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Thursday, 25 July 2019

Justice League 6 - The Gray Man controls Captain Marvel

Giffen, DeMatteis, Maguire, and Gordon continue with the team's battle against the Gray Man in Justice League 6 (Oct 87).

One of the things that really makes the humour in this book work is Maguire's art. The detailed expressions he gives to the characters not only helps define them, but also can really push the comedy. The opening overlaps with the conclusion of the previous issue, as the Creeper shows Batman, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Martian Manhunter, Mister Miracle, and Black Canary (who is off to the side of this image) the transformed town of Stone Ridge, Vermont. The Gray Man has taken over, putting all the residents to sleep so that he can steal the energy from their dreams.

Captain Marvel had reached the town first, but seems to have been quickly overcome. We see that he, like Dr Fate, is a prisoner of the Gray Man. The villain takes control of Captain Marvel's body, sending it out to battle his teammates.

While that is going on, Maxwell Lord has a meeting with Hal Jordan. Hal seems to know whatever Max's mysterious plans are, and he does not approve. One of the reasons being that Guy Gardner is a part of the group. If Max is willing to trust Guy, Hal is not willing to trust Max.

The only member of the League able to withstand Captain Marvel's assault is the Martian Manhunter, so they wind up fighting it out for a few pages. As Dr Fate points out, Captain Marvel's powers are magical in nature, so the Gray Man finds it more difficult to control Marvel than normal humans. Eventually he fails, and Captain Marvel gets control of his body again. Of course, since this is being played for the comedy, that occurs just as the Martian Manhunter hits him with all his might, knocking the hero out anyway.

The rest of the team, along with the Creeper, then go after the Gray Man in the theatre he is using a base. The Creeper's random nature gives him the jump on the Gray Man, but only for a moment. One by one the villain touches the members of the League and takes them down, giving himself multiple bodies with which to do so.

It comes down to Dr Fate as the only one left to challenge him. But Fate does not seem at all concerned about how this has played out. He teleports the Gray Man and the entire building away. The Martian Manhunter carries the unconscious Captain Marvel away as the issue ends.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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