Saturday, March 14, 2015

The L.A.W. #5: To Serve And Protect

We're nearly there! Bob Layton and Dick Giordano bring us the penultimate issue of their Charlton Action Heroes in the DCU series "The L.A.W.". The villain Avatar has managed to take control of the G.O.R.T. satellite with the help of a traitor inside Peacemaker HQ. Will our heroes be able to put an end to his plan once and for all? Read on...

Nightshade fights off hordes of Avatar's demons in an alternate dimension. With each wave of the attack she discovers more about herself. With the transformation that has taken place she now controls the shadows to even greater effect. But is it enough she wonders?

In space, the G.O.R.T.'s self defenses are online and firing on the BUG. Blue Beetle takes quick action, launching the BUG's own defense decoys, but he seems to be showing some unusual stress from the mission, and Peacemaker and the Question have taken notice. 

Back at Peacemaker HQ, Sarge Steel monitors the progress of his agents, while making things right with Justine (who he'd accused last issue of being a traitor). He's also had his old hand restored, "getting back to basics" he says...though somethings are changing.

Rip, sits in silent meditation preparing for an journey of astral projection. Using his finely honed mental skills he reaches out across the globe to Avatar, asking the villain to stop his plan of destruction and offering to help him. Avatar refuses.

Peacemaker decides to take risky measures to help take down the G.O.R.T. and takes a solo flight in space. He figures solo, he's too small for the satellite's defenses to lock onto, so he can clear the way for the BUG. 

It's just crazy enough to work...and it does! One page flip later and the BUG has docked and our trio is inside...where more defenses kick in!

Back in the alternate dimension, the Justice League has joined Nightshade in her battle with the Ravanan demons. A few pages later things are looking bad for an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, under heavy attack from Ravanan demons, until the League arrives to save the day...minus Nightshade who is nowhere to be seen.

In space, on the G.O.R.T., Peacemaker, the Question and Blue Beetle find themselves pinned down by the satellite's internal defense systems. Beetle freezes, unable to act, and flashing back again to the fateful day on Pago Island when his predecessor, Dan Garrett, died. Ted Kord is haunted by the idea that he could have acted, done something differently, to save his mentor and he refuses to make that mistake again! 

Charging at a damaged access panel, he tears at the exposed power cables, shutting down the satellite and nearly killing himself in the process. 

Steel tries to reason with Dr. Bhattacarja, but she tells him that her son is one of the many children Avatar "rescued". It gets worse when she explains that her son has a rare blood disease that Avatar has promised to heal, Steel knows there's no persuading her. "Oh, I see. In other words...we're dead." But when word gets back that the G.O.R.T. has been deactivated, Dr. Bhattacarja surrenders, though she worries her failure will upset Avatar and cost her son his life. 

In Pakistan, Judomaster confronts Avatar. In something of a surprise, Avatar concedes his loss, but adds that he is immortal and has all the time in the world to accomplish his plans. With that, he releases the children, including Dr. Bhattacarja's son, to the care of Judomaster. Before their meeting ends though, Avatar swears that he will kill Rip if their paths cross again. For his part Rip reminds his former sidekick that he has always loved him like a son, and will never stop trying to teach him forgiveness.

WOW! This issue was packed with some great character moments! The Justice League's return helped tie up a plot thread, but felt...unnecessary, this has been a great tale of the Charlton Action Heroes...and they've been doing just fine handling a global threat without the assistance of DC's mightiest heroes. Oddly we never saw Nightshade after they returned to our world either. Even though everything felt like it was coming to a close, there is still one more issue...perhaps we'll get some more answers there? You won't have to wait long either...I'll close up this visit with "The L.A.W." next week as I have something special planned for the end of the month! Make sure to check back!

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