BHOC: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #132

It seems like a very long time since we talked about the previous issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, but really it had only been a month. So I suppose this month represents one of my busiest in terms of new comic book acquisition, at least during this period. In any event, my subscription copy showed up in my mailbox, adorned with this Ernie Chua/Chan cover that I really didn’t care for. The JLA figures seem unattractively distorted to my eye. But they sure pop against that white background.

As mentioned last time, this issue represents the second half of an experiment on the part of writer Gerry Conway. Rather than a typical two-part tale, Conway instead focused this second installment on an almost completely different plot from the first, only returning at the very end to wrap up threads from that previous story. As a kid, I was perplexed by this decision–this was not how continued stories were meant to work, I knew. And I was frustrated that I didn’t get to see the resolution to the situations left dangling at the end of chapter one.

So this issue opens on a team of Justice Leaguers returning from a space mission, unaware of what has transpired on Earth. (That must have been SOME space mission, as in the first chapter, we saw how all currency on Earth had been destroyed and replaced with special credit cards due to a plague that had infected the money–a process that must have taken weeks!) But upon making Earthfall, the team is attacked by the minions of their old enemy, Queen Bee.

Heading to their satellite HQ in the hopes of working out what’s been going on, the Leaguers are ambushed by Green lantern’s old enemy Sonar, who reveals that he had posed as Professor Dunkirk and created both the money-plague and the unintentional mental transfers between humans and animals. But before he can finish off the JLA, Sonar is surprised by the sudden appearance of special guest star Supergirl!

Sonar still manages to escape, but the male members of the team track him to Washington DC, where he is attacking the Capitol. The battle is further complicated when the animals from the Washington Zoo break out of captivity and join in the fight, incidentally turning the tables on Sonar himself. 

Meanwhile, the distaff portion of the League’s ranks, bolstered by Supergirl, set off in pursuit of Queen Bee near Chicago. But their task is complicated by the Queen’s footsoldiers, millions of now-intelligent bees. Having learned that the animals gained their intelligence unintentionally due to Sonar’s machinations, Black Canary uses her sonic cry to set up a counter-frequency that eliminates the bees’ newfound smarts and knocks out Quen Bee in the bargain.

In the wrap-up, we catch up with the JLAers who starred in the previous issue, and we learn that it was Queen Bee who discovered she could use Sonar’s animal link for her own ends. But the situation with the money plague is hardly touched upon–how in the world is everybody going to go back to using paper money? How would you implement something like that? No time for such questions now–the reason that Supergirl showed up is that Superman is missing, and she wants the League’s help in locating him! To be continued!

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