Almost at the halfway point. Hard to believe it's already come this quickly, as this has become a staple in my collection.
WEEK 21 -Lex's JLA gets a name: Infinity Inc.! Hmm...sounds familiar. The issue opens with Natasha having gotten the out-of-control speedster her job back. -Ralph Dibny and Dr. Fate's helmet have ventured to the Netherplains, where Ralph has literally twisted the guard like a pretzel in exchange for passage to the underworld. The guard warns Ralph about the dangers he's about to face and is promptly rewarded by getting kicked like a soccer ball. -Infinity Inc.'s first mission: Stop the new Blockbuster...and look good for the cameras while doing so. They manage to restrain Blockbuster before the Teen Titans appear. However, their roster looks a little...different. Yes, while Beast Boy and Raven remain, the rest of the roster has changed. Power Boy, Little Barda, Zachary Zatara, and Hot Spot comprise the rest of the Titans. And while the two groups get into a spat, Blockbuster breaks loose and KILLS the Infinity Inc. speedstar. Looking on, Lex casually looks to the alternates list. -At the subsequent funeral, the Titans disband, which has got to be a record. I've never seen a new group of heroes get introduced and disbanded in one issue. -The issue ends in Australia. The scene is Johnny Warrawa's repair shop in rural Australia. Johnny won't be coming out...because he's busy with the Red Tornado's head on a new robot body!
WEEK 22 -The spotlight remains on Lex. His scientists have caught Supernova on camera with Wonder Girl, along with her conclusion that it's actually the deceased Superboy. Lex promptly fires the guy who gave him the report, citing that while Supernova spotted Lexcorp's satellites with his telescopic vision, Superboy never HAD telescopic vision. As he spots Supernova looking on, Lex concludes that it's Superman in disguise. -Jon Standing Bear, recently released from jail, is on a bus and quickly makes his presence known by throwing a sleazy pig out the window for making unwanted advances towards a woman. Afterwards, he returns to see his grandfather, who reveals the Sky Stone, which grants the user the power of the Super-Chief! In exchange for the power, Jon's grandfather asked to be put down, to which Jon complies. Yikes! -Infuriated with Supernova, Lex asks to be given his own superhero treatment. But oddly enough, Lex isn't compatible with the treatment that seems to give any other normal person superpowers, thus he's out of luck. The plot grows curiouser. -Later, Lex is at the opening of a business school in his name. An unsatisfied customer confronts him and is promptly tossed, where he finds Steel. Steel asks the man for his story. -Then the story gets intense. Will Magnus is trying to get to the bottom of the scientist abductions and is given only a name: SHADE (an acronym, not the villain). Magnus vents to the restored Mercury, while outside a bunch of government types deploy a whole lot of Metal Men. When Magnus discovers them, he surmises that they want his secret of giving robots emotions and tries to make a run for it. Magnus fights his way out through various booby traps, but Mercury sacrifices himself and gets squished. As Magnus tries to escape, he finds a giant robot (think Sentinel) outside who blasts his entire house. The issue ends in an explosion.
THOUGHTS When they said B-listers, they meant B-listers. Seriously, Super-Chief? But the last few weeks absolutely belonged to Lex, who is probably the MVP of the series so far. But honorable mention is going to Will Magnus and the Metal Men sideplot. Week 22 was chilling and the writers have done a good job in bringing a lot of emotional depth to Magnus.
TEN YEARS AGO IN WRESTLING HISTORY: OCTOBER 1996 WWF: Mankind d. Undertaker in the first ever Buried Alive match at...WWF Buried Alive. Also, Steve Austin continued his efforts to bring Bret Hart back to the ring by turning on Brian Pillman, shattering his ankle in what to this day is known as "Pillmanizing".
WCW: Hulk Hogan d. Randy Savage in a main event no one cared about, but Roddy Piper came out immediately after to end Halloween Havoc with a bang. The Outsiders won their first WCW Tag Team titles by beating Harlem Heat.
A Hickman and Morrison comparison makes a lot of sense the more I think about it. I'm always eager to check out new stuff from them both, but have rarely kept up with any of their ongoing series beyond the first story arc.