pulitzer Prize for her article “Why The World Doesn’t Need Superman.” As for the comics, I don’t think we’ve ever learned what earned Lois her Pulitzer.
– Of course, neither Batman nor Robin would use firearms in “real life.”
– Alfred’s hypersonic whistle looks like a 24th-Century hypospray.
– Hadn’t noticed before, but I don’t see any Justice Society markings on Interceptor’s costume. Tresser says she’s “high-level military,” which I take to be different from the JSI.
– Kryptonite was introduced in a 1943 episode of the “Adventures of Superman” radio show, but the idea of a mineral from Krypton which weakens Superman dates back to an unpublished comic-book story from 1940. Kryptonite first appeared (as a red rock) in Superman vol. 1 #61 (November-December 1949). The first story to feature green Kryptonite appeared in Action Comics #141 (February 1950).
– “Found by Navy SEALs”: Charlie Sheen, keep your hands to yourself! … that is, what I meant to say was, in Superman/Batman #8 (May 2004), Kara’s spacecraft crashed in Gotham Harbor, where it was found by Batman.
– “Slidin’ down a pole”: Charlie Sheen, kee– ahem. I hadn’t thought much about it (shocking as that may seem), but the Bat-Poles seem to owe more to the old TV show than they do to the comics. The idea of a fireman’s pole connecting Wayne Manor and the Batcave dates back to Batman #96 (December 1955), but I can’t find too many more references to that method of ingress. More prominent in the texts, naturally, are the more practical secret elevators and hidden staircases.
– “Willowbrook, Virginia”: Google Maps lists a Willowbrook to the northwest of Richmond, but I bet this little town is closer to Newport News. In the seminal “Who Is Donna Troy?” (The New Teen Titans vol. 1 #38 (January 1984)), we learn that Donna was given up for adoption to an orphanage in Newport News, and was adopted out of that orphanage by a couple named Stacey. When Mr. Stacey died, Mrs. Stacey was forced to give Donna up again. Yadda yadda yadda, the infant Donna ended up in a burning building, and Wonder Woman (or a Titan of Myth, depending on what you read) rescued Donna, leading eventually to her superhero career.
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And here I thought I wouldn’t have much to annotate in the second story….
Actually, I do wonder why Etta Candy isn’t part of Alfred’s group. We have Alfred and Dick representing Batman; Lois and Kara representing Superman; and Tom Tresser and Donna Troy representing Wonder Woman. Etta goes back farther than Tom does, and Julia Kapatelis goes back farther than that. Of course, neither of them are in lurve with Diana like Tom is.
Come to think of it, I wonder where Ma and Pa Kent are in this new reality. (Ma, at least.)
Oh well. Questions for next time. Until then!