Thursday, August 16, 2012

80-Page Thursdays: Invasion, Book Two!

Continuing DC's crossover event of 1988, Invasion #2: Battlefield Earth. Plot and breakdowns by Keith Giffen, script by Bill Mantlo, pencils by Todd McFarlane and Keith Giffen, inks by P. Craig Russell, Al Gordon, Joe Rubinstein, and Tom Christopher. After the Alien Alliance takes Australia, and demands the surrender of earth's super-heroes (and about 20 crossover tie-ins...) a 24-hour cease fire is declared, to allow the heroes time to give up. Or to plot their counterattack...

Led by General Eiling, Captain Atom, Amanda Waller, and Max Lord; earth's heroes break the cease-fire early, impressing the Khundish commander. He's still intent on killing them all, though, even as doubts as to the Dominators' intentions grow. The commander also convinces the newly-empowered Daxamite observers to "defend themselves" against Superman. And this early post-Crisis Supes wasn't in their league, facing six of them.

As the Alliance is put on the defensive, cracks begin to show. A Dominator, seemingly out of character, insults the Khundish commander, and is rewarded with a punch in the face. The Doms capture the Flash, but decide to experiment on him themselves, rather than turn him over to the Psions. That bites them in the ass, since it's a "hero-bomb" created by Lex Luthor. And the Daxamites, after putting Superman on the ropes, begin to weaken. Supes brings them into space, out of earth's atmosphere, which helps them recover; and the Daxamites wonder if they aren't on the wrong side. (Long time Legion of Super-Heroes readers will recognize the Daxamites' weakness as trace amounts of lead, but it's not spelled out here; just that something in the atmosphere hurts them.)

While the Khunds are forced out of Australia, the lowly Dominator researcher we saw last issue makes a fateful discovery: the metagene, source of humanity's unpredictable super-powers. This is less like Star Wars midi-chlorians (which tried to put an explanation on something that didn't need it) and more like Marvel's mutants (a blanket explanation for whatever) but will come into play later.

Flash (Wally West) and Manhunter (Mark Shaw) have almost driven the Durlans out of Cuba, but Wally's dad sacrifices himself to blow them up. (Somewhat surprisingly for a supporting character family member, I think he comes back.) Earth's relatively few space-capable heroes--Guy, Hal, Firestorm, and J'onn in a spacesuit--join Superman and the Daxamites to take the fight to the aliens; as one of the Daxamites returns to earth to call his homeworld, sacrificing himself.

While the Okaarans are pushed back in the Russian front, the non-powered prisoners of the Starlag riot; part of Vril Dox's escape plan with the Omega Men and the metagene prisoners. And the Daxamite fleet arrives at earth. To defend it. With super-powered troops. As the Alliance ships are besieged, a message is sent from the Dominator flagship: preserve earth for the Doms' metagene project at all costs, even their allies. Enraged, the various Alliance races surrender; except for the Khunds and Dominators; but earth has an ally we haven't seen yet...

It plays a bit against expectations that the Alliance and the bulk of the invasion is over in the second issue of three; but it still has about ten crossover issues to run through.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Not bad Todd Mcfarlene art for the times huh? I'm sure how well the Invasion story holds up nowadays; probably not too good, but it had potential.