Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Justice League Europe #13 (April 1990)

Why is everybody in the DC Universe afraid of feral cats? Because they're pussies.

That caption was a hilarious riddle! The ambiguous answer makes the riddle logical with word play! I just made it up but there's a fairly decent chance that dozens of jokes nearly identical to it were written into every stupid fad joke book of the 80s. There was probably a dead baby version and a dead cat version and a dumb blonde version and a redneck version and a whole bunch of racist versions too because racist jokes were practically currency in the 80s. And having grown up in school yards during that time, I have one particularly racist joke burned into my head which I never asked Philip Newby to tell me! I will not repeat it here because it's fucking racist, you dumb motherfucker! I don't want to do to your head what Phil did to mine! And not that Phil was racist! Far from it, I'm sure! But it was the 80s and remember what I said about racist jokes and currency back then! But since I did mention awful jokes from the 80s, I'll tell you a different one that Philip Newby told me and which I, at the time in 5th grade, did not understand at all!

"Why can't the Go-Gos have children?"
"Because their lips are sealed."

Oh sure, I laughed! Because it was a joke and Phil was a funny guy! But I didn't fucking get it. I told it to my cousin and he, being more honest than me, I guess, said to me, "I don't get it." And I said, as an explanation, "If their lips are sealed, they can't say 'yes' when somebody asks them to marry them!" Fucking hell, I was a dumb little shit.

Phil also told me the joke about the cop who arrests three kids (in the joke, the teller uses you and a friend and somebody you hate) where the cop is all, "I'll let you go if all together your penises measure sixteen inches (or something)." The joke ends with the person you hate making up the last of the sixteen inches with half an inch and saying, "It's a good thing I had a hard-on!" I'm fairly certain that's where I figured out what a "hard-on" was as I worked out the joke in my head. After laughing uproariously, of course!

Phil also told me the joke about Jesus on the cross calling Peter up to him three times but the Romans keep kicking the ladder out from under him before Peter can hear what Christ has to say. Until finally, Peter leans his ear to Jesus's lips and Jesus says, "I can see your house from here." Fuck that was a good one.

This issue begins with Catherine and Captain Atom giving a bunch of French schoolchildren a tour of the Justice League embassy to show the French people that the Justice League aren't a bunch of dangerous lunatics. Captain Atom invites the press because he's an idiot who can't remember the last twelve issues of his own comic book! He think the press will show the country how nothing terrible happened to any of the children while visiting but surely they're simply going to capture twenty children dying horribly in extreme close-ups as Queen Bee drops some terribly perverse child-killing beast onto the embassy. This is exactly the kind of stupid stunt that Batman would have shut down before it even started! Nobody endangers children on Batman's watch! Except Batman.

Oh, my. It seems you've caught me in a lie. It was Catherine's idea and Captain Atom is rightly skeptical. It's just I didn't want to call Catherine an idiot!

Don't think I'm afraid to call a woman an idiot (especially after all the vile things I've called Madame Xanadu)! I simply didn't want to call Catherine an idiot because she's not an idiot and possibly the character I admire most in this comic book! But Captain Atom? Well, he's basically been portrayed as the main idiot in Europe. He's the Blue Beetle of the Old World.

Captain Atom, having taken only one French class which was interrupted by a massive brawl, tries to have a conversation with the teacher in French but accidentally says, "Would you dance naked with me in a bowl of onion dip?" Captain Atom having atomic powers and no visible sign of his junk in his skin tight pants is more believable than somebody accidentally saying that in a language they don't speak! Unless he had a weird teacher who thought the most pertinent words in French were "naked" and "onion dip." Although I myself don't speak French so maybe the words for "Thank you for coming" and "the children are well-behaved" are extraordinarily close to "dancing naked" and "bowl of onion dip"!

No, you came because it was a mandatory school field trip, you lying bol de trempette à l'oignon.

The cat arrives in the teleporter hacking and farting like a higher dimensional Bill the Cat. You understand what I mean, right? See, comic strips are basically one-dimensional and comic books are two dimensional and comic book movies are three dimensional and my blog entries on comic books are fourth dimensional. I'm sure I didn't need to explain that to you, my zero-dimensional readers. No wait! I meant my fifth-dimensional readers! I always forget that adage about catching more flies with honey than vinegar because my brain has always thought, "Yeah, but you catch even more flies with shit!" And then my attitude tanks even further and I just insult all the flies like crazy! Not that my readers are flies attracted to shit! Although, really, if you're enjoying my blog, I've got a minor reality check for you. Fly? Meet shit.

Some new information is revealed during the tour: the Justice League Embassy is full of precious works of art donated by the French government! Why? Well, that's not an easy question to answer through the lens of a government giving art to a UN peace keeping force that nobody likes. But it's easy to answer through the lens of comic book plotting: its bait to lure in a would-be art burglar to cause chaos during the children's school visit! His name is hilariously Jean-Jean De Jean! I'm laughing in much the same way I used to laugh at Phil Newby's jokes in 5th Grade! And he might be the most villainous bad guy yet! Worse than Doomsday even!

I hope they fucking kill him.

The kids receive a demonstration of the, um, uh . . . how do I say "Danger Room" in DC speak? Anyway, Flash and Crimson Fox are in the automated training simulation simulator when the cat hops up on the control board and accidentally sets the room to "Maximum Danger!" The kids are thrilled because the next best thing to meeting Batman is seeing The Flash maimed in a workplace accident! The kids, who would have gone absolutely batshit for Batman, go absolutely accidental-deathshit for a near accidental death. They're so worked up into a frenzy that the burglar had better hope he doesn't run into them! They might tear his fucking head off in their frenzy!

Are they this excited because the French love physical comedy so much? Or are they all sociopaths?

That second question in the caption was a rhetorical question before everybody on the Internet begins to explain to me how, yes, children are sociopaths because their empathic lymphburger neurosystems haven't fully developed or some shit. Just try to read these things in a whimsical, non-I-have-to-actually-everything-this-idiot-says manner, hmm? Can you do that? It would make it way easier on both of us.

Sue realizes the settings on the Danger Room control board were fiddled with meaning an intruder has gotten in which is the same conclusion I always come to when I've fucked up at my work. "What?! I didn't do that! It must have been an intruder!" Then you gasp loudly and berate yourself internally for fucking up yet again. Although I don't think Sue does that last part. She's so perfect and sexy that she'd never think anything was her fault, just like every other perfect and sexy person in the world. I despise them and yet I also want to fuck them. Man, life is the worst.

Sue, having left her post once which caused a huge screw up, leaves her post again to tell Captain Atom how leaving her post the first time allowed an intruder to fuck up something at her post. As soon as she leaves, the cat enters and takes a nap on the Emergency Red Alert button, sending the Justice League New Yorkers into an absolute panic. Which isn't great because they're already worked up from that huge battle they had with the feral cat and seeing Fire walking around naked in only a towel.

Sue reports to Captain Atom who simply points out what I already pointed out: Sue fucked up and refuses to acknowledge that she fucked up. Now, Sue is arguing that she didn't fuck up because she didn't set the Danger Room to High Death Rate. But this is why communication between two humans never works: people view things through their own perspective which blinds them to other perspectives. Sue did fuck up by leaving her post. Even if the intruder is the one who pressed the button, she was the one who left her position watching that button to make sure nobody pressed it! But Sue currently only sees her side of things: she didn't set the Danger Room to Super Duper Danger and she's defending that position. But the bottom line is Sue messed up and now she's mad at Captain Atom for pointing out that she messed up. I'm concerned that she's never going to fuck him now!

Justice League Europe desperately needs a Human Resources Department.

Justice League America arrives in response to the alert and that idiot J'onn sends in Guy Gardner to do reconnaissance only. What is wrong with Martians? Do they have terrible memories? Or are they simply too trusting? J'onn knows sending in Guy means a huge physical altercation is about to break out! Guy might even simply attack the children if they're showing too much emotion! Luckily, the first person to catch Guy's attention is Wally when he wakes up with pussy smothering him. No, of course it's not Power Girl, you Comicgater! Constant sexual harassment doesn't actually work like they show you in the movies where the nerd protagonist pesters and badgers the female lead until she finally realizes she loves him, no matter how unsatisfactory their lovemaking sessions. The pussy is the feral pussy that's been causing all the trouble!

Guy smashes in Wally's window to rescue him only to have the feral cat once again latch onto his face. I guess Guy forgot he teleported the cat to the European embassy to cause exactly this kind of chaos!

That's about the end of the violence (other than the cat jumping on the Jean-Jean De Jean's head and capturing him) and the kids all love the experience. The press report the visit as a huge hit and equate Captain Atom to Jerry Lewis. All's well that ends. Or whatever. And the cat finds a new home because Power Girl falls in love with it!

Aww. Power Girl is the best.

Justice League Europe #13 Rating: B+. The world wasn't saved but also the Justice League weren't putting anybody in danger saving themselves from a threat to themselves. It was just a nice day in at the embassy where some children were entertained, Ralph Dibny's marriage averted catastrophe by Captain Atom's horrible condescension to Sue, and a lonely feral cat found love and a home. A pretty good story!

Monday, February 13, 2023

Justice League America #37 (April 1990)

Intruder? They do know that's Booster's left hand, don't they?

I remember this cover from thirty years ago but damned if I remember the story on the inside. I probably even talked about how much I liked Adam Hughes' art way back then but, having forgotten nearly every moment of my life to the point that I don't think I can even call myself myself anymore, his name never stayed with me. Maybe this time it will and I can remember how much I love his art all the way to the grave!

This issue is called "Furballs!" which is probably a play on Spaceballs. It's only a play on the title of that movie if you somehow remembered Spaceballs was a film at the moment you read "Furballs" but, being Giffen and DeMatteis are behind this issue, it checks out as a hilarious reference. Anyway it's funny without any context simply because it has the word "balls" in the title (and fur on balls to boot!). Plus as we saw with the Justice League Europe annual (for those reading my posts in chronological order as you should be doing), the Paris Embassy cat mascot should be making an appearance. I know this isn't the Europe comic but according to the "Next Month" blurb of Justice League Europe #12, this issue and JLE #13 are a mini-crossover.

Speaking of the cat, the intruder could be the cat because both Beetle and Booster are reacting on this cover the same way my high school best friend Paul, who was terrified of cats, always reacted when my cat Smaug would approach him.

After Booster and Beetle stole all of the money in the League's account to fund their island resort casino (which they lost when the island turned out to be a living creature and Major Disaster bankrupted the casino playing Blackjack with his Rainman buddy Big Sir), they've been relegated to continual clean-up duty around the New York Embassy. Booster Gold isn't happy about it but it doesn't stop Blue Beetle from continuing to make old timey references.

It seems crazy to me that they'd reference Hazel from 1961 in a 1990 comic book but I suppose that would be like me making a casual The X-Files reference now.

Maybe the reference just feels older because Hazel was unwatchable in 1990 but The X-Files is still sort-of watchable. And by "unwatchable," I actually mean "unlistenable" because I wanted to jam pencils in my ears every time I heard Shirley Booth's voice.

I just watched a clip of Hazel for five seconds to see if her voice was as I remembered it and her portrayal made me laugh out loud. So maybe I should apologize for saying it was unwatchable! At least she wasn't upstaged by massive shoulder pads and a gigantic cell phone. That's my old timey The X-Files reference!

Booster Gold throws a huge tantrum because he's tired of being broke, disrespected, and trapped in the 20th Century. Can he not time travel because Skeets is broken? Or did he time travel some other way, like in one of those Legion bubble things? I might know the answer to this if I owned more than six non-sequential issues of Booster Gold. I also don't know why Blue Beetle is broke because I don't think I ever owned any of his comic books at all.

Meanwhile, an alien composed mostly of hate, teeth, and soliloquys re-forms in orbit around Neptune. It's hate seems to be focused on the Justice League because that makes it easier for the Justice League to wind up battling it. If it were simply hating Earth, Giffen and DeMatteis would have to write all that boring stuff about it attacking Earth and then waste some pages on The Huntress stuck on monitor duty and then waste a few more pages where the rest of the team learns about the alien from The Huntress. Having the alien come back to life already hating the Justice League is a nice shortcut. Now the Justice League just have to sit around the embassy waiting for the alien to come to them. It was probably killed by Superman and Wonder Woman though so it's really going to be surprised at how easily defeated this current Justice League will be.

This is the guy who was rooting through the Justice League's garbage in a previous issue. Now that he took his beard off, you can see he's some guy without a beard.

Am I supposed to somehow recognize the guy stealing the Justice League's garbage to write some kind of tell-all book about them? Is it Jack Ryder? It certainly isn't Clark Kent although wouldn't that be something?! Whoever he is, he only steals one trash can because the drunk cat is in the other one. The cat sneaks inside when Guy Gardner checks the alley to make sure no bums are stealing their garbage. And I guess the cat is yellow because Guy doesn't notice it. Is that how the Green Lantern weakness works? Close enough.

The cat walks in on Fire and she explodes into nakedness. She sets her whole room on fire but somehow finds the time to grab a towel. Stupid Comics Code Authority! Can't even allow a slight hint of green areola?! Guy Gardner comes to her rescue and discovers he's not quite up to battling a feral yellow cat.

Too bad G'nort was kicked out of the Embassy last issue, what with him being a dog and all.

Guy manages to subdue it and teleports it over to the European embassy. So that's the entirety of the cross-over?! The dumb cat! I mean the totally cute cat who is probably my favorite character from this point on!

Booster Gold meets somebody named Claire Montgomery to see if he might work with her because he's fed up with the Justice League. Does she have something to do with The Conglomerate? Is that about to happen?! I have a feeling that even in 1990, I had no idea what was going on. Tired of being a joke in this timeline and seemingly having no recourse to currently jump to a new one, Booster Gold decides to quit the League. This must be when he starts up The Conglomerate! I wonder if I own any of those issues?

Justice League America #37 Rating: B. This issue was all about the cat, I guess? Unless it was actually just about seeding the issue with future story arcs, like the guy digging through their garbage and Booster Gold quitting and Fire needing to go shopping for more clothes and, of course, the cat! The pitch for this issue was probably just, "What if Guy Gardner gets his ass handed to him by a stray cat?" And everybody was all, "Great! A new way to humiliate Guy Gardner whom we obviously created simply to torture!" This is what happens in a media format where writers are constantly taking over for each other. If you write a character that other writers can't stand and would love to see get their comeuppance, the character is simply going to wind up in a long string of stories where they're utterly humiliated! It's not cool, man! Can we please have a writer who can make poor disabled Guy Gardner sympathetic?! At least stop having him sexually harass every woman in the League!

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Justice League Europe Annual #1 (1990)

An annual starring the Global Guardians? Be still my heart! No, seriously. Be still. I'd rather die than read this.

"So why read this? Life is too short!" says everybody on the Internet who only ever seem to understand and accept their own compulsions. Also, in an excuse less about the character and makeup of my idiotic brain, as a literature major, I understand that you need to read things you dislike in order to fully form coherent opinions about what makes literature good and bad. I learned this lesson in college when I refused—and continue to refuse—to read Ernest Hemingway while still proclaiming how much I dislike his works. That may sound like I learned the opposite lesson but, I assure you, one day I'll read an Ernest Hemingway book and probably love it which is when I'll fully learn the lesson I learned by not reading Ernest Hemingway.

For the curious, there are two reasons I haven't read Ernest Hemingway. The first reason is the main one: I was assigned a certain number of books in the only class that ever assigned anything by Ernest (A Farewell to Arms). But the professor explicitly stated that you wouldn't need to have read every book for the final, just that if you'd read every book, you'd have more to work with while answering the question. I, being an arrogant prick, decided I would be just fine reading the minimum amount of books for the class (and I was!). Normally my position in college was to read every single book assigned so that I would get a huge sampling of literature which I never would have picked up on my own. But sometimes, being a literature major, you just had too many books to read at once (and also too much Nick at Nite to watch while reading them). So I never read Hemingway. The second reason which I almost forgot to mention was that Gertrude Stein believed Ernest Hemingway jerked off to cats kneading his crotch. No wait. Did I make that up? Is that something I read in the back of a Cerebus that Dave Sim hallucinated? Um, you know what? I only had one reason for not reading Ernest Hemingway. If there's a second reason, it's just that I couldn't be bothered after college.

Should I continue with this Hemingway crap? It's like reading Sim's Going Home and having to wade through all the Hemingway biographical junk and thinking, "Just get on with the Cerebus and Jaka relationship doomed to failure because he needs to die alone, unmourned, and unloved!" But I have one more thing to say: it might be my California bias as to why I haven't given Hemingway a chance. You see, I've read, and loved, every book by John Steinbeck, whom I consider to be the great American author. I refuse to give any time to any other wannabe for that title! Get thee behind me, Satan! And take that cat out of your lap!

Speaking of cats, I see that feral cat is on the cover of this issue. I vaguely remember there being a mangy cat living at the Embassy in Paris but not much more than that. Other than the later cover where Maxwell Lord shows his penchant for shooting things in the head by holding a gun to the cat's head and the cover saying, "Buy this comic or we won't shoot the cat." Maybe that wasn't Lord threatening the cat but you can see, judging by his later history (ha ha), how I could make that mistake.

I'll admit they look pretty cool. Except the nerd eating the bagel and drinking Pepsi.

As you can see from the scanned double page spread, Jack O'Lantern isn't as dead as Queen Bee claimed he was. She probably didn't want to tip off her hand that she was using him to recruit the rest of the Global Guardians so that Bialya can compete on the global superhero scene. I would question why they would work for a terrorist nation but I don't want a bunch of comic book nerds reminding me that Queen Bee can mind control people. And even if she can't mind control this many, she can mind control enough of them to convince their friends to give it a shot, perhaps helping to steer Bialya down a more justice-oriented and righteous path.

This first scene is to remind readers not only that three of the Guardians are currently in the "care" of Justice League Europe but also remind them of the names of the Guardians, as Dr. Mist carefully uses everybody's name each time he first speaks to them. But then it begins to break down as Mermaid shakes off the mind shackles.

It's probably difficult to retain control of a mind that's half fish.

I'm really enjoying the art in this annual by Linda Medley whose name I didn't recognize. But I've apparently seen her work before. Her Wikipedia says she did some work on 1993's Doom Patrol and 1991's Justice League America. So I guess I'll see more of her art soon! It's a really fucking great style that's right up my back alley. Also she's from Stockton, California, so that California bias I mentioned earlier is really kicking in. Later she moved to the Northwest. Just like me! We're practically twinsies except I draw like a Great Dane who had a Sharpie stuck between his toes and then was hit by a terribly spastic bout of diarrhea.

The whole meeting breaks down thanks to Mermaid and it turns out it's some kind of rehearsed brainwashing event. And Jack O'Lantern may not even be the real Jack O'Lantern. And Doctor Mist may not even be the real Doctor Mist. And, well, you get the point. I'm pretty sure Mermaid is real!

The scene shifts to Queen Bee's inner sanctum where the reader may soon be enlightened as to what is going on. But first, Queen Bee needs to fire Major Force.

Holy shit. Major Force was her fuck boy!

It always pleases me when writers are able to get something so sexual past the Comics Code Penis Implants. Not one of them got the sex toy reference here? DC missed a great opportunity to package a Major Force vibrator with this issue. Fuck foil embossed 3D lenticular scratch and sniff covers with trading cards included. Attach a sex toy to a Goddamned annual and watch the sales go through the fucking roof!

Pretty sure I own a Hello Kitty vibrator so it's not like there isn't a precedent. Sort of. I'm not going to rehash the reasons why that vibrator exists and how it isn't the same thing as if DC actually gave away one based on one of their Major characters.

What are Mermaid's powers? Luring men to their death with her perfect boobs?

Here we get proof that this is a new Jack O'Lantern. The earlier clues where Mermaid screamed that he wasn't really Jack and when he removed his mask to show, I guess, a person the reader isn't supposed to recognize were not proof enough for me. I needed the comic book to state it outright! Good thing this is an annual and DC knows half of the readers are going to be idiots who collect annuals and know nothing about the series. Not that I knew anything about the Global Guardians when I first read this. Or now, even.

Jack is a hired replacement loyal to Bialya, Doctor Mist is a replicant, and Owl Woman seems to be a willing participant, but the rest of the Guardians have all been brainwashed to believe in Bialya's righteousness and the Justice League's wickedness. The only hurdle now is brainwashing Mermaid. So the brainwashing scene begins yet a third or fourth time. So if being forced to experience something repeatedly is a form of brainwashing, is that what DC is doing to me by making me read this scene over and over?! I'll never like the Global Guardians! I'll like the Legion of Super-Heroes before that happens!

This time the brainwashing works and I can't wait to see the Global Guardians retrieve their teammates, especially with perky little Mermaid at their side! I'm so happy they're finally a team again!

Oh no! Casual mention of the cat! That means I'm reading this out of order! I thought they'd get the cat this issue!

In Tokyo, Rising Sun suddenly wakes up as Doctor Light and her colleague leave the room to have some coffee and Oreos. Fuck. Now I want coffee and Oreos. Fredric Wertham was right! Comic books are disturbingly influential!

The Wild Huntsman, who was being monitored in Belle Reve, wakes up and escapes. He escapes on his horse with his dog at his side. So were they in comas too? And kept in beds next to him? Either that's fucking weird and nobody noticed or that's fucking weird which is why they were shuffled off to the home of the Suicide Squad.

Meanwhile in the Australian Embassy, romance is blooming!

Oh, and Tuatara escaped from wherever he was being kept. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, maybe?

So if the three Global Guardians being cared for by the Justice League are beginning to wake up, why do the Global Guardians need to ask the Justice League to release them? I'm only asking that question so I can respond to myself by saying, "Oh! Because now when the Guardians ask for their friends, the Justice League will be all, 'Oh, we don't seem to know where they are.' Which will cause the Global Guardians to begin punching the Justice League in the face. Exactly what Queen Bee probably wants!" But I bet Mermaid's tits will be all, "This isn't right! Stop fighting! Somebody caress us!"

Is this a joke by Giffen and Loebs? Or is this some really strong tea?!

Don't get me wrong! I don't mean to suggest some editor at DC was fucking comic book characters and giving them prestige format comic books! I'm suggesting . . . oh, you know what I'm suggesting! I wonder who was up to no good?! No way it was Dooley or Helfer because they're editing this book and they would have crushed those panels! Unless by allowing those panels, they're saying, "Oh, ha ha! Good one! We would never do that!" Although now maybe we know how Neil Gaiman "sold" the Black Orchid prestige comic idea to Karen Berger!

The Global Guardians pay a visit to the Justice League Embassy in Paris where they're greeted by cheering French fans. They enjoy some tea and cucumber sandwiches as they await word from Captain Atom about releasing their comrades (who they know are already back in Bialya getting another rinse on their brains). Now they just wait for the Justice League to admit they're missing and for the gigantic robot the Queen Bee has let loose to attack, and the Justice League will be humiliated in front of the entire world! Or something. I often have a hard time understanding evil villain plots. Mostly because if I had the kind of money evil villains had to brainwash heroes and create massive robots, I'd just retire and stop annoying everybody who might punch me in the throat.

"Without a trace" implies that nobody at Belle Reve had the nerve to tell Amanda Waller that the Wild Huntsman smashed through fifteen walls while escaping the prison.

I'm not sure what's going on with Catherine's butt in the above panel but I think I like it? I bet five bees stung her in the ass just now.

The giant robot immediately attacks the Justice League Europe headquarters in Paris which isn't too suspicious being that the Global Guardians just arrived, is it? Some people say there are no coincidences which I think is a fucking dumb thing to say but when you're reading a fictional work, there truly are no such things as coincidences! How can there be? It's exactly why real people love to say it and its corollary that everything happens for a reason. Because they believe in some cosmic author instead of complete and utter random meaninglessness! They're basically schizophrenic on the most basic setting.

What I'm trying to say is Captain Atom should totally be suspicious about this robot attacking. He's already suspicious about the three Guardians in their care having escaped just before the Guardians arrived!

Obviously Metamorpho hasn't been keeping up with Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol.

The battle goes on for a few pages as the teams constantly fail to work together or bicker uselessly. A few times, I felt they were bonding but then somebody calls somebody else an idiot or a fool for practically no reason at all. At least the crowd hanging around outside the embassy seem to be enjoying the spectacle as they cheer and hit on Mermaid. But that's probably not their fault! She's a sexy siren! Getting hit on by nerds is probably her super power.

Elongated Man and Owl-Woman seem to be getting along okay, probably because Ralph knows Sue is fucking Captain Atom and he's lonely.

Probably a Kevin Smith movie.

Once the teams get the robot clear of the crowds by knocking it into the sewers, Captain Atom vaporizes it in one blast. With that kind of power, I'm starting to wonder why they need Elongated Man on the team?

Queen Bee happily receives the news from her soon-to-be-executed henchman the next day. Her entire plan was to have the Global Guardians fight alongside the Justice League to give them international credibility and to make people believe Bialya has a super-hero team fighting for truth and justice. And the Justice League have earned the respect of the French finally. Everybody's happy except for Queen Bee's henchmen who helped with the plan because they're all going to be killed so they can't leak any of this to the international press.

Justice League Europe Annual #1 Rating: F. And just like that, I almost liked an annual! I was all set to say how I thought the reintroduction of the Global Guardians was handled well. Giffen and Loebs even made them interesting by having them work for a terrorist nation while brainwashed. Given the right writer, a new Global Guardians series could have been pretty interesting. Maybe there was one after this and I never picked it up because, well, it's the Global Guardians! Anyway, I was almost ready to give this series a decent rating when the final page portrayed various members of the team hurling the cat from their rooms! Fucking monsters! If they don't want the cat in their rooms, let it out gently! Put some food in the kitchen for it! But don't fling it down the stairs, you dumb bastards! The French may like them now but I'll never forgive them! Except for Sue. She didn't mind the cat in bed with her and Ralph.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Justice League Europe #12 (March 1990)

Does making the word "son" bold and bright green change the meaning of this adage in a way that my genius blinds me to?

Sometimes in life, you might feel stupid but never admit that it's caused by your own ignorance and stupidity. Instead, try saying, "My genius often blinds me to more mundane or exoteric ideas!" Then you sound really smart because you used a word like "exoteric"! Except most people only know it's opposite, "esoteric," so they'll probably think you meant that and continue to believe you're an idiot, both because you said "esoteric" wrong and used it incorrectly! But really they're the dumbies! Although there's little satisfaction in knowing the person who thinks you're dumb is really the dumb one because they're too dumb to ever appreciate the irony.

Man I hope I used irony correctly there! I knew I was going to have trouble in life taking English 101 from Professor Morissette.

The last issue of Justice League Europe ended with The Metal Men confronting Metamorpho, probably because that's just the kind of idea you'd expect from editors at a DC pitch meeting. "What if Metamorpho, who can change into any element at all, battled Will Magnus's butt inserts, the masters of being specific elements?!" "Boy, that sounds super exciting, Dooley! Just the kind of genius idea that has kept DC the second biggest comics publisher in America! Way to go!"

That second line of dialogue sounded sarcastic but the speaker was really just being earnest and naïve. Earnest because the speaker is absolutely thrilled to be the second biggest publisher and naïve because there really were just two publishers to speak of in 1990. Oh, and also because he thought the idea sounded great!

I just spent about five minutes searching for naked pictures of Metamorpho on the Internet because I wanted to see what's going on down there under the Speedo. Either I have suddenly become terrible at Internet searches or Metamorpho's dong just doesn't exist, even in the deviant imagination of the entire planet's collective unconscious.

I suppose I could have just Googled "Metamorpho fucking Sapphire" but I have some class, Sir. I was looking for a non-sexualized image of his junk!

This is probably one of those images that got Fredric Wertham's mid-century underwear in a twist. But since it's Guy Gardner who has been thrashed to a pulp with some obvious injuries to his eyes, I'm going to side with Wertham on this one. This image should be illegal!

Mostly the previous image should be illegal because how dare Loebs, Giffen, and Sears depict Guy Gardner as somebody who gets his ass beat! He should be doing the beating of asses! Do you think DC often gets letters about thirty year old comic book issues because I'm about to vent my spleen so hard right now!

The Metal Men apparently approach every situation the way American cops do: they approach an individual with massive numbers, declare that they don't want to be violent but will if provoked, and then spit out a bunch of conflicting directions and attitudes. Iron is all, "We don't like violence but will defend ourselves if need be!" And Mercury is all, "Let's kick his ass!" And Gold is all, "Move away from the baby or we'll see that as us being provoked." And Lead is all, "We're going to beat the shit out of you but this is a Comics Code approved comic so I had to say sulfur instead of shit!" Platinum just looks on in horror as she no doubt is thinking about the way Will Magnus created several extra orifices on her alone.

I don't remember what Tin was doing because fuck Tin. Nobody cares about Tin. He's skinny, ugly, and less useful than aluminum. How had Will Magnus not scrapped him by 1990?!

See? American cops! "We don't want violence!" and "Don't provoke us!" simply means "Respect us no matter what we do and any sign of a rebellious nature will be seen as a provocation. Plus sometimes we don't even need a sign because we can tell if you're probably going to disrespect us."

Metamorpho and the Metal Men fight for a bit during which I'm fairly certain Metamorpho murders Tin.

That's definitely a robot corpse.

Meanwhile in Russia, Silver Sorceress uses her powers to escape the Russian gulag she and Blue Jay have been imprisoned in. She opens a portal to their devastated home world and leaves Earth. Blue Jay elects to stay because this Earth hasn't been destroyed and still has things like food and water. He escapes using his lame power to turn into a bird-sized man with wings. No way the Russians will catch somebody that powerful!

The currently emotionally crippled Animal Man and the perky if dim Rocket Red were knocked out by Guy last issue which is why they aren't helping Metamorpho. But Sapphire brings them around with her desperate whining for them to save Rex. But after they come to, and Animal Man does some serious whinging on about his dead kids, Java arrives. Being a caveman, he only knows one way to interact with others: club them to death. So a new battle begins just outside the observation window to Rex's son's room which is housing its own battle royale.

In the chaos, the baby's mechanical babysitter tentacle arms go haywire and toss the baby across the room. Java catches it and discovers just why the baby has been locked away from everyone: it has the power to transform other things into different elements. Java is fucked. But it's only a baby! It doesn't know what elements are! So Java's arms are now some kind of primordial slop.

Maybe it isn't as bad as it looks.

Everybody stops fighting because Java can't throw any more punches and the Metal Men are all, "Oh that's your baby? Um, uh, whoops?"

Simon Stagg appears to threaten everybody with law suits when Rex shoves the baby into his arms. Stagg screams in terror and his underwear fills up with slop but the baby has nothing to do with it. He, along with Sapphire and Rex, is immune to the baby's power. He holds his grandson and falls in love with it (which is the most unbelievable part of the entire comic book). Everybody celebrates Rex for being a hero and saving the day with compassion while Rex mutters and pouts because the kid had no effect on Stagg. So I guess everything turned out fine! Especially since Will Magnus made some robot arms for Java. Hopefully they don't have their own personalities. Plus I think Tin is definitely dead since that panel I scanned was the last time he's seen in the comic book.

And, yes, Tin being dead is part of "everything turned out fine."

Animal Man decides to take a leave of absence since he's dealing with a whole Grant Morrison plot over in his own comic book. And Rocket Red's family arrives from Russia. So now there's a couple of kids running around the embassy for Wally to play with.

Justice League Europe #12 Rating: A. Not a bad issue although—and I'd hate to say I hate belaboring a point seeing as how much I really love to belabor points—the only problem the Justice League actually deals with, like Wolfman's Titans, is family issues. But at least there's a big battle which includes Platinum yelling at Metamorpho for touching her tits. And the ultimate goal of the story was to give Simon Stagg a Grinch's change of heart. So now he wants to help humanity because he loves his grandson so much! Are you puking at the sentiment as much as I am? Probably not. I bet you think it's wonderful, you loser. And for the beta (cuck) story arc, Buddy Baker leaves the team for family reasons and Dmitri gains his family back. Oh, if only I had a heart to truly appreciate this nonsense!