Monday, June 26, 2023

Justice League Europe #25 (April 1991)

In my younger days, I would have Photoshopped this cover to say, "In the Urethra of the Beast!", and recolored the green slime white.

Just saying how you would Photoshop something saves so much more time than actually Photoshopping it! Like when I reviewed The New 52's Superboy #4!

I used to have so much life ahead of me that wasting time doing this shit seemed fun!

I know my reviews have suffered because I don't go on weird and wild Photoshop tangents (like flipping the entire cover of a Teen Titans issue with Skitter on the cover because I glanced at it and thought it would look better upside down). When I was doing my webcomic Dwarflover, or the earlier days of this blog, my one rule was to completely indulge any stray thought that entered my head, no matter how much work it was going to be or how much of a pain in the ass. When writing Dwarflover, I wouldn't allow myself to consider how excruciating the Photoshop part was going to be when putting the actual panels together. If I had, I never would have completed even 50% of the issues I wrote. I valued my time so little that I did this:

This was the original drawing from The Tomb of Horrors.

And after I got done removing all the objects and making individual tokens.

The props that I could cut and paste into the scene as needed.

I see how easy all this Photoshop shit is nowadays (at least according to the Twitch commercials) and it makes me despise everybody whose life has been made easier by the new technology! Now I get why people don't want other people's lives to improve! No, wait. It isn't because they have it easier that I hate young people. It's because they're young and have so much more life ahead of them than me! Fucking jerks! Why were they so lucky to be born after I was?! Now they have better Photoshop tools and more life!

Was that enough proof that, if I had wanted to take the time, I really could have made it look like Justice League Europe were inside of a gigantic penis? Please acknowledge my ability to Photoshop superheroes into a massive dick! It's truly all I have!

Obviously this would be a wet dream.

Nothing more erotic to me than a woman having a wet dream. You mean they get to cum and I don't have to do any work?! Yes please!

Not long after Crimson Fox (fluent in English variant) realizes the worms aren't aspects of her subconscious, they devour the factory. I don't know if they devour her as well but that would make the Crimson Fox character less complicated, right? Plus she can no longer count as two women when people start defending the Justice League's roster of five men for every woman (not counting women who merely work at the Embassy and are far smarter than everybody else, like Sue and Catherine and L'ron (is L'ron female? Maybe!)). Plus I seem to remember Crimson Fox always had a French accent. This whole "Crimson Fox is played by twins!" story arc just seems like one of those "fixing continuity" things. I think Uncle Elvis and Charlie Brown and all of the other regular letter writers pointed out how sometimes Crimson Fox speaks with an accent and sometimes she doesn't and it was ruining their suspension of disbelief. And DC editors, never wanting to be shown up by mere fans, were all, "Um, uh, there's an actual reason for that and let us tell you about it in this really complicated soap opera-esque story arc that will end with the death of one of them because we never actually meant for there to be two Crimson Foxes! In your face, you smart ass fans!"

Crimson Fox was just eaten by a giant penis. Wait, am I dreaming? That seems like the sort of dream I would have. But I haven't ejaculated in my pants so I'm guessing it actually happened. In the comic book, of course! I don't think this comic book is a work of non-fiction! I may have weird wet dreams but at least I'm connected to reality at about — oh, I don't know — 83%?

Reads like an incel tweeting about his super dry penis.

The Justice League manage to save Vivian D'Aramis (the version of Crimson Fox that was just eaten by a giant worm) by also being eaten by the giant worm, allowing Bart Sears to, once again, draw a picture of a worm's sphincter spraying shit everywhere.

Flashpoint should have been caused by Wally going back in time to stop himself from making this rapey comment.

Crimson Fox's perfume factory creates a toxic airborne event. Probably because they aren't allowed to test their chemicals on animals anymore so nobody can tell what chemicals in perfume are the toxic ones. I bet if monkeys knew that not being killed in animal testing would cost some humans their lives, they'd choose to sacrifice their lives for the betterment of humans! I mean, I wouldn't, if I were a monkey. But I'm a human who doesn't want to die in a toxic airborne perfume event so I'm going to warp my fear of death into a rationalization about the martyr-like qualities of Chimpanzees.

The leader of the cult who killed Crimson Fox's mother realizes Vivian survived and loses his shit. Apparently the worms can't be out past dawn or else something apocalyptic will happen. My guess is that they stop being controlled and/or they wither and dehydrate and die. Whatever the case, the leader's cult members all run for cover. I guess they don't like money as much as I thought they did! Sure, they back this leader when he's destroying their competition. But when he goes crazy and risks everything for a personal vendetta, they can't have his back?! What are they going to do? Go back to the non-giant worm real world and run their businesses legitimately?! Losers.

Before Maurice (that's the cult leader's name! I don't remember stupid shit like that and only refer to minor characters by their proper names when some other character finally uses it in the current issue) can kill Vivian (who is left alone while the Justice League fights worms), Crimson Fox appears and stops him. But first she unmasks so he can see that she, Constance D'Aramis, never actually died. The revelation causes him to shit worms for some reason when he could just pull the trigger on his gun. I don't think Crimson Fox can use her pheromonal powers to make bullets miss her.

Wait. Can I not tell the difference between Vivian and Constance? Or can Vivian not tell which twin she is?!

Some people might think, "Well, obviously you don't know which Crimson Fox is which. You just got done saying how you don't remember anybody's names until they're used in the comic book!" But other, more smarter people, might think, "Letterers fuck this shit up all the time! This is totally [INSERT THE NAME OF WHOEVER THE LETTERER IS]'s fault!" But me? I like to think twins get so confused that they never really know which one they are.

Maurice spends too long shooting at (and missing) the Crimson Foxes so, like a badly plotted vampire movie, the dawn catches him unawares! The worms are uncontrollable in the sun (Maurice screams, "The worms can't stand the sun!", just to make sure the dumbest of us comic book readers could follow along) and they wind up smooshing Maurice. Crimson Fox and Crimson Fox watch from the woods and smile. Then they probably kiss.

The rest of the cult watch Maurice die after which they shrug their shoulders and one of them says, "Well, our, um 'club' is much better off now! That guy was crazy. And, like, those worms always creeped me out so I'm glad they shriveled in the sun. But now we can't destroy our enemies' buildings so I guess we're going to need to learn some new Druid magic!" Then they drive away in their BMW with the bumper sticker that says, "My other car is a sheep."

The Justice League head back to headquarters just in time to find Kilowog leaving to help the stranger who came searching for him last issue. It turns out it's a guy with a starfish stuck to his face. And Kilowog wants to help the guy?! What's happened to Starro? Has he turned over a new arm full of suction cups? Does he only accept willing hosts now so nobody can accuse him of manipulating his hosts? I guess I'll find out next issue!

Justice League Europe #25 Rating: B+. I'm upset one of the Crimson Foxes didn't die mostly because that means I was incorrect with my speculation about the editors making sure to kill one of them after the accent continuity was fixed. But I guess that doesn't mean that I was wrong about why they revealed there were two Crimson Foxes! I'm still fairly certain they only did that because sometimes she had an accent and sometimes she didn't and fans noticed. Although instead of making two Crimson Foxes, the editor could have just said, "Sometimes the letterer doesn't feel like doing a phonetic transcription to express the accent! We just assumed the readers, knowing Crimson Fox has a strong French accent, would just hear it in their heads!" Or they could have just used my favorite answer when somebody asks why something contradicts some story from earlier or how a character can achieve some insane feat: "Fuck you, it's comic books!"

Friday, June 23, 2023

Justice League America #49 (April 1991)

Why are the Justice League outside the cell looking down at a green-fisted baby?

I have a theory that sometime in the late '70s or early '80s, the Comics Code Authority simply abandoned their post. Like God, they simply established the rules and then fucked off. By the late '70s, I'm not even sure the current editors and writers at the major publishers even really knew what the rules were anymore. Because it didn't matter! Nobody was checking up on them anymore. As long as they had the stupid little "Approved" stamp on the cover, everybody was happy. Not that anybody even really noticed it. Nobody was checking to make sure a comic had the stamp before buying it. It mostly went unnoticed. The only time anybody noticed it was when it wasn't there! And that probably encouraged people to buy a comic book! I bring this up because it was almost certainly against the rules to put a fucking toilet on the cover of a comic book!

Here are some rules that I know Justice League (America or Europe) has broken in this current series:

"(1) Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals." In Justice League Quarterly #2, I felt sympathy for Fire and Ice who were arrested for bullshit crimes which made me distrust the NYPD. Also Captain Cold always inspires me to do crime.

Me ready to do crimes.

"(3) Policemen, judges, Government officials and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority." The cop in Justice League Quarterly #2 was a huge bastard that not only arrested Fire and Ice for no reason but fined Ice for various reasons simply because he felt disrespected by her and Fire. Also I think he felt emasculated. You know, the two main reasons cops love to shoot and kill innocent people.

"(4) If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity." I just checked to make sure Justice League Quarterly #2 was approved by the Comics Code Authority because it broke every single one of these rules so far. It was. I thought I was going to have to remember all of the previous issues I'd read to come up with examples of when DC broke all of these rules but apparently I only needed to remember the last issue I read! Because I don't remember Captain Cold and Heatwave making their jewelry heist sordid or unpleasant. It was the exact opposite! They were reminiscing about the days when criminals were gentlemen and non-violent! They really made it a pleasant experience for the clerks working behind the counter.

General Glory would never put up with breaking any of these rules! There are loads of rules and suggestions but they're all idiotic '50s nonsense about how prudes thought the world should work. It was just more ways to lie to kids about the truth of the world by portraying unrealistic bullshit at the expense of exciting and fantastic tales of science fiction and horror. Why is it always boring people who want to control the actions of other people to make them more boring and who crave power and authority so they can force that control? I guess it's because they're also fearful schmucks who think everybody else is going to succumb to propaganda and cause chaos. Why can't they just live their boring lives while also being brave enough not to worry about how everybody else is living their lives? If I want to drop LSD and go to Disneyland, let me! I let you go to church and not have pre-marital sex or drink or do drugs and instead just live a boring ass life, don't I?!

Why wasn't "horribly rendered facial expressions" against the rules, Comics Code?!

Some FBI agents arrest General Glory in the middle of the street for war crimes. Since he's a walking, talking embodiment of the Comics Code Authority, this must be some kind of allegory. General Glory constantly tries to control everybody's language, defends the FBI Agents so that they aren't treated in a way that promotes distrust of law and justice, and kills the fuck out of Nazis. Guy Gardner, being an example of a character that mostly defies the Comics Code Authority, constantly gets put in his place by General Glory. Giffen and DeMatteis must have still been reeling from five years earlier when they read Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns and thought, "Remember when comic books used to have real heroes who didn't swear and actually saved the world and didn't mention dead dogs and also put pre-pubescent kids in physical danger because it would have seemed even more gay to have a male adult sidekick?"

The Hitlerbot's live feed still works even after it was smashed to pieces within 20 seconds of arriving at the Justice League Embassy, so Schmidt manages to see General Glory's arrest by the government of the United States.

Shmidt is so desperate to get credit for his work that he misses how he could use this to destroy General Glory.

Look, I get it! I would push my own mother into a sewer drain to make sure I got proper credit for something I wrote! I'm fairly certain that when I die and my life flashes before my eyes, I will have the exact same expression as Schmidt in the lower left panel for 85% of it. Only in 20% will I be screaming "Gott in Himmel" though.

I wonder what Schmidt's Evil Eye is going to be? I was truly hoping that he'd break out the Nazi War Wheel. What a weapon of staggering genius! Did some Nazi engineer once visit a fair where the Ferris Wheel broke free and went rampaging through town in a straight line causing a very narrow area of death and destruction before it ran out of steam and fell over on its side while thinking, "An unstoppable weapon!"?

Turns out the Evil Eye powers the Nazi Retirement Center in the Amazon forest so Schmidt won't be able to use it. Ha ha! Just kidding! He's going to fuck over all of his Nazi cohorts to get his revenge on General Glory! I guess not only is there no honor among thieves, but there's also no honor among Nazis. Who could have guessed?!

Guy Gardner tries to escape the feds with General Glory but General Glory, having vacuumed up all that honor left behind by the thieves and Nazis, refuses to run from justice.

General Glory? More like General Naivete!

General Glory doesn't remember anything from the last 45 years so he's a little bit ignorant on the history of justice and civil rights in the United States. These patriots are always so blind to the truth in their rabid need to defend everything about the United States. Criticizing and fixing your country should be seen as much more patriotic than blindly extolling its non-existent virtues. Also everybody should hate cops. It's actually more of an American tradition to hate cops and understand they're fascist morons than it is to praise and support them. Pretty much the entire 20th Century was spent pointing out how ridiculous and corrupt they were! That's the one American tradition I'd like to start up again!

Somehow, Guy being Guy, the attempted escape with General Glory turns into a mid-air fight with Lightray and Orion. It's the battle nobody wanted but everybody knew was going to happen sooner or later! Unless I'm wrong. Apparently comic book fans love it when good guys battle each other. I always think it's a waste of time, energy, and pages that I paid for! Especially since I already know Guy Gardner can beat the shit out of Orion but Orion will actually beat the shit out of Guy Gardner because all writers hate Guy Gardner. At least they did until Charles Soule took over Red Lanterns during The New 52. It was like Soule understood the Guy Gardner I always knew existed and proved to me that every other writer handling Guy was just being an asshole.

Anyway, eventually all the fighting between League members stops and General Glory is hauled off by the federal government.

Up until this week, nobody even knew General Glory was real!

Why the fuck is Perry White giving the green light on that article? "Breaking news: comic book character that nobody actually believed in might have committed mass murder!" I suppose I have to do that thing where the fan makes up excuses for the poor plotting of the writers yet again! My theory is that the previous day's paper had an article written by Lois Lane uncovering the truth about General Glory and how the United States kept him top secret by dosing all American witnesses with LSD and disappearing all foreign witnesses. She also probably uncovered his supposed war crime and hinted at General Glory being not all that he appeared since she knew he was going to be arrested. But then she allowed Daryl Polomus to write that story because she knew General Glory would eventually be cleared and she didn't want her name on such a click-baity article.

Okay fine. This is just about as ridiculous as the War Wheel.

Technically the Evil Eye was living just fine under the Amazon forest hooked up to the respirators and EKG monitors of the Nazi old folks home. Also it's a machine so it doesn't live at all. Am I getting too didactic? Or do I mean pedantic? If only there were a didactic pedant reading this who could put me straight.

I was just kidding! Didactic pedants can fuck off out of the comment section! And I didn't even hurt my own feelings saying that!

Ripping the Evil Eye out of the Nazi retirement home is the most heroic thing Schmidt will ever have done because he just killed dozens of Nazis. The entire place collapses so no future writers have to be concerned with it (unless they're Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison and they've got a way of retconning a really cool idea out of it).

General Glory's sidekick Ernie seems to have been bamboozled by Newkirk Sharp (the military handler of General Glory back in the day) who set up General Glory as a patsy for the slaughter of the POW camp. It's probably because General Glory stole the woman Sharp loved. Or he's a Nazi. Or, well, I don't know. It doesn't matter, right? There's always some dick in the military trying to fuck over heroic dicks in the military. Luckily the comic book artist who chronicled all of General Glory's adventures wrote a story about the POW slaughter that was never published. He says it's a factual account of the incident which the military kept from being published. But he's sure the comic book still exists somewhere! It's not like they would have instantly shredded or burned a document that could expose their traitorous actions, right?! But just in case they weren't smart enough to do that, the comic book artist has teamed up with the Justice League to find the truth!

Ernie, so hopped up on propaganda and lies, enters the General's cell intent on shooting him dead. But he can't do it because he's ultimately not a bad person. The Justice League arrives with the cartoonist Joe Mason to explain how they can prove General Glory didn't murder a bunch of American soldiers. But before any truth can be handled, Schmidt and his Evil Eye bust in to do some Nazi murdering of their own.

Justice League America #49 Rating: B. If the Comics Code Authority had still been paying attention to comic books in 1991, they probably wouldn't have given their support of this story arc. That's because it paints the American military as just as bad as Nazis! Both want to destroy General Glory for their own selfish reasons. I mean, sure, it's really just one person in each organization who wants to kill him so I guess that's how DC can get away with having Americans trying to achieve the same goal as Nazis. It really is just Nazi Schmidt and American Military-man Newkirk who want General Glory dead for their own reasons and they're using and destroying the organizations they work for (or used to work for, really) to accomplish their selfish desires. I hope Ernie kills himself out of shame for having doubted General Glory's honor for the last forty-five years. What kind of an asshole believes military reports over the word of their friends?! Sure, sure. I burn bridges at the snap of a finger but I'm also not declaring that I'm not an asshole! And I don't burn bridges because of idle gossip and rumor from other people! I burn bridges because I can't stand one single opinion somebody close to me once espoused! If I haven't made it clear, I've never engaged in any kind of therapy.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Justice League Quarterly #2 (Spring 1991)

DC's version of Galactus is just an interior decorator.

If I were asked, "What character do you never want to read another story about ever?", I'd probably say, "Arsenal. Especially Lobdell's version." But then if you'd said, "Remember there is a character called Mister Nebula," I would punch you in the throat and yell, "Thanks for reminding me, asshole! Fine. That's my answer!" Although if you dodged my punch and rapidly shouted, "But it's written by Ann Nocenti!", I would have totally chilled the fuck out, dropped some LSD, and thoroughly enjoyed the comic book. Not that this issue is written by Ann Nocenti. But just imagine if it were! If I could liquify the schadenfreude I experience from reading an Ann Nocenti comic book and sell it as a street drug, I'd probably quickly get arrested for killing a bunch of drug addicts because no way anybody can survive a full dose of that much schadenfreude and nonsense. Mmm, so good! And lethal!

Behold! Eighty pages of terrible fashion jokes!

Mister Nebula finds fulfillment in flying about the universe and redesigning worlds. Like an over-the-top episode of Changing Rooms, this intergalactic Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen heeds nobody's advice and ignores the wishes of anybody who actually has to live in the space, turning mundane yet livable worlds into hideously tacky neo-gothic landscapes covered in pastel prints and fake furs. Afterward, when everybody complains about the state of the new space and how awful their lives will be living in it, Mister Nebula flies off in a petulant pout, wondering why nobody ever thanks him for his artistic flair and wild imagination. At least Galactus just eats everybody and never has to deal with their complaints. I think Mister Nebula should seriously consider genocide as a sub-hobby. Just redesign the planet, kill everybody on it, and fly off to the next planet feeling fulfilled! Maybe he needs to team up with Lobo. Then, at least, Lobo would be in this issue.

Like Galactus (because he's a parody of Galactus), Mister Nebula also has a herald who flies ahead of him, searching out planets that need a makeover. Mister Nebula's herald is the Scarlet Skier who has been befriended on Earth by G'nort, possibly becoming his roommate in the Justice League Antarctica Embassy. Mister Nebula realizes his herald is missing when he's unsure where the next redesign on his list will take place. So he sends out a probe to find the Scarlet Skier which will simply give Mister Nebula a reason to visit Earth. And oh boy what a mess he's going to find that planet in! Fucking brutalism.

Oh, my bad. They're roommates at the Embassy in Brazil.

G'nort might be in love with Scarlet Skier but the Scarlet Skier knows only a bountiful, endless love of the stars. He's dying to get back to skiing through space (the second most ridiculous form of space travel). But he's stuck on Earth living with the creature that destroyed his skis and stranded him on Earth. So he really, really hates G'nort. I know everybody hates G'nort. But the Scarlet Skier actually has a non-bigoted reason for hating him. Even Martian Manhunter can't say the same. J'onn is just a fucking hater who spews constant dog slurs at G'nort just like everybody else.

Mister Nebula's probe appears and even though the Scarlet Skier wants to get back to his life of flying amongst the stars, he doesn't want to work for that flamboyant monster. Also he knows that if Mister Nebula comes to Earth, he will utterly destroy it. Not literally! He'll just redesign it so that nobody will find it livable anymore and everybody will constantly be stressed out and angry having to look at whatever tacky bullshit Mister Nebula comes up with. Although it can't be any worse than brutalism, right?! So many fucking boring downtowns in major cities! They could use a little space flair!

G'nort fails to stop the probe which escapes back into space. This causes the Scarlet Skier to lose his patience with G'nort and now, finally, every single being on Earth wants to kill G'nort.

Real baller decision by Tom Artis to put a bird in that first panel when he's apparently never actually seen a bird before.

Scarlet Skier, being convinced that Mister Nebula is now coming to destroy him and the Earth (he is, by the way), appeals to the Justice League to save him (and the Earth). Having never heard of Mister Nebula, Ice requests an origin story. Scarlet Skier is more than happy to tell it, having spent so many years at the Manga Khan School of Melodrama. That's one of Giffen and DeMatteis's running jokes! Thirty years later and I still haven't had enough of it!

The origin story boils down to (and this isn't me being facetious and insensitive!) "These two powerful Jewish Lords of Order named Stan and Jack came to this planet of Gentile Non-Lords of Order to get drunk and have sex with some Shiksas (the actual name of the beings living on the planet Kvetch (I told you! I'm not making this shit up!))."

If any of this origin story is anti-Semitic, try to remember I'm just the messenger!

Jack and Stan meet a man building a temple to worship the Lords of Order. But he's a right tacky twat so Stan sends him straight to Hell. Then Stan and Jack go off to create the Marvel Universe. So Scarlet Skier tells their story so he can get to Mister Nebula's story. That's the story of the guy sent to Hell. Seems like he added a lot of unnecessary details to the Stan and Jack part of the story when he maybe could have just begun the story with them visiting a mortal temple dedicated to the Lords of Order. It seems, to me, that he could have avoided painting Stan Lee to be a sexist, gropey asshole with anger issues and drinking problems. Or maybe that was actually the important part of the story! At least to Giffen and DeMatteis!

The man sent to Hell was named Kirtan-Rodd. I guess that's a joke although I don't know how or why. If you're going to name your alien something that winds up being an inanimate object on Earth, why not Septick-Tanck? Oh, I guess because Curtain Rods are a staple of interior design? Although it's so tangential to interior design, picking out curtain rods, that they could have used Septick-Tanck. I suppose it doesn't matter, being that it doesn't even qualify as a joke. But here I am writing a paragraph about it anyway.

In Hell, Kirtan-Rodd gazes at a dizzying mixture of shapes and colors, so gaudy, awful, and tacky that it would drive any mortal crazy, especially if they have to look at it for eternity. The Hell of the Lords of Order is basically being on Changing Rooms, having Laurence redecorate your room, and spending the rest of eternity having to experience the horror of the reveal over and over again. Except there was a spanner in the works: Kirtan-Rodd loved the look of Hell! He became a new alien living eons among the distorted landscape and clashing colors. And eventually, he found his way back to the regular universe where he decided things were too boring to believe. He knew what he must do! He knew what he had to become!

The guy on his belt is "Elvez," apparently his style guru.

And that's his origin! He was just a tacky designer who went to tacky design Hell where it made him a super tacky designer after which he escaped Hell and became a terrible cosmic decorator! Was that similar to Galactus's origin?

Batman arrives to eavesdrop on the conversation with Scarlet Skier, learns that Earth is about to be redecorated by a cosmic God, and heads back to Gotham to help The Joker escape so he'll be too busy to help fight Mister Nebula. That leaves only J'onn, G'nort, Scarlet Skier, and Ice to deal with the problem. Maybe also L'ron.

How dare the fucking Letterer block Ice's rump with that word balloon?! Was it even necessary?!

Obviously J'onn hasn't been paying attention to the Doom Patrol during these years if he thinks they're not up to Crazy Jane's asshole in weird shit to deal with. Remember, Grant Morrison was writing them at this time. Also, I say "Crazy Jane's asshole" because she's the only one on the team with an extant asshole. Maybe sixty assholes even.

Mister Nebula creates a base in the Norwegian Sea so that Giffen and DeMatteis would have an excuse to send most of the heroes there to stop some tidal waves caused by a sudden new land mass. That leaves J'onn, Ice, and G'nort (Scarlet Skier winds up sedated for now) to handle Mister Nebula himself. Justice League Europe manages to spare Crimson Fox and Blue Jay as well. I'd say this is a pretty weak team but Crimson Fox knows all about fashion and style! So she'll probably defeat him in a fashion show.

It doesn't take long for G'nort to fuck up everything, cause another massive tidal wave, and then lose consciousness due to the strain of using his power ring to keep his new tidal wave from destroying New York. He collapses into the sea while Martian Manhunter finally acts like Martian Manhunter should have been fucking acting since he met G'nort.

I get why everybody treats G'nort like shit (because G'nort is annoying and everybody else is an asshole). But J'onn should always have shown him some compassion.

Is there a reason I expect Martian Manhunter to be the grown-up in the room? Is that historically accurate for the character? I can't tell anymore! I've read too much of the Giffen/DeMatteis version of the character!

G'nort mentions getting a JLA beeper in that last panel and I feel like I don't need to explain what beepers are to young readers because 30 Rock is a thing that exists. And certainly everybody has seen 30 Rock, right?

J'onn flies back to read the Scarlet Skier's mind to find out if Mister Nebula has any weaknesses while Crimson Fox and Ice climb up the side of Mister Nebula and into his ear. Ice uses her powers to give Mister Nebula vertigo. And even though everybody screamed at G'nort for causing Mister Nebula to fall into the bay, nobody is around to yell at Ice and Fox for making Mister Nebula fall in the middle of New York. I'm sure he only crushed, at most, 200 people.

Knocking Mister Nebula on his ass won't keep him out for long, so Martian Manhunter has a little chat with him while Mister Nebula is still woozy from the vertigo.

I guess when J'onn scanned Scarlet Skier's brain, he learned Mister Nebula was a narcissist.

To convince Mister Nebula that the Earth is following in his decorating footsteps, J'onn shows him Las Vegas. Mister Nebula finds the place a fantastic example of his work. He promises to leave Earth, thinking it's in tacky hands. Is this the way J'onn defeats every bad guy? He gives them exactly what they want so that they'll go away? So far it's worked with Despero and Mister Nebula. I bet if he just gave G'nort a nice big bowl of food covered in gravy and some belly rubs, G'nort would stop being so annoying as well.

Before Mister Nebula leaves the solar system, he teleports the Scarlet Skier back on board his ship. The Scarlet Skier takes back his job and, hopefully, that's the last we'll ever see of those two!

But wait! There's more: a back-up Fire and Ice story called "Running Hot and Cold!" I've just read 60 pages of comic book (and, as usual, really treated the last 30 pages pretty shabbily) so I'm almost certainly going to describe the action of this story in one or two lines. The story begins with Captain Cold and Heatwave in mufti, drunk off their asses and feeling sorry for themselves.

Now that I know these two are in this story, the title has exploded into new dimensions of punning!

To understand comic book history and the amount of "power creep" that crawled in over the years, all you need do is remember how The Flash's biggest enemies in the early days were a couple of guys with fancy pistols and they somehow always gave him a "run" for his money. You might think children reading comics in the Golden and Silver Age were great big ignorant chowderheads but they must have read every Flash comic book yelling to nobody, "Just take their weapons! Run really fast and take their weapons! You great big ignorant chowderhead Barry! What are you doing?!" I mention power creep over the years because The Flash probably wasn't fast enough to outrun flames and ice being shot out of a gun back then. Or the writers just didn't really give a shit. Maybe the editors shackled them to boring stories of The Flash battling guys with hand-held weapons. "What do you mean you wrote a story where The Flash disarmed the entire Rogues Gallery in one panel!? How the fuck are you going to follow up that story next month, you idiot?! Once The Flash shows he can do that, Captain Cold and Heatwave are fucking useless, man! The kids will expect that every month! Bah!" And then Broome and Infantino were all, "Don't worry! Next month, The Flash will battle hyper-intelligent gorillas!" And the editor was all, "How is that any more believable?!" And Broome was all, "They're telepaths! And nothing is faster than the speed of thought!" And then John Broome got a 20 cent raise!

Really, though, power creep is such a huge part of The Flash's history. First he could just run fast. Then he could vibrate into parallel worlds. Then he could time travel. Then his power became a super magic ability that could do almost anything called the Speed Force. And then he broke the entire DC Universe multiple times. But there was once a time when he could barely even defeat a guy with an ice gun and a guy with a fire gun and a guy with a mirror and a guy who did pranks.

Captain Cold currently works in a bookstore and Heatwave works for the Parks Department. And yet somehow they're unsatisfied with their lives?! Those both sound like fucking dream jobs! But I guess their dicks don't get hard anymore because they're out of the super villain game. Man, I know how that is! Not being out of the super villain game! The other one!

They decide to commit a robbery and get some cash together so they can bail on their awesome jobs. It's not a great idea except that they're going to meet Fire and Ice! And because they're doing crime, their dicks will be hard when they meet them! I smell a meet cute coming up!

Captain Cold and Heatwave decide to rob a jewelry store just as Fire and Ice pass by. They notice the robbery and, after a slightly-too-lengthy debate, decide to stop it.

The woman who can't stop catching everything in the room on fire when she transforms has a problem with a little extra ice.

Captain Cold and Heatwave wind up escaping out the back door which seems unlikely because I thought New York jewelry stores were death traps with only one way in and out! And that one exit can be sealed shut with a push of a button! Maybe things were different in 1991's New York. Or maybe things aren't actually the way I decide to believe they are?

Fire and Ice chase Cold and Heat down into the subways where they ultimately catch them. And then the NYPD arrive and arrest Fire and Ice for, I don't know, being rude to them and showing them up. Fucking cops are turds.

The issue ends with Martian Manhunter stress eating a shit-ton of Oreos. I get it, J'onn. I fucking get it.

Justice League Quarterly #2 Rating: B. Better than I expected but it's still 80 pages of comic book and I have a tough time concentrating on that much comic book at one time. In 1991, I probably loved getting a lengthy comic book to sit and read. But it's 2023 now and nobody has any idea what time is anymore. It's like the entire world is turned up to 10 and our attention is pinging around so many things trying to get that attention that we ultimately have little time for anything at all. I can barely sit down and watch a full length movie anymore! And I don't even own a smart phone so don't think I'm blaming this on phones! It's just the world, baby!

Monday, June 19, 2023

Justice League Europe #24 (March 1991)

Justice League Europe found the clitoris!

It's been quite a few months since the Justice League has done anything to save the world (not since The Extremists, I guess. At least in that story arc, they really did save the entire world for once!) so I was getting ready to applaud their efforts to save it once more. But then I remembered that this gigantic worm is simply destroying global corporations that haven't opted into the cult made up of different global organizations. The only people threatened by this monstrous worm are billionaires whose factories are being destroyed by it. I suppose the janitors and overnight security of those factories are also threatened but I don't blame the worm for their deaths. I blame the unions who didn't get a good enough contract to keep the night staff safe from this kind of thing. They live in a comic book universe; they should be prepared for anything! I'm assuming the late staff of Stagg's factory have been killed. Maybe they did have a great union that installed alarms in case of a Tremors-style emergency! It's probable all the laborers escaped unharmed and only Stagg's pocket book was hurt by this attack. If that's the case, I rescind the near applause I almost gave the Justice League! What's really happening is they're being manipulated into helping Stagg Industries not lose money. I say let the Corporate Cult of the Worm do their thing!

I'll admit it's possible that allowing a corporate cult to continue to control a sand worm that destroys anything in its path might not be the best thing for the world. But sometimes it's just fun watching people you can't stand destroy each other! But then that's what makes me a bitter asshole and the Justice League heroes, I guess.

Correction: that's what makes me and Metamorpho bitter assholes and the rest of the Justice League heroes.

The worm disappears back into its hole and the Justice League dive in to, um, beat it up, I guess? One thing revealed in these first few pages is that half the Justice League are terrified by worms. Probably something Freudian in that (in both a penis and a fatherly way (being that the penis is an extension of the father figure)).

Back at the spooky cult ritual, Vivian D'Aramis (1 of the 2 Crimson Foxes) awakens from being drugged to find herself in the clutches of the man who killed her mother and her guardian. It's also the man whose business she now runs (better than he did, I should add. I mean, she never had to summon giant worms to destroy the competition). He's all, "I wish I could have killed your sister too but she died in some other mysterious way that I won't think too much about!" Ha ha! That's dramatic irony because the readers know her sister still lives and is The Crimson Fox and will be beating his ass in just a few pages!

Oh? Have I mentioned that the giant phallic worm cult only allows men into their little club? That might be important later! Or maybe it was important earlier and would have made everybody seeing the humongous worm being used as a weapon to defeat rivals think, "Oh, yeah. I get it. It's a huge power slash rape fantasy thing, isn't it?"

This is probably Freudian too.

One of the cult members objects to the leader killing Vivian as she's carted off to be sacrificed. But the leader says, "It's too late to be concerned about killing, you idiot! Do you think those factories destroyed by the worms were deserted?! You fool!" Oh no! I'm sorry that, once again, my early assumptions were right on the money and the late night staff did not have the best union representation! Hopefully they call on a strike to demand less deaths by giant worms during overnight hours.

The Justice League realize the worm they're chasing wasn't big enough to have destroyed Stagg's factory on its own just about when they wind up in massive tunnels and are attacked by an even larger worm. The entire situation causes them a brief existential crisis, allowing them a moment of racist philosophy.

What the fuck does he mean by "especially in the West"?!

Is that Rocket Red making that comment? I guess that's less racist philosophy and more "dealing with the propaganda he grew up with." Dmitri is all, "I can believe there being Gigantic Worms living throughout Russia and Asia because our infrastructure is so terrible and our propaganda so overwhelming that anything destroyed by these monstrous creatures would be reported as anything else by the state media! And any eyewitnesses would wind up in a Siberian gaol or laughed at as some superstitious old country buffoon! But in the West?! The most civilized place in the known world which gave us all Levis and The Beatles?! How could such abominations have gone unnoticed?!" So maybe it's not a racist statement but more of state-caused cultural ignorance that would cause Dmitri to say this. He sees the West with Communist rose tinted glasses! He has yet to realize that "the West" is just as fucked up as every place else on Earth, just in different ways. In the West, gigantic factory destroying worms are kept secret by billion-dollar corporations rather than by the government!

The entire Justice League cannot defeat a worm because even though worms have the thinnest and most easily punctured skin, apparently when they grow to a million times their original size, their hide gets super duper tough. But then Rex, remembering how all giants are defeated by being eaten by them and exploding out of them, decides to be eaten by it. Except he gets shat out so quickly that he doesn't have time to explode out from the inside.

Metamorpho must have become antimony.

Captain Atom, realizing what Rex should have done, flies inside the worm and explodes out of it. You'd think giant creatures would learn not to swallow tiny creatures whole. It should be the first thing you learn as a giant. Posters should be hung in every giant cafeteria. "Beware eating live food. Your only weakness is your tum-tum."

While the Corporate Cult prepares to sacrifice Vivian and the Justice League play inside the guts of a giant worm, Catherine gets a mysterious visitor while she's hanging out at the London Embassy wearing an ill-fitting leotard.

Ill-fitting or just another comic book artist that can't actually draw clothes so leaves it to the colorist to paint them on?

The person at the door is looking for Kilowog. But Gerard Jones, being one of those writers who believes not revealing secrets is more enticing than revealing a secret so that the reader wonders what will come of that revelation, doesn't reveal who it is. I'm not surprised because most mediocre comic book writers believe telling less is more exciting. But they're stupid because that's not true at all. I didn't buy Justice League Europe #25 just to find out who came to the door during this scene. I probably promptly forgot about it. But if Jones had revealed who it was, I probably would have thought about it at least a few times before picking up Issue #25, wondering why that specific person had come to see Kilowog. Anyway, it's probably Doctor Magnus.

After exploding the worm from the inside, Captain Atom makes a "Diet of Worms" joke and I'm baffled how that made it past editorial. Not because there's anything controversial about it but because how many kids reading this would even have understood it?! Okay, okay! Fine! I can psychically hear all of you smarties jumping down my throat like Metamorpho did to that worm! "I knew what that was at twelve!" "I've always fucking known what that was!" "You'd have to be an idiot to not have heard about the Diet of Worms!" "What kind of a moron are you?" "I fucking hate you!" "You're an idiot who doesn't know shit about comic books!" "Deathstroke isn't a pedophile, you leftist dumbass!" "I wish I'd never given birth to you!"

Enough! I get it! I suck!

The Cult hangs Vivian to the front of her factory and gets ready to summon another giant worm with their massive tuning fork. The Justice League, who have just wandered into the nest of dozens of the giant worms, have just enough time to ask Silver Sorceress if she can finally get around to maybe casting a spell that will shrink the worms or teleport them into space or, you know, any-fucking-thing being that she knows MAGIC before the massive worms are awoken by the tuning fork. The worms dig up through the earth and the Justice League follow them to Vivian's factory. They could barely kill one worm and now they have to take care of dozens of them before the worms kill Vivian? And is nobody concerned about what all of these huge tunnels are going to do to the landscape of the United Kingdom?! It's going to be villages and shires disappearing into sinkholes on a weekly basis for the next fifty years!

Justice League Europe #24 Rating: C. They're fighting worms. Massive worms. The only intelligent moment in this entire comic book was when Rocket Red asked how this has gone unnoticed (except for the "especially in the West" part which, even though I worked it through, still rubs me the wrong way). I guess nobody noticed because the worms have been dormant for untold eons. Who has the power to understand the life cycle of a gigantic worm?! But this cult seems to have existed for quite awhile and nobody noticed their destruction until they destroyed one of Simon Stagg's factories? Seems unlikely! My guess is that usually the worms poop out a mist that makes people forget what happened and everybody just assumes the factories were destroyed in fires. But the worm that destroyed Stagg's factory was constipated which allowed everybody to finally see what was going on!

Oh man! Now I'm doing it! I'm writing excuses to support badly written comic book stories! I might as well be a regular letter writer! I fucking hate when fans have to resort to their imaginative speculation to plaster over the plot holes of lazy monthly writers! And now I'm doing it! Ugh. All those voices I heard earlier were right. I do suck.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Justice League America #48 (March 1991)

This should probably be "der Überbot."

I don't know German and my research skills are shit but the German word for robot uses the masculine form of "the" so my guess is that the word "Überbot" which basically means "Aryan Robot" (fuck you, I know what it really means which is why I added "basically means," you fun vampire) would be a masculine noun. I could ask the Non-Certified Spouse who is basically fluent in German but she's sleeping because I always wind up reading comic books before the sun comes up. Also, the Überbot looks like Hitler so it should be masculine (yes, I know masculine and feminine nouns don't actually have anything to do with real gender, you constantly interrupting fun vampire).

I'd accept that you could probably use Über to mean "super" in benign situations that don't evoke anything German. But if you call something German "Über" than I'm going to have to assume you're a Nazi and your version of "Über" translates to "Aryan" which probably 100% translates to "white supremacist."

Out of all the words people on the Internet get angry at people on the Internet for using, I only really have a complaint with one of them: "kitler." Man, I love a cute little kitler!

This issue begins with the old German man who hates General Glory trekking through a South American rainforest (is the Amazon the only one down there? If so, he's in the Amazon! But while I often don't mind making huge and ignorant assumptions, I didn't want to assume this time!). The comic book says "South American jungle" but is that really the same thing? I don't think it is and I think the image of the old man running practically unimpeded along the forest floor indicates that he's in a rainforest and not a jungle!

Look, if I get anything wrong, just leave it, okay? You should know the main thing about me is that I never really know what I'm talking about but I'm still super smart somehow.

The old man is searching for a secret Nazi base that he hasn't been to in, at most, 24 years.

The security rock must have been installed sometime after 1967 when the term PIN (Personal Identification Number) began to be used after the invention of ATMs (Ass-to-Mouths).

Deep beneath the floor of the rainforest, the old man enters an old folks home for Nazis. Swastikas are everywhere so I can't scan any of the pictures lest I make tumblr cry. Although the Hitler robot on the front cover probably already made them faint.

Schmidt, the old man who hates General Glory, wants the old Nazis to activate "Weapon H" (which must be the Hitler bot) and take over the world. For some reason, he decided now that General Glory was back would be the best time for this plan. But wouldn't the best time for this plan been when General Glory was nowhere to be found?! Schmidt feels like having their old enemy back in the public eye will rally all of the Nazis together again. But what he doesn't plan on is that all the old Nazis are old and just want to enjoy their prune breakfasts in the safety of their jungle hideout where they don't have to worry about being found guilty of war crimes. What Schmidt also doesn't realize is that the GOP has been really building the framework for a new Nazi takeover for the last eleven years (his time! Because of Reagan and his cohorts!). Yes, yes, by all means: defend Reagan in the comments! Any defense of Reagan just proves you live in an alternate reality that refuses to accept true things.

The old Nazis, being comfortable in their secret hideaway, tell Schmidt he can activate Weapon H if he wants but to leave them out of it. That doesn't seem like a good plan. A good plan, if they don't want their secret lair discovered, would be to put a pullet in Schmidt's head and toss his corpse out into the jungle.

While Schmidt travels to South America to plan his new Third Reich (so, um, a Fourth Reich?), the United States Government gets wind of the return of General Glory and freaks the fuck out. I don't know why. I guess because they realize super-duper patriotism could cause a lot of fucking trouble?

Oh how naïve we were in 1991 to think this might actually be "The Last Giant Nazi Robot Story"!

This is off the record but Weapon H is kind of adorable. Can something I write and post on the Internet be "off the record"? Well, I'm making it possible right now through sheer force of will!

Imagine if Weapon H had been released as a Shogun Warrior? I mean, they had the Godzilla Shogun Warrior! Why not Nazi Robot Adolf Hitler?! Now imagine being the kid who got Weapon H Shogun Warrior for Christmas! I'm still always proud when I see Gaiking anywhere on the Internet. It would suck to have to be ashamed of the awesome robot toy you had as a kid!

Weapon H appears in Berlin so Justice League Europe gets the call first. But Sue Dibny, stuck on monitor duty, is all, "All of our members are currently busy. You'll have to call Justice League America to stop the Hitler robot." What the fuck are Justice League Europe so busy with?! The Tremor worms? Pretty sure only like four or five of them were dealing with that. Elongated Man and Metamorpho could probably help out with Hitlerbot.

Why is Sue delivering this mundane information so dramatically?!

I think Sue's original dialogue for that panel was, "He just won't fucking stop stretching his neck and wriggling his nose! It never fucking ends! Help me, Catherine! Send him on a suicide mission! Anything! I can't be banged that monstrosity anymore!"

Back at the JLA's New York Embassy, General Glory continues to have to prove to Martian Manhunter that he's a real person and not just a comic book character. To do so, he has Martian Manhunter read his origin story in a comic book.

The comic book also gives us the origin of Guy Gardner's stupid haircut. Which is just a really genius thing to include. Good job, Giffen and DeMatteis.

The comic book was a way for General Glory to remain top secret. It made any eyewitness accounts of General Glory seem laughable. And so everybody believed he was fictional for decades. Except Guy Gardner, of course. But I'm not sure Guy can distinguish between fiction and reality anyway.

General Glory recounts the last mission he remembers going on when asked about what happened to his sidekick. But his sidekick isn't even in the story so I'm not sure how it's applicable! Anyway, he was frozen in ice like some other super hero you may have heard of and the next thing he knew, he was just his normal civilian self again. And he grew old barely remembering any of his past until recently. Martian Manhunter suggests probing his mind to find out more information but at just that moment, Weapon H attacks!

And is destroyed in three pages. Martian Manhunter tears its arm off and Green Lantern crushes it in one blow. And that's the end of the huge Nazi robot threat! But it's not the end of the comic book because the feds have to show up to arrest General Glory. I bet it's because appearing in public means he's leaking top secret information!

Justice League America #48 Rating: B+. I might have given this issue an A but the art across the last few pages was incredibly amateurish. I think it was "way late and almost past the deadline no time for the inker to do a pass over the art" draft. It felt like the artist was drawing the comic book the way I review comic books. Put a lot of effort into the first two-thirds and then just summed up the last third in one paragraph. Exactly like I did here! But I only did it this time so I could compare my review style to the art in this issue. Normally I just do it out of laziness and growing boredom.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Justice League Europe #23 (February 1991)

Is The Crimson Fox a color blind woman who also isn't quite sure what a fox looks like?

As far as I can tell, The Crimson Fox is the Bruce Wayne of the publishing world. She's rich and bored so she's become a super hero in her spare time. I don't think she has any super powers but that hasn't stopped her because "meritocracy" for rich people doesn't have anything to do with talent. Most people might interpret "merit" as "somebody who has the abilities and talent and powers to effectively act as a super hero." But rich people interpret "merit" as "somebody who has enough money to quash the dreams and ambitions of poor people who actually do have talent while also lifting themselves into a position of super power by hiring scientists and engineers to create loads and loads of super gadgets to help them become successful heroes." Sometimes they're smart enough to create all the gadgets themselves because that's the only way to really justify the person's identity as a super hero. "Batman's money isn't what makes him Batman!" is something some boring person defending Batman might say to try to convince themselves that Batman isn't just a rich bastard living out his personal revenge fantasies. The Crimson Fox might have super powers but I think she really just has super long and sharp nails which she uses to tear the faces off of petty criminals and Parisian vandals.

Of course that's all just cynical speculation on my part! I suppose I'll find out who The Crimson Fox actually is by reading this issue. Hopefully her back story, being written by a pedophile, doesn't include any pedophilia.

Every time I call Deathstork a pedophile, some huge Deathstork fan comes at me to defend him. But no one has yet to defend Gerard Jones! I guess that's because he isn't a cool hired killer with an eye patch who also just happens to enjoy fucking fifteen year old girls. And, I suppose, if I'm being generous, defending a fictional pedophile because you can blame his pedophilia on terrible writing by Marv Wolfman is a bit more acceptable than defending an actual distributor of images and videos of child sexual abuse. I suppose.

Hey! Look at Catherine's hair! Bart Sears is back on duty!

I already saw Bart's name on the cover so I didn't really need to see Catherine's hair to know he was doing the art this issue. But I'd also like to point out that I didn't need to see his name on the cover to know he was back on art duties this month because I saw Catherine's hair.

After I learn that Bart Sears is on art (or re-learn? (or pretend to learn I re-learned?)), Crimson Fox threatens to choke out Captain Atom while fucking him raw. Right in front of Catherine who also wants to do that! I would say we were about to get a threesome but the League isn't in Paris anymore. Stupid fuddy duddy London where nobody shags at all ever.

I'm torn between my feminist brain loving a woman who just wants to fuck and my other feminist brain that recognizes this as a sexual fantasy fueled by the male gaze.

Maybe Crimson Fox's super power is jerking a guy off without slicing his dick to ribbons with her claws? Or maybe slicing the dick to ribbons is the super power? What I'm trying to say is the whole male gaze fantasy thing worked on me and I can't stop thinking about Crimson Fox jerking off Captain Atom.

Crimson Fox runs off into the night hornier than ever thinking in translated French when she reveals that she does have a super-power and she's ethically fine using it in much the way Maxwell Lord does.

This is creepy and rapey for a normal comic book writer. This is nearly unendurable from a writer convicted of possessing and distributing images of child sexual abuse.

Isn't it interesting how the first thing comic book writers think a person would use the super power of suggestion for is to coerce a person into fucking them? A certain subsection of men seem to think "consent" means "getting a person to fuck you by any means at your disposal." Fuck, what am I even doing?! I'm going to start ranting about how Gerard Jones doesn't understand consent?! Of course he fucking doesn't! He was convicted of sex crimes!

I don't remember Crimson Fox having Max Lord super powers but then again I don't remember most of my teenage years so I'm not at all surprised. I mean I am surprised because I just found out something surprising about Crimson Fox which I should have remembered but not surprised that I didn't remember so that I could wind up being surprised by a comic book that I'm almost certainly re-reading for the fifth time, at least.

Speaking of surprises, I just re-learned (probably for the sixth time) that Crimson Fox is actually two people! Sacré bleu! Now don't blame me for my immediate thought after learning this fact! You have to realize the context of the thought: I grew up in the '70s, Internet pornography has ruined our brains, and I'm a cis het male! So, yeah, I was hoping to see them kiss.

But all I want to see is you putting your twin sister in awkward positions!

Having been born in 1971, yes, I owned quite a few pornographic magazines. Not a single one was purchased because, in those days, porn was like wild berries. You had to scavenge every bush in the city until you found a succulent stash which you'd harvest and take to a new bush to plant them. Or, if you had a good place to hide things from your parents, you could take them home. Most of the pornography I owned was Playboys stolen from my grandfather. He had a garage, a Ham radio workroom, and an unfinished cellar just filled with a treasure trove of miscellaneous shit. It was the greatest place to grow up as a kid and not just because some of those treasures happened to be pornographic magazines. I think my favorite thing he had squirreled away (even better than the porn) were loads and loads of billiard balls. It was so satisfying to play with billiard balls outside of their usual felt home. Nearly nothing more satisfying than the sound of a billiard ball clicking off of anything it clicked off of (usually it's just each other but when you're a young kid with loads of Star Wars figures just waiting to be Indiana Jones'd by a dozen multi-colored boulders, the clicks came from concrete, brick, wooden stairs, action figures, Batmobiles . . . anything I could smash them into).

Anyway, I mention the porn because I'd like to point out that I'm being entirely facetious when I say I want to see twin sisters make out. One of the Playboys I, um, "owned" had a spread of twin sisters naked together and it was the most awkward photo shoot I could imagine. I mean, not awkward enough to not jerk off over. But definitely not sexy like some people seem to think it is. It was mostly a lot of "fap fap fap ugh that's your sister's boobs your boobs are touching fap fap fap oh no they can see each others butts fap fap fap am I crying?!"

I also "owned" a copy of the Penthouse with Traci Lords who was apparently underage at the time of the photo shoot. My cousin Troy stole it from his brother Bill while I was out visiting for a week. I then stole it from Troy who blamed his friend who was also out visiting that week. I was also underage so I don't think it counts the same as Gerard Jones's "porn". Plus I got rid of it long before I learned the truth. But now I'm 50 and I still remember some of the pictures so that's kind of creepy. How dare time do that to me?! Of course, I also have visual memories of a lot of other wild stuff while being a kid experimenting with nudity with other kids! Time makes creeps of us all! At least I didn't have sex until I was the legal age of consent (as was my partner which is the important bit!) so my memories of my first time aren't illegal to jerk off to! This also applies to all of my subsequent sexual partners, just as an FYI! Even the one who technically raped me!

Shit this comic book review has wandered too far into my sexual weeds. Just forget everything you just read and let's get back to Crimson Fox finger banging the other Crimson Fox with her deadly nails.

Meanwhile, some American guy has joined a British tuning fork cult.

Why was the 1990s DC Universe having so much trouble with guys with tuning forks?

The cult rings the tuning fork to call hate down on their enemies. No monster falls from the sky so it's probably some kind of mystical spell that curses the enemies of the cult. Unless the monster will appear next issue, right after Crimson Fox, as Vivian D'Aramis, CEO of a perfume and publishing empire, becomes one of their members. Or one of their victims? Because I think the guy running the cult is the guy who ran perfume experiments which killed Vivian and her sister Constance's mother and also gave the twin girls the super power of sexual allure (or, if you want to be scientific and technological about it so that it sounds like something that could be possible, pheromones).

Based on Crimson Fox's origin story where her mother was a victim of a poorly run research program by the head of a perfume company, she's nothing like Batman! Her mother wasn't killed quickly in an alley by a poor person giving a little rich kid an excuse to spend his life beating up on poor people desperate enough to turn to crime. Her mother died slowly at the hands of a rich person who didn't care that his perfume experiments were deadly giving her an excuse to hunt down and murder corporate presidents! That's like almost the opposite!

Oh, there's the monster!

The gigantic tuning fork calls up a gigantic nightcrawler to eat and shit out the Stagg Industries factory in London. The cult, being made up of wealthy businessman from all over the world, use their magic worm summoning fork to destroy the businesses of all the wealthy businessmen who have not been invited to join their cult. It's a terrific business model and possibly the only one I find ethical. I mean, if you have the power to summon a monstrous worm that devours businesses who don't give a shit about fucking the world and then the worm shits out some nice healthy soil after eating the factory, who can complain?! Plus it ate Simon Stagg's factory so it must be a good guy.

Justice League Europe #23 Rating: B. It was a little bit boring and drawn by Bart Sears while also being written by a convicted sex offender. Hmm, when I write it like that, I think maybe I graded it too high. But it did have that terrific surprise where we found out Crimson Fox was two sexy women instead of just one sexy woman! But then we also learned that she's tempted to use her powers of sexuality to force other people to have sex with her. But it also had a sexy French woman constantly thinking about banging Captain Atom! So I think all the pros and cons even out to the grade I gave it. Whatever that was. I already forgot.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Justice League America #47 (February 1991)

Fingers crossed General Glory gets a deal with Whole Foods to sell General Glory Whole Foods' Frozen Meals.

It's weird that I have vague memories of disliking this story arc because General Glory was a totally made-up hero who didn't actually exist. You see the problem with that logic, right? But when I was a young, ignorant comic book fan who thought canon and continuity were the be-all and end-all of comic book stories, you can sort of see how having a hero come out of nowhere and use up five months worth of Justice League stories all to himself could be anything but a traumatic event. Five fucking months of my life?! At 18, that was nearly 5% of it if I'm doing the math correctly (and by correctly, I mean guesstimating and making shit up). Who wants to read about this old fart for that long?! There's a reason I was buying Justice League and not Justice Society, DC! It's the same reason I would buy The Outsiders and laugh at my friend Sal who kept collecting old issues of The All-Star Squadron! I mean, sure, those were the young guys at the time those comics were published! But they were old fart comic books by the time Sal was collecting them! No wonder he became a Trump lover!

Yeah, you heard me! I just brought politics into this! I like to make it clear how much I despise the conservative view so that conservatives feel really uncomfortable reading the rest of the review. Or do they simply stop reading when they realize I just used "Trump lover" to mean "an old friend who became a gigantic fucking idiot"?! I don't know! I also don't care! Whee!

I'd just like to clarify that I fucking hate the idea of "canon" now. It's so fucking limiting. Who cares if Blue Beetle is circumcised "in canon"?! If a story needs him to be circumcised one month and not circumcised the next month, who fucking cares?! The discussion of what is and isn't canon is the most irritating thing about young people on tumblr! And they're irritating in so many other ways! Yeah, I said it! Who's the old guy now?! That's right! Me!

Oh, I can't stay mad at you, young people of tumblr! Except that one tumblr user who used to constantly chastise me for using "Superboy" tags in my Superboy comic book reviews because I was "using tumblr wrong" and the tag was for roleplay only! Fucking idiot! What's wrong with young people thinking there are correct ways to use certain sites?! The great thing about the Internet is that it is supposed to be a lawless frontier! But now if I'm on tumblr, I'm supposed to drive off celebrities. Or if I'm on Twitter, I have to be a right-wing troll who loves that dumb-dumb Elon Musk. Or, apparently, if I'm on Spoutible, I have to be a boring old leftist oldie. Oh, wait! I am that! Good work, me!

I was playing around one day pushing the edgelord limits of Spoutible and I finally hit the mark with this Twee...uh, Spout: "My local pet store is having a sweet deal. If you can kick a guinea pig over the roof, you get it for free." As if that wasn't obviously facetious hyperbole. Who'd even want a free guinea pig?!

This issue begins by wasting several pages re-introducing Mister Miracle to the pages of the comic book as he performs a stunt in Washington Square Park for a crowd that simply despises everything. The entire scene is only saved by one bit:

Ice being absolutely adorable.

This is the problem with appeasing canon and continuity! Far too much time has been spent in this series on replacing Scott with a robot because Scott was going on an interstellar tour in his own comic book. Then he came back so he could be back in the League but, due to his own comic book, he refused so he could spend more time with Barda. And now, just an issue or two after Oberon was all, "I'm out of here," the idiots are back! I never even read the monthly Mister Miracle comic book so all of this shit was wasted space as far as I was concerned. Either let him stay in the League and just fucking ignore what was happening in his comic book or kick him out immediately! I don't have time for this shit! I don't have time for any shit! I'm old, remember?!

Six pages later, Beetle, Fire, and Ice discover that Scott isn't even in the safe. It's some other guy in the Mister Miracle costume. Did Scott Free tool around with training a new Mister Miracle in his comic book? You know what? I don't care. I never bought it and I don't want to know. Although I'm angry that six pages of my Justice League comic book were taken up by this noob!

Back at the JLA Embassy, Guy Gardner is absolutely fan-boying his jeans over General Glory.

On one hand, I'm sad I haven't fan-boyed my jeans in decades. On the other, it's pretty gross and uncomfortable.

Martian Manhunter doesn't believe in comic book characters until Guy Gardner begins apologizing to the General for his language and temper. Is General Glory the only person in the DC Universe whom Guy Gardner respects?! Other than maybe Kilowog?

Mister Miracle arrives to make sure nobody beats up his protégé (whom I'm vaguely beginning to remember after seeing that hair on his head) just before Max Lord comes back from his trip to find everybody freaking out about General Glory, Mister Miracle, and . . . well, that's it, actually. The conflict about Mister Miracle not being Scott and General Glory being a comic book character goes on for so many pages, I actually thought maybe a ton of shit was happening all at once. I guess that's what Giffen and DeMatteis were going for: complete and utter chaos. But when you get right down to the bottom of it, there's really no need for the chaos. It's so contrived to make it seem like just another day of madness with the League! But at least a real threat happens while they're all arguing so that the story can move forward.

Oh boy! An emergency! Too bad it took 14 pages to happen.

The emergency is a fire started by General Glory's Nazi rival who had an accident while building a Nazi Death Weapon or a Nazi Doombot or something. The fire broke out near an oil refinery so the Justice League rush in to keep the place from exploding. General Glory rushes into the burning building to save some houseless people. But instead of finding anybody to save, he finds this:

Oops! Not that! That scan was meant for my personal collection!

Twitter Blue already defending this robot's right to free speech.

The Nazi-bot topples onto General Glory because what else is it going to do? Look at it! It definitely wasn't made for graceful movements. Or any movements for that matter. It's less articulated than a Gobot.

The robot and General Glory crash into the basement of the burning building. And since the rest of the Justice League believe he's just some crazy lunatic pretending to be a comic book super hero, they all assume he's just died. But instead, he comes walking out of the inferno clutching a poor puppy. The press eats it up and Max Lord, who loves nothing more than good press, gives him a spot on the team. And General Glory keeps the dog for a mascot. How long before it and the Justice League Europe cat get into a brawl? That'll probably happen in the huge Breakdowns event, right?!

Justice League America #47 Rating: B+. I know I whined about all the wasted space but even wasted space can be entertaining character work! My real main issue was I don't give a shit about the characters being worked! General Glory? Stop wasting my time! And the new Mister Miracle? Get the fuck out of here! I barely gave a shit about the current one and you think I'm going to care about a new, younger one?! Although I did enjoy the character work on Ice's butthole in that one panel. Nice work, Linda Medley!