Thursday, July 12, 2012

80-Page Thursdays: Silver Age 80-Page Giant #1!

Featuring possibly the biggest cast of any 80-pager we've seen yet, the conclusion to DC's Silver Age fifth-week event: Silver Age 80-Page Giant #1, "S.O.S. to Nowhere!" Written by Mark Waid, art by Eduardo Barreto. As the cover says, "starring 37 super-stars and 9 vile villains!"

The villains in question are the Injustice League (Sinestro, Dr. Light, Chronos, Mr. Element, Felix Faust, Catwoman, Black Manta, the Penguin, and Lex Luthor) who, with the alien villain Agamemno, have stolen the master power battery of the Green Lantern Corps, the Absorbascon, and a jewel from Krypton. Putting them all together, the IL has access to the combined knowledge of the human race, including the JLA's secret identities; and new multicolored power rings. The entire Green Lantern Corps is paralyzed over Rann, and although the JLA is back in their own bodies, they're on the ropes.

Taking their loved ones to safety in Gorilla City, the League's only hope is a mysterious, unknown band of superheroes the Atom and the Challengers of the Unknown saw in Chronos' time-pool. But with the villains new powers are too much for the JLA, even with help from the Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Batgirl, the Metal Men, Metamorpho, and more. (Notably, Kid Flash and Adam Strange are missing...) J'onn, however, has a last gasp plan, that he can't share with the team since he can only telepathically shield the info in his own mind.

Facing the Injustice League, the JLA is nearly defeated when J'onn arrives with Robby Reed and his H.E.R.O. dial. Using the dial, the League transform into new heroes that the IL isn't prepared for, and beats them. That gives Agamemno the opening to return, but reinforcements arrive in the form of Hawkman--possibly the one we know, possibly not, but he came with a phalanx of Hawk-police and the entire GLC. J'onn removes the Absorbascon and the Kryptonian jewel from Agamemno's device, and the Green Lanterns imprison him in the power battery.

Using the Absorbascon, the collected knowledge is removed from the Injustice League (and Luthor is forced to restore the JLA's reputation in order to stay out of jail) and Deadman reveals that he and Adam Strange used Kid Flash and a zeta-beam, to get to Rann and free the GLC. Young Robby Reed worries the JLA may confiscate the alien hero-dial, but they agree he's earned it.

The issue also features Silver Age style Batman, Wonder Girl, and Super-Turtle stories. I know I've bought this one out of the quarter-bins more than once; and I like this particular event, even though at cover price it would've been one of the more expensive fifth-week events.


Dale Bagwell said...

I regret never getting or find this really good throwback to the silver age. Mark Waid and everyone involved really did a great job with this. Plus it was nice that Waid later references this event as the main reason(of many) why Batman kept secret files on his fellow JLA members. Good, good stuff.

Omega Agent1 said...

Indeed. I've never read this one, got to find it. The idea of combining the power battery and making new rings was F_in great. This idea should be revisited.