Justice League America #29: Nabu In My Mind (August 1989)

THE PACKAGING: JLI trade vol 4

THE CREATIVE TEAM: Keith Giffen (Plot & Breakdowns), J.M. DeMatteis (Script), Ty Templeton (Pencils), Joe Rubenstein (Inks), Gene D’Angelo (Colors), Andy Helfer (Editor) Kevin Dooley (Assistant Editor)

CROSSOVER ALERT: All the references to Kent Nelson/Nabu/Dr Fate probably makes more sense if you’ve read that comic, but honestly he seems super annoying? So not sure why you’d want to

JUSTICE LEAGUE ROLL CALL: J’onn J’onzz the Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern (Guy Gardner,) Fire, Ice, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Mister Miracle (Scott Free) & Big Barda, with Maxwell Lord & Oberon in civilian support.

GUEST STARS: Nabu or Kent or whatever. That dude. Big Barda should probably be in this list too but I refuse to believe she’s not officially on the team.

THE STORY: Kent delves into the mind of Blue Beetle, finding mostly hot ladies and angst walls. He eventually switches bodies with Ted altogether, freaking him out (he wakes up in an old body!) but managing to dispose of the Azrael block while he’s in there.

Booster, who has been kept in quarantine for the duration because everyone’s assuming he has likewise been brainwashed by Queen Bee, gets the same treatment.

Meanwhile, Big Barda embraces her inner Fury, training Fire to use her new flame-on powers. It all goes terribly wrong when Barda’s Mega-Rod is stolen along with her car from in front of JLA headquarters… when she, Fire and Scott track down the weapon, they find it in the hands of an extremely dodgy looking Youf Of Today who promptly blasts all of them to kingdom come. Oh noes!

THE CHARACTERS: Supposedly we’re getting some kind of insight into Blue Beetle’s mind — and possibly Fire too, but instead the characters that get most development here are Big Barda and maybe Booster Gold who gets a rare moment of introspection instead of his usual shallow banter.

THE COMEDY: This one isn’t especially funny mostly because a lot of the humour comes from the antics of Nabu/Kent Nelson who grates on me like I’m cheese.

THE ART: Eh it’s OK. I like Templeton’s drawing of the now iconic Fire in flight, and his skills at light & fire effects also come in strong at the end with the depiction of the mega-rod. His casual Barda lacks a sense of stature. His dudes look kind of goofy, but there’s nothing truly horrendous going on here.

THE KITCHEN SINK: It’s so strange to see a nervous Fire, unaccustomed to how these new powers work. To me, flaming flying Fire was always the standard. This tiny knock to her ego isn’t going to last long, though…