Wednesday, May 30, 2012

JL #17 "A Matter of TIME!" Afterward

So what did you think?

The "theme" of this issue was partnerships. Not only was all the work done by pairs, but even the work that was done singularly was done by two people working independently (Green Lantern and Aquaman). Black Canary and Green Arrow open the adventure (again) by what they consider a "routine" job. Green Lantern and then Aquaman working NOT together stop (sort of) the rocket. Then Hawkman and Hawkwoman find Chronos' head-quarters. Superman and The Flash think they can solve the whole problem on their own (they're wrong; this series isn't called SUPERMAN, ya know). Then the Flash and the Elongated Man manage to knock Chronos out and wrap him up. I enjoyed doing that scene, because I enjoy making connections to previous issues. The Flash was captured by Chronos back in issue #11, and he references that meeting here.

This story was based on SUPER FRIENDS #22 by Denny O'Neil and Ramona Fradon. However, in the original story Chronos has three idiot assistants called Seconds, Minutes, and Hours. They were not in continuity before that and were never seen again. Also, and more importantly, they are totally worthless, and end up causing Chronos' down-fall. When the Super Friends can't figure out a way into Chronos' head-quarters, they decide to convince him and his gang that the time wave has gone rogue and stopped ALL time so that they will turn the wave off. It's a hoakey and stupid plot and doesn't work nearly as well as *my* action ending, if I do say so myself. :-)

In the SUPER FRIENDS story it is Batman and Robin stopping a gang in Gotham City instead of Black Canary and Green Arrow stopping Two-Face (who was well known due to the BATMAN FOREVER movie). Aquaman cleaned up after Superman, not Green Lantern. Then it was Wonder Woman noticing the blimp instead of Hawkman & Hawkwoman. Since Wonder Woman still saves Superman (and the Flash) from the time wave, I figured this was a fair division of the labor. Re-reading it now, I think I gave all of the members something to do. Believe me, with twelve members it wasn't always easy!

I like that I kept Martian Manhunter at the satellite during the entire story. Similar to issue #6, he  manuevers the other members while staying on monitor duty. This time, however, he never "ups" the code to "red," meaning Aquaman and Green Lantern don't have to come in. I know I thought about not using all the members here, but like I've discussed before, with only so many issues coming out (and this particular issue being new after more than a year) I ended up included everybody. In the next two, I wouldn't. :-)

I also should say that I was really enjoying drawing these stories. I have to say that I really like the way the JLAers would interact with each other in my stories. These panels reprinted here, for example; I think I was getting better at body language and character placement. I know I had fun with this issue and the next two, and I think it shows in the work. This one, being the first one back after a short sabbatical, seems more tentative than the next two. But maybe that's just me....

The other thing I liked about this story was that Black Canary, who I have tried to show as a tactitian similar to Batman, derides Superman for busting forward and trying brute force first and getting caught in the time wave. I suppose if you were Superman you would always try the obvious way first. On the other hand, if you were the one hanging out with Superman, I think you would always be thinking things through, if only to try to keep up with him! In my mind, she definitely belonged in the League.

One more thing about Black Canary in this issue....I had her and Green Arrow riding on her motorcycle without wearing helmets. In Japan all students MUST wear helmets when they ride their bicycles to school, and when this issue came out, SO many people said, "Isn't she supposed to be wearing a helmet!?!" It hadn't even occurred to me, haha!

This issue was well received by my students so I continued with the two stories I was already beginning to work on. Next up: an adaptation of another one of my favorites, this one based on the real JLA issue "Doom of the Divided Man!"

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