Friday, May 26, 2023

Justice League Europe #22 (January 1991)

I stole this comic book, just in case.

DC: "Here's a cover with a man putting a gun to a cat's head and threatening to blow its brains out if fans buy the comic book!"
Comics Code Authority: "Approved! Good, traditional, old-fashioned entertainment that everybody can enjoy!"

Fuck the people who think everybody needs their individual approval to live and act a certain way, especially when their "approval" accepts threatening the lives of cats! What the fuck, Comics Code?! I mean, sure, I know nobody is going to harm an actual cat and almost certainly nobody is going to harm even a fictional cat! But that's my point about how useless the Comics Code Authority is! It's a fucking comic book, assholes! If you think it needs to be regulated because you don't want kids seeing disturbing things than you also can't "approve" of a cover where a man has a gun shoved inside a cat's ear and promising to kill the cat if somebody buys the comic book! You're making the reader complicit in violence! I bet the original cover showed the cat's asshole in exquisite detail but the Comics Code Authority was all, "Unh-uh! No way, José! Take it out!" (Also you know they pronounced the "J" in José.)

95% of angry Twitter is just people upset that other people are enjoying their life in a way that they don't think those people should be enjoying their lives. How about spending that time enjoying your life and stop bothering everybody who isn't bothering you at all? Is it because the life you signed up for isn't any fun? Is it because all the things you want to do are frowned upon by other people in your tribe and your pretend God? Why think, "If I can't live that way, nobody should be able to live that way?" Instead think, "Other people are living their lives the way they want, why shouldn't I?!" Free yourselves from your mental shackles, you uptight prigs! Get out there and enjoy yourselves! Unless what you enjoy is pedophilia. Then maybe just keep being angry at the world. Just maybe stop projecting your disgusting desires on everybody else and making YouTube videos explaining how everybody is into pedophilia but you can't explain exactly how you know this (being that "how you know it" is that you're projecting your own terrible desires on everybody else) and instead need to make up insane proofs like the names of wardrobes sold online or the kinds of toppings mentioned on a pizza menu.

Take a look at that cover I scanned one more time. Don't look at the art. Look at the edges. This might be the wonkiest cut comic book that I own. That scan was with the top of the comic book level with the edge of the scanner and the bottom corner shifts at least a quarter of an inch! Maybe I should have stolen a better copy!

Oh! I forgot Gerard Jones wrote this comic book when I mentioned the pedophilia! Ha ha! What a coincidence!

This issue is called "Catnap" because, as we all saw by the cover, Kara's cat is going to be kidnapped and held for ransom. Except we've all read this story (probably even before this comic was published in 1991) where somebody kidnaps somebody, usually a kid, and the victim winds up being way more trouble than the ransom is worth so the kidnappers eventually admit defeat and return the victim, sometimes even paying to make sure the victim is taken back. And being that nobody likes this fucking cat, why would anybody pay a ransom for it?

Okay, Power Girl likes the cat. But that just means the kidnappers are in even bigger trouble because in Kara's hierarchy of actions, Kara punches first, explodes her vagina second, and "paying the ransom" never shows up on her list ever!

The two British guys who stole the cat (still unnamed, I think?) lounge around imagining how many crisps and lagers they're going to buy with their windfall when suddenly they hear a crash from the back room where they've stashed the cat.

I'm sorry. I can't believe two British guys are fans of the Grateful Dead. I also don't believe fans of the Grateful Dead would kidnap a cat.

The closest I ever came to seeing the Dead was this time they were playing at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, and I stopped by the parking lot to score some LSD. At the time, I didn't understand the concept of a miracle in relation to the Dead so when I saw people walking around with their fingers in a peace sign, I knew it must have been some sort of signal and began doing the same thing! I thought the signal meant, "I need LSD," but it actually meant, "I need tickets to the show." Nobody approached me either way. I eventually noticed two people obviously involved in a drug transaction behind a tent and I walked right up to them, pulled out my money, and asked, "Can I get some acid?" The guy selling really didn't know what to think with this bold maneuver but since I didn't look like a cop, he sold me a couple of hits. I think that's the only time in my life I ever personally bought drugs! At least from a stranger! An ex's sister sold LSD for a bit and I definitely purchased from her.

Kara flips the fuck out when she discovers her cat is being ransomed. Most every other member of the Justice League couldn't give a shit but Rocket Red's son seems concerned so now he's my second favorite member of Justice League Europe (right after Kara, of course. Cat lovers unite!). The two catnappers, oblivious to their imminent beatdowns, consider their next options in garnering the ransom money.

"Why would they even want the cat back?" is a terrible realization to have this deep into your criminal activity.

This story is a good lesson in sunk costs. One of the catnappers is all, "Why don't we just give the cat back? This is getting out of hand!" And the main catnapper is all, "I've already received a broken arm and all of my possessions were destroyed and my room is covered in hairballs. I'm not giving up now!" Those things have already been paid for in the past. He shouldn't be considering them as part of the overall payoff! What he should be thinking is, "Within how many inches of my life will Power Girl beat the shit out of me?" Maybe I'm thinking about this too much like an American! Thanks to the NHS, his broken arm hasn't cost him anything, really! And getting beaten nearly to death also won't cost him anything! So all he sees are pound signs in his eyes from the ransom, even if he has to enjoy it from a hospital bed drinking out of a straw and shitting in a bag taped to his belly. Also, I know he's in a story and he doesn't! So for him, this story can totally work out in his benefit. But I know who the real heroes are and the demeanor of the cat and the violent temper of the heroine, so I see exactly what's about to happen to this poor bloke. Maybe I should be less cynical and try to read my comic books with a fresh and naive perspective. Like when I first read Pet Sematary and only realized Gage was going to die when the family was having the best day ever on a picnic so, so close to the highway.

I would like to point out that I was pretty young when I first read Pet Sematary and not a thirty-four year old who still didn't understand how stories work.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bigger, the guy who wanted Tortolini's notes on the Justice League, takes an interest in the catnapping story. He seems to be running a Super Villain Help Line where villains call in to find information about heroes in their area and how to best avoid them or defeat them. Mr. Bigger seems to think there's an opportunity for his organization in this pet scandal. Maybe he wants to ransom the cat for extra information about the Justice League which he can use for his 1-900 number that all the terrible C-list super villains are using! Well, he's only mentioned Clue Master so far. But he's firmly a C-list character in 1991 so that's enough evidence for me! I don't see Eclipso or Amazo or Starro or any of the other villains whose name ends with an "o" calling! Oh, Despero!

Power Girl insists that Catherine bother Batman about this mystery and Batman, upon learning it is a cat that needs rescuing, hangs up on Catherine. What the fuck is wrong with that asshole?! Would he not spend every resource to save Ace? Or Bat-Cow?! Or Jason Todd?! Doesn't he understand that the most heroic thing a hero can do, so much so that it's the name of the trope, is to rescue a fucking cat?! I always wondered why I hated Batman so much and I bet this comic book was the origin story for that hate! Help save the fucking cat, you piece of shit! You know, if Catwoman hears about this, you're never getting the finger in the butthole as you come treatment ever again!

Okay, fine, I've reconsidered and there's ample evidence that Batman did not use every resource at his disposal to save Jason Todd. But you can't really blame him for that! What control does Batman have over the DC readers, especially that one guy who called hundreds of times to vote "Yes, please, please, please kill Robin"?

What the fuck is Catherine on about?!

Does Catherine think the months are different in the southern hemisphere just because the seasons are flipped?! Or should I say, "Does Gerard Jones think that?!" People like to say they're happy with whatever their kids are reading just as long as they're reading but fuck that nonsense. If everything I learned about the world, I learned from DC Comics, I'd be the biggest fucking dolt on the Internet.

Hey! I heard that! Fuck you!

Mr. Bigger discovers the location of the cat and sends his men to break in, tranquilize the cat, and pay the catnappers 16,000 quid. While that isn't what I predicted would happen at the start, they were ready to just surrender the cat back to the Justice League. They even went so far as to call a local tabloid station to arrange a drop-off, which Crimson Fox, being super powerful in the publishing world, learned about before the television media. So now Mr. Bigger has the cat, the catnappers have their ransom, and the Justice League are off to beat the shit out of whoever drops off a cat at the local tabloid's offices.

Mr. Bigger's plan is to implant a camera and microphone into the eye of the cat so that it can be returned and they can learn all of the Justice League's secrets and also spy on Power Girl changing. Now that live feed would really make Mr. Bigger some cash! If, you know, there was any real semblance of the Internet in 1991. And, um, also if it wasn't a totally gross and problematic idea! Although even if they did have a live stream fed from out of the cat's eye to spy on Power Girl showering and changing, most members would probably lose their boners when the cat stopped watching Power Girl and started licking its butthole. Notice I said "most members"! You know some people would pay premium for that.

Mr. Bigger has the two catnappers drop off the cat so, of course, Power Girl catches them and beats the shit out of them. But they still made their 16,000 pounds! And with the NHS taking care of their bodily injuries for free, they've come out ahead! I guess criminals are sometimes successful, even in a Comics Code Authority approved comic book! Which I think is against their Code so what the fuck, Comics Code Authority?! I'm pretty sure they were just phoning it in by the mid-80s, let alone 1991. Not that I give a shit! Fuck the Comics Code Authority! Just more bullshit where people give in to a minority of thought police simply to keep from having to sit through any more congressional trials about the state of today's youth!

Justice League Europe #22 Rating: B. This issue didn't have the Justice League saving anybody at all but at least it set some future plots into motion with the whole Mr. Bigger and his 1-900 superhero information hotline story and the cat with the camera eye. I'm mostly surprised that the cat doesn't have a name yet. How lazy are these writers?! I think Power Girl was considering names a few issues ago but if she settled on one, I'm sure it would have been used at some point in this issue. Usually my favorite part of any issue is a really nice butt shot of Sue Dibny or Crimson Fox but this time my favorite part was where Catherine thinks the southern hemisphere does months differently. She's so fucking dumb.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Justice League America #46 (January 1991)

Guy Gardner is so into this comic book that he's giving it oral.

"Virtue signaling" is the dumbest phrase thought up by the dumbest people in the world. A bunch of sociopaths needed a way to express how they don't believe other people can feel empathy or compassion. They don't believe it because they don't feel those things themselves. Therefore those things, they believe, don't exist. So if somebody shows compassion for another human being because we live in a communal society and the only way for that kind of society to be successful is if we take care of our most vulnerable members, they think, "Nobody actually feels compassion so that liar just wants other people to believe they feel those things for clout." It's the same thing that's happening when a Christian wonders how an atheist knows right from wrong without being told. The atheist knows because they can feel empathy and compassion. You don't need The Bible to tell you how to behave in a community unless you're a sociopath. The biggest sociopath I ever knew was a Catholic and a Republican and he ended every debate with me with "Where's your faith, Tess?" As if "faith" were somehow some virtuous attribute and not just a means to control other people (like "loyalty").

I bring this up because Guy Gardner is reading a patriotic comic book. What "virtue signaling" actually is is just outward expressions to impress the tribe you feel you are a part of or want to be included in. Anybody who endured teenage educational systems understands "virtue signaling." While not all outward expressions are "virtue signaling" (most are just expressions of your inner self, and celebrations of the things you actually love), many wind up being that. And the people most involved in "virtue signaling" are those who want to belong to tribes who most closely control your thoughts, beliefs, and desires. American conservatives are the biggest virtue signalers of all. They expect members to be super patriotic which causes them to fly as many flags as possible. They have to express pro-military stances. They must treat the national anthem as a religious rite. They must constantly voice their discontent for anything and everything their tribe has deemed liberal or woke. They must express their belief in and love of God as often as possible because it's expected of them, even if they're not even close to righteous or God-fearing. They will be kicked out of their tribe the moment they express any view that might be contrary to the tribe's philosophy. They often complain about cancel culture but they are the first to cancel anybody or anything who voices an opinion contrary to their view of reality.

One of conservatives biggest complaints is people online putting pronouns into their social media bios. They'll call that virtue signaling when it's actually just a useful tool. We are people interacting online! Why should anybody know the gender of anybody else? It's helpful to be all, "Yeah, just use he/him for me since my name is ValorousChipmunk88 and there's no way you'd know my gender if I didn't mention it." And, yes, it helps normalize a world in which we accept people for who they say they are instead of forcing our beliefs onto them. But conservatives see any suggestion to be helpful toward the community as a whole, or to be more inclusive in general, as an authoritarian move equal to, as they too often say, being labeled and put in a concentration camp. How dare anybody suggest they do take any action they weren't already going to take?! All of what I've just written would be seen, by them, as virtue signaling to increase clout rather than logical and rational facts about the world based on lived experience and observation. They're so deep in their delusional reality that they don't even believe mirrors exist so how can they ever get a really good look at themselves (that's a metaphor for looking inward!).

Imagine being such a touchy cuck that you can't even drink your favorite pisswater beer because they made one can with a rainbow on it. Hell, imagine being unable to enjoy rainbows, God's actual covenant with man to never again destroy them by flood, because it represents gay pride in certain circumstances. If it's virtue signaling to wear a rainbow shirt then what would you call it when you make a Tik Tok video in the middle of Walmart raging at rainbows on kid's shirts to the point that the teenage employees have to call the police on you? I know which one sounds more like virtue signaling to me! But then I'm just a guy with Trump Derangement Syndrome, if you listen to some idiotic comments on past posts.

I know I've already gone on quite a bit without talking about the comic book I'm ostensibly supposed to be talking about but now that I've mentioned Trump Derangement Syndrome, maybe I should say something about that too! American conservatives (and probably other foreign ones but I'm American so let me talk about the psychos I know) need to put derogatory, all-encompassing labels on people who see things for what they are and speak them plainly and rationally because they refuse to see those things rationally. Anybody who believes Trump is intelligent or a good leader or not a con man are the ones viewing reality through a distorting lens. Any person without right or left bias (if that even exists in the sense that the right has politicized any opinion at all, mostly to maintain their belief that people who want a better world simply say those things to appear a certain way rather than, you know, actually wanting a better world) who was forced to view Trump speak about anything would immediately determine he was a fucking idiot with language skills on par with a seventh grader. So the people with a "syndrome" are those who somehow see Trump as some charismatic genius who only speaks the truth. The problem with American conservatives is the same problem with people who believe in an afterlife: they'll never know they're wrong because they can't see past their own need to believe the things that justify their desires and the way they live their lives.

Okay, sorry, I'll get back to this woke comic book now. I'm assuming it's woke because it's about General Glory, a comic book character who beat the shit out of Adolf Hitler.

The issue begins with an old German man trying to murder an old American man.

Being the online Brainiac that I am who has achieved nothing but still points out his huge IQ test score from kindergarten, my speculation is that the old man is General Glory. No, no! I don't need laurels and ticker tape parades to celebrate my ability to comprehend the simplest of narratives! My father's love, which I assume I have although I don't talk to him anymore because conversations with him were intolerable, is all I need! Re-reading that previous sentence makes me think maybe I don't even need that! Am I free from the desperate need to make my father proud of me?! No, wait. I just remembered I never had that which is almost certainly why I'm such a slacker!

I don't know who the old guy is trying to kill old General Glory (even though he said his name. Knowing somebody's name doesn't mean you know who they are, you know?) but I'm really hoping it's Adolf Hitler using an alias! Oh no! I just typed out "Adolf Hitler" in my blog! The automated security systems might flag this review with a warning! I've already had about thirty old reviews flagged recently for containing the phrases "hand job," "blow job," and "glory hole"! Oops! Now when this review gets flagged, I won't be able to blame it on typing "Adolf Hitler"!

The one time I received a warning on Facebook and had a status update flagged was when I posted a quote by Adolf Hitler. I posted it for two reasons. The first reason was that I found the quote at the end of a Vision and the Scarlet Witch comic book from the 80s. Which was fucking weird because it wasn't used ironically or in a way to show how terrible Hitler was! The quote was used, I think, to explain how awesome comic books are! The second reason I posted it was because it summed up meme culture. It was Adolf Hitler pointing out how memes are the best way to manufacture propaganda and to capture the minds of the dimwit masses. So the quote just seemed perfect because rightwing idiots online pretty much gather all of their information and debate points through memes. My point was rightwing idiots are falling for the Adolf Hitler playbook! And Facebook was all, "Nope! You're going to get banned for this post!" Sort of a weird thing to ban somebody over if you don't want people thinking you're sympathetic to Nazis and Adolf Hitler!

"Dear Facebook: I am writing this criticism of the right-wing online playbook by showing that it's exactly the same as the way Adolf Hitler used propaganda to manipulate the masses and 'other' his enemies. It's an apt and intriguing viewpoint."

"Dear Tess: You have been warned. Do not ever post this kind of terrible argument. Are you against free speech?"

Anyway, that's why I only use Facebook to ostracize my conservative friends and family and to remember the hilarious things I said on that date from every year in the past. The "Memories" feature is the only good part of Facebook because I'm the only one of my friends who makes Facebook fun!

Oh shit. I forgot I was reading a comic book! This comic book review site is terrible! Might I recommend the Weird Science Comic Book Review Blog? It's even worse but at least they stick to talking about comic books!

General Glory pulls a Ghost World so that he doesn't hurt any more friends and family.

Speaking of Ghost World and Facebook, one of my status messages for which I didn't get nearly banned went like this: "My only regret when I die will be never wandering away from my home town on a mystery bus, leaving everything in the past forever." My best friend from high school Paul replied, "Didn't you do just that in your Volkswagen bus?" This revelation that I actually had pulled an Enid without realizing it myself was a moment of pure joy! Yes, I know the ending of Ghost World isn't supposed to be uplifting but then we're all made differently, aren't we? And while I didn't use public transportation to disappear into the urban wilds, I did hop on a bus and leave my hometown forever on a cross-country journey in my VW. Thanks for seeing that, Paul!

According to that panel where General Glory is lighting out for the territories, he must need a special phrase to transform into General Glory. But he's so old that he's forgotten it. This is why you should always write down your passwords and keep them somewhere safe! Like page 113 of Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein. I mean somewhere else that I just made up and didn't pull from my life! I don't even know who Gertrude Stein is or how to count to 113!

Max Lord heads to Russia to oversee the changing of the guard at the Moscow Embassy because the world was changing like crazy in 1990! Russians are finally able to freely listen to more Western music than just Billy Joel! Great times for the Russian people! Although terrible times for Billy Joel. The failure of the U.S.S.R. was the beginning of the end for him! Although he probably still had his fans working on fishing boats. "Did you hear the new Billy Joel song?! He mentioned the Beaufort Scale! I screamed my fucking head off!"

While Max is away, J'onn sits in his room eating Oreos while Guy Gardner makes plans to sexually harass a television news anchor.

If DC doesn't want me absolutely thinking it's canon that Guy Gardner was checking out this woman's nipples, maybe they should think twice about their scripts and what will happen to certain words due to smudgy ink on newsprint.

Apparently there was an old rule to never use the word "flick" or to name a character "Clint" but then comic book publishers got cocky and were all, "The printing process is way better now! Use whatever words you want!" But the printing process never really got better until Baxter paper but then Baxter paper was ultimately shit and now comics are printed on something else that mostly doesn't turn "flick" into "fuck" and "Clint" into "cunt." I suppose using fonts that don't simply use all capital letters would help but comic book companies seem to avoid that for other reasons that I can't be bothered to look up. Probably readability or something.

It's also possible whoever created Hawkeye just thought, "I hate this character. I am naming him Clint so that nobody ever dares use him after this."

Guy Gardner learns that the 1942 comic book General Glory #1 is being auctioned off, the only extant copy! It's projected to sell for ten thousand dollars! We know, being there is only one copy, that the issue is rare and it's from 1942. That means the $10,000 price tag means it's an unpopular comic book that nobody fucking cares about. Except, of course, Guy Gardner!

Old Man General Glory also wants to get his hands on the issue because it contains the magic words needed to transform himself. Oh, now I see why the rarity and price seem to have nothing to do with each other. The comic has to be the only extant copy left so it's the only way General Glory can get the magic words. But that also means it has to be at a reasonable auction price so he (and all his rivals) can potentially get their hands on it. If the comic sold for millions, this whole situation would just be too ludicrous to believe!

The auction takes place at a comic convention so that the Giffen and DeMatteis can make fun of comic book nerds through Guy Gardner's voice. At least at first. Guy begins to come around to loving these dorks because he realizes that he was one of those young dorks once, finding an escape and joy in comic books when his home and school life were terrible. But that only lasts until some kid gives him a comic book reminder of a past humiliation.

This counts as a Lobo appearance.

An announcement that the auction is going to begin causes Guy Gardner and General Glory (Oh! GGs! Like me: Grunion Guy! (That's my real fake name! Tess is just what some people call me even though the name of the website is all about the phonetic sounds and not about a real person named Tess drinking redundant tea!)) to bump into each other. They exchange pleasantries in that way that Guy Gardner exchanges pleasantries which means Guy treats his hero like shit.

Hey General, I wouldn't be making light of other people's haircuts when you're sporting the "hair island".

The bidding begins for "the rarest comic book in existence" and Guy bids ten dollars and an ass beating for anybody who bids against him. The only person who challenges him is General Glory himself! The old man forces Guy to buy the comic book for five thousand dollars so at least that's some justice for whoever was selling the rarest comic book in existence that should have garnered a full ten thousand dollars! The Nazi attacks the auction after Guy gets his comic book but fails, disappearing into the crowd before Guy can kill him.

Later, the old man follows Guy back to the JLA Embassy and offers to give Guy five thousand dollars to get a glimpse of the comic book. Guy relents and General Glory finds the stupid patriotic saying that turns him into General Glory.

Totally unrealistic. After all those years as an old man and suddenly finding myself young again, I'd definitely have a major boner trying to bust out of that spandex.

Justice League America #46 Rating: B-. Why the fuck should I care about some old geezer superhero that was just invented by Giffen and DeMatteis in this issue?! I don't even give a shit about the Justice Society of America and they're characters with a long history in the DC Universe. It's surprising because I'm fifty and you'd think I'd really be into geriatric super heroes by now! I was probably more into the Justice Society of America when I was five except I wasn't reading comics when I was five. I was too busy hanging out with my super old neighbors or watching any movie starring Art Carney or Scatman Crothers! I totally had an old man fetish when I was a little tyke. I'm pretty lucky none of them were total pervs!

One thing I hate re-reading these old Giffen/DeMatteis Guy Gardner stories is the way they characterize him. I get if they want to make him arrogant and abrasive and intimidating. But why make him amount to little more than a petty super villain? For a guy (Guy!) who was actually chosen by the Guardians of the Universe to be a space cop, meaning he has an inherent goodness to keep justice in the world, he's portrayed as nothing more than a person who doesn't give a shit what kinds of laws he breaks as long as he's satisfying his own desires. Why would Guy Gardner basically try to steal through intimidation a rare comic book he wanted? And why would he manhandle an old man who is just as interested in General Glory as he is? Giffen and DeMatteis take the joke that Guy is an asshole too far. He is a Green Lantern! At the very least, Guy should be just and lawful within the parameters of being an arrogant jerk. Is that too much to ask?!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Justice League Quarterly #1 (Winter 1990)

The Conglomerate fucks.

Giffen and DeMatteis's Justice League was so popular in the late 80s and early 90s that some accountant at DC counting the stacks of cash it was bringing in realized DC wasn't printing enough Justice League to fill demand. He did some quick calculations on how much more money they could squeeze out of fans without killing enthusiasm for the Justice League. With dollar signs in his eyes, he rushed into Jenette Kahn's office and screamed, "We need 80 more pages of Justice League every three months!" Jenette Kahn, seeing that his pupils had turned into actual dollar signs and the tumescence in his pants, stood up and pounded her desk with her fist. "Make it so! Get down to the oubliette and let Giffen and DeMatteis know we need more, more, more!" And that's why this comic book exists.

I'm surprised how much use the Justice League teams got out of the Justice League #1 cover pose over the years without it feeling like they'd gone one too many. This cover has at least eight separate short stories happening all at once. It's just lovely. And Batman's face blocked by the logo is just a heroic choice to make.

In the regular, normal, best series of Justice League which obviously takes place in America, Booster Gold was up to something. He'd become sick of everybody thinking he was Blue Beetle's best friend so he moved on to form his own team. Knowing that fans probably wouldn't put up with some kind of backdoor pilot in the pages of Justice League America where a whole issue would focus on The Conglomerate and what Booster was up to, DC did the smart thing: charged fans $2.95 to read a comic book with "Justice League" on the title but which was mostly about The Conglomerate. It must have been okay with the fans because at least ten quarterly issues were published (I say at least because I have 10 of them. It's possible they kept going and I just reached my limit of them). This one begins by showing that Max Lord has been spying on Booster Gold. This establishes the connection needed to have a Conglomerate comic book under a Justice League title.

Claire Montgomery, the ostensible brains behind The Conglomerate, has gathered together representatives of all the most vile corporations in the DC Universe, some of which aren't completely transparent simulacrums of actual companies (like Stagg Industries and LexCorp!). She is looking for funding and who better to fund a new superhero team than the people with all of the money? I mean "who better" in that they've got the cash but not "who better" in that they're definitely going to want their interests looked after by the bought and paid for superheroes. But I'm sure Claire and Booster have thought of a way to protect The Conglomerate from that kind of corruption!

Oh, good plan! Not like the public won't see these corporations as even more vile once the corporations use The Conglomerate to destroy Greenpeace boats and cover-up toxic spills in heavily populated areas!

Claire believes when people see The Conglomerate save the world, they'll think, "Shell Oil really does care about us!" She introduces the team to the corporate monkeys and I'm surprised their first and only question isn't, "Why aren't are logos on their jackets?"

The Conglomerate is composed of seven members. Booster Gold, the leader, who can fly, project a forcefield, and knows whatever Skeets knows (otherwise he knows next to nothing). Praxis (not on the cover) is a large blonde man with a ponytail who apparently has mind powers as great as Doctor Fate's magic? With a name like Praxis, I imagine he's a Twitter reply guy know-it-all actually nerd. I despise him at first sight. Gypsy is Gypsy. You know Gypsy! It's Gypsy! From previous incarnations of the League! She has camouflaging powers and her long skirt has pockets. Echo is the small red head who can reflect forces back at their origins. Her kryptonite is the quack of a duck (that's a joke, you fucking Internet Praxes! Lay off me with your kneejerk need to correct everybody just trying to have a little laugh!). Vapor, the woman on the cover whose top Flash is looking down, can turn into an acidic mist and melt the face off her enemies. Sounds like the kind of power a good guy should not have! Maxi-man, the guy on the cover who is going to be sued by Superman over the spit curl, is basically blond Superman. Last and certainly least based on being Vibe's brother is Reverb (the dour guy dwarfed by Maxi-man on the cover). He has the same powers as Vibe but with less break dancing and street lingo (I'm assuming! He might wind up being the same kind of racist caricature as Vibe was!). None of their uniforms match in any way but they all have matching jackets. I'm assuming as soon as a corporation ponies up some start-up cash, the jackets will be covered in various logos. And whoever puts up the most money will probably get a name sponsorship: The Conglomerate brought to you by BlackRock.

My main issue with the team is the redundancy of the sound heroes. Do they really need both Echo and Reverb? Along with Maxi-man and Booster, they sound like an 80's boom box. Also who needs Gypsy on the team? Oh boy, she can hide really well! Her skirt's pockets are more useful than her super power.

After the meeting which isn't resolved one way or the other because it will probably be apparent later in the story, some guy with telekinetic powers attacks Dupree Chemical because it was their carelessness that resulted in his powers. It's just the kind of attack that Max Lord would have come up with to get Dupree Chemical interested in super powered protection! Claire must have also got all of her ideas from mob movies! If it is Claire's doing, she also tipped off the Justice League so that they would show first. Then The Conglomerate can show up and make the experienced heroes look like rookies (because it's a set-up! Obviously they'd know how to defeat the terrorist with their inside knowledge from Claire).

I really didn't remember about the logos but it's the only thing that makes sense if a corporation is backing a project.

Praxis catches the guy by shutting down his brain (temporarily! I think) and that's that. The Conglomerate become the belles of the ball! The entire world loves them as they save one corporate asset after another! They save planes and chemical plants and hostages (who were probably Wall Street guys or something). They can do no wrong and the Justice League just becomes an ever bigger laughing stock. That doesn't seem like a great way to treat the team whose name is on the cover of the comic book!

The Justice League, being that they rarely save the world from anything, have plenty of time to sit around watching news reports about The Conglomerate's successes.

Well, her dress did have pockets! Your pants don't even have pockets!

Max Lord arrives to show everybody the double page advert The Conglomerate has taken out in magazines and newspapers offering any American to be a sponsor for just $50! That's just for a limited time, of course. And you don't get a patch on their jacket but you do get a gold sponsorship card and two tickets to meet The Conglomerate when they throw a banquet in or near your town! Is this a satire on the American military and how they're basically funded by the people yet answer to corporate needs? Part of their pitch reads, "The Conglomerate will be working for you, the American people, to make the planet free and safe." Isn't that just like the American military?! Proclaiming they're making the planet free and safe while exclusively meaning "keep Americans free and safe" and actually protecting corporate interests while making the planet less free and safe for everybody, even Americans?!

It turns out Blue Beetle feels the same way I do about how The Conglomerate is selling themselves. I often forget that he's a super genius because he and Booster act like a comedy slapstick duo. This comic book was written in 1990 so there's also talk about being a sellout and how Booster Gold is tarnishing his superhero image for a quick and easy and unethical buck. That probably doesn't read the same in 2023 where the idea of selling out is pretty much the only way anybody can ever make any kind of money any more at all! I'd probably take a sponsorship from BlackRock at this point!

That was a joke! I totally would never unless they planned on giving me cash every time I point out how the worst people in the world work for or accept money from BlackRock! I know that would make me one of them but at least I could keep my dignity by being honest about how I was making money!

The difference between Booster and Beetle is that Beetle knows who he is so he doesn't mind being seen as a member of a comedy slapstick duo while Booster is so insecure that what other people think of him bothers him.

Behind the scenes, the entire Conglomerate, even Booster Gold, seems to side with Blue Beetle. They're forced to go to a meeting of the shareholders to glad hand all of the people who are more important than any of the actual superheroes on the team. Pleasing shareholders has been the downfall of everything. There used to be a time when people would get bank loans to start a business and then pay off those loans when the business took off and then had no obligations to anybody. But there is risk in taking out loans! So new businesses began convincing other people to invest their money so that they were taking all the risk. If the business failed, the people starting the business weren't out any cash. But if the business took off, they would forever be indebted to the shareholders who would want to see their investment make more and more every year, demanding a certain percentage of growth from the company. When a company can't continue that kind of yearly growth (partly because that should never be baked into a system! Some companies find their plateau and don't want to grow anymore!), the extra money has to be found elsewhere, like in employee wages and benefits. As long as a company must please shareholders, the company will never honor the employees who make the company what it is. The Conglomerate will probably learn this lesson soon enough (or not soon enough! This thing still has 60 pages to go! Yeesh!).

The Conglomerate think that this one shareholder meeting will be the only time they have to sell-out to their corporate interests and beg for money but they find they're constantly doing photoshoots for chemical companies and press junkets for LexCorps and aerial stunts with Ferris Air. They're all disheartened by the actuality of the gig, especially Booster Gold who is someday going to have to face Blue Beetle's, "I told you so, you fucking pickle juicer."

During all the photo opportunities, Reverb reveals that Praxis doesn't show up in photos. So he is on the cover! Somewhere.

Even though the Justice League were watching all of those news clips about The Conglomerate, apparently none of them were actual times they saved anybody. They must have all been publicity stunts because The Conglomerate mention the only mission they've gone on was the one to save Dupree Chemicals. But before they can all quit from boredom and the embarrassment of being huge sell-outs, they receive a mission: overthrow the leader of a small South American nation to help establish democracy (or at least put in power somebody who the United States and their corporate overlords can control!). They easily manage to overthrow the government, believing themselves true heroes instead of imperialist scumbags. Blue Beetle is going to have years of feeling smug and superior to Booster Gold after Booster eventually heads back to the Justice League with his corporate tail between his legs.

The Conglomerate is summarily convicted of war crimes and all put to death. The end!

No wait! That wasn't the end but I'm also wondering why The Conglomerate and The Suicide Squad basically do the same kinds of missions. Makes you think, doesn't it?! It really makes you think about the kinds of things watching a string of suggested YouTube videos which popped up after watching a video about Building 7 makes you think. You're all, "Oh no! Do corporations want the same things as the Deep State?! When I drink a can of Coke, is that equivalent to murdering an Arabic child in his home country with a military drone strike?! Why won't beautiful women sleep with me, a nice guy who never leaves his room and creates dank memes all day?! Why don't more people listen to David Icke?!"

The United Nations also believe that The Conglomerate should not have done what they have done. So The Justice League is sent to beat the shit out of them. Blue Beetle can't wait to go toe-to-toe with Booster Gold and also to tell him, "I told you so, you stupid moronic jerkface."

Green Lantern is the most power the Justice League has at their disposal but they have to leave him behind because he's an asshole.

The Flash appears to Booster Gold and Claire with his usual killer opener of "Not so fast!" I wonder if Wally has to work at the dumb puns or if they just come naturally the way they did for Barry Allen? Maybe that's part of what attracts the Speed Force to certain people: they have to be quick with a good pun about, um, being quick. Hmm, I wonder if I'm going to get struck by lightning the next time I'm in my room full of chemicals?! I hope not. If I get superspeed, everybody is going to expect me to do all of their chores because none of them realize that while I can do them fast, I'm still experiencing doing them at normal speed due to how my brain must function to control being at super speed! Nobody gives a thought to how bored a speedster must get doing mundane shit! Jerks.

Thanks to Booster Gold having a force field and J'onn forgetting that he can phase through objects like force fields, The Conglomerate manage to escape back to the United States where they can't be touched by a UN-backed group of heroes. For some reason. I guess they can attack them on foreign soil because nobody in the US cares about foreigners? Anyway, now they'll have to wait to beat them up some other time, like if they go to Tijuana for the weekend or up to Canada to get some prescriptions filled. Hopefully the Justice League will remember to bring Guy Gardner next time so that they can actually defeat The Conglomerate.

oh no who could have foreseen this happening

The Conglomerate all slowly wake up to the realization that they're being used to protect corporate interests. Was it more difficult to see this in 1990? I don't think so because the Reagan era should have made everybody realize it. I suppose that's why Republicans still think of him as the greatest president because their manipulation of everything to serve corporate interests was so blatant that even stupid conservatives were all, "Oh! I get it! We're screwing over dumb-dumb middle class and poor people who don't see life as a competition to earn as much money as possible and actually enjoy living their lives in other ways! Fuck those guys!" What I'm saying is The Conglomerate are only now realizing that they've been bought and paid for by corporations who don't give a fuck about the world and are only interested in protecting their bottom line. So the choice is not to do the missions the corporations demand and lose funding or continue to do unethical bullshit and harm people in other countries to keep playing superhero. Seems like an easy decision but for some reason these jerk-offs believe they need to keep being heroes. Like the DC Universe needs more heroes, especially at the expense of regular people. Do no harm, assholes! Fuck, I'd be happy if they'd at least do more good than harm! I'm looking at you, New Titans of this era!

The team agrees to not go on any of the corporate missions while still cashing their paychecks. So that's a good sign! I thought for sure they would cave. Instead, they're going on a paid strike! Sure, they still get cats out of trees and help old ladies cross the street by carrying their heavy sacks of groceries. But they're not overthrowing dictators to establish factories in foreign countries! And that makes the people paying their checks a little bit angry and resentful.

As if the corporations weren't portrayed as being evil enough in their own right, we learn Hector Hammond works for Dupree Chemical.

Hector Hammond is just a general contractor, apparently. Thrunctuous, the liaison between The Conglomerate and the Corporations, had him released from prison to program a brain-dead employee of Dupree Chemical who was turned into a brain-dead monster due to an industrial accident. He's been kept prisoner in the basement of Dupree Chemical to avoid a lawsuit. Now Thrunctuous sees the creature as a way to solve his problems (those problems being the individuality and free will of the members of The Conglomerate). He describes his plan to Hector Hammond.

Somebody must have just read White Noise before writing this story.

Here's my review of White Noise after reading it around 2000: "Do you live under a perpetual fear of death? I don't! But then I'm only nine years old! But if every single thought in my head every single minute of the day was my eventual death, then I'm not sure I'd want to read a book that reminds me page after page after page that I'm a walking corpse. But since I still believe I'm living forever, this book was pretty funny. Some old married chick falls for this scam where some old pervert trades her don't-fear-death pills in exchange for sex! But there aren't any nasty sex scenes or nothing. Bic, Gillette, Lady Remington. The husband dude gets all bent out of shape cause he's gonna die and he's afraid of dying too. And even though his wise New Yorker friends tells him all plots lead to death, nobody in this book dies! Not even the baby! What a rip! But if you think you can find comfort in the words of others who are scared to die, check out this book!"

That was for a web page I had back in the late 90s/early 00s called "Reading Rainbow: The Out-takes" on the site No Apologies! Press. I wasn't really nine years old at the time!

Once The Conglomerate die from the toxic airborne event, Hector and Thrunctuous will release their new hero, the Brain-Dead Workplace Accident (or whatever his name will be). And the corporations won't even have to pay him because he'll be mind-controlled! Oh, but they'll probably have to pay Hector Hammond. But he doesn't accept cash. He's into weird and perverse memories for his mind collection.

The Conglomerate realize that it won't be long before their money supply is cut off which is the worst thing that could happen. To them, of course! Nobody else in the world could fucking give a fig. Is that a saying? And, if it is, will young people understand it? And if young people will understand it, does it matter? Do they still read blogs? Should I turn this review site into a Tik Tok dance?

Just like everybody in the world, they think their thing must continue at all costs. Get over yourselves! Your comic book review site doesn't need to exist, Weird Science!

Claire shops The Conglomerate to Max Lord as a subsidiary organization to the Justice League and he seems open to the idea. During the conversation, it's revealed that Max and Claire used to be married. I guess I didn't remember that because it probably doesn't actually go anywhere outside stories featuring The Conglomerate.

The Conglomerate and the Justice League have a small cocktail party so that Guy Gardner can hit on Echo while Ice stands nearby, The Flash (why is he even here?!) can hit on all the other women (except he doesn't do that for some reason? What's wrong with him?! Is it really Wally under that mask?!), and Booster Gold can apologize to Beetle. Beetle ignores him but you can tell that Booster's words got to him. They're going to be best friends again real soon! Gypsy and Martian Manhunter just stare at each other while eating Vienna sausages off of toothpicks. They're probably speaking telepathically where J'onn is all, "Well, looks like you're joining the League anyway!" and she's thinking, "These little franks are disgusting."

Thrunctuous interrupts the cocktail party with an emergency at Dupree Chemical! It's the trap he set up to kill The Conglomerate. Not that he tells them that! I was just reminding readers although you probably just read the part about the trap mere seconds ago. I was probably writing that to remind myself because sometimes it takes me days to read a comic book this long! I've spent almost a week with this thing sitting in the scanner and reading a few pages here and there!

Thrunctuous doesn't expect the Justice League to accompany The Conglomerate to the accident so the toxic airborne event is easily taken care of by Guy Gardner. Thrunctuous calls an audible. Since his creature won't be able to save a day that's already been saved, he orders Hector to make the creature attack the League and The Conglomerate. It's just one massive fat guy that looks like a more melted version of Two-Face. How is he going to defeat both teams?!

The most disturbing aspect of this guy is his tighty whities.

This creature vomits toxic waste so it's basically a white trash Chemo. Hector Hammond pops up out of his hole for some inexplicable reason since I'm sure he can control the thing from a distance. Immediately upon showing his face from his floating chair, Guy Gardner recognizes him. Two seconds after that, Hector Hammond recognizes Guy Gardner and shits himself. Hector also loses control of the creature meaning the creature becomes more dangerous and starts yelling, "PHIL!" Phil, it turns out, is his brother, the person behind the first attack on Dupree Chemical. He has easily broken out of Belle Reve after re-establishing the telepathic link with his brother. And he's come to end his brother's pain. By touching tips?

FWASH is the sound it makes when Supergirl's vagina explodes! I didn't realize until now it's just the generic comic book sound for any genitalia exploding.

The third person in that picture is Thrunctuous because he's the bad guy and had to get his comeuppance, this being a Comics Code Authority approved comic book.

The issue ends with Claire extorting the corporations that originally funded The Conglomerate, telling them that if they don't sponsor The Conglomerate without interfering, she'll release the story about how they worked with Thrunctuous and Dupree Chemical and Hector Hammond to do bad guy stuff. Maybe it's written less as her extorting them and more her pleading with them to do the right thing in a world where it's often too easy and more lucrative to do the wrong thing. Nobody agrees to anything on-panel but it seems like The Conglomerate will continue to do their thing. And it feels like maybe Booster Gold will continue to work with them but maybe he's been invited to rejoin the League as well? We'll see!

Justice League Quarterly #1 Rating: Too fucking long. I'm sure in 1990 when I was 18 years old, I was excited beyond rational belief to be getting an 80-page comic book (that includes the adverts, thank God! I only had to read 72 pages of comic!) for the price of three 24-page comic books! What a deal! I mean, was it a deal? Or was it exactly the same amount for the same amount of pages?! Fuck! Now I feel ripped off! No, wait! I saved a nickel! Woo-hoo! And for a backdoor pilot for The Conglomerate, it featured enough Booster Gold and members of the Justice League to justify the Justice League title. I'm pretty sure it was a failed backdoor pilot as I never remember getting a comic book series called The Conglomerate. But looking up the group online, I see there was a New Conglomerate and let me tell you: whatever the fuck that is, I need to read it! It looks like the art was done by Rob Liefeld (or one of his disciples like Marat Mychaels)! It looks so fucking terrible! And just imagine if it were written by Ann Nocenti! Oh my God! I'm not sure I could survive writing about a comic book that terrible! I'd die of ecstasy! Anyway, this issue was too long and it was about a bunch of dumb heroes who signed a deal with corporations but somehow thought the money wouldn't come with strings attached. Like, did people in 1990 not realize corporations are pure evil?! No wait. I already discussed that. They knew! Fuck you, Ronald Reagan!

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Justice League Europe #21 (December 1990)

I was going to critique this cover but I looked up Marshall Rogers, discovered he died in 2007, and now I'm not in the mood. So, um, this is the greatest cover ever!

I should say to myself, "Marshall Rogers did the art in the last issue and I liked it much better than Bart Sears so even if I point out the failings in this cover, it doesn't mean I'm shitting all over Marshall Rogers' art entirely! I complimented him in the last issue for the way he remained true to Bart Sears' versions of the Justice League but he didn't make them look like they were shooting up five kinds of steroids." What's really weird is that I looked up Marshall Rogers to see if he were still alive because I didn't want to hurt his feelings when I shit all over this cover and then I found out he was dead and I couldn't bring myself to shit all over his cover! So now I don't know what my brain expects me to do! How about a personal anecdote?!

Marshall Rogers lived in Fremont, California. That's where my Aunt Lol and Uncle John lived. Their house was the first place I remember going for huge family Christmases. When you walked into their house, just to the right was a conversation pit which was a truly magnificent room that Americans have forgotten about but which still remains the greatest room of any house which has one. By the end of the night, with so many family members opening presents (my great grandmother on my grandmother's side had nine children and all of them and their kids and their kids' kids were at these Christmas Eve celebrations), the house looked exactly like the cover of this comic book (minus the weird guy with the long neck). Also, our Christmases looked about five thousand times better than this.

Last issue ended with the Justice League's French Embassy imploding from one of Kilowog's dangerous contraptions. This resulted in this issue beginning with the news that the Justice League has been transferred to London. That could never happen today because there are these gigantic idiots called Brexiteers who decided to fuck their country in the face based entirely on their xenophobia. Sure, the United Kingdom is still technically part of Europe but they've made the bold stand to strengthen their borders and make it a huge aggravation for their citizens to do any sort of work abroad as well. Why can't old people just die in piece and let young people control the world that's going to be theirs for so much longer? And I'm saying that as a 51-year-old man! Why would I want to limit the freedoms of young people? I don't! I wish people older than fifty couldn't vote or participate in jury selection! Mostly because I'm too lazy and want an excuse to stop doing those things. I mean, I don't do jury duty but I would love to do it, especially if I could help convict a cop! But I'm the only employee of my own service business who works nights and jury duty would absolutely fuck my life and kill my business. But I still dream about helping to put a cop in jail! Oh if only I could have been a resident on that island where they built the Wicker Man every spring!

After getting to page two and seeing Catherine's hair which is way too much like Bart Sears' version of her hair and not at all like last issue Catherine's hair, I notice that the inker of this issue is different than the inker of last issue. Mostly, I ignore how inkers make or break a penciller's work. But I have come to the conclusion, based on this issue's cover and Catherine's hair, that Bob Smith inks Marshall Rogers way better than Joe Rubenstein does. I don't know how it all works or who is improving or hurting whose art. I just know Rogers and Smith is greater than Rogers and Rubenstein.

Inker and Penciller math was always my worst subject in comic book review school.

I don't fucking get it. This isn't anything like the art from last issue. Do pencillers have any control at all?! Should I have been praising inkers all of this time?!

What is this ache in the center of my chest? What are these strange electric impulses firing through my brain? Do I . . . Do I miss Bart Sears' art?! It may have been terrible but at least it felt like a professional doing terrible work. This feels like a 7th grade art student doing their best work (which isn't very good)! How vague are Rogers' pencils if they can be interpreted so differently by two different inkers?! What the fuck is going on?!

I really don't know why I still read comic books.

Max Lord relieves Captain Atom of leadership over Embassy matters and promotes Catherine to the position and putting her job in line with what all the readers assumed was her job already anyway. Captain Atom just leads the team in matters of beating the pulp out of bad guys, a job he's much more suited to. The rest of the team go shopping for new everythings seeing that everything they owned was destroyed in the implosion of the Paris Embassy. And Max Lord is paying the bill!

Kara's bikini having been mentioned last issue, Rogers and Rubenstein decide they needed to draw what that would have looked like.

I've stopped reading the letter pages so I won't have to read comic book fans verbally jerking off to this panel in a month or two.

Is it weird that I'm glad I don't have to read comic book fans verbally jerking off to cheesecake superhero shots when it's practically all I do in my commentaries?! I don't think it's weird because that's the joke! That I'm one of those inappropriately horny comic book nerds who just want as much tits and ass as possible in their comic books. Another joke is when I'm passionately angry about something trivial! Another joke is that I've never had sex! It's all stage magic, man! You know when I write that I want to fuck Lobo? Spoiler alert: I don't really want to fuck Lobo! It's a bit I'm doing! An extremely online character! I'm always amazed when people can't parse the idea that most of what I write is facetious and hyperbolic. But then again, when people treat what I've written as gospel, I don't get upset about it because what was I expecting?! Not to be taken at my word?! That might also be why I have such a tiny audience. Most people are looking for earnest, easily parsed mediocrity. They don't want to read things that make them instantly feel one way and then have to recalibrate their feelings when they discover whatever dumb thing I truly meant! It's also why so many people online get so angry when they've misinterpreted something. Usually they stick to their guns and decide that you're being disingenuous when you point out how they're read something incorrectly. It's why I don't argue on the Internet! I limit my responses to one time clarifications and if the person still wants to argue after that, it's just not worth it. They obviously don't want to communicate at that point; they simply don't want to have been wrong.

I once had somebody on Tumblr ask me if I was okay with sexual assault or domestic violence or something. I responded with, "I am not. If you thought that was what I was saying, read it again but with the realization that I didn't say that. That should fix it." They then responded with the exact thing I wrote which was obviously a critique of Meredith Finch's writing style. So just remember: if I say something you find egregious, I didn't. The problem is all on your end!

French people cuddle baguettes when they sleep.

This issue revolves around all the heroes getting settled in London. Wally goes out to buy a bunch of new clothes using the Justice League expense card for The Flash which means he has to reveal his secret identity to all the haberdashers in London. Blue Jay hangs out with the pigeons in Trafalgar Square. And the Justice League's cat kills some guy's dog.

Good kitty.

In the mid-90s, my cat Smaug beat the shit out of woman's Chihuahua as she walked it past my house. Animal control was called and they were going to take Smaug away to quarantine for a week but, luckily, I was able to vouch for my cat and quarantine him in my room in the basement. He fucking loved it. I'm surprised he didn't attack more dogs more often after realizing he would get 24/7 access to drooling all over me as I tried to sleep. I didn't blame Smaug for attacking a Chihuahua since everybody agrees they look like rats. He was just doing what he was born to do!

If a cat and a dog get into a fight and the cat is killed, it's a tragedy. If the dog is killed, it's a comedy. That's just facts.

See? Captain Atom gets it. So proud of his little kitty!

Silver Sorceress spends her time flirting with Kilowog but he's not interested in her because he doesn't know where to stick his spanner. Blue Jay arrives and begins to flirt with Kilowog as well and now I wish this had developed into a full blown throuple. Throuples existed in the 70s but then Reagan banned them in the 80s, probably because Nancy kept asking to get more dicks into their bedroom and Reagan felt threatened. But then in the 90s, indie rock and Janeane Garofalo movies almost brought throuples back but they were still finding their way so they mostly turned into "one person gets their heart completely broken when the other two people fall in love only with each other but imagine if they'd been open to throupling!"

I feel like the majority of throuples are composed of one person who loves another person so much that they don't complain that the person they love wants to fuck some other hotter person as well. I imagine there's quite a bit of three-way action happening where one person is thinking, "At least I get to fuck the person I love!" while the other two are just passionately going at it like crazy and treating the third person as a large sex toy. I mean, I'm all for people loving and being intimate with more than one other person! Monogamy just seems like such a waste and definitely a kind of prison cell for those who don't think that way. Why are we allowed to passionately hate as many people as we want but we're only supposed to truly love one single person at any one time? I can see monogamy being great for introverts like me because I really don't want to interact with that many other people, especially if it means intimate touching! I don't even want to hug more than one person in my lifetime! But I still think it's rare to find three people who all really do find more positives in being in a throuple than a throuple where one of the members is just barely hanging on for dear life because they so desperately love one of the other members!

Who the fuck is Mitch?!

Oh yeah! Uncle Mitch from Angor! I completely forgot about that asshole! I just assumed he died from his influenza. Uncle Mitch has decided to visit Disney World. He's acting pretty weird about it too.

What does that mean? Is he planning on sticking as much of it as he can up his ass?

What is wrong with that ticket person? Who buys a one-way trip to Orlando to go to Disney World?!

Ever since Captain Atom was relieved of the stress of managing the League, he's simply ignored all of the fires Catherine has had to put out. Kara convinces him to apologize and she buys a gift for him to give to Catherine. The gift turns out to be a négligée. You can practically hear Catherine's underwear getting ruined when she opens it. She kisses Captain Atom on the cheek and expresses how glad she is to see Captain Atom making an advance on her. So of course when she leaves the room, Captain Atom curses Kara and swears revenge for this mean-spirited prank! You know, before this scene, I didn't realize Captain Atom was gay.

The mysterious group who tried to get the Justice League notes from Wally Tortolini a couple of issues back in Justice League America close out this issue by realizing they have to move their operation to London now. Some guy named Mr. Bigger has been plotting some evil scheme against the League in Paris but now they've got to go back to the drawing board and stake out the London Embassy. I guess that means we'll finally be getting another Justice League story that actually involves some bad guys? After The Extremists, Justice League Europe has spent two issues on down time! The only member who has done any fighting is Kara's cat!

Justice League Europe #21 Rating: B. One of my favorite comic books of all-time is Box Office Poison which was many, many issues of pretty much nothing happening except mundane daily life. Oh, sure, there was a lot of emotional stuff going on as a bookstore clerk who thought of himself as a writer becomes bitter and jealous as he watches his friend become successful as an artist. He also ruins his intimate relationship over being an angry jerk as well. Anyway, what that admission is meant to convey is that I can handle reading loads of issues where basically nothing happens. Another great story arc in a comic where pretty much nothing happens: "Guys" from Cerebus. I loved Strangers in Paradise too but Terry Moore obviously thought his audience wanted more than just Francine and Katchoo hanging out which is why he introduced the whole Parker Girls stuff. But seriously, I didn't need all of that action and violence! I was happy reading about Francine and Katchoo hanging out on the couch! Oh, that was another 90s throuple: David, Francie, and Katchoo! Maybe that's where I got the whole idea that one member really would rather not have to share! David was such a miserable, pouty, lovesick puppy for Katchoo! Um, oh yeah, this was an okay issue! Maybe great because a cat killed a dog in it! Ha ha! That video would easily have won $10,000 on that ABC video show!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Justice League America #45 (December 1990)

I'd be afraid Ice would accidentally freeze my dick off when she has an orgasm.

Ha ha! I can hear you all saying, "I doubt you'd have to worry about that!" Let me tell you something about my sexual skills: they're probably awesome! Is that a good Tinder bio? "My sex skills are probably awesome! If you're into that kind of thing. We can also just hold hands during couple's skate at the local ice rink after sharing a strawberry shake with two straws."

If I lived in the DC Universe, I know the Guardians would never choose me to wield a Green Lantern Ring because I would mostly use it to create ass dildos during sex (for all participants). I don't know for sure that everything is better while wearing a butt plug but I have a strong suspicion that it is true. That guy cheating at chess with anal beads only confirmed my theory which is why I'm finally going public with it (unless I already went public with the theory several times in several different past reviews. That's a strong possibility). I will test this theory the next time I go to Disneyland although I don't think I'll manage to get photographic proof from Splash Mountain's final drop camera. I will try though! And I know they're closing Splash Mountain but I'm sure when it turns into Tiana's Bayou Adventure, it'll just be the same ride with non-racist animatronics.

Speaking of butt plugs, I hope Lobo is in this issue!

The first two pages of this issue look like Adam Hughes drew them but third page definitely isn't Adam Hughes. Looking at the credits, the main art credit goes to Russell Braun with inks by John Beatty. A follow-up credit for "Assisting and Abetting" goes to Adam Hughes and Jose Marzan Jr and Malcolm Jones III. So that's fucking weird, right?

Wait. After taking her to a porno and battling Black Hand, Ice went on a second date with Guy to a cockfight?!

At the end of their last date, Ice made it clear she would never again go out with Guy and then went to take a week-long bath. But unless I'm somehow missing the "two roosters pecking each other to death" reference, she must have relented and gone on a second date with him that's not mentioned! Unless the porno took place at a cockfight. Or maybe Ice was describing the porno and meant "two peckers roosting each other to death." Is that a thing? Should I look up "roosting" on Urban Dictionary?! Maybe it'll be explained on the next page!

So she did give him another chance that wasn't documented in a comic book!

Guy offers to let her choose and Ice somehow finds that enticing. But where else can they go?! They've already done the porn theater and a cockfight! What else is there? Mud wrestling, I suppose? It's possible this is a recurring event where Ice relents and Guy chooses a terrible place to go and Ice screams at him for the rest of the week. It all happens between issues which is why all of this cockfighting nonsense is news to readers. But Ice eventually gives in because she desperately wants to fuck him for some reason only to have him ruin the entire thing with his masculine idiocy. This time (or once again?), Ice jumps at the chance to go on another date when Guy gives her control of the date's location so I'm guessing she must be dying to taste his dick. I can't see any other reason to date him unless she's got a thing for guys with serious brain damage and unresolved issues stemming from the brain injury and a high propensity for complete and utter violence.

Fire loses her fucking mind (again?) when Ice tells her she's going out on another date with Guy Gardner.

Guy Gardner is going to compare Tora to a couch, isn't he?

Ice has decided that Guy Gardner will be a good boy and pretend to enjoy himself at the Ice Capades in the hopes of scoring. Well, at least Ice will have a good time. Plus she must want to fuck Guy or she wouldn't keep enduring these humiliating dates with him. But then, Guy must actually really like Ice if he's willing to go to the Ice Capades with her even though he feels it threatens his masculinity, especially because Lightray laughs at him just before he and Ice leave on their date.

That's right, Guy! It is one way of putting it! You're being very respectful and charitable in your totally normal and innocuous response to the extravagant gaiety of the performance!

Blue Beetle learns that Guy Gardner has gone to the Ice Capades to share an activity which Ice enjoys and he decides it's the perfect thing to bust Guy's balls over. What a fucking dick. Guy is showing a second layer, trying to be a decent bloke, and all Blue Beetle can think is to make fun of him for it. It doesn't occur on-panel but I'm sure Blue Beetle did the cat meowing/whip noise at some point. Fire tries to stop his stupid prank but he is unstoppable in his fervor to humiliate Guy (and Ice! He's going to completely ruin Ice's night and embarrass her on her first enjoyable date with Guy!) so she relents and decides to go with him to the Ice Capades. I'm sure Fire has only gone to make sure Ice isn't hurt but she should have held out and demanded Blue Beetle knock off this childish behavior. Of course Ice is going to be hurt! She sees something in Guy which she'd like to pursue and everybody else around her just gives her unending shit about dating him. And now they're going to try to fuck it up because they want to emasculate Guy for going to the Ice Capades? That's directly shitting on something that Ice adores! Maybe this is why I became such a Guy Gardner fan! Because everybody around him treats him like shit! Ice is the only one willing to reach out to him and break through the tough guy wall that's almost certainly been built up due to a lasting brain injury and crippling insecurity for being the "replacement Green Lantern." I believe there's also deep wells of anger due to knowing that he's only the replacement Green Lantern because Hal Jordan happened to be closer to Abin Sur's crash landing!

I'm not saying Guy still doesn't need therapy and anger management courses!

Blue Beetle has Kilowog build a big-headed Guy Gardner robot (or it's just a simple Ice Capades costume. But why bother Kilowog if it wasn't something high tech?) and convinces the Ice Capades manager to let it go on in celebration of members of the Justice League being in the audience. The scheme works to humiliate Guy, especially when the robot skater's trousers drop to expose his boxers with hearts on them (pretty sure those are canon pants for Guy, by the way). Guy's anger and embarrassment build until he lets out a tremendous scream and then goes practically catatonic. Like after his mishap with Hal's Green Lantern battery that gave him the brain damage! I don't mean he falls into a coma which is why I said "practically catatonic." His face just remains twisted in anger, his fists permanently in claws, and he stops speaking.

There were some previous panels which really highlighted Guy's traumatic state but those didn't have Fire's tits in them.

J'onn should boot Blue Beetle from the team after this. He endangered everybody in Madison Square Garden for his dumb prank. I'm amazed Guy didn't use the most powerful weapon in the universe to wipe the minds of everybody in the arena! Hell, I'm surprised he didn't accidentally kill them all in a huge anger explosion. You might think, "Isn't that reason to suspend Guy from the team? The fact you think he's capable of that?" But then every powerful hero is capable of losing their shit and causing trouble! It's like the main plot of every Superman Elseworld story (and every other Superman story in current continuity!). But Guy is a real hero and keeps his shit calm. Blue Beetle should be kicked off the team for creating a hostile work environment (especially since he's doing it out of work hours!).

At the end of the night, Kilowog and Beetle go a bit too far and stash the big-headed Guy Gardner in Guy's bed. Already in the mood to kill, Guy gets pushed over the edge. His ring lets him know who created this thing and so he goes to beat the shit out of both of them. Nobody comes to his defense because everybody knows Guy is the hot-headed asshole. Orion even heads up to beat the shit out of Guy because, well, obviously Guy is the problem. He's an arrogant hot-tempered narcissist who talks a lot of shit. I get why Blue Beetle would like to knock him down a peg. And I get why Orion would simply assume Guy is the issue. But ultimately, if this is the way the League acts when they're not on a mission, maybe it's time to call the whole thing quits.

Oberon, who had been considering leaving although Max begged him to reconsider, ultimately decides to leave the Justice League for good due to the chaos. He also blames Guy. I can't say this Justice League would be better off without Guy's personality in the mix but they still need his power. That's why Blue Beetle, the ineffectual twat, should be kicked off the team! Nobody needs stupid pranks, especially when they're targeted at the most violent person on the team. Max and J'onn really should understand that Guy needs some serious therapy to deal with his past trauma. It's sad that we won't see a really good handling of Guy Gardner for another 25 years when Charles Soule will show how great a character he can be in Red Lanterns.

I guess if Oberon is leaving then that means Mister Miracle isn't coming back either. So they've replaced Booster Gold and Mister Miracle with Lightray and Orion. Who will replace the New Gods when the joke of a couple of New Gods being on the Justice League runs out of steam? Because I don't see them being on the team for the long haul. Anyway, a decent issue where not much happens which seems to be the state of things in Justice League comic books recently.

Justice League America #45 Rating: B. I don't know who did what art because I ultimately didn't pay that much attention to the differences because Russell Braun and John Beatty's art was more than satisfactory (some of the males could be a bit jowly with weirdly proportioned faces but overall it was pleasant to look at). Unlike the first date in a previous issue, this date ends with Ice and Guy having gotten much closer (even if Guy finally loses his temper at the end of the night. I'm pretty sure the date is officially over by then so Ice has to forgive him for killing Ted Kord and Kilowog).

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Justice League Europe #20 (November 1990)

In 1990, at the age of eighteen, I definitely wouldn't have known what the fuck a Beefeater was.

Even now, at 51, I only know they're weirdos who guard the Tower of London and/or the mascot for a Gin company. Back in 1990, I would have had to have gone to a library to find out what a Beefeater was so I remained ignorant because the only thing I was doing at the library was getting a blow job on the grounds late at night during one of Chris Humphrey's parties. I suppose I could have asked the young lady sucking me off, "Hey, what's a Beefeater?" But instead I was just going, "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh. Oh. Ohhhhhhhhh. Oh no." Also, it probably would have sounded like I was telling a rude joke about the woman willing to put my cock in her mouth.

You know what? Forget that story! It makes me sound ignorant! Instead of believing that bullshit, maybe you should believe how awesome I was at borrowing books and then reading them and then quite often returning them! I would get a book and read it and say, "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh. Oh. Ohhhhhhhhh. Oh no." Then I'd clean myself up and totally remember to return the book the next day! But now I have the Internet so I don't borrow books or read them anymore! So instead of wondering why the guards of the Tower of London are called Beefeaters, I can look it up on the Internet, read the first search result I come to, and then assume that's all there is to the story! So here is what the Internet told me about the origins of the name, "Beefeater": British people couldn't pronounce French words which meant "somebody who guards the king's buffet from peasants who aren't willing to eat cake" so they just said, "Beefeater." Yeah, that seems plausible enough that I won't look more into it to find that it's almost certainly not the reason they're called that. I trust my search engines and AI to deliver proper information to me immediately and without any skepticism on my part! And by "proper," I mean any fucking thing that lets me imagine that I just learned an indisputable fact without feeling the need to do actual research!

This cover is cool because it's like the November 1990's Justice League America cover.

Well, I thought it was cool, anyway. And who would know cool better than a guy who does the things I do after hours on library grounds?! Like reading The Hobbit, I mean.

Careful readers would now realize that when I read The Hobbit, my reaction was, "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh. Oh. Ohhhhhhhhh. Oh no." Non-careful readers will now know that because I explained the joke.

This issue begins with the Basil Fawlty emulating head of the London Embassy of Justice League International, Michael, digging up his father's old Battle Staff and Beefeater costume. If the reader believes him, The Beefeater was a hero during World War II. But if the reader believes his wife, The Beefeater was captured early on in the war and only ever used his Battle Staff to win bar bets. Michael doesn't want to listen to his wife because he's a conservative man who will brook no insult against his father or a war hero of his country! Some people find it's easier to believe lies than to open yourself up to the truth. Most of those people are called Twitter Blue users. But this Michael believes Justice League United Kingdom needs at least one active hero in the embassy and if it has to be him (which it doesn't), by God and Queen, he's going to do it! This was written in 1990 so he would think "By God and Queen" instead of what we're supposed to think as of May 6th, 2023, "By God and King!" Although who can actually think of Charles as King and Camilla as Queen? If one didn't realize the monarchy was a silly, outdated waste of everything before this moment, surely they'll see through the illusion now!

Oh, I guess I misunderstood. He's abandoning the UK to go be a part of the Paris team. Well, Brexit will put a stop to this free-movement nonsense in twenty-five years time!

Living in ignorance of the Beefeater threat bearing down their throat, Catherine's tits enjoy the Paris summer sun.

Not pictured here: all the topless men. Especially not pictured here: topless Elongated Man.

Remember how I said there was no Internet in 1990 (I think I said that. Did I? Anyway, it's mostly true! (That "mostly" was for all you Internet Actually Nerds. Fuck off, okay? We're light-hearted and glib here when we're not telling Scott Lobdell to retire at the earliest convenience))? Because of that, this panel of Catherine's nipples would have been desperately needed wank material. Not for me, of course! I'm talking younger kids in 1990. Remember, I was spending all that quality time down at the library and had no need of these perky muffins. Plus I think Metamorpho's scaly skin in the background would keep making me too sick to finish.

The guys are playing topless football which is even more sexy and stimulating than you can imagine.

Nowhere in the rules does it say you can't make a tackle with your penis.

Sue and Catherine and Mrs. Rocket Red are hanging out in the yard sunbathing. Power Girl was probably nixed by editorial after seeing the way Marshall Rogers drew Catherine's nipples. Judging by Power Girl's style, her one piece would probably have a crotch window.

In a page or two, I discover why Power Girl wasn't enjoying the sun with the others. They needed a full page reveal of her tits. I mean suit. It's actually pretty modest!

Let's see Ralph make any tackles with an erect penis!

I'm glad Marshall Rogers was doing art on this issue. I'm actively trying to keep my brain from picturing what this page would look like if left to Bart Sears. I'd forgotten how attractive Power Girl actually was after so many issues with Bart at the helm. I mean, that hair he kept giving her?! It was enough to make me hate the art of Bart Sears! Oh, but anybody reading this knew that. I probably should have come up with something pithy. Enh, I can't be bothered.

You can see Marshall Rogers is doing a competent impression of Kara's hairstyle which Bart Sears had given her. It's basically the same but with far, far less muscles in it. Catherine's hair is the same way. When Bart drew Catherine's head, the hair was 90% of the mass.

The person speaking off-panel was Wally. You can tell because he came so fast.

The Beefeater shows up to apply for a job just as Kilowog puts the finishing touches on an alarm to detect intruders. Kilowog, being an alien, doesn't realize that the embassy shouldn't have an alarm for every single person walking through the front door. Especially one who uses his official Justice League Embassy employee card to unlock the front gate.

I can think of worse ways to die than Power Girl half-naked smashing my skull in. Like Ralph strangling me with his penis.

If you're into guys and not women, just replace the previous caption with this one: "I can think of worse ways to die than Elongated Man strangling me with his penis. Like half-naked Power Girl smashing my skull in." If you're sexually attracted to men and women, I don't have any advice for your caption. Make it up yourself! If you're asexual, you're probably used to being erased so why get on my case about it now?!

Apparently the embassy is soundproof so nobody in the yard hears the alarms or all the traps going off or The Beefeater's peculiar British swearing. I do find it odd that Kilowog set up a system of over-the-top booby traps to murder anybody who sets off the alarm. I assume it will murder regular people or else it's going to be useless against any invader with super powers.

Kilowog uses the most dangerous device he can find to power the security system and The Beefeater manages to crack its case which causes it to self-destruct in a matter of seconds.

At least it didn't take all of France with it.

Um, that's it! Except for one more page of everybody looking angrily at The Beefeater and one more page of Silver Sorceress and Blue Jay wearing too many clothes.

Justice League Europe #20 Rating: A. Yes, nothing happens in this issue. But I like issues where the heroes aren't drawn by Bart Sears and engage in some down time. If I've said the opposite in a previous review, I was probably lying to make a joke because I do like when the heroes do absolutely nothing in almost no clothing. Hmm, maybe it's the fact they were all so naked that made this issue so enjoyable. It's too bad The Beefeater was just a one-issue joke because he'd probably fit in nicely with this team. He packs more power than The Elongated Man! I figure he's a one-issue joke because what artist wants to draw that costume twenty to thirty times per issue?! Certainly not Bart Sears! You can't see a single muscle through it!

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Justice League America #44 (November 1990)


Over in Justice League Europe, they just had the fight of their entire careers against theme park automatons. Here in Justice League America, they're about to get their asses kicked by a failed journalist using a bunch of weapons with which he's never practiced. I'm beginning to think that maybe these heroes are fucking terrible at their jobs.

Is being a super hero a job? How much does Max Lord pay them? Do they have every kind of insurance imaginable? Do they get time off? Are they on call 24/7 in case of a dire threat from space? Couldn't Superman just do all of their jobs for them? Does the JLA have a lawyer to sue the Titans for ruining the reputations of every other hero by destroying New York once a month in a familial dispute? I'm probably the only one who would pay for a comic book that answers these questions which is why there are no comic books that answer these questions.

This issue is called "Pastiche." That's a word that means "I don't have my own style as an artist so I'll use some other artist's style which the audience will appreciate because they're familiar with it and thus they'll give me all the lauds and moneys imaginable." In the context of this story, it means Tortolini will be using the villainous items of several other C-list super-villains to become a C-list super-villain of his own.

Now that I've learned the word "pastiche," I'm beginning to realize that I wasted the last ten years blogging in my own style which isn't easily consumed by an Internet audience who mostly just appreciate memes and gifs of things they've seen before. People appreciate familiarity so much that they all love catch phrases and gifs of Jim looking into the camera. When a person reads something new, they can't tell if they like it until they find out if other people like it. And since other people can't know if they like it until a majority of people like it, it's really hard for something to wind up likable by a general audience. Which is to say, I fucked up! My blog should have been all "That's what she saids!" and "Ay carambas!" I'm such an idiot! D'ohf!

See?! Wally and J.M. DeMatteis know what's what! This is hilarious because it's an iconic line from that movie that everybody knows!

Hopefully all of Wally's lines will be as iconic as that previous line by that really famous actor! So famous! So iconic! It's really pulled me into the story because I feel comfortable with art that I've previously consumed!

Yes! Yes! Oh my God! I know that line too!

This must be why AI-written material goes over so well with everybody! Because it's all sourced from previously written human sources! So when you read something by AI, your brain is going, "Oh yes! The sweet familiarity of recycled material!" Even when it's written much more poorly, it still feeds that part of the brain which loves to know that it knows things! Most of the brain hates when it encounters something it isn't familiar with because that means learning is about to happen and learning can mean change! And change is so scary! Better to just hear the same joke repeated over and over again! Brozinga!

All this talk of people who like dumb things repeated constantly who think AI will replace artists has made me think of Twitter Blue subscribers. Holy fuck they must be the dumbest people in the entire world! And I'm not saying that because I'm biased! I'm saying that based on the evidence! Go into the comment section of any trending tweet on Twitter and read all of the top replies. Then come back here and apologize to me for thinking that I was just hating on people subscribing to Twitter Blue! They all say the same dumb fucking joke (if they say anything at all other than a one to three word comment acknowledging that they read the tweet). You won't find one hilarious or witty reply in the Blue Check replies! Not one! I'd stake my mother's life on it!

Ha ha! Now he's referencing an old science fiction television show that everybody knows!

Anybody who doesn't say Picard was the best captain of all the Star Trek shows obviously aren't judging it by whose voice they'd want to hear say, "Make it so," when you say to them, "I need to suck your dick so badly!" And, yes, I'd probably say that to Janeway too! She'd know what I meant because it's the future and everybody is super cool in the future. I'd say that and she'd just whip out her vagina and say, "I'm not familiar with anything Captain Janeway says."

Oh! Oh! My God, my brain can hardly handle any more of these references! He was going to say, "That's the ticket!"

As he leaves his apartment, Wally gets jumped by the men in black who followed him from The Dark Side bar at the end of the previous issue. At first he tries to surrender, believing they're FBI. But once they reveal they're just a bunch of bad guys trying to get the secrets in his JLA notebook, he flips the fuck out and beats the shit out of them with his new gadgets. The old, bald, white guy who sent them decides Wally isn't worth going after a second time and heads over to Justice League Europe #22 to start some shit in the old world. I only know that because of an editor's note and not because I remember who this asshole is from reading this thirty years ago.

Meanwhile, day drinking at The Dark Side because they're terrible at crime and gambling sit the villains who basically lost their gadgets to Wally.

How come I, the reader, was the only one to know it was a bad idea to bet the gadgets that comprise their entire identities?

The villains hear a news report stating that they've all been identified as combatants in a nearby riot which doesn't actually make any sense but what do I care? I'm used to making up details to explain away things that don't make a lot of sense. It's the main thing reading comic books teaches you! Here, I suppose, some fan of C-list villains was passing by when he heard the sounds made by all the gadgets of those villains without actually witnessing the battle and instantly ran to a pay phone to phone the local news and report all of the villains who he identified by noise! Yeah, that'll do.

The Justice League aren't currently watching the news which is the way they usually learn about a crime being committed. Instead, they're just sitting around playing games. Guy Gardner and Lightray are playing chess (although I suspect Lightray will soon find out Guy has mixed up chess with checkers). Blue Beetle and Fire are playing "Billiards but with your left tit hanging out."

Most sports are just sex simulators where you use a stick to get an object into a hole.

Chess simulates war and billiards simulates sex which is why I love watching snooker so much! It's like two guys going at it in a fancy room on a velvet-lined bed of debauchery! Plus all the cigars! So much oral!

Of course, Guy does think he's playing checkers which would really offend me if I were a professional checkers player because it's not the kid's game everybody thinks it is. I mean, it is a game you can teach kids because it's such a simple concept. I guess that's the point then! Guy is simple! Also he's uncultured because only uncouth simpletons don't know how to play chess! Or they kind of know how to play chess but call the knight "the horsey" and the bishop "the pointy guy."

Guy storms off when the rules are explained to him, spouting a bunch of xenophobic nonsense as he goes. He heads into the monitor room to tattle on Lightray and Orion when he discovers the news that there are a bunch of criminals to beat up.

How could the computer know the Cavalier was one of the rioters?! His sword isn't magical or composed of any technology?! Did it just analyze the sound of the swishing blade?!

I'm sorry! I lost my mind for a second there. Obviously the Justice League computer was fed the information from police scanners that a disturbance was taking place on a particular block in the city. The satellite then scanned the area and discovered through a spectrum analysis of materials in the area signatures for the different super-villain gadgets on file in the Justice League databanks. Easy peasy!

Because so many super-villains seem to be at the scene of the disturbance, Martian Manhunter sends the entire Justice League to put a stop to it. But before the Justice League can get there, the super-villains whose gadgets Wally won in the poker game turn up. Because watching the local news always trumps having a super computer spew out information. The JLA computer must rely on second-hand information from local broadcasts.

The super-villains take all of their gadgets from Wally just in time for the Justice League to arrive and believe they were correct in their assessment of the situation. And since they're the good guys, why would they ever believe they were wrong about anything? Plus, their computer told them what was happening and the great thing about technology is that it only makes things better and tells things like they are without bias! Obviously these super-villains were rioting and now they must pay the price! That price is getting elbowed in the throat while a hero says a quote the readers can recognize from popular culture!

That's the line! The one from the movie where Butch Cassidy eats all the eggs!

The villains are all easily captured, probably because they didn't expect to have the Justice League drop down on them the moment they reclaimed their gadgets. Martian Manhunter takes care of Sonar all by himself this time by approaching from above (probably while invisible because, remember, J'onn has every super power except fire-resistance) and using his telekinesis to take Sonar's magnet gun. None of the Justice League wind up knocked out like on the cover because comic book covers are totally fucking lies.

Tortolini, witnessing the beating, decides to give J'onn his notebook full of secrets and change the direction of his life by becoming a comic book writer. Was this whole arc just Keith Giffen's origin story?

Justice League America #44 Rating: B. Now that I've been re-introduced to Adam Hughes' art, I just want all of my comic books to be drawn by Adam Hughes. Well, not all of them, I guess. I don't want his art to replace Val Semeiks or Darik Robertson or Moritat or Chris Bachalo. I wonder if I can commission Adam Hughes to just redraw all the old comic books I'm going to review in the future with art that I don't find pleasing? I should do a GoFundMe campaign! And while I'm at it, maybe I can pay Alan Moore to rewrite all of The New 52 Red Hood comics! Or even better, pay Ann Nocenti to rewrite everything so that I can enjoy reviewing her complete and utter nonsense! How do billionaires not do shit like this?! Don't they realize how much fun they could have with their money?! Why must they all insist on using it to purchase gaudy material items and to buy rare collectibles and to influence powerful people and to buy islands where they can do human trafficking for other rich assholes?! I don't doubt I would do weird shit with my money if I had that much but it certainly wouldn't be all the typical bullshit unimaginative rich people tend to spend it on. A garden full of statues of evil dictators? Um, no way. Welcome to my garden of 24 hour live action Sailor Scouts making vanilla pudding!