Saturday, March 21, 2015

The L.A.W. #6: ...And Order!

Well, Beetlemaniacs, here we are...the final issue of Bob Layton and Dick Giordano's "The L.A.W." Most of the plot threads seemed to have wound down last tissue, but like the great Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over till it's over"

After the events of the last 5 issues, a battered and bruised Question finally returns home to his apartment in Hub City. Removing his mask, returning to his identity as Vic Sage, he contemplates whether or not he should tell this story, share the truth behind what happened. It might win him a Pulitzer Prize...or it might destroy him, and many others. In the end, he sits down at his computer and begins tying.

After Avatar's plot failed, the heroes reconvene at Peacemaker Project HQ. Blue Beetle is rushed to the infirmary for medical treatment, having suffered massive electrical shock shutting down the G.O.R.T., while Judomaster retires to his quarters to meditate, promising there will be much to discuss when he returns. 

After the others debrief, Questions pays a visit to his old friend the Blue Beetle. While the medical team has cleared him, Ted is not exactly "OK". Question is concerned that Ted isn't wearing a mask, openly showing the Peacemaker staff that he is Blue Beetle. Ted doesn't care. He's tired of secrets, tired of shouldering the burden of Dan Garrett's death, tired of living in the past. He decides it's time to stop being Blue least for a little while, while he sorts his life out.

Nightshade reappears, only to say she won't be staying long. She's uncomfortable with her new form, and wants to find a way to restore herself, but first she needs to give Uncle Yves (who's been waiting at Peacemaker HQ through all of this) an explanation. 

Mitchell Black goes before Peacemaker's governing body to request that he be relieved of duties so he can return to what he knows best...practicing medicine. The request is denied. The men behind the Peacemaker Project feel his humanity sets him apart from previous Peacemakers and makes him an invaluable they're not willing to give up just yet.

Then, everyone gets back together one last time...well, nearly everyone. 

Captain Atom, drained of his energy by Avatar, is stuck in a liquid state! He's alive, but just barely. Judomaster asks everyone to give him some privacy, but Question is permitted to stay behind and witness what will happen. Rip spends hours speaking to Captain Atom, reviewing his history, reminding him not just what happened but what made him the man he once was. Slowly but surely Captain Atom is able to reform himself, in a fancy new costume too! 

And with that we're reminded that "the events of the last few weeks had inexorably altered our paths...taking us in new, unforeseen directions." 

Finally a series of short epilogues reveal Justine and Sarge Steel continue their May-December romance with a ski trip...travelling on her private plane! We see that Salt was once a resident of Nanda Parbat, and has lived for centuries. He now stands by his friend Rip Jagger, the Judomaster, as he continues on his quest to save Tiger, aka Avatar. 

And lastly, in a cabin in the Himalayas, a man is trying to hire guides for a mountain trek. The man? Avatar. His destination? 

WOW! This really was a fun re-read...though a little sad at the same time. I said before, when this book first came out, I had mixed feelings. As excited as I was to see Blue Beetle, Captian Atom and the Question together...they weren't the versions I was familiar with at the time. I'd been so used to seeing the fun loving, wise cracking, Ted Kord of the JLI this was a bit of a shock. It's funny to me now though, writing this blog and going back to revisit old comics, as I realize that the tone in this book was a bit closer to the Charlton or even DC's Wein/Cullins series than I realized at the time. Curious how your perception can change or be influenced.

Seeing these heroes reborn, rejuvenated...kinda makes a guy wish there was more to it. Some kind of follow-up, another mini-series or monthly to tell us what happened next? Sadly...that was not meant to be. In fact, quite a few things about this series didn't turn out quite as expected. How do I know? I spoke with Bob Layton himself! Come back next week and check out my interview with Mr. Layton for all the details!

1 comment:

  1. Why is it that every time Captain Atom gets a new costume it's uglier and uglier? Good grief that gold one with the red stripes is an eyesore.