Jun 7, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 833: Justice League of America #142, May 1977


(A slight deviation - I was away for a couple of days, so here's a fill-in post. I think WW is a member of the JLA here, but she doesn't do much in this issue. Back to reading her tomorrow.)

Every now and again in this project, I hit a point where I feel like I have to write about every comic, graphic novel, television series, or magazine that I consume that even remotely has anything to do with comics. When I realize this, I'll often traipse down to the collection and find something completely off the beaten track (whichever track that might be at the time) to read and simply enjoy for what it is.

I really, really tried that with this issue of Justice League, but it was just too interesting not to write about.

The origin of The Construct:

So, basically, Elongated Man, Atom, and Aquaman are fighting the Internet. In 1977. You have to hand it to Steve Englehart - he's pulled off a bit of a prescient moment here. Though hopefully not too prescient.

It's nice to see a Justice League story that revolves around some of the less-famous characters, though Atom's whinging was thoroughly obnoxious in this issue, and not at all in keeping with the characterizations of him I've previously read or seen. Ray Palmer doesn't act like much of a scientist in this issue, claiming that his power of shrinking is useless. But, like with Ant-Man, the compaction of so much mass into so small a container allows him the force of a bullet in certain instances, and at a sub-atomic scale, he's probably on par with Superman. One of my favourite Atom stories is from a fill-in issue of JLA, in which he sits like an elder statesman on his little tiny chair and solves problems using his head, not his fists. Perhaps what we're seeing in this issue is the moment where Palmer realizes that this power is useful, but it's really his brain that is the key to his heroism. It's something that the Brandon Routh version of the character on Legends of Tomorrow is in the process of learning. Hopefully the showrunners will give him the opportunity to do so.

The spirit of Earth versus the spirit of the Internet. Topical, for a 40-year old comic.

To be continued.

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