SPOILER WARNING: The following page may contain story spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Cover Description: As Ira Quimby watches on in the background, members of the Justice League fight amongst themselves. Booster Gold struggles against a Guy Gardner choke hold, Fire shoots a ray of fire at Ice, and the Flash punches the Blue Beetle.
Brief Synopsis: The Justice League is infected by a virus that may make them remorseless killers.
Costume Worn: MARK I power-suit
Story Notes: According to an editorial box on the first page of this issue, the events in this issue take place prior to the events of Justice League America #69. The essence of this story, a social parable in which unforeseen circumstances turning friends into paranoid enemies, is similar to an episode of the 1960 television show Twilight Zone titled "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street."
Page 1, panel 1
Justice League members Blue Beetle II, Booster Gold, Fire, Flash III, Guy Gardner, and Ice have been dispatched to Central America to recover rogue scientist Ira Quimby. Fire wonders aloud how much trouble someone named Ira Quimby could be. In fact, Ira Quimby, in the guise of the super-villain I.Q., is a longtime thorn in the side of Hawkman and the Justice League.
Page 3, panel 1
As the team is attacked by monkeys inside Quimby's lab, Fire is shown to be wearing the costume that she wore for the brief period between Justice League America issues #63 and #66. Of course, Booster's force field protects him from the monkeys' piercing jaws.
Page 6, panel 2
As the JLA assaults Quimby, he drops a vial that contaminates everyone but Quimby with Microbacillus 4N-Z, a "custom-engineered virus" that causes a murderous "berserker rage" in one in six people exposed to it after a one hour incubation period.
Page 9, panel 1
Beetle explains that since there are six Leaguers present, one of them must enter a murderous rage at the end of 1 hour as the virus takes its toll on the victim. However, this is not statistically true. If the virus randomly affects one person in six, each person has an approximately 17% chance of succumbing to the effects of the virus. Cumulatively, there is approximately 67% chance that at least one of the team will succumb to the virus. Though that is in the virus' favor, it is far from certain. Beetle is being uncharacteristically inaccurate with his presumptions.
Page 9, panel 10
Booster uses his force field projector to prevent Flash and Guy Gardner from leaving Quimby's lab, preventing them from spreading the virus to the outside world.
Page 13, panel 3
When Quimby claims to have the antidote for the virus, Booster quickly volunteers. He gets as far as removing his bracelet and rolling up his right sleeve when he is prevented from being Quimby's guinea pig by the timely intervention of Beetle and Fire.
Page 15, panel 5
Ice is revealed to have stolen Booster's bracelet when he removed it in the previous panels. Ice was given away by her suspicious behavior, proving more that Ice is a bad liar than that Booster is a skilled detective.
Page 18, panel 1
Booster attempts to break-up a fight between Fire and Ice but is struck from behind by an accidental blast from Fire. This sets off a chain reaction causing the League to briefly fight among themselves until Beetle reminds everyone of the situation (which he has created).
Page 19, panel 4
In lamenting their situation, Beetle comments on the irony of a simple, microscopic germ defeating the "mighty" Justice League. Though Beetle may not recall, this is the second time during his tenure with the JLA that the team has been overwhelmed by microscopic organisms. It last happened in Justice League Annual #1 by an organism that his own company, Kord Industries, created.
Page 26, panel 1
Booster Gold, Fire, Flash, Guy Gardner, and Ice allow themselves to be secured inside force fields while Beetle and Quimby, the only two present without super-powers, remain free to deal with the consequences of the virus.
Page 34, panel 4
SPOILER WARNING!: Reveal
For more annotations from this issue which occur at different points in Booster Gold's chronology, click here
Boosterrific Review: Four stories comprise this anthology issue. "Cherchez L'Homme" (Crimson Fox) and "You Bet Your Life" (Power Girl) showcase the Justice League Europe/International. Booster Gold appears in "Frenzy" and "Tomorrow Belongs to Geralyn." For a change in this anthology series of varying quality, every story in this issue is above average, making this issue an enjoyable read.
For the second issue in a row, Mark Waid once again uses a familiar plot device to pit the Justice League against itself in the story "Frenzy." This would be a better story if Blue Beetle's math was better, but the average reader probably won't notice the failure and will find something to enjoy in the tense situation.
Booster Gold shines in the spotlight story "Tomorrow Belongs to Geralyn." Booster successfully straddles the line between his buffoonish public persona and the inner hero known to his friends and fans. Writer Elliot S! Maggin toys with the repercussions of time travel in the DC Universe, creating a plausible explanation for all future continuity revisions without blatantly contradicting past stories. This story is fun all the way around.
Boosterrific Rating: Gold Standard.
The Chronological Adventures of Booster Gold
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