Monday, July 27, 2015

I want to say this has four times as many villains as usual...

The cover proclaims "3 Villains so mighty it takes 19 heroes to fight them in the..." Giant Justice League of America #148, "Crisis in Triplicate!" Written by Martin Pasko (with an assist from Paul Levitz), art by Dick Dillin, ink by Frank McLaughlin.

And they don't even count the Legion's bad guy Mordru! He started the plot the previous issue, bringing the JLA to the 30th century, in order to rediscover the mystic artifacts the Wheel, the Jar, and the Bell. They had been onboard the JLA's satellite, but lost when it was destroyed after the 20th century. (This was written in 1977, the Satellite would be destroyed in Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985.) Mordru releases the Demons Three--Abnegazar, Rath, and Ghast--who promptly turn on him, and hypnotize some of the Legion of Super-Heroes to put Mordru's giant spirit-form back in his imprisoned body. Which would be a problem, since Green Arrow and Black Canary were trapped in Mordru's beard--no, Mordru's hourglass necklace, sorry. That sounds better.

Still, despite being together for centuries, the Demons Three are torn on what to do now: Abnegazar has tired of constantly fighting humanity, and just wants to live in peace in the 30th century. Rath wants to pillage and conquer the future; and Ghast wants to go old-school and completely destroy it, as it was in the "before-time." But their powers may not work on each other, so they decide to battle via proxies, champions. Abby gets the Legion (or a few members) while Rath gets the Justice Society and Ghast gets the Justice League. Each team is hypnotized in a different way, and throw down for most of the rest of the issue; with GA and Canary rescued since Ghast realizes his team was down a couple guys.

Wildfire and Superman pick up their rivalry from when Supes was a boy, Dr. Fate is reduced to just a mask (or possibly just a head) for a bit, Batman takes a rough-looking sucker-punch from Chameleon Boy. Still, Ghast hadn't hypnotized his guys hard enough, and Power Girl was able to resist the hypnosis entirely, so by throwing some fights they convince the Demons to attack each other directly again, and Ghast destroys the other two.

Dr. Fate had already put Ghast's defeat into motion, though; by absorbing the magic of the other two demons, and using it to recreate Ghast's prison...the JLA satellite! Which may or may not still be orbiting 22,300 miles above earth today! the 30th century. Give or take some reboots. This is like the fifth JLA/JSA crossover issue I've bought where I don't have the prior chapter, and I think I still have another where I only have part one!

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