Sunday, April 30, 2023

Justice League America #42 (September 1990)

Why is 80s High School Bully so angry about being invited to apply to the Justice League?

Don't think I didn't look at Dove's ass just because I didn't mention it in the caption! I think her costume might be tattooed on her body. I'm not sure I recognize the two heroes who aren't Hawk and Dove. If I had to guess, I'd say the masked guy is El Toro and the angry guy with no pupils is Maximum Carnage. Are those DC heroes?

Why are they all refusing to join? What did Max Lord say they must do to become a member?! I hope he gets fucking arrested for whatever it was. I'll be surprised if he doesn't get his ass beat asking Hawk, Toro, and Maximum Carnage to do whatever sexual act he just asked them to do. Dove is peaceful so obviously she wouldn't kick his ass. Unless kicking the ass of some perv is actually in line with order? Okay, you know what? She'll probably kick his ass too.

I wonder if Justice League America is going to have a recruitment issue every 15-20 issues? Can't they just do these things behind the scenes and spend two panels in the middle of an exciting story to have Max Lord introduce the new recruits? An awful lot of space is being taken up by these silly "the recruitment drive goes tits up" issues.

The issue begins with a lesser version of Gandalf explaining to Frodo why they have no right to kill Gollum philosophy.

Kilowog definitely drinks out of Despero's tank.

The first candidate who decides not to join is Gypsy. Not that she's a real candidate. J'onn just thinks she shouldn't be alone because her entire family and town was recently killed by Despero. That part is pretty painful but the part where it happened in the silliest and jokiest DC comic was the cherry on the pain scale. Plus now she can't go anywhere without somebody feeling the need to point out how insensitive her name is. She'll probably need to change it to Chameleon (which is a much better name anyhow!).

Blue Beetle and Fire are off in Beetle's flying Bug to recruit more people across the country. While flying there, Beetle discusses the possibility of a movie about him. Too bad he died and now the Blue Beetle movie is about Jaime Reyes instead. Obviously a Ted Kord Blue Beetle movie would have been a boring piece of shit about a rich white guy with no super powers who tells terrible jokes. Which is why one never happened! But Jaime Reyes as the Blue Beetle is super exciting because he's a young Latinx kid with an alien parasite that implants tons of advanced technology into his body! I hope there's a scene where Jaime is all, "What is this technology doing to my body now?!" And then Traci Thirteen will be all, "You're just getting a boner, estupido." And then they'll do it! And when Jaime cums, he'll shoot a rocket into Traci's face but she'll teleport away but he'll think he's killed her and then he'll drink poison and die after which she'll come back and see he's killed himself and then she'll stab herself to death.

I had to watch six different versions of Romeo and Juliet in 8th Grade English and I've yet to recover. Fuck you, Mr. Sousa!

Blue Beetle said "Cum"!

I've had some time to reflect on my attitude as I was typing the code for that last image and I'd like to apologize to Mr. Sousa. Obviously he was just excited to share something he found truly wondrous and beautiful in the world when he showed us the Romeo and Juliet ballet, so much so that he forgot he was showing it to a bunch of ill-cultured thirteen-year-olds who couldn't stop giggling at Juliet's nipples and Romeo's massive bulge.

Beetle and Fire attempt to recruit El Toro who is actually El Diablo. So you can see what my brain did there! It was close enough to correct for my tastes considering how terrible it is at actually remembering things. The only thing my brain is good at anymore is making me feel like nothing is worthwhile and life has nothing more for me.

Guy Gardner tries to recruit Maximum Carnage who is actually Starman and I have no idea what my brain was doing with that one. To be fair, even after the revelation, I don't fucking remember this version of Starman at all! Why did he choose an upside down star for his emblem and why didn't I read his comic book because he's obviously a Satanist? Guy Gardner, not understanding what "recruit" means, decides to capture Starman and try to force him to join the Justice League.

Bea knows Spanish?

Sometimes I think, "I know quite a bit of Spanish so I know Portuguese too!" And then I hear Portuguese and I think, "Hey! Portuguese and Spanish are like two different languages!" Although the simple fact that Bea is Brazilian, and not American, probably means she knows quite a few more languages than just one. It's weird how Americans think they're so fucking great and barely any of them can speak more than one language. If they can manage two, they're a fucking genius! I, myself, barely know English. Sometimes I'm surprised at how many books I've read over my lifetime and then I remember how many of them were Xanth books and Choose Your Own Adventure titles.

Ice and The Huntress extend the offer to join the JLA to Hawk and Dove which seems weird since The Huntress doesn't even really want to be a member. Surprisingly, her pitch is not, "You guys probably have no desire to join right now but if you'll just allow me to strand you on an ice floe with our boss, Maxwell Lord, I think you'll see things quite differently!" Also surprising, Hawk doesn't punch anybody in the face.

During the recruitment drive, Mister Miracle arrives to Earth orbit with Manga Khan and The Cluster.

Somebody forgot to color in the Earth.

Mister Miracle returns to find out he's dead and his wife is probably lying naked in the arms of Orion for consolation. So he should probably go get that sorted out in his own comic book. It's not like his return to the team was anything but a waste of pages spent on maintaining continuity with his self-titled comic. The readers knew he was alive the whole time and didn't need three pages of Manga Khan doing the same old joke where he talks to himself in a melodramatic fashion until L-Ron puts a stop to it.

Martian Manhunter tries to get Batman to come back full time and lead the team because he's tired of dealing with Blue Beetle and Booster Gold and Guy Gardner and G'nort and Max Lord. But Batman is all, "Stop being a whiny quitter!" and swings away on a Bat-rope.

Yeah, Ice! They're lovers! I wish I could I understand that!

The only problem with pretending to read the previous panel wrong is that I'm posting this on the Internet which means I have to also write this line where I point out that I was pretending to have read that line wrong so nobody corrects me in the comments.

Before leaving, Manga Khan trades L-Ron to Maxwell Lord in exchange for Fetal Despero. Now Manga Khan has to do all of his soliloquies in front of his new right-hand robot, K-Dik.

Mister Miracle might be back on Earth but he's decided to take a long vacation while the world thinks he's dead. And Martian Manhunter decides to go on a sabbatical as well. That leaves the Justice League with only one person who can kick any ass: Guy Gardner. The only problem is that Gardner kicks all of the wrong asses, all of the time. But do not despair, loyal reader! Because just as things look darker than they've ever looked (meaning a Justice League with worse power issues than that one with Vibe, Gypsy, and Aquaman in it), Orion and Lightray show up at the door begging to join! I give it four pages before Gardner and Orion are beating the stuffing out of each other.

Justice League America #42 Rating: D+. I have grown to fucking hate these recruitment issues and I blame DC's desperate need to constantly keep continuity straight. At this point, I'd rather just have editorial notes informing me that some member has left suddenly for reasons that can be understood if you pick up the particular issue of their own comic book where they find they can't continue on with the League. I suppose the entire purpose of this issue was to show readers that there were these other heroes named Starman, El Diablo, and Hawk and Dove who (probably?) have their own comic books currently. This issue was more of a bake sale than a Justice League America comic book. "Hey kids! Maybe try giving some of our other monthlies a go!" No thank you, DC! At least that's what I'm saying now. Yeesh, I sure hope I don't find any Starman, El Diablo, or Hawk and Dove comic books in my collection as I continue to re-read all of my old books!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Justice League Europe #17 (August 1990)

I hated Bart Sears' art as soon as I saw it because I knew he would eventually draw something this fucking terrible.

Some artists have a style I don't care for and other artists are just bad artists. When it's a style problem, I have no problem accepting other people's opinions about it. But even though everybody loves to think that all opinions are equal, it's just not true. My opinion was that Bart Sears' art is terrible. And Doctor Diehard's freakish legs on this cover proves that my "opinion" was accurate and objective! Sorry, Bart Sears! But the facts are in and your art on this cover is the facts and the facts are terrible.

Although the cover supplies more subtle hints that The Extremists are gay. I'll let you figure out those hints yourself! It's a gay puzzle!

I just went on Google and typed, "Is the Rubik's Cube gay?" According to the Internet, I think it might be?

Okay, fine, here are the hints: the loads and loads of phallic objects descending on them and the proclamation, "Party time at ground zero!" Also, I think Doctor Diehard might have a boner. It's hard to tell because his legs have turned into suet within his tights.

The issue begins with the Justice League standing around lamenting how terrible they are at saving the day.

Metamorpho said, "Cum."

Look at that woke pussy trying to figure out the correct pronouns to use for the new Doctor Fate! All this 1990s bullshit of caring about respecting other people's identities is ruining good old fashioned comic books! Back in the Golden Age, before comic books went woke, you saw a character with tits and you never even considered using male pronouns! Even if they were male!

What I find most interesting about the sort of guys who get all bent out of shape about having to respect somebody's gender identity is that they'll attempt to kick your ass if you call them a girl. So they already get the concept of avoiding insults and respecting other people. It's just that they're also huge assholes who don't want to be told what to do.

The Flash and Metamorpho continue to be confused by Doctor Fate's pronouns in the next panel which is weird because using third-person plural pronouns to refer to a singular person wasn't something invented in the 21st Century. I always found it strange how people avoided doing so to the point they'd write things like "he/she" and "him/her" which sounds way more awkward.

All of Rocket Red's Russian compatriots are dead and now he's sad. But Power Girl's tits are more determined than ever to destroy The Extremists.

Bart Sears probably spent 75% of his time practicing drawing by drawing boobs with a hint of nipple.

Meanwhile in the Gobi Desert or somewhere just as barren, The Extremists have gathered to watch Doctor Diehard steal all of the world's nuclear missiles. He's this powerful because he's based on Magneto and we all know Magneto is the most powerful Marvel character ever, at least when he's written correctly. What can't magnetism do (other than allow Bart Sears to draw a kneeling person)?!

Lord Havok sends a video message to the entire world telling them they have 24 hours to surrender. He doesn't bother translating it to other languages because his Earth was just as anglocentric as our Earth, I guess. I would worry about how he sent the message but that would be the least of the powers of The Extremists. They can do everything else, why can't they also pirate every terrestrial radio and television station and every communication satellite in orbit around Earth?

The United Nations holds an emergency meeting where they finally come to a decision to surrender after The Extremists crash the meeting and threaten all of their lives. The news goes out over television and radio and, luckily, all the heroes on Earth hear the news that they must stand down!

The Doom Patrol and Peacemaker make a nice cameo. I don't know who the guys in the center and bottom center panels are supposed to be but my guesses are Jason Blood, CEO of Demon INC, and Rip Hunter.

Justice League Europe decide that they're not going to sit back and wait, no matter what the governments of Earth say. That's because they have Blue Jay on their side, a hero from The Extremists' world. He's going to tell them how to defeat The Extremists even though he doesn't have a history of being able to defeat The Extremists. But he is a little bird so the phrase, "A little bird told me," will probably be used before the end of this story arc as somebody beats the shit out of Dreamslayer and he croaks, "But how did you figure out how to defeat me?!"

The Extremists make their headquarters in Israel which, I hope, isn't some kind of subtle anti-Semitic commentary.

Oh, well that explains that.

The Extremists speak English so I was assuming they were from a different Earth even though I should have remembered they were from Angor, a planet from another dimension (technically, Earth from the Marvel Universe. But different!). So that's why Lord Havok, whose armor must have some early version of Wikipedia installed on it, has to explain the God of the Abrahamic religions. Being from Angor, I think they're only really familiar with the Norse Gods.

I was just thinking about how the Hal Jordan can save Earth: contact the other Green Lanterns in space to sneak up on Earth orbit and take out all the nukes! They would be saving the Earth from destruction by The Extremists and saving the world from future nuclear annihilation! But then, I'm way smarter than Hal Jordan!

Next, Lord Havok reveals his plans for the future.

You might think this reads as evidence that The Extremists are not gay but I argue, "No sir! Read it again!"

Lord Havok wants to fill their headquarters with voluptuous women so it seems like maybe he's super manly and wants to fuck them. But according to Sabretracer, they just want to eat them. That's why they want voluptuous women because voluptuous means fleshy! Plus, you might want to notice how excited Lord Havok is to begin decorating!

As they're planning sexy recipes, Metamorpho springs his trap! He was hiding under the sand as a giant copper mat, just waiting for Doctor Diehard to walk over him. He encases Doctor Diehard in a copper ball and let's the readers know how anti-magnetic copper is! I nod my head vigorously to show that I totally knew that! But Lord Havok is all, "Yes, but I am stronger than copper!" Good thing he didn't add "Checkmate!" because just after he says his dialogue, Captain Atom blasts him in the balls with a nuclear explosion. Half of Gorgon's tentacles orgasm as he becomes super excited to battle the ripped heroes once more.

The Flash batters Dreamslayer as fast as he can to keep him from casting any spells while Rocket Red tries to kill Tracer for murdering all of the Rocket Reds. Crimson Fox, utterly useless, yells orders at The Flash (which is utterly useless as well because he's much faster than sound). Power Girl battles Gorgon because they're the members of each team with the biggest tits.

No! I wanted to hear whose cock he wanted to grip!

Just a reminder that Lord Havok's helmet is connected to his butthole:

Lord Havok: powered by farts.

The Justice League are winning the battle until they realize that Doctor Diehard can't keep the missiles in orbit behind the wall of copper. Which means they're suddenly falling to the Earth! The Extremists, worried about losing billions of people to torture and kill in one instant (not to mention their own lives (again!)), manage to convince the Justice League to let Doctor Diehard go so the Earth isn't destroyed. The fight winds down as they allow Doctor Diehard to regain control but in so doing, Dreamslayer regains his balance. He casts a spell sending the Justice League to Angor! Oh no! Who is left to stop The Extremists now?! Oh yeah: Batman. Superman. Green Lantern. Wonder Woman. Zatanna. Mister Terrific. Madame Xanadu. Robin. Black Lightning. John Constantine. Martian Manhunter. Blue Devil. Detective Chimp. You know, like, dozens and dozens of heroes!

Justice League Europe #17 Rating: B+. The art wasn't as bad as the cover but it was still Bart Sears' art which I find grating at best. But the story was pretty good! The Extremists were shown to be relatively weak super villains whose main fault is, you know, going to the extreme! They obviously made a huge mistake on Angor by going nuclear and now they just about made the same mistake on Earth. As a super villain, you've got to be careful to not over play your hand! You want power and money but you also want to remain alive to enjoy those things. But I guess that's why they're called The Extremists! That and because they're gay which, in 1990, was probably seen as pretty extreme for most of the country. Not where I lived though! Anytime you wanted to see some gay stuff, you just turned on KOFY TV-20's Dance Party! I wish every gay kid growing up in the US could have had a TV-20 with James Gabbert.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Justice League America #41 (August 1990)

"You people" always sounds racist. I'd simply go with "you assholes."

I used to like the Internet. I had really high hopes for it back in the early 90s. People always complain about gatekeepers but the Internet was ruined because everybody suddenly had easy and hourly access to it. It used to be an interesting place for the curious to explore, or to add to themselves if they took the time to learn how. Now it's just a dopamine generator keeping everybody pacified and/or angry. I'm not even sure why I keep coming back to write on it when nobody wants to read anything of any length on a tiny fucking phone. They just want to see a cat push a dog into a swimming pool immediately followed by a squirrel running up a man's pant leg immediately followed by some ten-second dance immediately followed by a prank that's more vandalization than funny followed by a GIF of Jim looking at the camera followed by some kid screaming, "Ad nauseam," ad nauseam. I'm so fucking exhausted by it all.

Yes, I'm being a whiny little shit. I fucking hate it here. But I'm too lazy to print 'zines these days and, even if I did, who would want to read them without moving pictures and super obscure pop culture references that make a person feel intelligent simply because they happened to read the right 4chan thread seven years ago?

I wasted my life and now that I've lost all passion for everything I once enjoyed, I'm just waiting to die. Thankfully I live in America so it shouldn't take long!

But until then, I guess I can re-read old comic books and make stupid remarks about them.

If I had had any dignity at 18, I would have never purchased another comic book after seeing this panel.

Why the fuck did Mike McKone draw Martian Manhunter so short? Or on his knees? Or floating up through the floor from the room below? Why didn't an editor scream at him? My theory is that Mike McKone drew Oberon instead of Martian Manhunter and sent the pages to Bruce Patterson, the inker. Bruce probably called Kevin Dooley and said, "Hey, isn't Oberon off planet right now? Cause Mike just drew him into the first couple of pages?" And Kevin just said, "So change him into somebody else! Stop wasting my time!"

Or maybe J'onn is just giving Max a handy while they talk.

The conversation continues on the next page with J'onn sitting down but based on J'onn's dialogue, I'm fairly certain it was all meant to be Oberon.

Look at how much space is around "J'onn" and how the ink differs! Totally meant to be Oberon.

Obviously I kept reading comic books back in 1990 because I was an easily pleased idiot who would never even have considered that a comic book team would correct a continuity error in this fucked up way. But back then, I thought comic book creators were attempting to put out their best work at all times. But since then, I've read DC's The New 52. That experiment proved to me that many writers are too fucking lazy to write coherent stories and many editors are too fucking lazy to make sure terrible writers write coherent stories and the big two publishers are too fucking lazy to publish interesting comic books. It's way easier to just publish six Batman comics and ten Harley comics per month.

OberJ'onn tells Max he's proud of how far he's come from the early days of the League when he was a terribly manipulative asshole. Somehow, OberJ'onn thinks Max has improved. Max goes on to prove how much on the way to some important function by using his power to convince a taxi driver that the driver's name is actually the wrong name that Max called him. Hopefully that's the worst thing Max Lord will ever do. I'm counting on him becoming a better person!

Max Lord, being a super important person at a super important function, walks around the conference room sniffing people.

It's the only way to tell if a woman is ripe.

Max Lord, being a super good person now, uses his super power of persuasion to get the woman to talk to him. He's all, "There's nothing immoral in it—or is there?" So he knows it's at least a question but he decides not to let the ethical discussion stand in the way of what he wants (especially because the dilemma is so easy to solve against his wishes). You judge him but did you get a whiff of her? No you didn't so you really can't judge! I bet she used pheromones against him and forced him to force her to talk to him! Sneaky harlot!

Max feels another ethical dilemma coming on!

Max and I have so much in common when it comes to hitting on women! First we sniff them out at a party. Then we chicken out and never approach them. Then . . . well, that's it really. Because Max used his powers to get her to talk to him which convinced her to come back to his place where he now has to try not to use his powers to get her to fuck him because he wants to win the game he's playing where her body is the prize! Man, so much in common with me! I, too, see women as goldfish in plastic bags to be taken home once you get the ping pong ball in the bowl on the lily pad.

Maybe that was too disturbing a metaphor for treating women like prizes to be won because the goldfish always died in like 24 hours so now I sound like a serial killer. Oh well, I bet some women find that hot!

Before Max can condemn himself to a future life in #MeToo mentions, he is attacked by Lord Evil!

I would have gone with Viscount Evil so I could act extra pissed-off whenever anybody pronounced my name incorrectly (which would be always, probably).

Lord Evil truly is evil because his costume is orange and green. Unless he's also merely stupid and doesn't realize he's giving off Aquaman vibes. If I were to call myself Viscount Evil, I would, at the very least, have spikes and armor on my costume. The costume would be mostly black with maybe some purple highlights. It would have a cape but it would be one of those capes that stands up like a foot or so off the shoulders to loom behind my head (helmeted, of course, with horns). I'd keep packets of fake blood within my mouth so that I could bite down on them every now and then. That would be pretty scary and evil, right? And to promote just how terrible and evil I was, I'd probably pay for Twitter Blue.

Lord Evil has come to steal the secrets of the Justice League of America from Maxwell Lord so that he can defeat the JLA. But Max Lord isn't just the manager of the Justice League; he's also a brand-spanking new hero! He uses his power to make Lord Evil step outside the window and fall to his death.

So to summarize: Max Lord, after being told by J'oberon that he's become a better person, uses his powers to change the name of a cab driver against his will, lure a woman back to his apartment to fuck her, and kill a man. What a guy! Oh, he also reveals his new super hero name:

I like how the font in his name changes color after "MAX" so the stupid readers can get the joke.

This is too ridiculous to be real, even for a comic book. My theory is that Max passed out as he entered his apartment from too much alcohol, banged his head on his steel buttplug, and dreamed the Lord Evil encounter and everything after that. In reality, Wanda is probably going through his pockets and robbing him blind, wondering why she even approached this loser in the first place.

I wish the story following Max passing out as he entered his apartment were true though because he's as merciless as The Punisher. I mean, Vigilante! How did that Marvel comparison get in here?! Now I feel sick!

Max kills three more people after Lord Evil, leaves a guy named Masked Robber (Maxwell Lord has a terrible imagination, I guess) to beat the shit out of himself, and convinces a giant gorilla to leap to its death off the Empire State Building. He then returns to JLA Headquarters to find the League defeated by his arch-nemesis, Massivtron. He kills him too. But everybody witnesses this murder and now they're all upset that good old Max Lord has crossed the line Batman won't cross and so nobody else can cross it either! No DC hero gets to be judge, jury, and executioner because Batman set some kind of wussy precedent! That sounded like I don't agree with Batman's precedent when actually I do! Because if it's between rooting for Batman, who does everything just up to murder, or Red Hood, who is a gigantic asshat (which has nothing to do with whether he murders or not), I can't side with Red Hood! That character sucks! Mostly because he was brought back by Judd Winick who was the worst cast member of The Real World: San Francisco and written for many, many years by Scott Lobdell. I wish Max Lord had shot Red Hood in the face!

Max Lord wakes up in his bed with the realization that with great power comes great responsibility. Yes, they use that phrase. Twice! Once at the beginning and at the end when Max wakes up, vomits, and learns his lesson. He feels really bad that he manipulated the woman but then finds her sleeping in the guest room and decides it was probably okay this one time. And, you know, if he needs to manipulate her again in the morning, that'll probably be okay too. And then maybe over lunch. Perhaps after dinner. Probably three, four times per week until they get married. You know, no big deal!

Justice League America #41 Rating: C. Are the readers supposed to believe that with one night of crazy dreams, Max Lord has somehow learned his lesson to not be a manipulative dickhead? Even before he got his powers of manipulation, he was manipulating people! All the way back to the first few issues where he hired the Royal Flush Gang to attack the Justice League in front of the press! The guy is an asshole and he won't be reformed this easily. Perhaps this issue was just a giant bit of legerdemain to make the audience think Max has reformed so that the impact of his next betrayal will be that much greater! Because we all know he eventually works with Brother Eye and shoots Blue Beetle in the head. That may be a decade or so away though. I'm sure he'll show his true colors (which are asshole brown and Stygian black) more quickly than that. Probably in "Breakdowns."

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Justice League Europe #16 (July 1990)

Those human eyes ruin the entire vibe of Lord Havok!

I was really hoping Lord Havok was some sort of homicidal robot but now I'm picturing a huge dork underneath that armor. And by "huge dork," of course I mean "skinny twerp." I suppose I could learn to be more accurate with language but I just can't be bothered. Why waste even more of my finite life trying to be more accurate? I've bumbled along clumsily for this long, I might as well eventually just trip into my grave spouting nonsense. Die like you live, right?

In my defense, I've been reading Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day and already uncovered two anachronisms. My theory as to why he was so careless in Against the Day was that he had the same access to the Internet as I do while I'm reading it but he's probably a grouchy old curmudgeon who insists on doing all of his research in an analog manner. That's probably why I've only found two anachronisms in sixty pages instead of dozens! He's smart enough not to rely on the Internet.

Oh yeah, the point of saying "in my defense" was that Pynchon can also fuck up with language and he's like a Grand Master of it.

Last issue, Metamorpho got his ass kicked by The Extremists who had just arrived from their dead Earth to torture and kill everybody on this Earth. Now Wally wants to rush off to beat their asses because he's The Flash and his whole identity is acting quickly and not thinking. Sort of like Hal Jordan's entire identity is punching people in the mouth and not thinking. And Batman's whole identity is lacerating organs and causing internal bleeding but thinking a whole lot. Don't worry, I'm not going to do all of the DC heroes. Just one more: Green Arrow's entire identity is his facial hair and I think I hate him.

Captain Atom either has a hernia or has been drawn by Bart Sears.

This is only the second issue of what I think is a four issue story so be prepared to see Justice League Europe get nearly decimated by The Extremists. That's an easy guess to make because I understand the pacing of comic book stories and also because I looked at the cover.

Captain Atom refuses to let Wally or anybody else use the teleporter tubes to Moscow which seems like a really sensible idea. How little does somebody need to tinker with one to end the life of anybody using one? The Extremists could have just thrown a bale of razor wire into the receiving tubes and The Flash would materialize around it and die. I think. I don't know how teleporters work aside from how they disintegrate and kill the person entering one and 3D print an organic clone of the person on the other side. That's always how I figured the Star Trek transporter worked and then Star Trek: The Next Generation did that episode "Second Chances" where Will Riker meets his duplicate created in a transporter malfunction and how else do you explain that unless the transporter creates a brand new copy at the other end every time? It's a fucking suicide machine is what it is.

When I first read this in 1990, I probably would have just muttered, "Gay," after reading this panel. But now that it's the 21st Century, I applaud their homosexual relationship enthusiastically.

That was a joke and it makes me sound like I was an awful person in 1990 but what can I do? It's the facetious way I chose to express how I think Lord Havok and Dreamslayer might be in a relationship! Or maybe Lord Havok is straight and he just loves fucking Dreamslayer's face with his robot penis (because his face looks like a vagina? I think?). Hmm, maybe "straight" isn't the right word for a robot that loves to fuck mystic portal faces. Maybe somebody on tumblr knows what that's called but I don't!

What I'm trying to say is Lord Havok is pretty fucking hot and anybody in the DC Universe would be lucky to pull him. He's no Lobo but he's up there!

Also, yes, I saw the cover too and realize Lord Havok isn't a robot! I'm not some dumb kid who saw Star Wars when he was six years old and thought the stormtroopers were robots! I mean, I was that six year old but I'm not any more! I also think it's just fine for a young kid to think a bunch of characters that all look alike and shoot straight and have "OIL" on their back might be robots and not men in space armor, Brent Johnson! You've shamed me long enough!

Dammit! It's the 21st Century! Why did I just mutter, "Gay"?

How did I not notice in 1990 that The Extremists were a gay super villain group?! It's probably why they named themselves The Extremists! And they probably destroyed their homeworld because it was run by a bunch of patriarchal, homophobic, trans-hating assholes! Are Justice League Europe the baddies?


A bunch of Rocket Reds attack and get decimated and/or stripped. They probably lose three times the GDP of the Soviet Union in destroyed armor.

You may notice that sometimes I call the country Russia and sometimes I write Soviet Union because this is taking place in mid-1990 while the Soviet Union was using all of the countries that made it a Union to independence. It's too hard to keep straight! If I'm writing about the country before November of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, I'll definitely use Soviet Union. From that point on until the end of 1990, I allow myself the freedom to use Soviet Union and Russia interchangeably. After 1990, it's Russia all the way, baby! Unless I'm tired or weary when I write something and I'm not paying particularly close attention to dates and then you need to forgive me for being a complete and utter ignoramus. What do I know about that history? I only lived through it!

During the battle, Rocket Red #5 gets transported to another world by Dreamslayer. That story never got a four issue spin-off? I would love to read the story of Rocket Red #4 in another dimension! No wait! That's like a Monkey's Paw wish because now I'll probably get that story but written by Ann Nocenti and drawn by John Romita Jr! Can I rework my wish to say that I'd like the story written by Garth Ennis or Tom King and drawn by Val Semeiks or Moritat?

Not being able to use the teleporter array, Justice League Europe has to fly there in a space shuttle like a broke-ass, um, Justice League America.

A lot of younger people love Wally West more than Barry Allen and I think it's because they were too young to read this version of Wally West. I fucking hate this guy.

To be fair to Wally, I never really liked Barry Allen either. Not that I had much time to get to know his character! I pretty much began reading comic books because of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Now that they've brutally slaughtered the Rocket Red Brigade, they're off to find someplace quiet to fuck.

I don't want to argue against The Extremists being gay because that makes them more nuanced and bad-ass. But what if, on their world, society never had such an extreme backlash against homosexuality, using the law to punish homosexuals, and so heterosexual men were able to be intimate and close friends in public the way women are without fear of being arrested and thrown in goal to do hard labour? Maybe this is just natural male camaraderie unhampered by the homophobic fear of men loving other men? I'm just saying that's one possibility! But it's not the one I want to believe. The Extremists are totally and unflinchingly gay.

Blue Jay escapes and takes the last standing Moscow teleporter back to Justice League Europe headquarters to nearly be eaten by their cat mascot and beaten to death by Catherine. But he manages to survive to tell the tale of his world and how it fell to The Extremists. Seeing as how Blue Jay was almost defeated by a publicist and a feral cat, maybe The Extremists aren't as powerful as Blue Jay would like the JLE to think. Maybe the people of his world are all just weak twerps. I guess that's an unfair conclusion to come to about the people of Blue Jay's world. Blue Jay is just some guy who can turn into a tiny bird. Of course he was almost killed by a woman and her cat.

Blue Jay's story is that The Extremists are super dangerous because they managed to steal all of the nuclear weapons on his world and detonate them, killing everybody. Sounds like maybe The Extremists rely too much on stolen nuclear weapons. But Catherine and Sue are all, "Oh no! These five villains killed an entire world and we've sent The Elongated Man to stop them! What'll we do?!" Oh, okay, I get it. Yeah, I'd be concerned too. The Earth is fucked.

Justice League Europe arrives in Moscow before they can be warned about the extreme danger. They refused to use the teleporter because it could have been a trap so instead they fly noisily into Moscow airspace where The Extremists notice them coming from miles away. Dreamslayer uses his magic powers to make the ship disappear, leaving the heroes to wonder how the trick worked. Oh, and also to fall from the sky. Metamorpho arrives via the teleporter to help out.

As a distraction, I guess?

Power Girl kicks the shit out of Magneto-wannabe Doctor Diehard. Crimson Fox takes out Sabretooth-clone Tracer. The Elongated Man tries to out-gross Gorgon. Dreamslayer stalls The Flash. And Lord Havok wrestles with Captain Atom. It's then that I notice something odd about Lord Havok's costume.

His helmet is connected directly to his asshole.

According to Lord Havok, that move in the above panel where Captain Atom throws Lord Havok off from top of him is a "cheap trick." Apparently Lord Havok detests cheap tricks. But I'm not sure he knows the definition of the term. Perhaps to Lord Havok, a cheap trick is any fighting move that counters or defends against one of Lord Havok's fighting moves. That's disappointing because I was hoping to like him but he just sounds like the biggest asshole in the local pub. "How dare you get mad at me when I purposefully bump you and spill my beer! What a cheap trick!"

Dreamslayer (who I'm beginning to suspect might be a woman) ends the battle with one spell that incapacitates the entire Justice League Europe. It's a good thing Dreamslayer knew that spell because the comic book is almost over. There weren't enough pages left for a big drawn-out team battle.

After the battle, Doctor Diehard notices a Soviet propaganda poster showing nuclear weapons and is all, "Hey guys! Remember how we killed everybody with nuclear missiles on our world and then grew terribly bored having nobody left to torture? We can do that to this world too!" Dreamslayer does not say, "Yeah, you guys did kill everybody! Literally! Including yourselves!" Instead, Dreamslayer is all, "Oh, yeah, sounds like a good plan, buddy! Let's go figure out how to end the world!"

This feels like gay male privilege. It's easy to leave via a gigantic penis shape. But what if this were a lesbian supervillain group?! No, seriously, what would that look like? Dreamslayer's face? The mouth of a piranha? A budding orchid? I want to see a vagina so badly.

The last page ends on a funny bit to remind the readers that this comic book used to be funny but things are changing. Nearly the entire team is unconscious and scattered about the ruins of Moscow, flames everywhere. Only The Flash has managed to come around (because of his speed-force metabolism!). He manages to say, weakly, "You think you can just run away? You think we're gonna let you get away with that?" Ha ha ha! It's funny because they did get away with it and they beat their asses and there's nothing The Flash can do about it! Oh, Flash! You're so impotent!

Justice League Europe #16 Rating: B+. It was halfway through this issue that I remembered how Dreamslayer was the only person aside from Silver Sorceress, Blue Jay, and Wandjina to survive the apocalypse of their world and that the other members of The Extremists were theme park mascots. Sorry for the spoiler but since my own stupid head that can't remember anything ever decided it would remember a huge spoiler to this story, I had to share it with you. Besides, everybody else who read this in 1990 probably never forgot that huge twist. It's practically an episode of The Twilight Zone! Which reminds me, I should continue reviewing episodes of that show! Oh, and Star Trek: The Next Generation! But not Friends. I don't think I can get back into the frame of mind I was in when I was reviewing that show. Anyway, this issue was pretty decent at establishing how the Justice League are actually going to face a real threat now and not some joke threat like Jack O'Lantern or the Injustice League or a feral cat.