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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Justice League 3 - fighting the Rocket Reds in Russia

The League wind up in a three way battle with the aliens and the Rocket Reds in Justice League 3 (July 1987), by Giffen, DeMatteis, Maguire, and Gordon.

The story continues from the previous issue, opening with League aboard Blue Beetle's ship, hovering outside of Bialyan airspace. Beetle's radar picks up the three aliens as they fly off to Russia, following Rumaan Harjavti's orders. Wandjina, Silver Sorceress, and BlueJay do not trust the man, but as long as his information is accurate, they go along with his plans. The League begin to pursue him, but Beetle stops abruptly when he realizes they are about to enter Russian airspace. Though it may cause an international incident, Batman orders Beetle to proceed.

The Rocket Reds pick up the three aliens on their radar, and head out to stop them. Guy Gardner had already faced these guys in the pages of Green Lantern Corps, and is so eager to fight them again he disobeys orders and heads out into battle. Captain Marvel is sent out to reign him in, but the Rocket Reds attack him, and he winds up joining the fight.

Even though the Martian Manhunter gets Guy back into the ship, the Reds now view the League as attackers. Black Canary goes out to try to talk to them, but that turns into a fight as well. She knocks the tooth out of one, and in a later issue this will be revealed to be Dmitri Pushkin, who would later join the League.

The League thus unwittingly provide cover for Wandjina, Silver Sorceress, and BlueJay, who arrive at a nuclear base. Once again, the dialogue, as they confront the Rocket Reds there, is given a humourous bent, which aids the standoff immensely.

The League finally show up as well, just as the power plant begins to melt down. Wandjina brushes everyone aside and enters the plant, somehow managing to stabilize the core and end the threat. This completely wipes the guy out, though, and he collapses. The Rocket Reds take the three aliens into custody, and there is nothing for the League to do but leave. Not a very successful mission, but an entertaining story nonetheless.

It also has a great finale. The League return to the cave, only to find Maxwell Lord there, introducing them to their newest member, Booster Gold.

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