JLA – 20

General Info

Issue No:
20
On Sale Date:
May 1998
Cover Date:
July 1998
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Mystery in Space

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Howard Porter, John Dell
Writer:
Mark Waid
Penciller:
Arnie Jorgensen
Inker:
David Meikis
Letterer:
Ken Lopez
Colourist:
Pat Garrahy
Editor:
Dan Raspler

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Hippolyta), Big Barda, Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), Orion, Steel (John Henry Irons), Superman (Clark Kent/Kal El)
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
En'Tarans
Olympians:
NA
Amazons:
NA
Other:
Adam Strange, Aleea Strange, Alanna Strange
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Synopsis

Orion and Barda are exploring the Watchtower’s trophy room. When Orion examines a confiscated weapon, while ignoring Green Lantern’s warnings, he accidentally fired it. Fortunately, the projectile is caught by Superman, who is now back in his more recognisable uniform follow his battle with the Millennium Giants which dispersed his electromagnetic energy.

As the Leaguers talk over Superman and Barda and Orion’s accommodations, they are suddenly teleported off the Watchtower and are in chains, which keeps their powers inactive. Their captor is Adam Strange, the defender of Rann and is apparently insane. Adam explains to the Leaguers that they are taken away from their Watchtower by Zeta-Beam and are pressed into slavery into rebuilding Rann, which has been left a wasteland, to prepare for the return of his wife Alanna, who previously was presumed to have died from giving birth to their daughter.

Furthermore, he has enlisted the En’Taran slavers for help enslaving the Rannians and the Leaguers, whose energy chains keeps their powers in check. Initially the Leaguers believe that Strange is likely brainwashed by the En’Tarans, but the Martian Manhunter looked into Strange’s minds and confirms that he is indeed insane. However, J’onn doubted that the En’Taran are capable of mental control as they wouldn’t bother to be using shackles. The League decide to humour Strange and the En’Tarans until they find a way to escape.

The League used their powers to relieve the Rannians’ burdens, however, a slight mistake during construction by Wonder Woman angered Strange, who harshly punished her and Steel to set as an example. That night the League are sent to their cell while being watched by the En’Tarans. Some of the Leaguers are still confused by Strange’s insanity in which J’onn explained was due to Strange’s rise to champion of Rann and the loss of his wife badly affecting him.

The League do know that the Zeta-Beam that took them to Rann is temporary and will return them to Rann, but they cannot leave the Rannians to Strange’s mercy. Nor could they found a trace of Strange’s erstwhile ally Sardath, whom Superman have already eavesdropped with his super-senses and believed that the scientist may have left Rann for a long time after Alanna’s death. Orion does not react well to his imprisonment despite his Mother Box controlling his rage but is restrained and tempered by Wonder Woman.

The Flash finds a way to break free by enveloping his speed over himself, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Martian Manhunter, allowing them one second to go after Strange. Just as they confront Adam, they are ambushed by the En’Tarans as they are betrayed by J’onn.