Action 775 (March 2001) is a double-sized issue, written by Joe Kelly, with pencils by Doug Mahnke and Le Bermejo, and six people on inks. That’s an awful lot of ink, but Tom Nguyen, Dexter Vines, Jim Royal, Jose Marzan Jr, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Wayne Faucher. All to introduce Manchester Black, a John Constantine rip-off as a Superman villain, and his team of creepy followers, the Elite.
The Elite announce to the world that they are going to eliminate threats, using whatever level of violence they want. Superman and Steel, in the new Fortress in a Tesseract have grave concerns about Manchester Black’s intents.
Manchester Black’s abilities are mental in nature, but very strong. Coldcast, Hat, and the extremely creepy Menagerie round out this first line-up of the Elite.
The Elite challenge Superman to a battle on Jupiter’s moon Io, and broadcast it to Earth. Although the Elite start off well, by the end it looks like Superman has killed them, and he admits using his vision powers to fry Black’s brain and remove his abilities.
Of course, Superman is lying. He said this just to get Black to break down on tv, and reveal his own weaker side.
This team never really grabbed me, and despite it’s big launch, didn’t go anywhere.
The Elite return in the pages of JLA, and then head into their own miniseries, Justice League Elite.
Tagged: Action Comics, Coldcast, DC Comics, Derek Vines, Doug Mahnke, Elite, Fortress of Solitude, Hat, Jim Royal, Joe Kelly, Jose Marzan Jr, Lee Bermejo, Manchester Black, Menagerie, Steel, Superman, Tom Nguyen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Wayne Faucher