Sunday, December 24, 2017

"The End" Week: Justice League Task Force #37!

If everything has come out as scheduled, the first two issues of Priest's Justice League run have come out this month; but today we've got the last issue of his earlier series! From 1996, Justice League Task Force #37, "Rejoice" Written by Priest, pencils by Ramon Bernado, inks by Nick Napolitano and Dan Davis.

The Task Force was down to rookie Ray, time-displaced crabapple Triumph, underrated Gypsy, and team leader J'onn J'onzz; with hanger-on bounty hunter Gammeron, who was still hoping to get the cash J'onn owed him. Ray gets an emergency call, to the JLA Christmas party: Gypsy said he had been a bit iffy lately, and they wanted to make sure he showed. (There were really three teams at this point, sometimes at cross purposes: J'onn's Task Force, Captain Atom's Extreme Justice, and Wonder Woman's Justice League.) Santa also makes one of his perennial JLA appearances--ah, damnit, it's just Triumph, who seems seriously bipolar here, alternating between sincere apologies and childish tantrums. J'onn isn't helping, since while he buries the hatchet with Triumph, he's also not letting him back on the team. Captain Atom, who was lost in time longer than Triumph, offers him a spot on his team, but Triumph starts a brawl instead.

After Triumph flies off in a huff, Vandal Savage makes an appearance, to tell J'onn it's time to make peace, since they might have to band together against Triumph, who might take the offer of the demon Neron: if he lights Neron's candle, he could "erase a decade's worth of mistakes." Gypsy and Ray reach out to their friend, Gypsy with a pass that goes nowhere, and Ray with a bunch of snaps. As Triumph makes another series of apologies to the League, Gypsy and Ray place the candle on the monument of fallen Mystek, and unknowing, light it...

And the issue resets: when "Santa" arrives this time, it's L-Ron in Despero's body, who delivers Gammeron's money; as a sullen Triumph watches from outside, then walks away. He would return as the bad guy in Grant Morrison's JLA "Crisis Times Five!" four-parter; it's somewhat telling that he doesn't get a cover appearance in there.

I had the Justice League Task Force video game for Sega Genesis, long before I ever read any issues of this series! (With the possible exception of #35, a Warlord appearance we'll check out sometime.)


SallyP said...

Boy Howdy, but 90'snart is just so very...90's.

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

That exchange was hilarious. They were THIS close to going full on "YO MAMA" mode. Love it!

Yeah Triumph really got a raw deal didn't he? He was already damaged goods by the time his last story by Morrison saw print. So he debuts on Sept '94 and by July '99 he's done, given up on by DC. Not even a full 5-year career. Ouch. Of course it's hard to get behind him when he was portrayed as a whiny jerk. I mean it works for Quicksilver and Namor because that's THEIR Shtick, and they've had years to train to readers to expect and like that about them, but Will? naw.

I did found out he did return briefly in 2009, during that Trinity mini-series, only to die, but like a legit hero this time.

Oh and I played that JL Task Force game too on my Sega Saturn, and I love it! Definitely a true precursor to the Injustice game series we later got.