Wednesday, April 27, 2011

JLA/Cyberforce (2005)

In Budapest, Hungary, a cave-in revealed catacombs under the city lower than any recorded that had been sealed off for ages. The military was called in to investigate, and an entire unit was slaughtered by an unknown force. These and other troops were resurrected as something like robo-zombies, "returned to a godforsaken semblance of 'life' by viral organic technology. Resurrected to serve a monster... who was once the spiritual center of a close-knit family..." This being Ripclaw of the Image Comics team Cyberforce.

Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, the Flash and the Martian Manhunter fought their way through "undead technoslaves" to investigate the catacombs before being encountered by the aforementioned cybernetically enhanced super team. "We're the Justice League. We're here to help... unless you're in league with these demons, in which case you will suffer immediate and real consequences. The team's leader, Stryker, was flabbergasted and bashful. His teammate Ballistic snickered, "Not like you don't run around with three half-naked women all day. Stow your hormones..." Batman and Cyblade flirted over martial arts moves, Stryker and Superman butted heads over extreme sanctions, Velocity and Martian Manhunter bonded over being emo, and Wonder Woman got all amazonian with Ballistic. "Back to the pits with you! And may Hades take mercy on your souls..."
"What she said... only hold the god junk."
"I know Hades personally. You would do well to hold your tongue."
"And you'd 'do well' to put on some armor if you're gonna get in a gunfight."

The members of Cyberforce felt the call of "godtech," organic alien technology responsible for their creation and Ripclaw's turning evil. An orb of the stuff was Ripclaw's goal, and he tried to disembowel Superman to reach it. To save Stryker and in retaliation, Wonder Woman severed Ripclaw's left arm with her Lasso of Truth. While Ripclaw kept up his offensive, the arm snuck off to claim the orb, turning him into a giant version of himself constantly spawning standard-sized clones. A group effort defeated Ripclaw, but not before Martian Manhunter was seemingly killed by a technological infection.

The orb remained as a potential cure for J'Onn J'Onzz, but its single use remaining power was already earmarked to cure Ripclaw of evil. Normal people would think a fatality would trump a needed attitude adjustment, but Cyberforce still put up a fight over the orb. Ballistic managed to get loose of Diana's lasso and play bullets and bracelets with machine guns. Wonder Woman warned that Ballistic should "pray," not for forgiveness, but that she should "have enough bullets." Ballistic whined that the Amazing Amazon wouldn't miss a shot. "You first." Her ammo finally ran out, but not her curse words. From behind smoldering bracelets, Diana simply said "Indeed."

Velocity finally womaned-up and saved the Martian Manhunter, so everyone made nice. "...And people wonder... why I prefer... non-violence." Her own hands burning up, Ballistic dropped her arms. "You said it, sister..."

Later, outside the Watchtower on the moon, J'Onn J'Onzz took a stroll "in the cold vacuum of space." Wonder Woman paid him a visit, wearing only a rebreather, as the team was concerned about the Martian Manhunter's unusual behavior. "For a few minutes, my consciousness was no longer tied to physical realms... I guess I needed some 'fresh air.' Watchtower felt like a coffin." J'Onn and Diana had a nice bonding moment discussing J'Onn's near death experience.

As usual for a modern comic, the Amazon aspect of Wonder Woman was overplayed to the point of having her chopping people up and sending them to Hell. It was still pretty solid for an intercompany crossover involving a highly derivative and typically directionless Image super group. It was by the former JLA creative team of Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke, with inconsistent but sometimes stellar inks by Norm Rapmund.

ElseWednesday featuring Wildstorm!

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