WRITER: Keith Giffen, Gerard Jones
PENCILS: Steve Carr, Russel Braun, Marshall Rogers, Linda Medley, Keith Giffen, John Beatty, Randy Elliot, Curt Swan, Ty Templeton
INKS: Randy Elliot, Michael Golden
COLORS: Gene D'Angelou
LETTERS: Michael Heisler
SYNOPSIS: The Justice League Europe has come to visit their America-based comrades and the two groups assemble, discussing Maxwell Lord's current health. As shown in the Justice League America annual, Max has been in the hospital. However, we are given an update to let the reader know that Max has pulled through the worst of it and is indeed recovering. As the JLE heads toward the teleporters, Captain Atom asks Catherine to hold back a moment. He informs her that he won't be heading back with the rest of the team as he has things he needs to sort out. He is very vague about the details but Catherine, after a moment of hesitation, accepts that and Captain Atom flies off.
As the JLE return to the London Embassy, they are met by Superman and Waverider. Waverider has made his presence known to Superman and explained his mission. Superman vouches for Waverider and the JLE members more or less consent to letting Waverider examine their potential futures. All the while this conversation is observed by Mr. Bigger through Power Girl's mangy cat.
Catherine volunteers to be the first one tested. Ten years from now, Catherine is still doing her embassy-related duties. She examines the kitchen to find they are completely out of food and drink. She tells the team, noticely absent of Captain Atom, that she is headed out for groceries, all the while complaining to herself that nobody ever helps. As she leaves the building she realizes she has forgotten her discount card. As she turns around, however, the entire embassy vanishes.
Back in the present, Waverider is visibly shaken and confused. He moves along to Rocket Red. We see two knights in Camelot preparing to joust. Suddenly, Dmitri appears between them and manages to knock both riders unconscious. Arthur is highly impressed and knights Dmitri, however Merlin grows increasingly jealous. We see glimpses of Dmitri's adventures which lead Merlin to grow so jealous as to summon the demon Etrigan to dispose of Dmitri. Sadly, Etrigan is highly effective.
Waverider is even more shaken this time, but he moves on to Power Girl, who assumes Waverider will touch more than he should. He actually touches her forehead. London during World War II in the middle of an air raid is where Power Girl finds herself. She saves a woman and her son from a collapsing building and encounters none other than General Glory and his sidekick Ernie. General Glory thinks she should come back with them but Power Girl flies off to collect herself. General Glory and Ernie pursue her. Once together again Glory and Kara have words. A falling bomb explodes and Ernie dies from the falling rubble. However, General Glory is a very stubborn man and somehow convinces Power Girl to become his new sidekick, bowl haircut and uniform included.
Next up, Metamorpho. Rex appears in a destroyed and ravaged area. He comes across several figures firing weapons on a small building. He manages to knock all the men out using a variety of elemental powers. Another mysterious figure emerges from the building and manages the closest thing to gratitude he can for Metamorpho. The mysterious figure takes off his hood to reveal a disfigured face at which point the two feel the other is the uglier one. He asks Rex to accompany him to find whiskey. As they walk off the men introduce themselves. Rex has aided none other than Hex.
Waverider looks almost sad by his confusion. Flash offers himself as the next to be examined, but Waverider says Wally has already been checked earlier while unseen. Instead, he moves on to Silver Sorceress. She manages to appear in the middle of a swamp in an overgrown jungle. Hoping to find her bearings she wishes for an animal to at least let her know what continent she is on. What she gets is a giant dinosaur/snake-like creature emerging from the swamp. As she attempts to conjure a spell to shrink the creature, Anthro the caveman emerges. With club in hand, Anthro takes on the beast. Silver Sorceress takes her leave of the situation and sits down further away to rest a bit. A young cavewoman sits beside her and the two have a "discussion."
Wally is downright furious that Waverider examined him without his prior knowledge. Crimson Fox teases Wally about his reaction. She has absolutely no problems being touched, which makes Waverider a little uncomfortable. We are then shown a scene of Bat Lash playing a game of cards in Dead Eye's Saloon. He comes up winner with four aces, though three more tumble out of his sleeve as he collects the pot. As all the men pull their guns, Crimson Fox appears on the table. She and Bat jump out the front window as the men all decide to shoot them both. They run off and circle back around to the saloon, but the men are still waiting for the pair. Crimson Fox has had enough and thrashes them all soundly. Bat Lash, as gratitude, offers to get her some new clothes.
Waverider isn't understanding why the visions are mostly of the past. He's certain something is wrong; possibly even Monarch manipulating the timestream somehow. He examines Blue Jay...who appears right in the middle of a tryout session for the Legion of Superheroes. His sudden appearance astounds Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy. The three offer him immediate Legion membership based on his ability to teleport. He reveals that his power is actually to shrink and grow wings. The three unanimously reject him but give him a flight belt as consolation. Blue Jay is approached by Polar Boy who takes Blue Jay to a meeting of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. Blue Jay is unimpressed.
Monarch is even more confused now that he has seen ten centuries further into the future than he intended. Elongated Man surprises Waverider as he is lost in thought. Eaxmining Ralph reveals that in London of 1895 Ralph managed to somehow entangle Prof. Moriarty, much to the chagrin of one Sherlock Holmes. Ralph has since been spending time with many of England's top writers and men of intellect. At a party one evening he strikes up a conversation with H.G. Wells. Wells wants to show Ralph his secret project. Along the way Ralph makes jokes and references to Wells' novels, which fall flat as he hasn't written them yet. However, the secret project in a time machine. Ralph eagerly offers to help.
Captain Atom shows back up, surprising some of the Leagers. He says all he really needed was to go grab a coffee and think for an hour or so. As Waverider is about to examine him, Power Girl's cat rubs up against Waverider. We see a future where Mr. Bigger's goons sneak into the basement of the embassy. They are after the time machine in the basement. The cat, however, remembers them and the tranq darts they used on it. The time has come for revenge. The cat attacks the men. In the scuffle one of the men decides to shoot the cat who had gotten on the time machine. The resulting gunfire causes the embassy to disappear into time, leading to the events seen earlier.
Waverider calls out the cat for what it is and Mr. Bigger is forced to cease his plans. Now the time has come. Waverider approaches Captain Atom, places his hand squarely on the chest of one of the most powerful superheroes of the 20th century and prepares to examine what possible future this man has. CONTACT!
TO BE CONCLUDED IN ARMAGEDDON 2001 #2
MY THOUGHTS: Quite honestly, this is probably in my top 3 favorite issues in this crossover. Nope, not lying. I know, I know. I've harped about other issues having nothing to do with the crossover and especially not showing a chance for the heroes to turn villain and become Monarch. This story, though, actually does do that. It's just hidden behind all the wonderful comedic relief that readers will need by this point in the crossover.
So, 25 year old spoilers here, Captain Atom was originally going to be the one who became Monarch. I didn't know that at the time I first read this story many many years ago. I assumed his need to cool off was just a plot device to keep him out of the book until right at the end so we could work up dramatic tension for the concluding chapter. But, lo and behold, the signs are there. Captain Atom is tired of putting up with everybody. He's become a hothead. His need to vanish for most of the issue could have been him getting his Monarch gear together or hatching a plan to do away with the supers. He has enough power! But, I'm getting too far ahead. That comes next issue.
The stories in this issue are HILARIOUS! While I like the Justice League America story pretty well, this one is head and shoulders above the other. Fire trying to seduce Dmitri alone is a gutbuster. Waverider actually being confused and uncertain is a big change. There really isn't a bad story in this bunch. Dmitri's is kinda sad and the one involving Power Girl's mangy cat is just plain weird to me, but otherwise everything is great.
The art, even with a different artist for each story, is superb. My single complaint is that during the cat's story Catherine looks all fuzzy and lacking in detail. That's it.
Really this is about as close as we get to a perfect issue, people. I can't sing its praises enough. Coming next time, the conclusion to our crossover. Be ready.