Sunday, January 29, 2012

Justice League #5

Oh Jim Lee. Do you ever disappoint in your ability to disappoint? To many comic book readers, this cover is the epitome of comic book art. Sure, it's glossy and slick. And I know why this over the top style took off.

Here's the style you could expect from comics in the late eighties and early nineties:

Ugh. Oh god!

Those two images are taken from DC's Who's Who in the DC Universe Update from 1993. These are from artists who were still working the eighties style and look a lot like most of the entries from the 1990 edition. But in the 1993 Update, you can already see some of the new style coming through from emerging artists. You're getting more of the 'more lines on the face makes them look grimmer' style like we see on Aquaman's face on the Jim Lee cover. For example, the Darkstars, new upstarts on the block in the early nineties:

The Darkstars were Green Lanterns without rings. Who wants to bet the guy with the 'stache on the bottom was a Chicago cop?

So if comic buyers in the early nineties were choosing their comics by what the cover looked like, you'd be picking up Jim Lee's stuff. Dynamic. Slick. And you can respect that he's putting the effort in to make it look good. I see the appeal. And it is eye candy.

So let me get to why I find it disappointing already so I can read about Darkseid kicking their asses!

First off, if you give Jim Lee a super group, he's going to pack the cover with all of them looking off over your right shoulder as you look at them. I don't know how long this has been a standard pose but it has definitely been done to death.

Second, why is Cyborg so fucking huge? Aquaman could curl up in a fetal position inside Cyborg's chest. And his fist is as big as Green Lantern's head. Did the Apokolypsian nanobots turn him into a ginormous robot?

Wait. What's that, Spellcheck? Why didn't you put a line under ginormous? It's actually in the dictionary?! Since 2007? Interesting.

Back to the cover. Why is Green Lantern creating a multi-flail to fight Darkseid? And what is Wonder Woman going to do with that dagger? And look how they're all making fists! Try making a fist with your thumb exactly 90 degrees to your other fingers. OUCH!

But still. Jim Lee makes a pretty and dramatic cover. But what's with Cyborg flying the American flag? An homage to when this title was Justice League of America?

I better just open the cover of the comic now. I suppose even with all the stuff that disappoints me with this type of cover, it's still better than going back to those half-assed days of this:

The action starts off with the Justice League lying in a pile of rubble because of whatever Darkseid did when he arrived. I thought maybe he caused an Earth Bounce. I'm going to go with that as one of his powers. And it turns out, Darkseid is this size:

That's a much bigger difference than my Super Friends action figures would have me believe.

But Superman gets up almost immediately and then Darkseid fires his Omega Beams at, well, at something. It's hard to tell what he's actually shooting at because they always zigzag all over the place. Which seems like an odd way to aim a weapon. Shoot at what you're looking at and then have the trajectory of your missile go flip flopping all over creation before it locates the thing you were just previously looking directly at.

But since Flash is so fast, he gets Superman out of the way. Just in case it was Superman that was being shot at. But apparently Darkseid is wall-eyed because one of his Omega beams locked on to Superman and one of them locked on to Flash! I think Darkseid's secret identity is Marty Feldman. It's the internet age, kids. Look it the fuck up.

Flash gets away from his beam by vibrating through a parademon. The beam blasts the parademon. Or disintegrates him. But Superman isn't as lucky.

He actually survives an Omega Beam blast and is captured by parademons. Maybe Superman was strong enough to survive because it was a shot from only one eye.

Darkseid then turns his attention to the others. You know, the ones who stand no chance against him. Batman. Aquaman. Cyborg. Except I guess Batman killed Darkseid in another universe! But he had some special bullet or something. Now he just has his Batarang.

While Darkseid is fighting Green Lantern, he answers my question about his Earth Bounce power. Basically, it's an Earth Bounce. He powered up his hands and then smashed the ground making a large BOOOM and knocking everyone off their feet.

Green Lantern speaks some amazing dialogue while fighting Darkseid. He's just the dumbest piece of shit on the basketball court. Green Lantern smacks him with his stupid triple flail and it shatters. Then Darkseid Earth Bounces Green Lantern onto his ass and Green Lantern says, "That...all you got? Not all I got."

What would make you assume that was all this cosmic monster had? Especially if you just attacked him with not all you had? But seriously, if all Green Lantern had was a green light medieval weapon, that would be pretty sad.

So Green Lantern goes back for more and gets pummeled. And he says, "I'm not through with you yet. I'm not--"

Oh look! He's not done with you either! I love it when people get along.

Darkseid breaks Green Lantern's arm and then retreats like a big fat cosmic coward. Or maybe he walks off victorious. I think I was just blinded by Green Lantern's machismo.

Next up, Batman does what Batman does. He gets the situation under control. But first, he exposes himself to Green Lantern and peels his bat emblem right off the front of his suit. Really, Batman? Is that Velcro or Felt?

Just I like I told the Teen Titans to do! Kind of.

So after Batman tells Green Lantern to act like a team, Batman goes off on his own just like a fucking Batman. He allows himself to get caught by a parademon so that he can go after Superman. And ends up through a Boom Cube Gateway and on the planet Apokolips.

And that's 20 pages of comics at $1 extra! So let's see what that extra dollar got me after the end of the story.

Oh. Yay. Six pages of sketches and costume concept detailing Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg.

Fuck you, DC! I'm glad my comic book shop gives me 25% off all my titles! So I'm only paying $3 for your stupid $4 book! Jerkos!

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