Thursday, March 31, 2022

Bonus Book! #13 (Justice League International #24) (1989)

Simon Bisley got in trouble for drawing a penis in Lobo's arm musculature but this Haspiel guy can just draw a penis right on Maxwell Lord's penis?

I'm judging this Bonus Book by the cover and this is my judgment. You know how you have that friend that's always talking shit and causing trouble? And you know how sometimes somebody reacts violently toward your friend being an unbearable prick to strangers? You know how you just shrug instead of having their back and thinking, "Yeah, well, what did they think was going to happen?" That's what I think just happened to Maxwell Lord. He's a fucking prick and the Justice League are probably kicking back at headquarters shrugging and saying, "What did Max think was going to happen?!"

See?! They're just watching dumb old sci-fi movies which Giffen and DeMatteis probably stole plots and quotes from.

Actually, this takes place before Max Lord is kidnapped. He's in the panel to the right, just after the spot where I cut off the scan. You can just make out his briefcase because I did a sloppy job!

I'm really not the person to complain about this but every single sentence of dialogue in this story ends in an exclamation point! At first I was all, "Why is this story about Booster and Beetle talking about television shows and movies so exciting?!" And then I was all, "Hey...I recognize this trick!" Half of my novels use an exclamation point at the end of every sentence to trick movie studios into optioning the rights!

This is the part where I might sometimes critique the art but fuck if I complain about any artist that worked with Harvey Pekar. He may have passed on but he still scares the shit out of me. Also I think Max Lord's nose is another penis.

The only sentences that don't end in an exclamation point end in ellipsis or a question. That means these characters are either shouting, questioning somebody, or questioning themselves. Fuck. I think I just described the way I talk.

I almost questioned how this robot, in 1989, could sound this animated with all the exclamation points. But then I remembered the Wizard of Wor arcade cabinet constantly laughing at me.

Max Lord was just kidnapped by that robot pretending to be a chauffeur. I'm less curious about who kidnapped him and why then I am about this robot's personal life. Is he only programmed to imitate chauffeurs? I'd like to imagine he has a rich and vibrant life on his off hours where he's married to a toaster oven that pretends to be a lawyer and has three electric pencil sharpener children.

While in the back of the limousine, Maxwell Lord thinks his first calm sentence: "Might as well get comfortable." Man, that's the only one I would have exclamated!

It was the time of the Romans!

Never mind that last caption. It was for me and like two other people.

I've matured so much over the last ten years that I'm not going to write an entire paragraph on this woman's ass. But I haven't matured enough not to be proud of my maturity.

Imagine being so wealthy that you didn't immediately have this thought when a fucking robot driving a limo kidnapped you.

"Oh, I'm being kidnapped by a robot! Must be run of the mill blue collar super villains! How embarrassing!"

The kidnappers, being so well-funded, have kidnapped Max Lord to become, um, even betterly well funded! They want half a billion dollars for his return. Who's going to pay it? I don't know. Superman? Does he have that kind of money? I bet he makes diamonds up his butthole while he works out on Dr. Shay Veritas's bench press she invented that lets Superman press the equivalent of five Earths so that he can drip one single drop of sweat and then refuse to towel off the machine.

As an aside that has nothing to do with this comic but does sort of involve Superman and one of my least favorite writers on his book, Scott Lobdell, I've now seen enough examples online where Scott Lobdell comments on a person's review of one of his books (usually when they're complementary (which is something that actually happens? I know, I was floored too!)) to be convinced he's read my reviews. So, because I'm maturing, I'm sorry for being such a huge hilarious jerk to you, Mr. Lobdell!

The kidnappers cannot convince anybody to pay them 500 million dollars so the people who hired them (and paid for the headquarters and the robot driver) fire them for not being able to get the money. Sure, I guess. But how is it the fault of the mercenaries if the amount you wanted for Max Lord is just too high? They didn't come up with the figures! And when the ransom isn't going to make a profit, they fire the mercenaries and probably stiff them too! Who works like that?!

Because the originator of the kidnapping pulls all funding, the mercenaries accept paying jobs from Maxwell Lord and he frees himself. So let me get this straight. A criminal organization spent a shit-ton of money to kidnap Max Lord in the hopes that they could make an even bigger shit-ton of money. But when nobody can get enough money together in 24 hours, they get cold feet and bail on the people they hired to kidnap Max. It's a good thing the story never reveals who the criminal mastermind of this plan was because their reputation would have been in tatters. They'd never get another gig as an antagonist in the DC Universe!

Here's a quote from the writer of this story:

I hope you finally got a chance to write your new story because this one where the hostage winds up being too much trouble for the kidnappers so they eventually pay to get rid of him was old when I first read this in 1989!

This was the final Bonus Book in DC's Bonus Book project. I'm sad that I don't have the Bonus Book with art by Rob Liefeld. But then that one was in Warlord and I never read that series.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Justice League International #24 (1989)

Seriously surprised Editorial allowed the X-men reference. Maybe they just didn't notice it?

How fucking disgusting is Ralph Dibny? You don't see Fire taking a group photo with her face on fire. You don't see Metamorpho turning his eyeballs into potassium cyanide. Martian Manhunter, who could also do that nasty neck thing, chooses to remain dignified. But fucking Ralph Dibny?! You gotta question how many unsolicited dick pics this guy sends when he can't just take a normal fucking group photo without making his neck four feet long. Ugh. Gross.

Why do they all look so fucking unhappy? Did Batman fart? Only Ice seems to be having a pleasant time. I bet Dmitri isn't even in the armor. And you can't even see Power Girl's boob window. Plus Animal Man seems like a weird choice but then this is still a couple of years before Grant Morrison gets his hands on him. So he's still a vaguely normal super hero here.

This issue begins with Maxwell Lord contemplating how he has the Metal-Gene. Excuse me! Meta-gene! We haven't gotten to the point where Snyder rocks the fucking shit out of the meta-gene idea. I'd forgotten that the whole meta-bomb/meta-gene thing was part of Invasion. Does that mean Bloodlines is right around the corner?! When we'll get such great characters as Gunfire who can make a gun out of anything and Loose Cannon who's an ex-cop (big surprise) whose power is to get angry when he's disrespected. I might have embellished that one a bit. But not by much. Anyway, Max Lord will eventually find out he can manipulate people with his mind. But then his nose bleeds because that's the only way for the audience to know mind control is happening. I believe Scanners was the first movie to use this visual clue but it wasn't officially a trope until Firestarter decided to use it as well. For most of my life, I thought Firestarter invented it. But that's because I wasn't allowed to watch people's heads blow up when Scanners was being shown for the first time on Showtime.

Oh! Maybe Editorial thought the X-men reference was just a meta-gene reference now that DC Comics suddenly has mutants as well!

Hmm. I guess I just forgot that DC was mostly just references to Marvel in the 80s.

The alien invasion has left Max Lord dealing with some unresolved existential terrors, mostly related to the computer that tried to control his mind and then murder him and the rest of the Justice League. Now he's worried and having stupid thoughts like, "Can a computer really die?" I mean, when you put it like that Max, no. A computer isn't alive so, sure, it can't "really" die. But I think what he's getting at, in 1989, is this: what if information in a computer could be uploaded into some nebulous floating storage, extant outside of the parameters of the original system, before the computer is smashed to bits? What a paranoid idea, Max!

Max decides to go searching for the computer where it first took control of him: in some cave high up in a mountain. You know, the usual places you find abandoned technology like TRS-80s and Commodore Vic-20s. Max had planned to kill his boss in a spelunking accident. You know, the second main reason anybody goes spelunking. The first is complete and utter boredom. But Max's boss, like a huge idiot, falls and dies before Max can kill him. And Max apparently just left the body there and nobody questioned Max about this guy's death? No, they probably did but the entire investigation into Max's boss's disappearance was probably too boring to base an issue of a comic book around.

Max finds the computer, obliterated in a cave-in, and questions what he's doing. But he's been questioning what he's doing the entire time, probably because the Giffen and DeMatteis know the audience is questioning what he's doing. Fairly certain therapy doesn't exist in the DC Universe. The whole "Max is questioning his actions" bit probably means Max is still possessed by the computer. It did basically bring him back to life after the Manhunters killed him so it probably installed some cheeky software during Max's downtime.

The computer comes back online long enough to throw some pop culture references at Max before admitting it knew about Max's meta-gene and then pulling one of those radioactive wombat bites on a nuclear testing range bits in order to activate Max's meta-gene. Is that irony?

"Yeah, no harm done. I was just once again manipulated by an artificial intelligence which knew about my meta-gene and now just nearly killed me in exactly the kind of accident that activates that meta-gene. This all worked out perfectly. Gonna go home now and forget all about the robot again for a year or two."

We soon learn that Max's meta-gene was activated when he thinks about Blue Beetle's ugly face and then yells for help. This sends a psychic message to Blue Beetle, revealing to Beetle where Max is and what's happened to him. When I first read this, I probably thought, "Wow! What a coincidence that Blue Beetle would have a small stroke causing him to hallucinate Max Lord's current situation!" But then I didn't know Max Lord would become psychic and also I was just a dumb teenager. Not that I'm not dumb now. But now I'm a dumb middle-aged man.

Ice and Beetle head down to Metron's cave to help Max while Oberon stays back at headquarters to leer disgustingly at Fire.

Oh hold on. Even in 1989, I knew about psychic nosebleeds. I didn't spend all those years reading The Fortean Times and not learn a little something about psychic nosebleeds.

In 1989, I probably had yet to read an issue of The Fortean Times because I'm an American. But I had read a lot of the sadly-not-really-equivalent-but-the-best-we-had Weekly World News!

Some of you may have noticed that I keep stealing that Dungeons and Dragons quote from The X-Files episode, "Jose Chung's From Outer Space." That's because 50% of my brain's processing power constantly thinks about every Darin Morgan episode of the show. I didn't spend all those Friday nights watching The X-Files alone in a dark room and not learn a little something about The X-Files.

Max has reached the point where a person knows they're going to die so they begin having imaginary conversations with an imaginary genie who will offer them one final wish that isn't "I wish not to die."

"Co-ed" is code for "I want to fuck as young a person as the law will allow me to get away with." Playboy invented that code.

Blue Beetle saves Max Lord's life and how does he repay him?

Max Lord, 2005. Still being manipulated by machines.

That's basically the end of the first story other than Oberon sneaking peeks at Fire in her nightie as he serves her some tea in bed. Although her nightie actually covers up more of her body than her superhero outfit. I guess it's just sexier to see a woman in her nightgown! I don't know why though. Apparently it's a huge secret. And you can't find out the secret because the clerks at the store will call mall security on you when you try to find out by touching all of the underwear and giggling like Beavis and Muttley had a horrible fuck baby.

The second story involves the Justice League throwing a party. You can see some of the people who were invited on the cover! Some of those you can't see because they refused to be on an ancillary Justice League in another country are Hal Jordan, The Atom, Starman, and Firestorm. At least I think none of those guys join.

Who's in charge of the JLI Human Resources Department? Because I'm sick of Wonder Woman not giving Blue Beetle a chance.

The party is another recruitment drive. It's been two years and the League still isn't confident in the members they have. Unless this is the recruitment drive for heroes who are willing to work in other countries. That's probably the main point because Justice League Europe starts up pretty soon and I think Power Girl and Wonder Woman wind up on that team, probably to get as far away from Blue Beetle's harassment as possible.

That's timely! Unless you're reading this at a point in the future that isn't the week immediately following the 94th Academy Awards.

I have only one take on Will Smith smacking Chris Rock. America fucking sucks. Everybody in America had to view the entire thing uncensored via Japan or Australian television. We're treated like fucking children in this country and yet we have all these gigantic assholes who won't shut up about how awesome and free this country is. This country is bullshit in so many fucking ways but if you point it out in any public forum, you'll get shouted down by a bunch of people choosing to ignore the country's faults by screaming about freedom not being free or some other stupid crap. I would like to be free to hear the word "fuck" on television. And that's just the icing on the iceberg! We're fucking coddled in this country. Nobody thinks anybody can handle fucking anything. So many asshole citizens trying to force everybody to live a life as if there's a four year old in every room. And you know why this is, right?! Because religious people think we all need to follow their stupid fucking immature bullshit rules. And yet those same religious people freak the fuck out when somebody points out how some other country might be forcing their religious beliefs on other people through the nation's laws. Fucking get out of here, you hypocritical babies. I'm so sick of hearing about Jesus and God and all your other imaginary friends. Grow the fuck up.

The worst part about living in America and seeing all of its flaws and all of the advantages of living in various other countries is that people will scream at you to leave if you don't love it and, well, I fucking wish I could afford to! But guess what else America sucks at?! Living wages!

Although, hmm, I mean, I guess I should probably be mad at myself for that one since I own my own business. The problem with suffering from Imposter Syndrome when you run the business is that you don't know your own self-worth and don't increase the costs to clients enough. I mean, no price increases in eleven years is probably not enough, right?!

Man that take really got away from me. What I meant to say is Chris Rock and Will Smith are both grown-ass adults. They dealt with the situation and if either one is unsatisfied with the results, they'll just live with the regrets, I guess. That's fucking life!

I suppose, one other small take, is that this physical assault happened on the Academy Awards' watch. So they could have done something other than just hand out a huge award to the guy who committed assault just previously on the same stage. I mean, they could have, if they gave a shit.

Hawkman nearly has a stroke deriding the new Justice League but nobody seems to take him seriously. They all know he's got a stick the size of a Thanagarian mace up his butthole.

Fire is missing out on the party because she's sick from meta-gene overload. She needs some time to recuperate so she can start turning into a human-shaped ball of green fire. Is that more effective than just shooting green flames? Is blasting fire all over the place even a good power for a super-hero? It seems really dangerous and destructive and costly. I guess that's why she's teamed with Ice so that Ice can just put an ice dome over every fire Bea starts.

Oberon goes about the party asking interview questions of all the guests.

Is this where Gail Simone got the idea to make Firestorm gay in The New 52?

Some people might now be thinking, "Wait. Firestorm was gay in The New 52?" And, well, yes. At least all of the clues were there for Grandmaster Comic Book Readers to find. If you're interested, I lay it all out in my early reviews of the series when The New 52 began (just search "Firestorm" in the blogger search bar). But what I didn't realize at the time was that Ethan Van Sciver, working on the book with Gail Simone, would flip the fuck out and go full Comicsgate on everybody. Am I saying Gail Simone writing a gay Firestorm set him off? Well, yes, I think I am! But that's why it's never revealed that he's gay! Because things fell apart and Gail left the book after Issue #6. My bet is Gail was all, "Wait. You didn't realize we were writing a gay Firestorm?" And Ethan was all, "What the fuck?! Get that Social Justice crap away from me, you girl!" And Gail was all, "Hey, um, DC? Can I not work with this dude?" And Ethan was all, "Where will it stop?! A disabled Batgirl?! A feminist Wonder Woman?! A Batman who goes to therapy?! A bisexual Superman?!"

Let me explain some of the jokes there because comic book fans only know one debate tactic: to say "Actually" after any bit of facetiousness or whimsy. See, there was already a disabled Batgirl and almost always a feminist Wonder Woman (except when she was wearing bicycle shorts. I don't know what she was going through during those years). But Comicsgate people don't remember anything from the past that might be Social Justice-y (which, let's face it, is pretty much fucking everything. They're fucking superheroes, assholes). So that's that joke. Then the other joke is that, well, DC didn't stop until Superman (well, the son of!) was revealed to be bisexual. And then the last joke was the really funny one: can you imagine Batman in therapy?! Ever?! Ha ha!

Hawkman tries to explain to Blue Beetle that he's being a disgusting chauvinistic jerk and, well, for once I'm on Hawkman's side! What a weird time 1989 was! This was when a whole bunch of people still believed that "conservative" and "Republican" meant decent and chivalrous and mature. But what it really meant was virtue signaling all of those things. It's why they've finally settled on the idea that people who actually care about shit are simply "virtue signaling." Because it's how they convinced all of their neighbors they weren't actually philandering xenophobic bigots!

The Khundian invaders Oberon stuffed into Roach Motels finally revert back to normal size and—wouldn't you know it?!—they didn't die from poison at all! They suspect their people have taken over Earth so they storm out of the kitchen to get some pillaging in when they run into about forty super-heroes. Hell, they couldn't even defeat Oberon so I guess they're just dead now?

Oh, wait, wait! Forget all that stuff about being chauvinistic and sexist and stuff because I have something I want to say outside of the space and time where judging happens!

Oh yeah. Power Girl is definitely on the team.

During the chase scene where the entire room full of party-goers chase the Khunds toward the JLI teleporters, Hawkman decides to quit. Good riddance! I wonder if Hawkman was ever a good character? I have to admit this series was probably my real introduction to him and he's not really painted out to be a great guy. Also, my Hawkman Super Powers figure lost his wings in a Batmobile off the back porch accident so that probably soured me toward him too.

The Khunds escape through the teleporters but since the teleporters are currently attuned to the Australian Embassy teleporters and the Australian Embassy teleporters no longer exist, Mister Miracle points out that the Khund have just killed themselves. Aren't there any safety settings on these death traps?! I'm already pretty sure teleportation machines, like the transporter used in Star Trek, are inherently suicide machines. They kill the person who steps in and then reforms a clone of them on the other side. And I believed that well before seeing the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Second Chances," where they basically just prove my theory. If the transporter transports an individual through, I don't know, some kind of magic miracle, then it would only ever create that individual at the destination. But if the transporter disintegrates a person and creates a clone on the other side then it could easily make more than one clone. Which is how we got Thomas Riker in that episode. I fucking knew it. And Barkley knew it too! And so did Doctor Pulaski! It pisses me off that people eventually convinced both Barkley and Pulaski to finally kill themselves.

By the end of the party, Max Lord has his new Justice League Europe: Power Girl, The Flash, Animal Man, Elongated Man, Wonder Woman (part-time!), Metamorpho, Rocket Red, and Captain Atom. It actually kind of sounds like a better version of Justice League International! Although I was hoping The Creeper would make the cut.

Letters this month were from Chris Connelly of Dearborn, Michigan; Paul Decker of Burbank, California; Stephen Reischman of Langley, British Columbia; Greg Hoffman of North Brunswick, New Jersey; Lawrence of Batu Pahat, Malaysia; Tom French of Syracuse, New York; Irwin Lowe or Avondale Heights, Australia; Tom Pechtel of Country Club Hills, Illinois; and Gerard Morvan of Coignieres, France. Wow! What an international letters column! And not a single one praises the poor letterer, old what's-his-name!

Justice League International #24 Rating: A. I still look on this comic book fondly even if it seems far cheesier and immature looking back on it thirty years later. But by 1989, I had only really been reading comic books for four years (not counting Elfquest which I discovered in 1982 in 5th grade), really picking them up regularly during Crisis on Infinite Earths. So most of my "DC History" is post-Crisis. And I think this book (and Ostrander's Suicide Squad) is the shining example of what DC was about after Crisis. I believe, after killing off Supergirl and Barry Allen, they began talking about making comics fun again. As if they weren't the ones to make it not fun in the first place! The fucking jerks.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Justice League International #23 (1989)

Is this Comicsgate?

I'm not here to talk about or debate Comicsgate. They know who they are no matter what they try to say to convince people otherwise. We know what they are no matter what they say to try to convince people otherwise. I've seen these sort of people in the comic fandom for decades. As soon as the villain of the story goes from robbing banks to committing some kind of social evil (like say, um, Apartheid), they're quick to complain, rising up to complain in some vague way which ultimately comes down to a defense of "Western Civilization" (a code that's as subtle as a pothead with 420 in their name). A great example is the letters pages in Teen Titans Spotlight on Jericho (I think?) where Mike Gold had to deal with letters from fans angry about Teen Titans Spotlight on Starfire because all the white people in it were the villains. Well, yeah! She was in South Africa dealing with Apartheid! How fucking dumb and/or racist do you have to be to send in a letter complaining about Starfire dealing with Apartheid because it makes white people look bad? Had they never fucking heard of Apartheid?! Oh wait. Yes, of course they had. It's just they probably saw people who thought and acted just like they would have thought and acted and realized, "Wait. They're saying those people are the bad guys? How dare they!" It's easy to not see yourself in the bad guy when they're robbing a bank or building weather control satellites because you're probably never going to do that. But when the bad guy is just an ignorant bigot? That fucking stings.

More to the point, fuck Comicsgate.

The Justice League are still in the South Pacific cleaning up after Invasion which I didn't re-read because I failed to sort my comic books by how I would wind up re-reading them forty years later.

If I were still spending the majority of my time with this blog, this would have become the new header.

Oh fuck it. You probably noticed. I made it the new header.

Ten characters nobody recognizes and/or cares about!

Look, I fucking loved the 80s Suicide Squad by John Ostrander. I'm just saying this advertisement is fucking shit. At least it was when the series began! After the series was well underway, Ostrander made most of these characters reasons to buy a book! I mean, I'm pretty sure I only read Peter Milligan's Shade the Changing Man because Shade was in this version of Suicide Squad. Not that he was the same version! But it still got me to read it! Also, why isn't Deadshot in this picture?! To me, Deadshot is synonymous with this version of the Squad! Was he less popular than Count Vertigo or Doctor Light at this time?!

Also on the island: the Injustice League! While the Justice League are busy clearing the island of battlefield debris, the Injustice League are trying to steal a busted Thanagarian warship. In the first scene, the members of the Injustice League make sure to call each other by name a few times so that readers can learn (or remember) who they all are: Major Disaster, Clock King, Multi-Man, Big Sir, and Clue Master. You can tell their second or third string villains because their names are terrible. What does a Clue Master even do?! "I'm master of clues! See how easy I make it for Batman to find me and break my jaw?!" And how shitty must it have been to be Clock King with a costume comprised of a wallpaper pattern of analog clocks when digital clocks suddenly became de rigueur? Was his super power being able to read an analog clock to the exact second, making him obsolete as soon as digital came around? Maybe he's just really good at knowing the exact number of seconds to cook anything on a microwave. I can't even take a guess at what Big Sir's power is other than being dumb and strong. Hmm, that's probably it, seeing as how these characters are so terrible.

It concerns me when a person becomes a super-villain without a compelling reason or any future plans.

If I had a super-power and decided to use it for my own selfish purposes, no way would I dress up and make myself stand out. I would not take a name that advertises the extent of my powers. I would lay low and make small amounts of money in innocuous ways. My guess is that people become super-villains for the power and not so much for the wealth. That's where I'd get it all wrong. I don't want power! I don't want responsibility! I want to lie on my couch without having to worry about rent!

Major Disaster decides to have a nice little soliloquy about how fate had always planned to make him a great man.

Yeah but Mayor Disaster just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Major Disaster's ultimate goal is to rule the world which, again, I simply don't understand. You don't become a criminal so that you can wind up doing more work, do you?! Oh wait. I forgot idiots like Putin and Trump exist. Sad pathetic little unloved men who can't simply be content with a cup of coffee and a cat on their lap. Assholes, really.

Major Disaster realizes he'll probably have to knock over some gas stations first. Which seems a little underwhelming considering his evil super group has just stolen themselves a futuristic space ship.

Guy Gardner hears Major Disaster's evil soliloquy over the smashed ship he's cleaning up with Mister Miracle and flies off to beat up this Injustice League he's just heard about. See?! This is what I'm talking about! Why name yourself something that immediately gives a super hero probable cause to punch you in the throat? Dress like a normal person! Keep your regular name! Don't speak all of your terrible thoughts aloud to nobody!

Guy Gardner makes himself known to the Injustice League and they panic, sending the ship screaming into low orbit.

No, he's implying it.

Look, I didn't read Cerebus a half dozen times and not learn a little something about implying versus inferring.

Anyway, Guy Gardner smashes their ship and before they crash, Martian Manhunter catches them. The army then hauls away the Injustice League. They never even use any of their powers (unless Clock King expressing exactly how much time Green Lantern takes to crash through the ship counts). I suppose Keith and J.M. couldn't figure out how to write a real story in an issue where the Justice League were busy fighting the Invasion crossover. This issue ends with them heading off to finish the crossover.

Letters this month were from Jacob Gilbert of Troy, New York; James Bachmann of Huntsville, Texas; Bill Thiessen of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia; Sam Quang, The Record Man, of Toronto, Ontario; and Asa Jay Ambrister of Nashville, Tennessee. Not one of them praises the letterer. Ungrateful jerks.

Justice League International #23 Rating: 2.5 Stars. If you're going to throw a group of C-list villains into a Justice League title, I'd at least like to see their powers in action. I'm assuming Multi-Man can replicate himself. My guess is Clock King always knows what time it is for those times you're hanging out with him and don't want to look over your shoulder at the clock. Major Disaster probably causes tidal waves and earthquakes. Big Sir is big and polite. And Clue Master with all the little pills on his chest? Who the fuck knows!? Later, he'll have a child named Spoiler and fuck around with Batman for 52 weeks. But in 1989?! He was just a feathered-haired idiot with little capsules on his front. I guess that's where he keeps his clues? But what are the clues for?!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Justice League International #22 (1988)

The entire pitch for this comic: "Imagine Oberon as Rambo! Bwa ha ha ha ha!"

DC loves crossovers. Because crossovers force their slobbering FOMO-filled audience to buy up every single issue of their entire catalog for a few months. So it's nice to see that Giffen and DeMatteis decided to treat their crossover comic book with such seriousness. Sorry. That was sarcasm. I hear only stupid people resort to sarcasm and I don't want people thinking I'm stupid. Not that I'm not stupid! I just don't want anybody to think it.

Look. I didn't know this was the first page when I wrote that sarcasm thing.

I guess, being a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader, I just inherently understand this shit. On like a level most people can't grasp. Or wouldn't want to grasp because to understand comic books this well, you also have to have once had a guy in a junior high locker room walk up behind you while you're shirtless and grab your boy-boobs with both hands and say something crude that you can't remember due to, I suspect, being shell shocked. A friend of mine began dating that same guy in high school and I was the rudest fucking bitch to him constantly and he probably had no memory of why. I like to think Irene eventually broke up with him because she trusted me when I said he was a totally garbage asshole.

What I meant to say was, "If Oberon can be a sarcastic little shit, why can't I? And also I didn't mean 'little' as in his stature!"

After being sarcastic, Oberon chooses to be both sexist and ableist in the next two panels, although I think it's okay to be ableist when you're making fun of yourself. Anyway, I thought I'd point that out because I'm probably going to be sexist and ableist eventually as well, seeing as how I've just now decided to model myself on Oberon.

Now that Giffen and DeMatteis have established that this current alien invasion of the DC Universe is unusually serious, they can get back to writing like goofy idiots.

After Booster Gold pouts about being left on monitor duty (I guess the editors didn't think he was popular enough to be in the huge crossover), Keith and J.M. give us a scene starring a Khund, a Psion, and an Okaaran. Those are the races invading Earth. I don't know if they're important or popular races. They're probably important to the plots of dumb comic books like The Omega Men, L.E.G.I.O.N., and The Legion of Super-Heroes. Maybe not all of those comic books are dumb. Two of them starred Lobo! So I guess the other, non-Lobo one was dumb. Although the fans of The Legion of Super-Heroes would probably string me up for telling such a radical truth. Although it was probably a lot like Degrassi Junior High except with super-heroes, so it probably would have been my favorite comic book if I'd ever read it. The only version I read was the New 52 version so you can see why I'm so negative about it. I think by the time The New 52 came around, Paul Levitz was just bored with the entire concept.

Here's the opening line to one of my New 52 Legion of Super-heroes reviews: "This issue contains two stories so maybe it'll either be twice as boring as a normal issue or half as boring. I'm not sure how the physics works." Ha ha! Man, I was pretty funny ten years ago!

The aliens have taken over the Justice League Embassy in Australia (I think the only member there is Tasmanian Devil and they beat him up). They make sure to keep the teleporter operational so that they can send an attack force through it. I think we've seen the attack force on the cover! They're even smaller than Oberon!

I know thinking of Wonder Woman as just a horny uterus isn't sexist because most women think of me as just an unsatisfying penis.

Booster Gold is easily taken down by the tiny invaders because his mind was dulled from playing checkers with Oberon and also it wasn't too sharp to begin with. The tiny invaders chase Oberon into Blue Beetle's room where he finds a life-size poster of a nearly naked Fire and a small poster of a hot rod. So I guess it's canon that Blue Beetle is fourteen.

To get out of this situation, Oberon digs around in Blue Beetle's porn stash in the closet.

Oberon defeats the invaders with a centerfold of Supergirl's vagina?

That caption was for old school reader's of this blog. They're pretty much the only people I cater to.

Okay, fine. It's actually Blue Beetle's light gun which is so terrible that it should have stayed in the closet (not in a gay way! In a storage way!). Although Oberon mentions this is Beetle's "spare" light gun so, as unbelievable as it may seem, Blue Beetle actually made two guns that simply flash a bright light at super villains.

After defeating the invaders, Oberon packs them all away into Roach Motels as a humane way to imprison them. Although aren't those things full of poison? My guess is they're dead within the hour. Which is no big deal, really. They're aliens! I think even Superman is allowed to kill aliens!

Meanwhile in Fiji, the rest of the Justice League meet up with Wonder Woman to defeat some other invaders. Blue Beetle and Rocket Red can't stop vocalizing how much they want to fuck Wonder Woman. I understand Blue Beetle doing that being that he's only fourteen years old, but Rocket Red?! He's got a wife and kids! Oh, I guess he also has a penis. That must be his problem.

No wonder Wonder Woman couldn't wait until she could start beating up one guy per month who told her to smile in the 2010s. Look at the shit she had to put up with in the 1980s!

I understand the compulsion to discuss how attractive Wonder Woman is. I do it all the time with Supergirl's butt! Except I don't talk about it when I'm six inches from her ear! Have some decency and respect, Blue Beetle! Write about your infatuation on a blog like every other perverse weirdo!

The United States military gives the Justice League the plan: they're to distract the alien invasion while Wonder Woman saves her gal pal Etta Candy. The military even spent a ton of resources on a map so the Justice League could easily visualize the plan.

The teeny, tiny magnetic poetry strip labeled "JLI" represents the Justice League. The triangles represent the Khund invasion force. The island that looks nothing like Fiji represents Fiji. The skinny-ass pointer represents a general in the American military with a huge cock.

Now that the plan has been fully explained by the worst visual aid in U.S. military history prior to, I'm assuming, George Bush's visual aids for his illegal war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's time for some comic book violence with a heaping helping of male characters pouting about how Wonder Woman probably won't put a finger in their butthole. She probably doesn't even do that for Steve Trevor or Etta Candy though. She knows it would simply be too dangerous. Although I bet she uses the lasso of truth like anal beads.

Hawkman has been having trouble fitting in with this new league. He doesn't like how they joke all the time and nobody takes anything seriously. He was right on the verge of quitting and then this alien invasion happened.

So like all conservatives, he hates fun and loves killing.

The Justice League rig one of the Khund ships with a bomb that destroys the entire fleet. J'onn laments having to kill so many sentient beings but, not being Batman or Superman, he understands when the DC editors have decided it's okay for the heroes to kill. Basically if it's an alien invading Earth, the heroes (even Superman at times! But not Batman!) are allowed to treat their combats like battles in a war. It's to save Earth! Anything less than killing would be insufficient. Unless you're Batman, for some reason. Maybe because he breaks legs and jaws in such a way that the victim wishes they were dead.

Martian Manhunter is the most human of us all! Also, it still checks out: Blue Beetle is fourteen.

The way that previous page is laid out and storyboarded, I almost thought it was an advertisement for Hostess Fruit Pies.

No letters page this month! Probably too much editorial work keeping all the Invasion crossovers straight!

Justice League International #22 Rating: B-. Maybe I'll stop rating the comics. It's not like I put any thought into the rating anyway. This final paragraph should be some kind of intelligent summation of the comic book I just read but I can't even bother to do that (being that I can't figure out how to write intelligently). I guess Batman was left out of this issue or else he'd be tied to all these Khund deaths and his reputation for never killing, even in a war against an invading alien army, would be sullied. And we can't have that! Everybody knows that if one writer decided to write a story where Batman purposefully kills one person (even an invading alien), the floodgates will have opened for every future Batman writer to come. They'll all have him killing, over and over again. The "Batman doesn't kill" rule isn't there to protect Batman from stepping over that line. It's probably because editors know how lazy writers are! If Batman kills, that'll be the major plot point of every Batman story for fifteen years! Every new writer will think, "Which Batman villains are still alive? Oh yeah! Mad Hatter! How and why would Batman kill Mad Hatter?!" Pretty soon, his entire retinue of villains will have been decimated! But Martian Manhunter, Mister Miracle, and Blue Beetle can kill a few thousand Khund because nobody is going to be interested in Blue Beetle accidentally stepping over that line and becoming kill crazy! What's he going to do? Flashlight his foes to death? Bludgeon them with stupid jokes? Oh, I know! I'd just have him land his Beetle ship on them. Just have the entire bottom of his ship constantly smeared in blood and gore!

Friday, March 11, 2022

Justice League International #21 (1988)

Shit shit shit. Do I discuss how this cover cemented the entire Blue/Gold dynamic over the next decade or Fire's irresistible lady bulge?

Well, being that I'm an intelligent critic of comic books, it's not going to be the thing I want to discuss. Although I could probably bluff my way through a discussion of sexism and the male gaze in comics better than I could through an essay about Laurel and Hardy's influence on the Booster/Beetle relationship. What do I know about Laurel and Hardy other than that the skinny guy was constantly getting blamed for horrific accidents by the unskinny guy and then was battered by the unskinny guy's hat while he whimpered and sobbed. It was pretty hilarious at the time! But I don't even know how much of my knowledge of Laurel and Hardy is correct being that I mostly know them through second-hand representations of them, like this cover. But I do know that most comic book readers would never even think, "Why couldn't this cover be Fire and Ice with their heads popping out having a bit of dialogue that references their relationship while Booster Gold's junk was displayed so that your eye automatically follows from the title down his leg and into his crotch?

Oh! Is this cover also the reason why somebody eventually decided to make Blue Beetle fat?! I'm surprised they never gave him a hat so he could occasionally whack Booster across the back of the head with it.

Anyway, check out Fire's crotch. So hot.

Don't worry, my feminist friends! Page one shows that there's more to Fire than just a thick front bottom.

She also has a juicy ass.

It must be a full moon because I can't get my male gaze under control. No, no. Seriously. That's how it works. It's an, um, affliction. I simply can't act any more appropriately!

You were probably too busy looking at Fire's ass eat her costume but did you notice Lobo's bicep in that picture? I'm actually not sure what got me worked up more!

Here are the butts of the other Justice League members, just so you know why I'm concentrating on Fire's:

Blue Beetle's ass. Terrible. I can see the fat guy in him ready to come out.

Booster Gold's ass. Okay. Not too bad. So muscular it scares my dick a bit.

Lobo's ass. Such a pathetic rendition that if Lobo were a real person, I'm certain he'd have a libel suit.

Ice's ass. A perfect encapsulation of Fire and Ice's relationship. Without Fire's ass on this page, I would be raving about this ass.

Guy Gardner's ass. Hmm. Well. Not too shabby, Guy!

Batman's ass is covered by a cape. Oberon's ass was available but he's not really a member of the Justice League, is he? And while I'm sure it was totally awesome and quite a quality ass, Hawkwoman's wings were in the way. I didn't look at Hawkman's ass because I didn't want to have my eyes shoved down my throat. That guy thinks he's a rational and civil human but he's really just an angry prick. So, you know, like Fire said last issue: a Republican.

Even though Page 1 has all that ass on it, Page 2 is even better! I'm surprised I don't remember having an "I love this Ty Templeton's art!" moment when I first read this. I suppose it has to do with how I'm not much of a visual person (which really calls into question why the fuck I read comic books? It's a good question because does it even sound like I enjoy them when you read these "reviews"?!).

Just look at the range of character here. Also take note of the sexy post-ejaculate emission from Barda's "mega-rod."

The panel following this one is, I think, a sex joke?

I would like to sound more confident about recognizing sex jokes because not instantly recognizing sexual innuendo is total virgin shit. And while it's okay to be a virgin, I just want to make it clear that I am totally not a virgin.

I shouldn't joke about virgins and virginity even if it's at my own expense. My guess is that virginity is the number one reason men become so angry that they want to kill innocent people. When are we going to realize that sex work saves lives? We need to decriminalize sex work, destroy the negative stigma of paying to have sex, and get young men laid as quickly as possible. No, I know what you're thinking but what I'm thinking is this: "Especially the religious ones!"

Also, sex work would be good for young women as well. That way their first sexual experience can be with a male sex worker with loads of experience who knows what they're doing so that the young woman doesn't have to put up with some frantic, pawing young man who comes as soon as his dick touches any part of her body.

Of course, that's sort of the whole problem with conservative and religious men who want to control women's sexuality. They know that if they can't control women's sexuality through religion and law, and if women are as free as they should be to have sex, especially with good looking men who know what they're doing, they'll never get laid again. Which, if you've been following along, is a problem my first point about sex work solves! See?! You don't have to trick or oppress women into having sex with you if you make sex work safe and available to everybody!

I'm not looking to debate! Those words were all just to fill out this review with words that weren't "Fire's ass" or "Fire's crotch" or, alternately when Fire isn't on panel, "Ice's boobs." I mean, I believe them but in a more complex and serious way than how I just expressed them!

Lobo follows Big Barda into the orphanage so he can kill her and the other Justice League members he was actually paid to kill while Batman encounters the new and improved Rocket Fred.

I mean, it's really not that dissimilar, Fred. Also he's the Goddamned Batman. He add up all the clues like a guy in red and white flying armor singing The Underdog theme tune? Andy Kaufman's dead at this point so it must be Rocket Red.

Barda doesn't tell the Justice League why they've just been teleported to Apokolips. They're simply expected to begin punching anything that comes within arm's range. I don't mean to be consumed by a modern awareness of everything but that doesn't strike me as the best way of being a hero. "Hey, Big Barda just teleported us into this YMCA because Scott has been taken hostage so I guess we just start punching all of these young men and boys in the face?!" I don't know. Maybe it's just me. But I'd have questions.

Ice has questions. They all have questions. What I meant is I'd have questions before I actually began freezing people in solid blocks of ice.

The Cluster continue to hover above Apokolips waiting for Manga Khan's order on what to do next.

I love how K-Dikk has a little satellite dish on his head, presumably to pick up the messages from the interdimensional pink space laser.

Kanto the assassin drops by to point out that Granny Goodness and Doctor Vundabar are making a huge mistake by creating all of this chaos on Apokolips over a guy who is simply going to escape them at the last moment. Neither Granny or the Doctor laugh at Kanto's dress style which totally destroys my suspension of disbelief.

This guy doesn't just get to walk into a room and not be made fun of.

Pardon me while I stop this review for a moment to fan myself. Whew. Ty Templeton's version of Big Barda is putting me through hormonal fluctuations I haven't felt since I was fifteen. Which is weird because I was sincerely expecting Lobo to be the character to make me feel like this.

Martian Manhunter and G'nort have been captured and Big Barda gets jumped by Lobo before she can take the fight back to Granny Goodness. So the only person who knows what is going on and seems to be doing a decent job of defending himself is Rocket Red. Seems like Keith and J.M. made a writing mistake here.

I just said all this! I suppose I could go back and erase what I previously wrote and let these two panels do all the summation for me but then I'd miss a chance to call myself a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader for anticipating this momentary recap in the middle of the comic book. Although I'm not sure how Oberon knows Martian Manhunter and G'nort have been captured.

You may have noticed that I keep spelling G'nort's name with an apostrophe and yet that isn't how it's written in this comic book. I'm fairly certain he gets an apostrophe added to his name at some point so I'm g'not going to stop doing it.

During the battle, Oberon falls into a grate and winds up in Darkseid's reading room where Darkseid is reading Mein Kampf. Except it's spelled Mein Kamph. Is that a joke or did the editor request that they change it so just really stupid people who don't pay attention to anything might not notice? And what is it supposed to mean, anyway?! That Hitler was so terrible that even Darkseid can learn a thing or two from him? Or does Darkseid enjoy it for some light, humorous reading?

Darkseid also has some comic books on the shelf under his end table: a Mister Miracle comic book and what looks like one about The Doom Patrol.

Off-panel, Oberon explains what's going on and Darkseid decides to end it. I guess he's just tired of this shit? He explains how he isn't interested in keeping Scott Free against his will and demands they all leave shut the fuck up and leave his home. Lord Manga Khan ends the contract with Lobo, paying him in full so he stops trying to kill everybody. He Booms everybody back to Earth and that's that! I guess you can't get a better deus ex machina than frigging Darkseid, right?!

Yes, that was a little anti-climactic! You can usually tell right about when I lose interest in the comic book I'm reading by how quickly I go from scanning panels and discussing the minutiae of a scene to simply summing up fifteen pages in one paragraph.

Letters this month are from Charles J. Sperling of Flushing, New York (again!); Jimmie Moss of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Brad Dent of Wilmington, North Carolina; Tom Longfellow of Elkridge, Maryland; Bernard J. Delurey of St. John's, Newfoundland; and Scott Lawrence of Address, Unknown. And not a single one of them praised the Letterer! Such a shame. I mean, I'm not going to do it! But I was hoping somebody would be gallant enough to throw the Letterer a one once in a while

Justice League International #21 Rating: B. That's respectable, right? And yes, I know Lobo was in it. But he didn't get to kill even one person. At all! And I thought the writing team made a mistake when J'onn was captured so easily. That one pales in comparison with not having Lobo kill at least a dozen people in any issue he appears in. Anyway, the humor mostly stayed at an enjoyable level with just a few moments where I'd rather the "funny" character had just stayed silent. I did find some of the earlier issues a bit annoying. But I'm really starting to see in the writing and art the series I remembered so fondly from when I was a teenager.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Justice League International #20 (1988)

Hopefully Manga Khan's deal begins with "We've recovered one of your stolen goods and are returning it to you in good faith to open up future trade negotiations."

Mister Miracle has one super power: escaping. So he's either faking or he's as useless as Batman or Aquaman in space. Sure, he could have escaped Manga Khan but then he'd just be left floating in space.

This is a great comic book cover, by the way. In 1988, DC still had a problem with attribution for its covers but this one is signed "the guy." I'm guessing guest artist Ty Templeton went by "Ty the Guy" since the art on the cover matches the art on the inside pages. No wait! No need to guess at all! I just noticed, if you bend the cover so you can see the art that trickles onto the slim spine, there's a tiny "ty" in front of "the guy"! Anyway, my point was I love this cover. Full of personality and has that animation slash cartoon quality that I really love.

Small bit of trivia probably nobody cares about but me: this is the first of like 5000 comic books I've reviewed which has Ty Templeton as the artist. But I think he got his start at DC on Booster Gold which I re-read within the last couple of years. But it looks like I didn't review them? What the fuck is wrong with me?! Here's my mini-review from what I can remember: "Booster Gold is basically Inspector Gadget from the future and Skeets is his Penny. I think he battles advertising and corporations or something. Skeets is full of his semen (which probably explains 52)."

This issue is called "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be — APOKOLIPS!" Knowing Giffen and DeMatteis, that's probably a reference to pop culture that was already old by 1988. Consulting Lord Google, If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium was a movie from 1969. Granted, there was a TV Movie "sequel" from 1987, If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium, which means older people in 1988 still had it in their collective memories. Not that Giffen and DeMatteis were "old" in 1988. But they were older than me! My guess is that next issue will be called, "If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be — APOKOLIPS!" Ian McShane was in the 1969 movie so maybe I'll give it a watch to see how many people he calls a cunt in it.

The movie was "based on" (inspired by?) a New Yorker cartoon. Hollywood pitch men are fucking shameless. "Man, did you see that cartoon in The New Yorker last week? The one about traveling through Europe? That could be a movie, right? Maybe a Herbie the Love Bug film?!" The title song was written by Donovan and sung by J.P. Rags. It's actually pretty fucking fantastic. Especially the version by Bojoura.

How did we ever understand people from other generations in a world without the Internet?! Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis were only about 20 years older than me and, at sixteen, their references as 36 year olds were completely lost on me! I used to say that I couldn't really get along with or understand anybody born after Empire Strikes Back. But the Internet changed all of that. Now kids know everything I know now by the time they're twelve.

Are you really a doctor if your PhD is in "excruciating torture"?

That was a joke! I don't care what your PhD was in. I'll call anybody a Doctor. Except for Gene Simmons. I'm going to first need proof that you got a degree, "Doctor" Love.

Hopefully Apokolips has a sex offender registry and Granny's name is at the top of the list in big bold block letters.

Manga Khan wants to trade Mister Miracle for Boom Tube technology. My guess is that he'll wind up trading Mister Miracle for his own life when Darkseid shows interest in the bartering. Although I'm sure it will never get that far as Martian Manhunter, Barda, G'nort, and Rocket Red have crashed on Apokolips in their terrible attempt to save Scott Free.

Don't worry, J'onn. I've been wondering that for you this entire time.

The Justice League have crashed in a part of Apokolips called the "Armagetto" which just seems implausible. Although I suppose everybody speaking English across the majority of the universe is also implausible. I guess the Green Lantern ring on G'nort's fist accounts for the ability of everyone to understand everyone else. But that just shunts the implausibility off to the Green Lantern ring! Luckily it's at this moment that I remember I have the facility to suspend my disbelief and I eagerly do so.

Luckily the Armagetto is full of rebellious citizens of Apokolips ready to help them save Scott Free. I think that means Darkseid isn't as scary as I thought he was. I would expect them all to be snitching immediately to the closest Parademon. But instead, they spend the few minutes or so since the Justice League arrived to build Rocket Red a new suit made with Fourth World technology.

Oh, they didn't build this. This is just an old suit they had lying around that looks remarkably like it was built for Rocket Red personally.

Darkseid is too busy to oversee the trade with Manga Khan which means Granny and Lord Manga have to sit around chatting until Darkseid gets back. Or until the Justice League rescue Scott Free. Or until Scott Free rescues himself. I don't remember which of those will happen first people only remember things in far back in their life if they were either terribly tragic or had Lobo in them.

Is the architecture on Apokolips boring and blocky because that's what Jack Kirby thought authoritarian architecture looked like or because Jack Kirby hated drawing buildings?

I know Jack Kirby didn't draw this issue but I'm assuming Ty Templeton is being as accurate as possible in his depiction of the original Apokolips.

The Justice League devise a plan to infiltrate Granny's orphanage unnoticed. It fails immediately. J'onn realizes that one angry wife, a dog with the most powerful weapon in the universe, a Russian in armor who's mostly just there for terrible translation jokes, and a Martian with every single super power in the DC Universe can't defeat all of Apokolips.

What they need to defeat all of Apokolips are a bug-man with no powers, an idiot from the future, and a brain-damaged simp with the most powerful weapon in the universe, apparently.

Granny Goodness and the other one with the stupid German name take Lord Manga Khan prisoner because the Justice League followed him to Apokolips (mostly the Big Barda part of the Justice League). He escapes the prison by taking off his armor and revealing that he's sentient pink gas. Well, that's a surprise even though I've read this before. Remember, I only really remember moments in my life that involved Lobo.

Back on Earth, Lobo and Guy Gardner arm wrestle while Hawkman walks around telling everybody why everything they do that's any fun is wrong.

Exhibit #4,332,226 of my up and coming trial to prove that comic books have always been full of social justice and heavily weighted against conservative modes of thought. Sorry, I don't accept evidence from Frank Miller comics.

You thought I was going to comment on their asses, right? Well, yeah, of course. Look at those asses!

Barda Boom Tubes into the room and takes Blue Beetle, Guy Gardner, Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Oberon, and Lobo back to Apokolips with her. She forgets to get Captain Atom who actually may have been some help. Oh, sure, Lobo would be great help if he was actually one of them and not looking to kill the entire Justice League himself.

I forgot to acknowledge the letter writers in some of my previous posts. I will rectify that now. Not by going back and looking up those I missed! But by continuing to do it from this issue forward! Until I forget again.

Letters this month were from Charles J. Sperling of Flushing, New York; Simon Del Monte of Forest Hills, New York; J.C., Somewhere in Readerland (um, vague!); Elvis Orten of Dawson Springs, Kentucky; Dennis Anfuso from the mountains of New Hampshire; Logan Force IV of Brantford, Ontario; David "Captain Marvel Fan Club" Clarke of Arlington, Texas; Randy Daward of Dixon, California; and Nelson Fox of Oxnard, California.

Charles J. Sperling makes the great point that "Fire has never looked sexier." I would probably have called him chauvinistic at best but then I'd look like the hypocrite I know I am for having pointed out how fine her ass was earlier.

J.C. is a woman who refuses to use her real name because she doesn't want to "become the object of further ridicule by my friends and family." Hey, J.C. You have terrible friends and family. She also writes, "What woman wouldn't want to have a sonic scream when she's being verbally harassed by construction workers?" See, young people? Some of us (I include myself because it makes me seem kinder and more thoughtful about the world and I already pointed out that I am a hypocrite if you read that previous paragraph), even way back in the dark ages of 1988, were concerned about objectifying women and harassing them in public! I don't think this can be an exhibit in the future trial I'm presiding over because the sentiment wasn't by a comic book writer. Although later in the letter she concedes a point made by a sexist letter writer in a previous issue that "Black Canary sometimes comes off as a 'female chauvinist.'" I don't see this as a fault in J.C. at all. This is just part of the problem of Social Justice and Social Awareness in 1988. You didn't want to seem irrational by being too extreme and often conceded terrible points to awful people. Especially if you were a woman harangued by men who simply believed anything that came out of their mouth was rational by the mere fact they're a man.

Justice League International #20 Rating: A+. Remember, I mentioned Lobo was in a scene. That's a Godsend when coming up with a rating because it means an automatic A+. And, yes, I know I didn't rate the previous issue with Lobo battling Guy so high. But you can't sue me because I already admitted to being a hypocrite. Suck it, faithful reader!