Saturday, October 14, 2006

Flashback Sequence: 1980

Through our recent move, I discovered some comics that I thought I might have gotten rid of a while ago. They're a short stack, well-loved (read: not mint) and bought for me at a time before I started consciously seeking out particular comics. This stack represents some of my earliest exposures to the medium of comics.

JLA #185 (1980) Written by Gerry Conway and drawn by George Perez and Frank McLaughlin. "Crisis on Apokolips"

That's a well-loved cover right there. This comic is probably my first exposure to Jack Kirby's New Gods. As far as I can tell, this comic is part two of a yearly JLA/JSA crossover. The twist is that the New Gods are also added for a three-way crossover.

The plot involves Darkseid coming back fom the dead, teaming up with some JSA villains, and attempting to teleport Apokolips into the Earth-2 universe (destroying E-2 in the process). The heroes have made their way to Apokolips, and have split into three teams to defeat Darkseid.

Now, my favorite sequence from this issue: At one point, Superman (JLA) and Wonder Woman (JSA) bust in on Granny Goodness to break up her gig. Granny narrowly escapes through a secret passage:

I like that Granny, an alien for all intents and purposes, uses the phrase "bold hussy". It goes to show that some things are universal, I guess.

Granny's escape is short-lived, however:

Even 26 years later, that last panel is awesome. It's the kind of thing you didn't see much of back then... a totally caption-free panel. It's hightened even more by the talkiness of the rest of the issue. It says: "I'm Big Barda, and I've come to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum."

This sequence is followed by a cut to somewhere else, and the reader never really finds out what happens between these two... which is kind of scary, and nicely handled in a comic for kids. The fate of Granny is left to the reader.

Darkseid is defeated (and killed again?) four pages later. Conway gives his own creation, Firestorm, the honor of getting lucky and turning Darseid's own Omega Beam against him.

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