- I'm fine... surrounded by aliens and things I can't explain or understand... but otherwise I'm just peachy.
Appearing in "Justice League Canada, Part 1 of 5"
- Lord Byth (First appearance)
- Polaris System
Synopsis for "Justice League Canada, Part 1 of 5"
Animal Man and Stargirl are visiting the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for a fan meet-and-greet event. One of those who had waited to see them is Dr. Adam Strange, an anthropologist working at the University of Toronto. He and his student Alanna Lewis had been on a dig in Northern Ontario just two weeks ago, investigating news that a strange skeleton had been found near James Bay. While there, though, Adam watched a beam of light come down from the sky, and literally make Alanna disappear before his eyes. As proof that he isn't just making up an alien abduction tale, Dr. Strange produces an unusually shaped skull, along with a strange device that causes Stargirl's Cosmic Staff to react unexpectedly. Without warning, she, Animal Man, and Dr. Strange are teleported to another planet for just an instant. This leaves little doubt of the truth of his story.
Dr. Strange leads the heroes to the dig site in Moosonee. While investigating, Courtney determines from Dr. Strange's tone when he talks about Alanna that their relationship is more than just professional. He admits as much, but Buddy's animal sense of smell catches a whiff of something strange, and Adam and Courtney are forced to hurriedly catch up to him as he follows his nose. Disturbingly, the scent Buddy caught leads them to a mass grave, full of more bones of a similar shape to those Adam had already found. No sooner do they discover it when a group of armed aliens surround them, shooting Courtney down.
On the nearby Moose Factory Island Moose Cree First Nations reserve, Miiyahbin Marten eschews her friend Heather's offer to hang out at the youth centre in favour of returning home to her grandmother. Instead of her grandmother, though, she finds the house ransacked, and a man sitting in the mess. He claims that she should recognize him, but she all she wants is to get him out of the house before her grandmother returns. With a sinister tone, he warns that only she can stop what's coming; the Whitago. Suddenly, he transforms into a frightening creature, daring her to say the word that she knows she has to say. Reluctantly, she shouts "Keewatin" and transforms into Equinox, blasting him back with her power. Grimacing, the creature warns that Miiyahbin cannot run from herself, before disappearing just as her grandmother returns.
Buddy and Stargirl, meanwhile, aren't holding up well against the aliens, so it is fortunate that they are joined by Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter. Despite the Manhunter's telepathic command to cease attack and stand down, the aliens persist, earning them the consequences of disobeying. Together, the four heroes defeat the aliens, protecting Adam Strange for the time being. In the moment of calm, Courtney admits that Ollie and J'onn came because she called them soon after they left Toronto, in case they needed backup. J'onn has to concede, though, that nobody else would come given the JLA's reputation of late.
Spotting a patch of unusually fresh snow nearby, Oliver and J'onn discover an alien base right beneath their feet, and upon entering it, they disturb the scientists inside, who had hoped to keep working in secret. With the heroes' intrusion, though, they activate a fail-safe and teleport away. The fail-safe, as it turns out, is a terrifying being made entirely of fire. The Manhunter attempts to engage it telepathically, but to no avail.
On the moon of Thalsalla, the scientists return to their master to report on their discovery. Lord Byth Rok is pleased to learn of the Martian's involvement, explaining that his plans are unhindered by the interruption. So long as the birth process goes well, all will be fine. In the meantime, though, it is time to dispose of their prisoners - and Alanna Lewis is among them.
She has been planning for some time with her fellow prisoners to mob Lobo, their jailer, who is not surprised to learn of her plan - or to learn of the other prisoners' reluctance to join her. He would surely kill them all. He is surprised, however, to learn that Hawkman is among the imprisoned, and he will gladly fight the bounty hunter to the death.
- The word "Keewatin" is Cree for "Blizzard of the North."
- This issue is reprinted in the Justice League United: Justice League Canada collection.
- The view of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre presented in this issue, including the CN Tower in the background is not possible, given the angle and physical locations of the two buildings. The CN Tower is to the immediate left of the south building of the convention centre, pictured here.
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