THE CREATIVE TEAM: Keith Giffen (Plot & Breakdowns), J.M. DeMatteis (Script), Bill Willingham (Pencils), Joe Rubenstein (Inks), Gene D’Angelo (Colors), Andy Helfer (Editor) Kevin Dooley (Assistant Editor)
JUSTICE LEAGUE ROLL CALL: Big Barda, Mister Miracle, Fire, Oberon & Maxwell Lord
GUEST STARS: The Huntress is starting to make a habit of this.
THE STORY: A biker punk has seized the all-powerful mega-rod that Big Barda left in her car. Overwhelmed by the psychic force of the dark energies of Apokolips, he starts a wave of destruction that takes out his friends, a dozen police officers, and a good chunk of the Bronx.
Mister Miracle and Big Barda put up a good fight, trying to convince the kid to surrender the weapons which is warping him as much as empowering him, but he takes them out — eventually it’s down to an uncertain Fire, still figuring out her new powers, and a passing Huntress, to take him out.
Scott is dismayed when the mega-rod destroys what’s left of the “punk” but is impressed with the Huntress’s work. He convinces Max to give her a shot in the League despite her loner status… and when Helena turns down Max’s offer, he whammies her with his superpower, giving himself a bloody nose as well as a brand new member of Justice League America.
Max, do we need to send you to the harassment seminar on consent in the workplace again?
THE CHARACTERS: We learn quite a bit about Barda in this one — that the reason she can be trusted to wield the sinister mega-rod is because her training and strength of will allows her to resist the call to serve Apololips. But it must be a temptation for her, every time she uses it.
Fire meanwhile is finding out her own limitations and lack thereof – in a shocking twist, she discovers that her body is insubstantial when she is in her fire form, something that I’m pretty sure is never ever mentioned again.
THE COMEDY: The usual sly wit undercutting the heroic narrative, just how I like it.
THE ART: I’m not generally a fan of Willingham but I like his Helena a lot, and his Big Barda is a lot more powerful looking than she was under Templeton’s pencil. Fire looks great on these pages, even if there’s a lot more attention paid to the buildings than the people
THE KITCHEN SINK: Make Barda a regular teammate already.