Monday, July 6, 2020

Justice Society of America #2 (1992)

I just got super depressed thinking that the Justice Society would probably watch Fox News and have a Blue Lives Matter flag in their headquarters.

Shit. Why isn't that a comic book now? Super hero teams have a history of getting their "crime alerts" from watching breaking news on television. What if there were a super hero team who got all of their tips from Fox News? Hmm, I suppose people have already done plenty of "What if super heroes were fascist?" stories. We probably don't need a new spin with a team of male heroes with huge block heads who called themselves QAnon.

This issue is called "Days of Valor" and subtitled "I Don't Really Fucking Care About the Justice Society." That means somebody will probably pretend to be military and I'll write something like, "Good. Who fucking cares? I'm so bored. Let's all pretend to be vets!" What's so wrong with stolen valor anyway? If somebody wants to act like they were in the military for a few free pancakes at Denny's, what's the harm?!

This issue begins with some kid picketing a corporation called Ultragen and subsequently getting his ass kicked by some Ultragen security guards.

I literally thought the bald guys were just background subway riders until I turned the page and one is all, "Let's get involved, Ted!" and the other one was all, "No way! We should get security, Mouthshitter!"

It's actually Ted "Wildcat" Lastname that wants to get involved but my dialogue didn't work as well if I worked with the truth. Also I just remembered Ted's last name is Grant. I could fix it but I'm nothing if not transparent! I'm typing this in my boxers right now!

Ted beats the guys up a bit until one of them pulls a gun on him. That's when The Atom steps in to make a rather indelicate threat.

I have to admit, I thought I would make a fisting joke before one of these geezers.

The Ultragen bullies run off because they want to keep their holes stable. Before leaving, Ted gives the kid his business card because Ted believes all problems can be solved by beating the shit out of them. I disagree. I'd say it's more like 95% of problems.

Ted and Al are on their way to the first meeting of the retired from retirement Justice Society of America. They've all aged to about sixty years old now so I can't imagine they're going to be doing a lot of crime fighting. Maybe they'll sit around talking about HAM radio and drinking Hamm's beers while eating cold slabs of ham on Wonder bread. Old people sure love things with the word "ham" in it! I wonder if their headquarters is in Gotham?

Al "The Atom" Lastname just did the math for me and the members of the Justice Society should actually be 70 years old. But instead they're 60. So, you know, I'm totally flabbergasted by that difference. Whoa. They're so young. This team is off-the-charts exciting.

The only people at the meeting are Wildcat, The Atom, Green Lantern, and The Flash. Everybody else came back to actual lives while Alan and Jay came back to wives they apparently don't want to spend much time with. The Hawks call in from Egypt where they, too, have just gotten on with things.

I don't think you guys are supposed to reference stuff that happened in the Vertigo universe! Now kids are going to go pick up The Sandman which will lead to Swamp Thing which will lead to Shade the Changing Man which will lead to The Extremist which will lead to kids seeing titties!

The Hawks have to rush off to battle a mummy so Carter consents to let Alan take over as leader of the JSA, in whatever form they eventually choose to engage. The Atom finally relents and decides maybe it'll be fun to get together with the guys to play cards and smoke cigars and pretend they're helping. They're interrupted by Alan's wife calling to tell him to turn on the JSA Mission Debrief Machine. That's the television set to a local news channel. Turns out there's a riot going on nearby!

The old men all get into costume and rush off to protect the protesters getting their asses kicked by Ultragen stormtroopers. It's just like fighting Nazis! Probably. What do I know what fighting Nazis was like? I'm sure it was just pointing a gun at some tarted up Germans and firing wildly. I meant to express that in a way that shows I think American troops in World War II were doing the right thing unlike troops in other wars.

The bad guy leading the Ultragen troops is the bandaged guy who sent the big underground monster to attack the JSA at their retirement party. I'm sure he's one of their old foes. Probably Per Degaton since I don't recognize him.

Green Lantern is taken out by a riot gun that shoots chunks of wood. That's too convenient to be a coincidence! This guy must have expected the JSA to break up the riot.

Jeez, dude. Calm down. All they did was stop your guys from beating up a bunch of protesters. You still got the protest to stop by intevening.

This bad guy is super angry at the JSA for almost no reason. First off, Superman stopped him from killing them at their retirement party. So why is he angry at the JSA? He was attacking them and they didn't even foil his plans. Superman did! Next they stop his goons from beating up protesters but, due to the riot, the protest still ends. But now that he's all worked up, I guess he'll have to enact yet another plan to destroy the JSA rather than just sitting on his pile of money running the world through Ultragen. It's always this burning need to get even that is the downfall of these stupid villains.

When the JSA get back from their impromptu mission, they discover some guy they recognize hanging out in their headquarters. I don't know who it is because I guess the mystery was supposed to get me to buy Issue #3? This is one of the problems I have with comic books. Some writers think withholding information is what keeps people hooked. But I think giving more information works better. I bet revealing who this guy is, and readers being familiar with him, would have been more enticing than ending with a big "Who is this mystery man?!" ending. But then I don't write comics for a living so I guess maybe I don't know what I'm talking about?

The bottom line is I bought Issue #3. So fuck. Past Me disproved my point. The asshole.

Justice Society of America #2 Rating: C. Still pretty average. I can't imagine past me was this intrigued by this comic book. I think I just kept buying it out of sheer momentum, still hoping that maybe, eventually, I'd see what the allure of the Justice Society was.

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