Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Justice League America #29 (1989)

The way the women around Beetle are laughing suggest he's forgotten his beetle pants.

If it wasn't for the woman to Beetle's back left who looks like Ice and the woman to her left that looks like Cameron Diaz and a few others, I'd have assumed this was a nightmare Beetle was having where he was surrounded by various Fires from other Earths. It's probably the multiple Maguire mouths and all the green hair. Hopefully this issue is about the woman with the short hair and the knitted sweater just ahead of the woman laughing uproariously about Beetle's weird dong.

This issue is called "Nabu on My Mind" but with the on crossed out and replaced by an "in" so that it's actually "Nabu in My Mind." Remembering that Giffen and DeMatteis love referencing old media, this must be a play on "Georgia on My Mind." Can this be categorized as a joke? Is it funny because it makes the 1989 reader think of a song written in 1930 and again popularized in 1960 by Ray Charles? Is it funny because they cross off the "on" to replace it with "in" so that the reader thinks, "Ha ha! Nabu is literally going to go into Beetle's mind to help him"? I feel like Tucker Carlson asking bad faith questions because obviously this isn't a joke! A reference to something that has no bearing on the new thing that's making you think of the old thing isn't anything at all! Unless (and God help me for "unlessing" this shit Giffen and DeMatteis constantly do) the lyrics of the song actually fit thematically with the story I'm about to read! Although would that really make it any more interesting? How complex is "Georgia on My Mind"? It's about somebody who isn't in Georgia and then they start thinking of Georgia and it's wistful. I mean I suppose it's wistful. I don't really remember it and didn't give it more than about 30 seconds on YouTube before I remembered that I wasn't immortal and I didn't have all the time in the world and angrily and bitterly slammed the browser window shut (meaning I just clicked on the little x tab normally but in a heightened state of awareness about my mortality).

If the title didn't make you laugh (and I know it didn't, you liar) then maybe you'll love the full panel joke! Do you want me to ruin it anti-Keats style by tearing it apart to explain why it's funny or should I just scan it so you can not laugh at it as well?

Not only are the citizens aware of the Marvel Universe, they're also aware of Marvel's lawyers!

I remember really liking this Justice League run back in the day but I think Giffen and DeMatteis's humor was meant to be consumed with month long intervals between issues. Because it's really making me angry this time! It's also possible that my mind was swirling with so many late-teen hormones that my fixation was less on the jokes and more on the flaming naked lady soaring through the air not being Superman or the Human Torch. Probably the first thing 17 year old me did when opening to this page was check to see if the artist had drawn nipples on Fire in flame form.

Unfortunately, Fire's clothing also turn into green flames when she transforms. I would contemplate why that would be part of her new power except the answer would simply be, "Fuck you, idiot. It's a comic book."

Big Barda has been tasked with training Fire to use her new powers which is great because somebody I know has a huge crush on Big Barda and it isn't Pickle Boy. And since Pickle Boy is my only friend, you might have guessed I was talking about myself. You might have guessed that even before I admitted I actually have one friend because you simply assumed I have no friends. Which could be true since I haven't talked to Pickle Boy for years.

I bet when people long for the "good old days," they're longing for the days when a statuesque woman can mention that she's going out to her car to get her Mega-rod and everybody would be classy enough not to make dildo jokes.

Barda discovers her car, along with the Mega-rod, has been stolen and J'onn is all, "Big deal!" Then Barda is all, "Your Oreos were in there!" And then J'onn is all, "I will burn this place to the fucking ground!" Yeah, I know J'onn is terrified of fire but that's just how angry he is. Don't first assume a writer is making a mistake before you plumb the depths of what is being said and why it might be said that way, you lazy jerk.

This makes me think the Mega-rod is less a dildo and more the remote control for the beads currently up Barda's bum.

Meanwhile Nabu (or Kent Nelson (or Doctor Fate)) has been hired by Batman to fix Blue Beetle's Manchurian Candidate condition.

I'm devastated that I never read the insane run of Doctor Fate that Nabu describes here.

Nabu has come to help without asking for a fee and Oberon treats him like shit for a full page. I don't quite understand why Oberon acts so rude except that maybe Giffen and DeMatteis can't write dialogue unless the characters are bickering. Oberon seems to care a great deal for Blue Beetle but he refuses to let Nabu help. And then after insulting him across multiple panels about how he doubts Nabu can help, he asks Nabu when he's going to start helping. Maybe when you shut the fuck up?

Anyway, who cares if Nabu can help Beetle? Beetle is going to be dead in ten years anyway! So let's get back to the more interesting part of the story.

Oh yeah that's the stuff.

Okay, now that we're caught up on the main plot, back to Nabu going down on Blue Beetle's mind. He enters it and discovers a world much like Maguire's cover: women packed together boobs to butts. Nabu, knowing nothing at all about Blue Beetle, says, "So this is the mind of Blue Beetle. Figures." How does it figure?! Maybe I'm just not versed enough in Egyptology. Perhaps the scarab is a fertility symbol and Nabu realizes that if Blue Beetle has based his persona after the Blue Beetle who was magicked by an Egyptian scarab, he did so because he loves the vagina. Or maybe, based on Wally West's characterization in Justice League Europe, Giffen and DeMatteis have boiled down the personality of male characters to just one drive.

Nabu manages to send Beetle's consciousness into his body so that Nabu can work on breaking down the "Azrael's Block" set up in Beetle's mind by the Queen Bee. Couldn't Justice League Europe have added in removing the block from Beetle into their compromise with Queen Bee? What a bunch of selfish jerks. Now that have to rely on a dead man possessed by a Lord of Order. Although now the dead man is possessed by Ted Kord and the Lord of Order is busy rooting around in Ted's psyche. Plus the Lord of Order mentioned being roommates with a Yiddish devil dog which really pisses me off because how did I not read that comic book back in 1989?! It's not like I couldn't afford it! Comic books were seventy-five cents back then!

Long Kent Nelson story short, he fixes Blue Beetle and everybody goes back to whatever they were doing before all of this nonsense began. I guess Kent Nelson was hanging out with a half-little-boy, half-hot-chick magic-user and an evil Yiddish devil dog. Blue Beetle was harassing everybody at the Justice League Embassy, so he just goes back to that. And Batman now probably had a backlog of criminals to nearly kill. It's funny how Batman thinks he's effective because criminals are a superstitious lot when he's actually effective because criminals get tired of dealing with all the broken bones. Although with health care being the scam it is, it's no wonder they just wind up henchmanning for another psychotic villain to pay their bills.

What I'm saying is can't Batman find a better way?!

Meanwhile, Barda, Mister Miracle, and Fire track down Big Barda's Mega-rod to some punk-rock teenager who activates it and Barda's anal beads start buzzing.

Even Apokoliptian orgasms are dangerous.

Mister Miracle must be terrible in bed or else he and Barda would be buying a new house every day or two. Oh, that explains why she needs the Mega-rod.

Letters this month (am I still doing this? Yeah, I guess I'm still doing this) are from Nick Baynes of Croydon, England; Janine Coles of New Orleans, Louisiana; K.M. Mathews of Singapore; Neil Alquist of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Charles Sperling of Flushing, New York; Simon DelMonte of Forest Hills, New York; Russ Bedell of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania; and Steve Jordan of Bend, Oregon. I just read all of the letters and have immediately forgotten what they said. Maybe I should just stop reading the letters.

Justice League #29 Rating: B+. I haven't really been paying attention because I've been doing this so sporadically and trying to get back into a groove but I think the Justice League hasn't done anything heroic in at least three, maybe four months. In the last few issues, Guy and Ice went on a date while Beetle and Fire have been dealing with medical issues. And that's about it! Next issue probably isn't going to be anything heroic either as it seems Barda, Fire, and Mister Miracle are simply going to have to save themselves from Big Barda's irresponsible handling of her Mega-rod. Three teenagers are already dead because of her inability to lock it up safely when not in sexy use. Remember when this team used to save the world from the likes of Starro, Amazo, and Despero, all within a few months of each other?! Now what are they up to?! Mostly sexual harassment!

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Justice League Europe #4 (1989)

And Power Girl.

When The Elongated Man is knocked unconscious, his neck should recoil into his body like pressing the pedal on the vacuum cleaner to recoil the power cord. SHWWWWWWWIIIIIIIIIP-CRACK!

I've been watching Marvel's She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law and it has confirmed my belief that Comicsgaters hate themselves because they simply can't allow themselves to enjoy enjoyable things. That show is motherfucking charming and a lot of fun. It's probably my favorite of the Marvel television shows (which, if I'm remembering correctly, I've liked them all). Plus in the most recent episode, the DC Universe became a canonical part of the Marvel Universe. It's when Jen says, "Am I being fridged?" And while, yes, it's probably true, that "being fridged" has become common comic book lingo, you can't ignore the origin of it from Gail Simone's Women in Refrigerators. Yes, Gail's essay dealt with both universes. But the whole saying stems from a Kyle Rayner story! You can't discuss "Women in Refrigerators" without understanding that the entire idea was sparked by the absolutely over-the-top death of Kyle's girlfriend being stuffed into a fridge. You might also argue that She-Hulk's moments where she breaks the 4th wall don't count in the canon but at that point I've stopped listening to you and gone on with my life.

Anyway, it's a great fucking show and Comicsgaters are fucking losers who can't fucking simply enjoy something enjoyable! Loosen up, bastiches! Get laid! Oh, whoops! Sorry! I think that's part of the problem. This is why I'm such a staunch proponent of legalizing sex work. Because men who can't get laid need an option where they can get laid. And women need an option where they can get laid by a guy who knows what he's doing. Picking up a guy at a nightclub when you're a horny woman is a fucking crap shoot. Sure, the guy might be super sexy but you never know what his skills are going to be. But if you pay for sex? The guy had better know how to close!

Also we need to stop letting old men and Christians define sexuality. Those fucking cretins wouldn't enjoy a finger up the ass unless it was OH NO I'm not finishing this thought because I absolutely frown on the amount of pedophilia happening in the Catholic Church and even if my brain wanted to turn it into a punchline, I have control over my brain and I just told my brain, "NO! YOU STOP RIGHT THERE, YOU NASTY ASS EDGELORD!"

Pointing out an error like this could be a critique on how little anybody working in the medium of comics cares about the job or it could just mean I'm a petty asshole.

If anybody reading this series was still wondering who was fucking with the Justice League Europe across the last few issues, beginning the story in Bialya should clear that right up. I mean if they somehow didn't look at the cover!

This issue is called "Bialya Burning!" which kind of implies that the Justice League are going to firebomb an entire country. Unless it's more metaphorical like when Midnight Oil said their beds were burning. Unless that wasn't metaphorical at all and somebody should have really rushed in with a hose to help them.

Queen Bee softly chides Jack O'Lantern (I hate that name. Am I typing it correctly? I have no idea) for revealing himself to Justice League Europe. Now they know who is behind the disinformation campaign to make them look like white supremacist Nazi lovers. The campaign mostly relies on mind control though so it's not much of a campaign. What can't you do if you had mind control at your disposal?! I suppose find somebody to truly love you. But forcing them to love you truly through mind control is a satisfying enough illusion if you cultivate an exceptionally strong sense of denial.

See? Just as satisfying!

Jack O'Lantern calls Queen Bee "lady" twice and she reminds him that he owes her everything which I think is also a threat that means she can take everything away from him at any moment. Like his life. Was that too obvious to explain? Sometimes it's hard to tell. I often think things I read are obvious which is why my college professors were constantly writing "Expand on this" on my papers.

Animal Man and Power Girl are heading into Bialya undercover because it worked so well when they took the tour of the Global Guardians' headquarters in Paris. They were recognized instantly out of uniform even thought Wally West's hair color was completely wrong! Oh yeah, it was Wally there and not Buddy Baker. I was confused because of that hair color error I just mentioned. Anyway, Power Girl is totally recognizable due to her huge hair and also her tits.

Hey, remember the last time a member of the Justice League entered Bialya undercover? They were turned into a Manchurian Candidate! I'm not sure sending Power Girl into that situation is a good idea. Especially since Jack can identify her out of costume.

Sure, they aren't spying or listening through any shadowy devices but don't you think consuming every item in the mini-bar in under ten seconds might set off some alarms?!

This was 1989 so maybe the mini-bar was assessed manually when staff came to service the room. Back in 1997 when I was in Japan, I checked into a little place and walked up to what I thought was my room. The door was open as it was currently being cleaned and the first thing I did was grab a Coke out of the mini-bar. It alerted the desk that somebody was somewhere they shouldn't have been and they sent somebody up to politely scold me for breaking a rule. What I'm trying to say is I got a free Coke out of being a dopey tourist.

I don't know what Justice League Europe's plan is. It seems like maybe it's going completely against the whole United Nations backing of the League? They're just infiltrating a sovereign country to . . . what?! Overthrow the leader? Because the leader may have, at worst, pranked them? Aren't they stepping on Amanda Waller's toes here?! This feels like Suicide Squad shit.

Metamorpho sneaks into the country disguised as a stain on the bottom of a plane. He then transforms into a fart and makes a The Prisoner reference about the surveillance in Bialya. Oh, come on, Rex! They're just ahead of their time! Reagan's America and Thatcher's Britain are currently figuring out how to make the same kind of surveillance state palatable to their populaces! If only he could see the future and how so many people would embrace having cameras on their doorbells, CCTV on every street corner, and personal tracking devices right in their own pockets!

J'onn is also (meaning like me!) a bit disturbed about Captain Atom's plan to basically invade Bialya.

This is what happens when you put a military guy in charge. They make stupid military decisions.

The worst word to a military leader is "diplomacy." Talk?! What the fuck kind of tactic is that?! The only real tactics are violent invasion or stealthy infiltration, both of which ultimately lead to regime change and the installation of an American puppet as leader.

Meanwhile in Bialya, Jack begs Queen Bee to fuck him and she's all, "Um, no. Fuck somebody else if you need it so badly." And he's all, "Your mind control makes it so that I can't get it up with anybody else!" And Queen Bee basically just laughs in his face. Man, I wish I could mind control people. You don't have to compromise on anything and you can humiliate other people sexually! Can you even imagine that kind of power?! I'm only talking to the other fugly people reading this! We all know you hotties already do this constantly!

Jack is concerned for Owlwoman who is undergoing the process that gave Jack so many new superpowers. It was developed by some guy named The Doctor which was probably supposed to give everybody Nazi vibes so that the twiste will hit even harder: The Doctor is a Dominator!

I was going to scan the panel where the Doctor first appears to remind everybody who those big-toothed, Japan-flag-foreheaded aliens were. But this panel had Owlwoman's butt in it.

Metamorpho spies on Queen Bee and her pets before meeting up with Power Girl, Animal Man, and The Flash. He's found a way to infiltrate Queen Bee's base and he believes they can take her out. What does that mean?! They can't just beat up and kidnap the leader of a foreign nation, can they?! At least the Suicide Squad would kill her so that something had to change without any knowledge of American involvement (although everybody would totally know the CIA was involved anyway). What can the Justice League do?! Threaten her to play nice?

I suppose if it were my plan, I'd send my team in, destroy all of Queen Bee's technology, murder her Dominator (because he's an alien and I think even Batman and Superman wouldn't flinch at killing an alien for some reason), and deprogram her Global Guardian cohorts. All without letting her know who was doing it. Which probably means maybe Metamorpho should have just did all of that while he was a fart? He probably could have destroyed the machines by turning into some wet chemical and then killed the Dominator by turning into whatever chemical is a poison to them and then deprogrammed Jack and Owlwoman by some other chemical means that probably exists but I don't have time nor the inclination to research! But bringing in Power Girl, Flash, and Animal Man is going to kind of give the whole game away, isn't it? Or is Queen Bee supposed to just shrug after being defeated and say, "Good job! You guys win. I won't turn this into an international incident at all! Good luck on all of your future endeavors!"

Like usual, if I'd just waited to read ahead a few pages, I would have found out the plan.

So I guess my final guess as to their plan in the previous paragraph was pretty much spot on. You know it's not a good plan when my sarcastic plan winds up being the plan.

The Dominator's plan for Owlwoman's metamorphosis is to "push the 'meta(l) gene' past accepted limits." Do I not know the definition of words? Doesn't "accepted limits" mean "we've realized this is the limit and we've accepted that" and not "everybody has accepted and agreed that this will be the limit where we push the gene"? I guess I'm like Jack who the Dominator says has "limited intellect" which "cannot fathom" his science. I'm not even sure what Owlwoman's powers are and how pushing those powers past their limits would make her more powerful. Maybe I should look her up in the trusty Who's Who?

According to the Global Guardian entry in Who's Who (because Owlwoman doesn't get her own entry (which you'll realize makes sense when I copy down verbatim all that Who's Who has to say about her)), "Owlwoman (Wenonah Littlebird, a full-blooded Indian of Oklahoma) can fly and see in pitch darkness." Note how "a full-blooded Indian of Oklahoma" is so much longer than actually just giving us her tribe's name. They didn't have the Internet back then so you can choose to forgive the editors and writers for not knowing what tribes lived in Oklahoma or you can not forgive them because how hard would it have been to find out?!

This means that pushing her meta(l) gene past accepted limits will allow her to super fly and to super see in the dark. Wow! She's going to be awesome!

Metamorpho's plan is to sneak in through the sewers. He's surprised when Animal Man notices a camera in the sewers even though he pointed out all of the surveillance on his way into the city.

Either that was an itsy-bitsy camera in 1989 or Animal Man is being really sarcastic to point out what a dumb jerk Metamorpho is.

You might think calling Metamorpho a dumb jerk because he missed a camera is a bit rough but two seconds after they find the camera, they all blow up. They don't die, of course, although Animal Man probably should have died. Maybe he takes on the toughness of a cockroach just before he explodes. After the smoke clears, the Justice League find they've been ambushed by Jack O'Lantern.

Buddy Baker is a very sarcastic man.

What's the most sarcastic animal? I bet it's a dolphin. Imagine how much sass and eye rolling Aquaman has to put up with.

During the fight (which Jack continuously tries to flee almost immediately even though he started it), Jack blows a hole in the ceiling and kills a bystander walking on the street above. The mind control keeps him from worrying about everything except what Queen Bee is going to think. But I bet if he weren't mind controlled, he'd be feeling pretty remorseful right now. He's still a hero underneath his mind-control need to fuck Queen Bee.

The Flash punches Jack at super speed so Jack is probably dead. I'm surprised his head is still on his shoulders. Queen Bee, watching via the itsy-bitsy camera, decides to send reinforcements: a whole army of soldiers with pumpkin weapons. Looks like Jack is probably out of a job. I guess The Doctor is also making an army of soldiers who can super fly and super see in the dark too!

Before Queen Bee can dispatch her army, the Justice League arrives in her command center.

Nobody gets nothin' past Queen Bee!

According to the last four issues of Justice League Europe, Wally West is a total sex pest.

Metamorpho gasses all the guards and Buddy Baker stops the Dominator from pulling a pistol on the rest of them. Really? A vampire looking space alien monster that dominates other races and it reaches for a pistol? Useless! And that's where the scene ends! But later that night, Queen Bee explains to The Doctor the deal she made with the League. As long as she stops trying to ruin their reputation, they won't tell the rest of the world that Bialya is a terrorist nation bent on controlling the world. Seems like a fair compromise! Also, they tell Queen Bee she must stop working with a Dominator. So Queen Bee kills the Dominator. Which I'm guessing the League probably should have known would happen and, like Batman, just choose not to give a shit about anything that happens after they leave their enemies alive. Anybody who dies after they leave the scene, no matter how battered, bloodied, or maimed, isn't the fault of the hero! It's the fault of, well, doctors, probably.

The team return to Paris and not too far behind, also on her way to the Embassy, is Sapphire Stagg, Metamorpho's wife. Not only is he going to be surprised to discover he's married, he's going to be ecstatic to find out how hot his wife is!

The issue ends with Catherine Coulson possibly flirting with Captain Atom. Doesn't Catherine know Sue Dibny has dibs on him?

All this time I've been wondering where Captain Atom's cock was through his skin-tight uniform and wouldn't you know? It's been on his face the entire time!

Oh yeah, and apparently Jack O'Lantern was killed by The Doctor at Queen Bee's orders. Although I'm sure he was lying, probably saving him to experiment on, not realizing he was about to die himself.

Letters this month were from S.T. Cooper of Dublin, Ireland; Rene Stoops of The Netherlands; Pete Sidebotham of Cheshire, England; Mark T. of Houston, Texas; Jan C. Childress of Brooklyn, New York; Thom E. Lake of Pinole, California; Chris Hiebert of Hutchinson, Kansas; Mike Morrone of Midlothian, Illinois; and Russ Bedell of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania. Mark T. of Houston declares he only bought the comic book because of Bart Sears art which means I'm not sure I can take Mark seriously. I guess Mike is a huge fan of cock faces.

Justice League Europe #4 Rating: B. This was a decent superheroes infiltrating a foreign country story that just fell apart on the basis of Captain Atom's entire plan. The Justice League risked an international incident gambling on the fact that Queen Bee would stop picking on them when she realized they could beat her up any time they wanted to. Plus she's a terrorist loose cannon! The Justice League's whole plan was like putting The Club on your car's steering wheel: criminals could still steal your car but why not move on to an easier target?! So good luck, the rest of the world! At least Queen Bee won't be fucking with the JLE!

Friday, October 7, 2022

Justice League America #28 (1989)

I'm not admitting to ever having wrestled with unwrapping an ice cream sandwich in front of a triple X cinema but does anybody know anything about suing over likeness rights?

This cover has a lot going on. The fat guy who is also a slob who is into comic books and stuffing his face in front of a nudie theater strikes me, especially in 1989, as a hat on a hat on a hat on a hat on a hat. In 1989, we automatically knew the four latter things as soon as the artist chose to draw him fat! Remember all the eighties movies where a fat actor played one of the characters? Well, they were constantly stuffing their face and they were a slob and they were always horny (because who would want to fuck them?! Remember how they were fat?!) and, even though it was never explicitly stated because why even take a chance of admitting that comic books are a thing, they were totally into comic books.

Also on the cover: some old guy jerking off to a movie poster; Mark Linn-Baker professing his love to, um, I don't know...a newspaper?; a trash can camouflaging the UPC rectangle; Guy Gardner looking spiffy and like a total scumbag all at the same time; Ice Maiden wondering how the fuck she ever ended up on this date (while also looking spiffy and yet doesn't come off as a total scumbag); a sex theater; and a gang of criminals hanging out over the XXX marquee because horny guys in trench coats are easy marks? Looks like this issue is going to be a good time if you don't mind reading a monthly superhero comic book where nobody saves the world or even a city. But you'll get to see the Black Hand before he was the super powerful Godlike leader of the Black Lantern Corps! So that's exciting, right?!

The comic book getting off on the right foot reminding readers that Fire has a great ass.

I have the entire Internet at my disposal but I still don't know what that Miguel Carlione poster is all about. He was probably some huge fashion designer but disappeared in a Mandela Wave.

While the rest of the League are busy, I don't know, unbrainwashing Blue Beetle, I guess, Guy Gardner flies around New York City demolishing entire buildings if he believes immoral things are happening in those buildings. It's the kind of press the Justice League doesn't want but it's also the kind of press you're going to get if you have a Green Lantern on the payroll. At least he isn't out their destroying entire coast cities. Was Guy Gardner previously a cop in this current DC continuity? Because he's totally acting like a cop. He's also suffering from severe brain damage so I won't get on his case too much about this wanton destruction of property. That'd be ableist and I don't want to be like Batman! And the rest of the League, frankly.

Like me, Ice decides not to be like the rest of the League even though Guy is drinking a Budweiser. I think it's okay to judge somebody in that case, even if they have brain damage.

From the last panel in that batch, you might think Ty Templeton draws beer cans the way Rob Liefeld draws guns but I assure you, cans looked that fucking weird at one time. Although I think Guy's stash of Bud is from a decade earlier than 1989, at least. Also from that last panel, you might think Guy Gardner really is a huge asshole, brain damage or not. Well, I'm not going to argue that point at this time with anybody because I'd rather wait until this unflattering portrait of his character has been forgotten by the person I want to convince that Guy isn't a giant bastard.

Fire offers some wise dating advice and/or more ableist slurs.

Ice believes Guy's attitude after his second bout of brain damage (thanks to Batman) was a cry for help, a peek into the depths of Guy's potential. She's also probably super horny. I bet people are scared to fuck an Ice Goddess. Sounds dangerous! So Tora needs to find somebody who can protect themselves from her frozen ravine. Like a Green Lantern! Imagine fucking the owner of a Green Lantern ring! The possibilities are limitless! Unless you're into piss play.

As Guy and Tora walk along the street, Guy impresses her with his small talk about underground toilets, skimpy costumes, and thigh cheese. Maybe he just impresses me. But if I'm impressed, I can't imagine how Tora isn't!

Meanwhile, news of Green Lantern smashing buildings due to immoral activity has The Black Hand nervous. He's running a strip club and porn theater in New York, just the kind of place Guy Gardner might destroy and/or frequent. Is there a masturbation joke in having The Black Hand go into the sex industry? No? Maybe? If so, just leave it in the comments because after ten years of comic book write-ups, I'm all out of masturbation jokes.

Guy decides to take Tora to see the porn film, Three Men and a Babe. He tries to convince her that it's the movie she wanted to see, Three Men and a Baby (which now sounds like an absolutely disgusting title hearing it after the porn parody). And while I'm certain most people would tap out in trying to defend Guy after this move, I'm still all-in on defending him! Maybe, due to the brain damage, he really does think this is the Tom Selleck movie! Maybe he can't parse all of the social information out on the streets in this neighborhood that distinguish it as a less-than-moral place to hang. Perhaps he sees the topless woman taking their tickets at the door as some kind of publicity stunt. Or maybe he knows exactly what he's doing which is even greater proof that he's suffering from serious brain trauma! If he thinks this whole date is a good idea that's going to get him laid, he needs some serious help!

Turns out, Ice isn't a fan of this date.

See? Guy is just an Everyman!

Okay, fine. Guy Gardner is a terrible dude. But maybe he'll learn his lesson by the end of this issue! Or maybe Batman will only half-punch him and he'll fall somewhere between despicable jerk and a soppy milquetoast dweeb.

The Black Hand interrupts Guy and Tora's first lover's spat by pointing a potato at them. Unless it's a piece of alien technology. What does Black Hand do anyway? A quick glimpse at his Who's Who entry reveals that his potato gun can absorb and utilize Green Lantern energy. Also, Black Hand is fond of old maxims and clich├ęs. Is that why he got into the porn business? Is there a link between those things that I'm not seeing?

Black Hand fails in his attempt to scare off the Justice League members and winds up simply embarrassing himself. His potato gun misfires in front of Tora and Guy makes some really humiliating jokes about it that didn't reference the potato gun being a penis. But in my mind, I know he laid down some impotency insults that were censored by that stupid Comics Code stamp on the front cover. I bet Guy was so rude that Tora actually got a little bit turned on. Guy and Tora leave Black Hand with his defective rod, enraging him even further even though it's the result he wanted. He decides to get a faux phallus that works and shoot Guy in the face with it.

But he misses which is probably more metaphor about sexual impotency.

This scene is almost like the scene in The Wire when Omar gets killed except Guy didn't get killed. If you think about it a little bit, you would be going, "Oh yeah, you're right, Tess! Interesting!" But only think about it a little bit because if you think about it a lot, you'll begin thinking things like, "Actually, the power dynamics and exchanges between actors here isn't anything like that moment in The Wire!"

Tora wants to help Black Hand, realizing he's going through some mental issues (probably why she also went on the date with Guy. She's quite the sensitive empath). But Guy Gardner just beats Black Hand into unconsciousness. I guess when he comes to, Black Hand realizes he needs to raise an army of undead ring bearers to destroy Guy Gardner.

If even Ice can't stand him, I guess I have to admit he's an irredeemable asshole, brain damage or no brain damage.

After Ice goes to wash the entirety of Guy's existence off of her body, Big Barda shows up to help train Fire with her new power. They go onto the roof so the reader can finally discover the secret behind Fire's new powers.

Holy shit! Fire was the originator of the exploding vagina attack!

For those who don't know, the comic book sound effect "FWASH" means a vagina has just exploded. I thought New 52 Supergirl had invented the power but look at this?! Way back in 1989, Fire was dazzling Big Barda with her exploding front bottom!

Letters from this issue were from Steve Makepeace of Canberra, Australia; Matt Santori of Chicago Heights, Illinois; C.S. of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Tim Butler of Athens, Ohio; Eric Hess of Satlsburg, Pennsylvania; Damian Townsend of London, England; and T.P. Lamos of Nepean, Ontario. Letterer Bob Lappan finally earns some laurels when Tim Butler declares him the foremost letterer in the business! High praise indeed! I think. Too bad Bob didn't do the lettering on this issue. Whoops!

Justice League America #28 Rating: B+. If you hate Guy Gardner, you'll love this book because it allows you to hate him so much more than usual. If you love Guy Gardner, you'll love this book because you're probably a sociopath and will appreciate his shitty behavior. Just to be transparent, I love the shit-heel! I also love Ice who shines here, giving him a chance and then telling him off many, many times. Probably one or two less times than he needs to be told off. But that's because she's a kind person who only tells Guy what a scumbag he is in the hopes that it will help him evolve. Probably.