Sunday, July 5, 2020

Justice Society of America #1 (1992)

Hourman looks like he's trying to remember how long they've been battling this thing.

If your super power is that you take a pill that lets you have super powers for one hour, don't call yourself Hourman. Why would you tell every villain you're battling that if they just prolong the fight for a little over sixty minutes, they'll kick your ass? My theory is that Hourman's pills actually work for two hours and by purporting that his powers only last an hour, he eventually takes them by surprise when they find he didn't lose his powers. Also, by making them think he'll be powerless at the end of an hour, any stalling tactics they choose to use just gives more time for JSA backup to arrive. Maybe Hourman is smarter than I thought!

I remember picking up this comic book because something in me wanted to like and appreciate the Justice Society. I believe I eventually killed that part of me with hallucinogenic mushrooms and alcohol. I also think I gave it a try because of the cartoony cover art and the logo that screams, "This is a cartoon!" It totally fooled me even though, at twenty, I should have realized comic books and cartoons were quite different mediums.

We interrupt this comic book review to say good morning to Gravy. Note the Lobo statue and the H.P. Lovecraft horror corner angle of my office.

The issue begins by reminding the readers that the Justice Society is composed of old geezers. But they don't look super old even though they fought Nazis because they were trapped in a bottle fighting Ragnarok or something. That's how I remember it and I won't be convinced of anything different. Erasing incorrect memories and replacing them with facts is probably like using an old VHS tape to constantly tape over old shows. Pretty soon the quality of the tape is fucked and you can't tell what the hell you're watching. And I don't want my brain to become an old VHS tape full of static and flip-flopping images! I'd rather it be full of crystal clear misinformation!

Popcorn for the kid and a large cup of bull semen for gramps!

These two nobodies have come to Gotham Stadium to see an exhibition put on by the Justice Society. They're all there: the ones with wings, the one with the bedpan on his head, the squat one that definitely gets paid to shit in people's mouths, the blind one, the one with a wood allergy, the one with the pill addiction, the gassy one, the possessed one, the furry, and Starman. You can tell they're an older generation group because only one of them is female and she's just a redundant copy of Hawkman.

Clark and Lois are in attendance to sort of explain why the Justice Society aren't super old farts.

I guess I'll learn the details when I get around to reading Armageddon 2001 and its spin-offs. That was the crossover where Captain Atom becomes tyrant of the world in a dystopian future. Oh, sorry. It was actually Hawk and not Captain Atom because all the readers immediately guessed it was Captain Atom and the editors were all, "We need to surprise the audience! Make it a character nobody would have guessed or even cared about at all!"

Lois starts getting romantic and maudlin thinking about how she and Clark may get to spend as many years together as the Justice Society and she turns to him and says half of something romantic before she's interrupted by Clark saying, "Hey, there's the mayor!" What a scoop! Although why the fuck is Clark getting so excited about the mayor of Gotham?

The mayor calls the Justice Society "America's greatest heroes" and Clark's boner doesn't subside because he's such a humble Kansas farm boy. Can't we agree that just because somebody was first doesn't mean we have to hold them up as being the best? I mean, George Washington was the first president of the United States but nobody considers him the greatest president. That was obviously Jimmy Carter.

That wasn't a joke. Jimmy Carter was our greatest president. Change my mind.

No wait. Don't change my mind. There's nothing I hate more than debating over the Internet. Just go have an ice cream cone and calm the fuck down.

The mayor introduces all of the Justice Society for the young kids reading who are just thinking, "Who the fuck are these jerks?" The giant monster that crawls up from underground conveniently waits to attack until the entire team is introduced. Good thing or else I'd keep thinking, "Why is Jimmy Olsen on the Justice Society?" Now I know that's Johnny Thunder!

Those of you paying close attention already know I knew that was Johnny Thunder when I referred to him as "the possessed one."

Don't you mean "What in Earth?", Hawkwoman?

Ha ha! I'm like the one asshole you time travel with who always responds to the person saying "Where are we?" with "Don't you mean 'When are we?'" Always such a good line that's been said five million times so it always seems weird when some script writer thinks it's okay to use it yet again. Fuck I hope nobody says it in the new Bill and Ted movie.

Justin (the young man with the grandfather guzzling bull semen) gets so excited he leaps head first out of the upper deck. Hawkwoman saves him because the guys are too busy not being compassionate enough. Although did he want to be saved? I don't know. I might take the dive if I had to hang out with a guy who drinks large cups of bull semen. Medium or small, I could handle. I might even indulge in a small. But fucking large? And overflowing! So gross.

Oh the nights I've had that began with me thinking, "If I can only get a wirepoon through that Moby Dick!"

Superman swoops in to beat up the monster and steal all of the attention for himself. I guess he did bristle at the notion that the Justice Society were America's greatest heroes. He could have at least waited a few minutes to see if they could stop the monster without all dying of heart attacks. I suppose as soon as Sandman crumpled to his knees while clasping his chest and screaming, "I'm comin'!", Superman felt forced to intervene.

The pill popper is just saying what we're all thinking.

Superman mentions that this is the Justice Society's retirement party. That makes sense. I shouldn't have assumed that they were returning to reality to constantly battle the Ultra-Humanite. They just want their pension checks and some hard candies.

Sandman is down and Johnny Thunder believes he's had another stroke.

Luckily Wildcat got to Sandman before the mouth shitter.

Later, Alan and Jay* go to a diner to indulge in some exposition (*Alan is Green Lantern and Jay is The Flash -- Nerd Editor Big Nerd Grunion!). They returned to Earth rejuvenated but now some of that is wearing off. I guess maybe in Armageddon Inferno, they returned much younger and now for this series, the writer wanted to get them back up to kind of old. But not super old like all of their wives and husbands! Not that any of them have husbands because they're all straight males (I think! This is before Alan became New 52 gay). They discuss how back in their day, they only had to fight "jewel thieves and bank robbers" while the new heroes now battle "mass murderers" too. Did they forget about all the Nazis they fought?! Maybe they just remember them as simple art thieves?

Oh, okay. They remember Hitler and the Nazis. It's just a seeming smallish footnote in their story, I guess.

While having coffee, Jay and Alan get their super hero news alerts just like they always have: a television playing in the background with the sound way up. Apparently some "anti-nuke loonies" have laid siege to a nuclear reactor. And they're not as peaceful as you'd expect people who are anti-nuclear power would be; they're armed and, um, loony?

Oh, I guess they are loonies! They're just not anti-nuke like Alan assumed. He is old so everybody fucking up the status quo is probably just another Goddamned hippie to him.

Who is that guy and who are the mutant wild life and why have they been imprisoned? It would have been easier to understand if they actually were armed hippies protesting against nuclear war by exploding a power plant.

Oh, duh. That's Cain, leader of The New Order! How could I forget Cain and the New Order after only 28 years! The other members of New Order are Scud, Ammo, Corona, and...Pooch? They're not too experienced or maybe Alan and Jay are super experienced because Alan and Jay beat them like a schoolyard bully beats the new kid's younger sister while making the new kid watch.

That was my last simile from my stash of bulk similes I had Pickle Boy write me a few months ago. I guess it was good enough. But now I'm going to need more!

Green Lantern and The Flash decide they're not ready to retire after playing hero. But they don't decide it with dignity and gravitas. The Flash just says, "Retirement?" And Green Lantern embarrassingly responds, "Not!" Ah ha ha! Oh, 1993, how I miss you! I mean I don't but I'm not going to say the word that implies I didn't really mean that which makes the entire statement super funny because I'm referencing a film based on a short sketch that was totally hilarious.

Justice Society of America #1 Rating: C. It's probable that this series was green-lit simply because DC management were nostalgic for the Justice Society. I'm sure the pitch was simply, "Picture this: the Justice Society of America! But older! But not too much older! Just the right amount of older!" And everybody was all, "Okay. Sure. Whatever. We're busy planning the death of Superman over here. Just do what you want." I guess that was good enough. I mean, I bought it and I was not very discriminating at all! You picked up a lot of comic books you didn't really care about when they were only a buck twenty-five per issue.

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