Thursday, March 7, 2013

Justice League No. 210




I found it among my piles.

From time to time, there's nothing I enjoy more than traipsing through my comic book "memory lane" of old issues.  I found issue #210 of Justice League America from 1983.  I clearly remember getting the comic as it was a "gift in time of convalescence and amelioration." In other words, I was a sick kid who got a few comic books to keep him busy.

This issue was in certain respects, rather standard for the pre-Crisis Justice League.  The entire world is in danger and the League must split up into smaller teams to prevent impending disaster.  What is unusual is that while the heroes succeed in their individual tasks, their efforts are ultimately futile.  They know it's all headed for ruin.  You see, the mysterious "X-Element," a subatomic particle that holds everything together...perhaps a Higgs-Boson particle but not really...is disappearing.  The Earth has mere hours before it breaks apart completely.

Fortunately, a few aliens arrive in a timely fashion.  Calling themselves The Treasurers, the aliens are a society based on pure capitalism.  They have the ability to restore the X-Element, but we have to pay up with interest.  In fact, we'll need to make a down payment.  Superman will have to scoop snow from the top of Mt. Everest while Flash, Wonder Woman, and Red Tornado must secure sand from the Sahara, and the rest of League must capture samples of the many flora and fauna of living things our planet features.  It's worth it just to see panels of Aquaman telepathically herding fish into a giant vacuum cleaner created by Green Lantern's ring.

Yet there is one demand from The Treasurers that goes unspoken to the JLA.  They want a man named Gordon Arthur Stuart of Grand Rapids, Michigan turned over to them.  In keeping with the contract, Stuart is taken into federal custody.

But why?  What is it that The Treasurers really want with a seemingly random dude? 

I have no idea.  I never found the following issue or "issues" as it seems there was a tertiary installment in this multipart story for the Justice League.  Remember, I was living in a small town in the 80s and I could only get comics at the drug store.  Whether they would get the next issue of my favorite title was anybody's guess.  I've looked through many back issue bins for numbers 211 and 212.  No joy.

Like I said, it's a unique story, even if it is standard superhero fare.  I especially like the parody of uber-capitalism.  Those aspects, however, do not counteract the fact that I don't know what happens.  If you know, please tell me.  Don't worry about spoilers or about pointing me to places I can find the issues online.  I simple precis of the storyline will suffice.

Somebody help a brother out?


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