Monday, July 14, 2014

Society Dame: Justice Society of America #3

Justice Society of America #3 is written by Len Strazewski with pencils by Mike Parobeck, inks by Rick Burchett, and a cover, once again, by Tom Lyle.  The series is edited by Brian Augustyn along with Mike Gold, who edited Black Canary's miniseries, her ongoing series, and her first arc in Action Comics Weekly.  The issue is cover dated June 1991 and hit the shelves in April.

"Vengeance from the Stars Chapter 3: Dead Air" begins with Alan Scott addressing the nation from the anchor desk on GBC News.  He informs the viewers that Gotham City and indeed most of the country is experiencing power outages.  This scene puts us at the same moment where issue #2 began, except instead of watching the scene on TV from the perspective of some looters, we're now in the studio with Alan Scott and his production staff.

Unexpectedly, the power goes out in the studio which shouldn't be possible with the emergency generators running.  Scrambling around in the dark, one of Alan's crew tells him something is sucking power from the generators as well as the broadcast signal.  Alan tells his crew to get on the problem and fix it, but they're startled by a brilliant light in the sky outside.  Rushing to the window, Alan and his crew see the giant shimmering image of Sagittarius in the Gotham skyline.

Alan orders the crew to point some cameras on that thing so they can show it on TV as soon as they're able to broadcast.  Then, he slips into his office and speaks the oath of the Green Lantern.

Green Lantern flies out and scans Sagittarius, discovering that the giant energy monster is feeding off the local power, including the broadcast signal from the GBC television studio.  To get the monster to stop, Green Lantern gets its attention, which causes it to lash out at him.  It wrecks the studio's antenna and slaps the Emerald Knight across the sky.

Down below, we catch up on the climax of last issue's story with Black Canary making one last charge against Solomon Grundy.  Grundy is distracted by Green Lantern in the sky, but Dinah doesn't get a chance to take the giant out before the museum robbers knock her out.

This is the same scene as last issue, basically, except now Mike Parobeck is drawing it, so, y'know, score!  As the hoods carry Black Canary to their car, they're almost stopped by Alan Scott's producer and cameraman, but Charlie, the producer, is a lot more interested in filming a tussle between super powers in the sky than a woman in fishnets.

Green Lantern throws a massive energy punch at the giant.  Charlie dispatches Alan's personal assistant, Johnny, to go back to the studio and make sure they're broadcasting this fight live... and to get him and the cameraman some coffee.

As the battle continues, Green Lantern finds something familiar about the form this monster has taken.

Green Lantern tries to remove Sagittarius' weapons, but it leaves him vulnerable to a counterattack.  The monster swats him into a high-rise window.  As the glass rains down on the street below, Charlie revels in the chaos that his camera is capturing and only wishes the technology to broadcast in color was possible.

Someone else wishes the battle could be shown in color and that's the mysterious villain who has unleashed these energy monsters and caused all this destruction.  He is called by the leader of the museum robbers and told they captured Black Canary.  We learn this villain is Vandal Savage and he orders the robbers to bring Canary and Green Lantern--once Sagittarius has defeated him--to Savage's hideout at Mt. Pride Observatory.

Vandal Savage holds the Cosmic Rod and uses it to torment his slave, the former Starman, Ted Knight.

Savage ignores Ted and watches the battle on TV, revealing that Ptolemy introduced him to the power of the celestial constellations centuries ago.

Green Lantern fears his battle with the archer isn't going well and needs to stop it; he casts a green energy straightjacket on the humanoid form that only binds it until it transforms into the shape of a giant eagle.  The bird knocks Alan through the signal antenna, taking the footage off the air and infuriating Charlie down on the street.

Green Lantern cages the monstrous eagle, but then must decide what to do with it.

Meanwhile, Solomon Grundy is on the street fuming that his enemy is out of reach.  The hoods still have Black Canary and they're trying to calm Grundy down, too.  They fail, of course.  Solomon Grundy rips a telephone booth out of the street and hurls it into the air.  It slams into Green Lantern's back, the wooden frame penetrating his force field.  Green Lantern falls, but only so far before the magic of the ring protects him and lowers him down at a gentle floating pace.

Free of distraction, the energy creature rips the signal antenna off of the GBC tower.  The hoods want to put Green Lantern in the car with Black Canary, but Solomon Grundy doesn't want to wait for his revenge.  He throws the men aside, but before he can bash the heroes, the eagle swoops down and picks up Lantern and Canary in its talons and carries them off.

Grundy is left howling in disappointment as the tag reveals that next issue will focus on Hawkman.

So far, each issue of this series has spotlit one member of the team in a more-or-less continuous battle taking most of the story.  So far, Strazewski's formula hasn't faltered, but it does seem to be wearing a little thin by this third time around.  What saves this chapter from being boring and repetitive is Mike Parobeck's outstanding artwork, and the power of Green Lantern.

I wasn't much of a fan of any iteration of Green Lantern until Geoff Johns' Rebirth miniseries, and after that I loved Hal Jordan more than any.  But since then, the more I see and read of him, the more I really love Alan Scott.  It's almost not fair to compare them because they're such different characters, despite having the same name and essentially the same power.  But there is a stateliness to Alan Scott, a refined gentlemanly quality that really sets him above his peers in the Justice Society.

Come back Thursday for the next chapter of Justice Society of America...

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