Monday, March 17, 2014
For my money, the VERY BEST orbiting satellite is the Injustice Gang Satellite -- a massive satellite in geosynchronous orbit some 22,300 miles above the Earth.
The Injustice Gang was a super-villain group established in Justice League of America #111 (May-June 1974). Libra was a villain who made his first appearance here, and could absorb up to half the powers of any superhero via a rod based on technology stolen from the hero Starman. He assembled a group of villains who'd fought the Justice League in the past: Chronos (an Atom villain), Mirror Master (an Aquaman villain), Poison Ivy (a Flash villain), Scarecrow (a Batman, villain), Shadow Thief (a Hawkman villain), and the Tattooed Man (a Green Lantern villain). Libra built the Injustice Gang a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. However, it was directly OPPOSITE the Justice League satellite. The Justice League defeats the group using the villainous android Amazo (which can absorb heroes' powers, too).
The Injustice Gang satellite was FAR COOLER than the Justice League's dopey one. It was like an bowl below, with a flying-saucer like structure and dome atop it. A rounded rectangular tower projected from the "rear", and a pendulous structure below for a power plant. A slight column dropped from the "front" lip of the structure, at the end of which was an offensive/defensive array containing shields, lasers, disintegrators, etc. For whatever reason, it also had these cool "nuclear rings" around it!
The Injustice Gang satellite also appears in the very first DC/Marvel cross-over, Superman vs the Amazing Spider-Man (January 1976). Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus use the abandoned satellite as their headquarters while plotting world domination.
In Justice League of America #142 (May 1977), the Earth's radio and computer waves form an artificial intelligence named Construct. Construct creates a robot body for himself, and the Justice League defeats him by destroying the body. But this was merely a test of Construct's emerging powers. In Justice League of America #143 (June 1977), Construct reforms the Injustice Gang (minus the Shadow Thief) and brings them back to their Injustice Gang satellite. Unfortunately, Construct's consciousness decided to take possesion of the satellite itself. When the Justice League battles the Injustice Gang within the Injustice Gang Satellite, the satellite is heavy damaged. This causes it to explode, shattering Construct's consciousness. Superman and Batman create a scrambler that (they think) will prevent Construct from re-emerging...
The Injustice Gang makes additional apperances later, but never rebuilds their satellite. Construct, too, later reappears.
Oddly, the Injustice Gang Satellite later reappeared in the limited series Identity Crisis (June-December 2004). It is owned by the Calculator (a Batman villain), who allows other villains to use it as a sort of shabby clubhouse. It is during this limited series that readers learn of Dr. Light's rape of Sue Dibny, the wife of superhero Elongated Man. Green Arrow reveals that League member Zatanna, with the concurrence of some (but not all) League members, mind-wiped Dr. Light and altered his personality to prevent him from attacking the League again. Those League members who opposed the mind-wiping had their memories of the incident erased by Zatanna as well. The Justice League begins to fall apart as its members now distrust one another. The superhero Firestorm is killed during the investigation, and the father of Robin (Tim Drake version) is murdered by the villain Captain Boomerang. The ex-wife of the Atom, Jean Loring, is discovered to have gone insane and also killed at least one person.
So, apparently, the Injustice Gang satellite still exists...