Thursday, November 30, 2023

Justice League America #60 (March 1992)

Due to the coloring error, I thought Blue Beetle and Fire were holding hands.

It took Giffen and DeMatteis five years to get to this point in the series. It took me three and a half years to review them. I should probably speed this shit up. I've got so many comic book boxes to get through! Maybe, just maybe, I should stop reading comic books from my youth and actually live my adult life? Unless I am living my adult life and that's why it's taken me so long to write all of these reviews? I don't really know what's happening! It was so much easier when I was in college watching Red Dwarf on Sunday nights and feeling nostalgic about high school crushes while watching Sailor Moon and going to the local comic book store to play Magic the Gathering on Wednesday nights!

I just realized I could still be living my life that way! I think I just had a huge breakthrough!

This issue is called "Swan Song" because this is the final issue by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. Oh, that's kind of what the phrase "swan song" means: a final performance before death or quitting a comic book run of five years. It's also probably called "Swan Song" because it's the end of a version of Justice League America without Superman. They tried it and it was just as abysmal and weak as everybody knew it would be. You could argue that Martian Manhunter is more powerful than Superman (although with a greater weakness (Oreos! I mean fire!)) but then I'd argue back by saying, "Are you a fucking donkey lover? I think you might be a donkey lover! What a stupid opinion!" That argument might not win in court and it might not prove that Superman was stronger but it would satisfy me and a lot of people would start asking questions about how many donkeys you've fucked.

The issue begins with Max's lover lying in bed almost showing her vagina.

I wish this were vertically lenticulated so you could tilt it and see what's going on under that blanket!

I'm just kidding! I don't actually get horny looking at cartoon images! I just like to pretend I do! Like how I pretend I want to get Erin Esurance naked and rub auto collision claims all over her her body! That's just one of my running jokes that isn't true at all and also you should know lying about it on the Internet isn't breaking my parole no matter how often my parole officer sighs when she hears me talk about how I don't actually want to do Erin Esurance.

Wanda and Max have a discussion about how he wasn't in bed when she thought he was in bed. During the climax of this scintillating dialogue, Max reveals that he's lost his Firestarter powers. I don't mean the power to start fires! I mean the other power from that book where a person "pushes" somebody else to do something with their mind and then their nose bleeds. So instead of celebrating by licking Wanda's butthole, he goes for a walk in the dark where he's harassed by a nosey cop. He's okay though because he's a white man in a suit. Cops know if they shoot a white guy in a suit they might actually have to face consequences.

Back at the Justice League Cave, Martian Manhunter tells Catherine he quits and Catherine's eye slides off the side of her head.

"Oh come on, Tess! It's not that bad!" "You got something to say to me, Donkey Lover?"

General Glory comes along to try to cheer up Catherine by mentioning how much he loved Al Jolson when the General was a kid. Catherine interrupts him before he can say what he loved about Al Jolson's act specifically which is probably a good thing. Although we all know General Glory, being a seventy or eighty year old American in 1992, probably had some pretty sketchy ideas about society. Hopefully that's not why Guy likes him so much!

J'onn goes off to make sure Max Lord doesn't leave the League because readers are going to need a few familiar threads linking this issue with the next one. Max acts reticent at first but who does he think he's kidding? Not the readers and certainly not the Martian telepath. He'll still be the leader even if he's only able to convince Blue Beetle and Guy Gardner to stick around.

Meanwhile Blue Jay looks at a photo of Silver Sorceress, Wandjina, and himself and cries. Not like you expect a Blue Jay to cry where it's all, "Rawk! Rawk! Rawk! Rawk! Rawk!", and it won't shut up because your cat keeps looking at it and then it starts dive bombing your cat because Blue Jays can be angry little jerks. He cries like a big human baby cries when people they've loved have died tragically.

Might get what? A boner?

Oh right! Silver Sorceress just died. Sue is asking if Ralph ever thinks he might be killed during battle. Ralph answers, "Yeah, I think about it a lot," which, coincidentally, is how often I think about him dying in battle too!

Guy Gardner and Power Girl argue over who will become team leader because they don't realize Superman will be team leader. Unless Batman is always the team leader. Sometimes he's Shadow Team Leader and pretends he isn't on the team. But he's always watching, just in case! At one point during the fight, Guy says Power Girl has an "oversized butt" and he means it as an insult and it might be the first time I've ever lost a tiny bit of respect for him. He's lucky Ice didn't hear that comment because her butt is pretty juicy too! Mmm, Ice's juicy butt.

Metamorpho and Rocket Red discuss fatherhood while Blue Beetle engages in a fascinating talk with Rocket Red's daughter Tanya.

Why is it cute when a six year old asks this but I keep getting punched in the nose?

I bet Blue Beetle wishes he owned a goat right about now! That's because goats love knocking children on their asses and, being a goat, they can get away with it. If Blue Beetle were to shove Tanya on her ass, he'd get arrested. But if you own a goat and the goat does it for you, it's just funny! And if you get it on video, you could win $10,000! Or you used to be able to win $10,000. Does America's Funniest Home Videos still exist? I can't remember the last time I watched actual network television.

Fire flies around New York contemplating the meaning of being a superhero. She discovers it when a bunch of guys catcall her from the ground. Actually, they praise her and the Justice League's efforts to keep the city safe. But we all know what really would have been shouted if a naked green woman flew over a bunch of male New Yorker's heads. I won't even speculate on that filth! So filthy what with saying where their tongues are going to go and what orifices they're going to put their corncobs and how long they can do the act of doing it. Gross!

The final member to catch up with is Crimson Fox. She offers to help support the League while it transitions to whatever it's going to transition to. See, she has loads and loads of perfume money. Although it was almost stolen by a cult that worshiped giant worms. Everybody thanks her for the offer and they're probably getting ready to accept her check when Max Lord and Oberon walk in and declare they're back in charge! They're figure out how to finance the League and how many people they'll have to fire to afford Superman.

Justice League America #60 Rating: B+. This was a transitional issue full of character-driven scenes to lay the groundwork for whatever's going to happen in the next issue. I'm sure a bunch of people will leave and a bunch of people will be hired. Then a few issues after that, a bunch of the people hired will have to leave the League because DC needs them in another comic book and they'll have to have an issue discussing membership. But eventually the League will be full of characters that DC doesn't mind being in two places at once or don't actually have any other monthly home to appear in. Dan Jurgens will be the new writer and since my biggest problem with Dan Jurgen's stories is that they're all written like they take place in the '80s, I shouldn't have too much of a problem with him seeing as how he's writing these comics in 1992!

Rest in peace, Keith Giffen! You've given me more entertainment than probably any other artist I can point to (other than Johnette Napolitano and Traci Lords!). You created two of my all-time favorite characters: Lobo and Ambush Bug. I remember the first time I saw Ambush Bug on the cover of a comic book lying on the floor of Philip Newby's living room. And I remember him excitedly telling me how hilarious it was. And I trusted Phil's word when it came to funny because he was always laughing at all sort of stuff that I barely understood in elementary school, like Monty Python and Tom Lehrer! I like to imagine Ambush Bug and Lobo sitting around crying and exchanging stories until they move in for a warm, consoling hug and begin kissing passionately only to wind up jerking each other off. I should have begun that last sentence with "I really like to imagine (and often do)"!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Justice League Europe #35 (February 1992)

I'm willing to believe those shells are exactly the same size as Power Girls areolas.

Justice League Kooey Kooey Koeey have been mind-controlled and sent to New York by Dreamslayer to murder Batman, Sue, Catherine, Ralph, and whatever other losers were deemed too weak to battle Dreamslayer. Some people might argue with that depiction of the team left behind because The Flash is one of those losers but I stand behind what I've written. I can't say I ever liked Barry Allen but Wally West was a fucking jerk for so long that I stopped giving a shit about him. I suppose I can believe that some writer turned his personality around and that's why so many people love him. Or I can choose to believe a lot of comic book readers love assholes. You can probably guess which of those I believe because my heart belongs to Lobo. And all personal experience can be extrapolated to understand all other people, right?! Tell me I'm right! I'm too old to be wrong about this!

The Comics Code Authority looked at this cover and looked at Power Girl's cleavage and looked at Power Girl's side boob and looked at Power Girl's underboob and thought, "Yep. This is okay. No drug or Dracula references! Approved!" I'm not saying I disagree with them in this case! When has under/side/over boob ever made the world a worse place?! Although when have drugs and Dracula ever made the world a worse place?! If the human beings are worse off due to boobs, drugs, and Dracula, I don't want to be a human being anymore.

Dammit! It's been so long since I did a Justice League Europe review that I forgot I was supposed to guess which line from Yeats' "The Second Coming" was going to be used as the title of the story! I forgot until I read the title, "The Ceremony of Innocence," and I was all, "Hey! I forgot I was supposed to guess which line from Yeats' 'Second Coming' was going to be used as the title of the story!" Do you want to see the picture they used to accompany the title? I know you do! It's pretty sexy!

Comic book artists shouldn't be allowed to draw women in pain or dying because it always just looks like they're about to come.

Once again, I might be judging the world through a skewed perception. Is it only me who thinks Silver Sorceress has taken a moment to get herself off here?

Oh man. I've been there before, Silver Sorceress!

I'm not going to go into the story where I wound up with blood all over my fingers because telling that story would be gauche and disrespectful. But I will say her parents were sleeping upstairs and I don't have any idea how we had the nerve to do all the things we did when at any moment her actual prison warden father could have come down for a glass of warm milk! No wait. I do know how I, at least, had the nerve. I was horny!

Justice League Kooey Kooey Kooey (composed of J'onn, Fire, Metamorpho, Rocket Red, Power Girl, Blue Beetle, and Blue Jay) confront Justice League Eurmerica (composed of Batman, Crimson Fox, Catherine Cobert, Sue Dibny, The Elongated Man, General Glory, The Flash, Ice, and Guy Gardner). Dammit! I forgot Guy was part of the "B" Team! I'm sorry I called you a loser, Mr. Gardner, sir!

JLKKK (Yeesh. That doesn't read well!) demands, in the voice of Dreamslayer, that JLE/A give their consciousnesses over to Dreamslayer. Batman is all, "They know who I am, right? Is this what disrespect feels like? I mean, I'm the motherfucking Batman! They think I'm going to surrender?! This Dreamslayer fellow needs to read a Wikipedia page about me or something!" Guy, on the other hand, says a bunch of shit that I understand, being that I basically said the same thing about him and the others a few paragraphs ago.

It's been so long, I don't remember how Guy broke his arm. Probably Despero or masturbating.

Guy decides to battle Power Girl which I don't think is a great idea being that she's practically naked and he seems to view that as some kind of opportunity. If Ice sees the way he's leering, she'll probably wind up in a coconut bikini knocking on his bedroom door at three in the morning after this is all said and done. And then she'll either fuck him or sever his spine, Joker-style. Do you think Ice owns a gun? I think she owns a gun. Probably bought one the second she moved to New York.

You know what else I forgot about having not read a Justice League comic book for nearly two months? How much I love Ice's butt! What can I say! I'm only human and into butts! One time when I was like twelve, my friend Bob and I were walking to a convenience store. Up ahead of us were a couple and the guy had his arm around the gal's back and his hand right up her butt crack. Bob was all, "Gross! That's not how you do it! You're supposed to cup the cheek!" But I was thinking, "Oh man I wish my hand were all up in there! And maybe some other stuff!" Is wanting to lick a butthole hereditary?

Obviously I mean a clean butthole! I only have acceptable kinks!

Back on Kooey Kooey Kooey, Dreamslayer (who is inside Max Lord's body) relaxes as he controls several members of the Justice League in battle. You'd think that would be his downfall. He might be magic but that doesn't mean he's great at multitasking. And who even really is great at multitasking?! Nobody, that's who. Sure, you can do several rote things at once no problem. But just try to do two or more things that really take concentration and brain power and you're just asking for trouble. No way you're going to retain anything about one of those things. Especially when you're doing it while fighting Batman! Fucking ridiculous, man. I once read a comic book where Nightwing rode a motorcycle up a vertical surface of a skyscraper and that was more believable than this shit!

Ice battles Metamorpho, Guy attacks Power Girl, The Flash beats on Ted, and Crimson Fox kicks the crap out of poor little Blue Jay while Batman does the Batusi in the background.

Actually, Batman is fighting an invisible J'onn J'onzz because even though J'onn usually forgets he can turn invisible, Dreamslayer remembered. Of course Bats use sonar so Dreamslayer is actually an idiot for thinking going invisible was a good move.

Dreamslayer realizes this battle is going to be tougher than his enormous ego first believed. While he's thinking of some way to better his odds, he's attacked by the leftover Extremist automatons being controlled by Silver Sorceress utilizing her last dying spell.

We never find out what Ice was planning to do with J'onn once he was between her and Batman because Dreamslayer loses control of JLKKK during his battle with the busted Extremist automatons. He leaves Max Lord's body to seek out the Sorceress and possess her so he can tap into all of her mystic abilities. Is it a trap so that he'll die inside of her while she continues to live as half a Knock-off Doctor Ock?

Once inside Silver Sorceress's mind, Dreamslayer must play by her psychic rules. That's just the way mystical brain combat goes, apparently. And in Silver Sorceress's psyche, she always gets to win. That doesn't seem fair but who are you going to complain to? Where will you get your evidence that Gerard Jones got his made up magical bullshit all wrong? The Bible? Oh wait. That's probably a pretty good source for made up magical bullshit. Fair enough.

Speaking of The Bible, if you like my comic book reviews and you're interested in theological discussions that rival the ancient Rabbinical masters and Christian masters, you should sign up for my Bible Study Patreon! Don't worry, they now have free tiers and I make all my posts public! You only have to pay for it if you love me and want to see me thrive and think art takes effort!

Wait a second. Does this color blindness thing explain why the Silver Sorceress's outfit is brown?

Is this really the end of him? She sort of fucked up last time which is why we had to have this battle. Also, is that belly window new? How have I not written lengthy, thirsty commentaries on it?

Max Lord returns to New York, healthy and himself once more. Except now maybe he's a little bit humbler, having had to watch so many Kooeyans die to his body, and knowing Silver Sorceress battled Dreamslayer to the death while he was absolutely useless. But we all know none of that looking inward shit will take with Max Lord! He's got a Brother Eye to conspire with and a Blue Beetle to kill in the near future! You can pull off stunts like that when you're taking stock of yourself and considering becoming a better person. That shit is hard. Better to just coast on the person the world sees you as and immerse yourself in your own selfish desires (like putting a bullet in Ted Kord's stupid fat head!).

Justice League Europe #35 Rating: B. I though Max Lord would take a more active part in defeating Dreamslayer. Or any active part at all! Instead he was helpless and, when you get right down to it, I'm glad that was how it worked out. Who needs Max Lord to be the hero?! He's just a dumb, manipulative business man. Silver Sorceress doing everything she needed to do and giving up her life to do it was probably the right call from a writing standpoint (even if it made the JLKKK vs JLE/A battle super anti-climactic). The threat was from her world and she already failed once to contain it. You'd think, "Why couldn't she do this earlier?" But they also pretty much explained her fears of Dreamslayer and failure and the possibility of losing another world held her back. Only when she knew she had nothing more to lose did she gain the confidence to defeat Dreamslayer. Also maybe she just needed to make sure one part of her world still lived: Blue Jay. Although he'll be dead in about twenty years when Tom King makes Wally West go off the deep end! Ha ha!