Thursday, February 29, 2024

Justice League Europe #49 (April 1993)

Just in case readers forgot this was a battle against Russia, Randall added some penis-looking onion domes in the background.

I don't mean the onion domes literally look like a penis. I've seen penises before and if I saw one that looked like that, after I'd sucked it, I'd be all, "You need to get this thing checked out and thanks for dinner." Adding those onion domed towers is to a story that takes place in Russia as the Eifel Tower is to a story that takes place in Paris. That's just basic comic book math. Comic book math is to comic books as analogies are to the SATS, in case you were confused.

Hopefully Power Girl has such control of her power levels (which I assume she does, being that it's right there in her name) that she can manage to punch a helmet to smithereens right off a Russian's face without severely maiming the Russian wearing it. Unless she just doesn't give a shit that these dudes have been brainwashed by Sonar and they don't really want to be invading other countries and killing innocent people. According to Billy Joel, they just want to make children laugh. According to Sting, they may or may not love those children.

The comic opens with the ghost who has been unliving in the Justice League's new castle headquarters (because when he was alive, he lived in it. And owned it) discovering that he is a ghost and his consciousness transported to some future which he can hardly comprehend. I can't see how an incorporeal man in an ancient armor suit who's startled by every electronic beep he hears or moving metal object bigger than a badger will be any help to Justice League Europe but I'm assuming he's part of the team now. His first job is to alert Justice League America that Justice League Europe and the Justice League Reserves have all been defeated by Sonar. Luckily he doesn't know how embarrassing that revelation is, so he should have no problem delivering the news.

Kara's cat returns to team up with Ghost Knight (after he insults it in fifteen different Shakespearian ways).

Was every knight of England this fucking dramatic?

I don't remember every knight in the movie Excalibur speechifying like this. Then again, all I really remember about that movie are the dozens of uncovered boobies. I watched it when I was like twelve! If there was an exposed nipple on the screen at that age, it was all I was concentrating on. I've grown up now. Now I can also concentrate on naked asses if they're sharing screen time with the nipple. I love to believe we're all capable of that kind of growth. It's called maturity.

With everybody else brainwashed, lost, defeated by Rocket Reds, or stuck in some bureaucratic meeting under the sea, Power Girl is the only non-ghost member of the Justice League left to battle Sonar. Which mature readers would have learned from the cover. I only mention it again because the scene shifted from Kara's cat's team up with a ghost to Power Girl flying into Mosco intent on causing an international crisis. I'm not going to scan that moment because it looks exactly like the cover. No wait. I just looked at the cover again and remembered Power Girl was murdering Rocket Reds while she's just flying peacefully in the panel. I guess I'm not as mature as I thought since I figured both the cover and this panel show a ton of Power Girl's cleavage and therefore they were identical.

The Russians on the street argue over which side they want to come out on top: Sonar who seems to be helping feed everybody or the American superhero with the huge American tits because, well, I mentioned the tits, right?

How did they know Hal was an American? He's not wearing jeans or singing a Beatles song.

It's weird that the one guy thinks America has been shipping its homeless to Russia. Not that I can't see America doing that! Spending millions of dollars to kidnap American citizens the general population find irritating to ship them out of the country instead of spending millions of dollars on economic safety nets and social programs that help people. I guess it isn't so weird being that I just admitted that I could see our government doing that. But it's still weird that he instantly recognized Hal as an American without first hearing him talk or showing off the wad of cash in his pocket.

Hal suffers from amnesia caused by The Flash's supersonic yellow foot connecting with his unprotected head. After that, I suppose Hal's ring teleported him to the safest place it knew: underneath some stairs in the freezing cold in Moscow. Maybe the ring knew Power Girl would be flying by soon and Hal would recognize her. When he does, the ring senses his wishes to communicate with her and flies him to her. Not realizing he can fly, Hal probably shits himself.

Since Hal isn't allowed to fight alongside Power Girl because the cover said Power Girl fights alone, Hal's ring teleports them somewhere to discuss who the fuck Hal is and what they should do once Hal remembers.

Back in Modora, Elongated Man wakes up for three seconds and manages to hear a nearby Rocket Red detail Sonar's entire plan to some other guy. So Elongated Man, being instantly caught up on what's happening, puts on his stretchy pants and wades out into battle too. It's starting to feel like Power Girl isn't going to be fighting alone for long. I think maybe her fight already happened even though she didn't actually fight anybody. She just got blasted by a bunch of Rocket Reds, fell into Hal's arms, and disappeared.

Elongated Man arrives in Moscow just in time to see Aquaman immediately get his ass kicked after saying, "I'm on a diplomatic mission." Isn't there some law against arresting diplomats? Didn't I learn that from Lethal Weapon 2? Or was I supposed to learn the opposite lesson? That you can commit any kind of violence you want to a diplomat if you're crazy enough?

Doctor Light intercepts Elongated Man, pretending to not be brainwashed by Sonar, and leads him into a trap.

Look out, Ralph! There's one empty space! Who do you think that's for?!

DC should have released this Sonar superhero restraint machine as a sturdy carrying case of their Super Power action figure line (with an extra compartment to shove Hawkman, of course).

Normally I'd wonder how Sonar and the Rocket Reds managed to capture these heroes, many of whom have greater powers than Sonar and the whole Rocket Red Brigade combined. But The Flash helped catch them and this is one of those things in the DC Universe that I harp on all the time: The Flash should be the most powerful hero on Earth. Even together, none of these heroes could stand up to a guy who can just go so fast everybody would basically be in stasis. Except Jay Garrick, of course. But he's old and you can't expect his reaction times to be anywhere near Wally's.

Finding the Justice Society and Justice League Reserves captured isn't the most surprising thing Ralph's twitchy nose has led him to. He also learns that Sue Dibny has left him for Sonar!

Some people might think she's faking or under mind control. But I like to believe she's finally realized Ralph is a disgusting monster with a weird dick.

Even if Sue is faking to help bring down Sonar, she had to have fucked him, right? No way he instantly trusts her this much without a little proof in her pudding.

Justice League America arrives via the teleporter in the Justice League Europe's castle. The team is composed of Wonder Woman, Maxima, Guy Gardner, Agent Liberty, Bloodwynd, Fire, and Booster Gold. Did Gerard Jones and Ron Randall not get the memo that Booster Gold and Fire had lost their powers? Or did they just suit up because they needed something to do and heading over to London isn't exactly dangerous. They discover The Flash still trying to recover from his mind control. They soon learn from The Flash and from the traitorous tailor that Sonar is behind it all.

Guy's speech might sound familiar here because it's what I've been saying through this entire story arc.

Fire poses like she knows Agent Liberty is staring at her ass in that panel. But then maybe that's the only reason she's here? To look good? She certainly can't turn into flame anymore for some reason. Maybe this story takes place after the "Destiny's Hand" story arc where Fire gets her powers back, Booster fixes his suit, and Black Condor has long ago fled back into the Pine Barrens.

Well, I guess Fire's fine now. But Bloodwynd specifically mentions that Booster has lost his technology. He's their emotional support hero.

I only have two more issues left before I stopped reading Justice League Europe back in 1993 and this might be why. Why keep reading both comics when Justice League America has to come over to this comic to save the day? Might as well just read the book with the real heroes in it!

Crimson Fox shows back up after ditching her suit, having realized Sonar's tailor had put listening devices in them all. "That means she's running around naked," you're probably thinking while logging in to the Mile High Comics website to look for some back issues of this comic book. But she isn't. She's got a jacket on that somehow covers everything. I mean, you can tell it isn't covering her ass when she's facing the reader. But it seems to cover her ass when she's not facing the reader. It's the most magical jacket I've ever seen and I hate it.

She stumbles upon Sonar meeting up with a bunch of hired mercenaries who are willing to help him take over all of Russia and its former Soviet Republics. I don't know why they're meeting out in the wilderness. Probably so Crimson Fox could stumble upon them!

Weren't Eurocrime defeated by Ralph and Sue Dibny? Why would you ever give them a second chance?

Justice League Europe #49 Rating: B. If you bought this comic book in 1993 because you were excited to see Power Girl fight alone, you were left severely blue-balled. Also, young people on tumblr, being blue-balled is an actual thing that can cause nausea, pain, and intense discomfort. But it is never an excuse for a guy to pressure somebody into a sexual act! They probably have at least one hand! They can take care of themselves! Also, once you wind up blue-balled, I don't think an orgasm really helps. I mean, it still feels good! But you're still going to feel the sick effects of the blue balls. I haven't had enough experience with blue balls but they seem to be pretty rare. You don't automatically get blue balls because your dick has been hard for an extended period without ending up in an orgasm. If that were the case, do you think Sting would be so into that Tantric shit? He'd be the most blue-balled man that ever lived! Or maybe he's into nausea, pain, and discomfort? Maybe that's how that sicko gets off! So that's my rating! This comic book somehow made me think of blue balls. Maybe it was all the near ass and poonanny shots of Crimson Fox in her magic jacket! Ow my lower tummy hurts!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Justice League America #73 (April 1993)

Are Maxima and Wonder Woman scissoring?

Whenever I'm on the freeway and a lane is closed ahead and people begin to merge over into the unblocked lanes, the first thing my mind thinks is, "The traffic is scissoring!" Then my brain blushes and corrects itself and thinks, "You mean zippering! Scissoring is the sexy thing, dumby!" I don't know who my brain is calling a dumby since it's the one that brought up the sexy lesbian wrestling move.

One time in junior high, I was sitting on the floor against my cousin's bed and her friend was sitting behind me and she suddenly grabbed my head and pushed the back of it against her crotch and I instantly fell in love for like ten years. My brain just thought about that and it was all, "Oh! Oh! Tell the people reading this stupid blog about that incident! Maybe it will be helpful advice for some woman who doesn't know how to get a guy to notice her!" Here are some other people with whom I fell in love in junior high and helpful advice on how they accomplished it: a girl leaned across my back pressing her boobies against me at the skating rink; Marilyn Mendoza by acknowledging my existence when I didn't think any girl ever really would (and also her smile!); a girl with Robert Smith hair would wear an Elfquest shirt to school; Midori Moody once pulled her sweater off in class and her shirt underneath lifted up with it exposing her bra; Grace Bamberger simply by existing in my Algebra class; a girl playfully sat on my lap at the bowling alley on New Years Eve; at a party in somebody's parents' garage, this girl Dessa put her head on my lap while I was sitting on a bench drinking a soda; a couple of girls were willing to play Spin the Bottle while I was a potential kissee at the Moffett Field military base in Mountain View although the game never actually got underway which was the most disappointing moment of my young life; the girls at the Manteca RV park who let me touch their legs up their inner thighs as we played some game called "Do You Trust Me?" I'm sure there were more but none of them involve Superman and the Justice League so I should probably shut up about them.

Man, falling in love was pretty awesome when it wasn't mixed up with relationships and sex! Is that the best part about being young? I think it might be. Also having a body that isn't betraying you at every turn was pretty cool too!

This is how this issue begins and I'm surprised I didn't take it back to the comic book store to get my $1.25 back for it.

If Junior High School Me were Ray in this picture, I probably would have instantly fallen in love with Destiny and her hand. It's almost touching his crotch!

The Ray's next line doesn't make me put my dick back in my pants either: "If you want impressive, I can jack it up a little more." What do you call it when you're sitting down but you're also swooning? Switting? Because that's what I'm doing right now. And Guy Gardner isn't helping matters.

Oh yeah? He's young and full of juice, is he, Guy?

Don't think my brain is the only one suddenly engorged with horny chemicals due to all of this jacking up the juices talk. Maxima's cup seems to runneth over too. If you actually pictured a cup in your mind when I said that, you're probably too young and shouldn't be reading my comic book reviews.

How was this dialogue approved by the Comics Code Authority?! Apparently they don't read the scripts; they just look for nipples, vampires, and injuries to eyes.

No wonder I've never been able to hold down a real job and had to invent my own business to make a living. DC Comics taught me that this was appropriate workplace banter!

Black Condor stands in the background and thinks about how joining the Justice League was a huge mistake and a waste of his time and he should be flying around the Pine Barrens doing absolutely nothing. He's my kind of hero! Which is why I was so disappointed with his comic book when he actually did fight villains and stop robberies and shit. Apparently if you're a half-naked guy with wings, you're expected to save some days and stop some crimes, even if you don't want to be bothered with other people's shit. He didn't even join to ogle Wonder Woman all day because she only joined after he did. Hmm. Did she join to ogle Black Condor? He is pretty fit.

Mind your own fucking business, Bloodwynd.

The Ray thinks everybody hates him because they don't want to see him go to full power. He couldn't hear them in the observation booth talking about how much they all wanted to fuck him. But I heard it. Or read it. And even wrote some of it!

The Justice League is contacted by the American military asking about their satellite that suddenly returned to orbit. Bloodwynd is all, "But that was destroyed! I mean, what is that? A space station? A small moon? Noah's ark? I am completely ignorant of this!" Guy Gardner, Bloodwynd, and The Ray are sent into space to investigate. I guess that means Doctor Destiny has somehow created a fascist dream team. But have they actually killed Star Sapphire? Or was all of that his dream which he had to build up in his mind for it to become real? That's my suspicion because nobody on Earth has been pointing out how awful Hawkman is. I mean no more than they previously were.

Is Firestorm's head actually on fire or does he just have wild, unkempt ginger hair?

Firestorm blasts everybody with a nuclear explosion which fries all of the military satellites. So Oberon contacts NASA and NASA, who aren't completely inept, are all, "Um, guys? There's nothing up there. That satellite isn't real. It's, like, totally obvious." But what does NASA know about hallucinations and materioptikons? Practically nothing! So they don't have any explanation for why Guy, The Ray, and Bloodwynd disappear along with the satellite after Firestorm blows the shit out of everything. But I do! They were blasted back to Doctor Destiny's dream Earth where China has been obliterated by The Atom and the Justice League rule the world. Somehow. I don't know all the details but I'm sure it all has to do with Doctor Destiny's power he siphoned from Morpheus's jewel.

After the satellite and their team members disappear, Oberon traces an energy reading similar to that of the satellite in the Nevada desert. So the rest of the Justice League decide to go investigate because if their team members have been disintegrated, what can they do about that? It's not like they were smart enough to hire Zatanna so she could be all, "Etargetnisidnu!" Out in the desert, they find The Lightning Squad's Super Villain Rehabilitation Clinic. That's the place run by that psychopath Hawkman where he tore off Sinestro's arms and stole his ring.

Speaking of Sinestro, Black Condor discovers him fleeing from the compound, stumbling through the desert with no arms. He rescues him just before a security ship blasts him into dust. But Hawkman is close behind! I hope Black Condor has more powers than just his stupid wings. Because Hawkman has a mace, a power ring, and a hard-on for extreme violence. Also, he kills Sinestro before Black Condor knows what's happening and then turns on Condor.

Back in Doctor Destiny's version of New York, Martian Manhunter knocks out Guy Gardner and The Ray so that he can face Bloodwynd one-on-one. Bloodwynd realizes this is impossible because, well, you know. He's the real Martian Manhunter! But how could Doctor Destiny know that?! Only Blue Beetle knows his secret and Blue Beetle was killed by Doomsday! I mean he should have been killed by Doomsday. His skull should have popped like an overripe corpse's distended belly run over by a monster truck. Or a grape, maybe, if the whole analogy was to help you think of something that wasn't quite as gross as Blue Beetle's head popping.

As all this other strange bullshit is going on, Doctor Destiny escapes Arkham. I don't know where he thinks he's headed. I guess he runs the world now so he can do whatever he wants. Although as he's making his way out of Gotham, The Atom collapses in the real Justice League headquarters, mumbling something about having not slept for days. So is that how this works? Doctor Destiny is inside The Atom's head, keeping him from dreaming so that his dreams infect the real world? Did I figure it out?

Justice League America #73 Rating: A+. Why do I love this kind of shit? This is the kind of comic book story I live for! I don't care that Doctor Destiny is fucking with the Justice League because it's all part of his plan to rule the world of his dreams. And it's not like he's totally in control, I bet. He's probably limited by the nightmares inside The Atom's head. Like The Atom's nightmare that he and the Justice League might one day overstep their bounds and become authoritarian oppressors of the entire world. Although even in his darkest nightmares, he can't picture Green Arrow becoming a conservative fascist asshole! Green Arrow is clearheaded even in somebody else's fantasy! Of course, Hawkman is a right asshole. That's just math.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Justice League Europe #48 (March 1993)

Even with (perhaps especially because of) Super Speed, I would not choose to punch a man in power armor in the helmet.

The focal point of this cover is Alan Scott's groin. Other less crotch-obsessed people might suggest the focal point is some other part of the cover, like Alan's head or the Rocket Red's helmet. But Alan Scott's groin, being surrounded by the only negative space that isn't the sky around the title, stands out far more than anything else. Perhaps Ron Randall wanted us to take particular note of Alan's package. Or maybe Ron did it to distract from the fact he forgot that Alan Scott wears, and often utilizes, a power ring. Although if that were Ron's reasoning, he probably would have just drawn the ring on Scott's finger at that point.

The issue begins with Sonar hovering over Russia describing the problems of all the people he can hear. He calls himself "The Master of Sound," as if eavesdropping on a bunch of people just living their life is some kind of over-the-top superpower. He thinks he's a major villain because he has Superman's least useful skill? This asshole will probably wind up being defeated by a kid with a trumpet.

Sonar goes on to brag how all of his technology does the work of sifting through the various noises for specific human voices and discarding the rest. So I guess a kid blasting a trumpet as loud as he can right in Sonar's face will just never reach Sonar's attention? Apparently Sonar doesn't even have the least useful of Superman's skills anyway. His whole "Master of Sound" thing is a result of technology he's created. So, sure, he's the master of making technology which can make somebody the Master of Sound. But that also means The Atom can shrink down, pull a few wires in his suit, and cause him to go deaf. But The Atom is currently over in Justice League America genociding the Chinese. So maybe Metamorpho or Elongated Man will have to squeeze into Sonar's suit to short it out.

Okay, maybe just Metamorpho.

I used to think that if Sue Dibny were a real person, I wouldn't stand a chance with her. But now that I've seen she wears high-waisted, belted and cuffed jean shorts with long socks, she might be exactly in my league.

Sonar's trying to get into Susan's undergarments by pointing out how lame her husband is and how awesome he is. Why do guys spend so much time trying to convince women who obviously loathe them that they're somehow the perfect partner for them? If men are so logical, why do they think women would be into exactly the sort of person they're definitely not into?

How can this man be the Master of Sound if he can't even appreciate Rubber Soul?

Looking at Sue Dibny's outfit as she fends off Sonar's mediocre incel advances, I just realized why I think she's so super cute. This comic book came out in 1992! This is what all the women in my high school class were basically wearing in 1989. I'm not in love with Sue Dibny! I'm in love with my lost youth!

Sonar, getting nowhere with bragging about himself and shitting all over Ralph, tries a different tactic: pity! He's all, "I am the man you see before you because of the...the...the silence of my childhood!" He throws one arm over his forehead and glances askance at Sue who, seeing the shadow of a poor, lost child, makes a huge mistake and shows interest in the pain of his past. Later, when she turns Sonar down again, he'll probably invoke this moment and be all, "Why'd you lead me on by acting like you wanted to fuck me by listening to me?!"

Sonar blathers on about his origin. How his parents were deaf which meant they were spawns of Satan in Modoran culture, and he an idiot spawn of the spawn of Satan. Since silence was his pain and punishment, he studied the technology of sound, so he could use it to prove he was smarter than everybody else on the Internet. I mean in the world. Eventually, after Green Lantern spanked him publicly multiple times, he returned to Modora to overthrow its dictator and become a new dictator. But a better dictator! One with science behind him!

Sue Dibny is not impressed and Ron Randall draws an expression on her face that I'm fairly certain means "My butthole has never been shut tighter."

Ain't no science in the world loosening that sphincter.

Some people might quibble with me as to what that expression on Sue's face actually means but I doubt anybody has as much experience as I do at seeing the moment a woman thinks, "No way this guy gets anywhere near my butthole."

Sonar flies off when he gets exasperated with Sue's rejections and also because the scene had already gone on for eight pages of exposition and really needed a reason to end. Mostly so readers could find out what's happening with the Justice Society! They aren't being drawn by Ron Randall in this issue. Instead, they're drawn by Mike Parobeck, artist of the Justice Society comic book that was running concurrently to this one.

First thing on the JSA's itinerary is to extract Doctor Light from Metamorpho.

I thought Doctor Mid-Nite was going to say, "I'd have brought my eyesight!" Because Doctor Light is hot is why.

Somehow, Doctor Mid-Nite and Doctor Light do not implode and cease to exist on contact. I would theorize on why that is but I'm too hypnotized by the way Atom is parting Metamorpho's metal labia to help birth Doctor Light. Hmm. This might wind up being the weirdest picture I've ever jerked off to.

Instead of immediately defeating the Rocket Reds and kicking Sonar's ass all the way to the Pacific Ocean, the members of the Justice Society stand around like old men and debate politics. Being that they are old men, they're really, really good at it. And slow. And, as you'd expect, boil it all down to "The Communists are the worst!"

Jesus, Alan! Still not over the McCarthy-era propaganda? You know what other group McCarthy really fucking cracked down on, don't you?!

Wildcat steps in to point out that the Rocket Reds just beat up a bunch of heroes so why can't the Justice Society just use that as an excuse to beat up a bunch of Rocket Reds? Why discuss politics when you can just defend yourself now and apologize to the international community later?

Doctor Mid-Nite also expresses his wishes to battle and defeat the Rocket Reds but he uses a really fucking horrible analogy.

Comparing saving the world to choking a baby in its crib isn't fucking weird at all!

The Rocket Reds arrive to put an end to the discussion. Green Lantern is all, "I am the most powerful person in the world! I will defeat them in mere seconds!" But then a tree explodes and he's knocked unconscious by some wooden shrapnel. It may be the most humiliating moment in his entire seventy years on Earth.

Jay Garrick, being one of the fastest men alive, which means he can reason things out pretty quickly, realizes trees don't usually explode and deduces somebody must have made that tree explode! And somebody did! Using sound! Which is a clue as to who is behind it all! But Jay Garrick doesn't have time to think the problem through because Jay Garrick must not have access to the Speed Force or something because he can't see somebody else moving super fast. He deserves to have his skull caved in by The Flash which is what happens point zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero two nanoseconds after Jay thinks, "What?! Someone moving even faster than--" Faster than what?! FASTER THAN WHAT?!

Before Jay Garrick's skull gets completely smashed, he does some reverse brainwashing on Wally by running alongside him super fast and going, "You're brainwashed, dumb-dumb! You're brainwashed, dumb-dumb! Snap out of it, idiot! Barry and I are faster than you!" It seems to work because The Flash concocts a plan to get away from Sonar by flinging the unconscious (and maybe dead?) Blue Jay across the frozen tundra so he can pretend to go after the escaping hero.

Back in London, a super duper twist takes place at JLE headquarters.

What?! The new tailor outfitting everybody in those horrible new costumes was a spy for Sonar all along?! No way!

I haven't mentioned over the last half dozen issues or so how suspicious everybody has been about the new tailor because I just assumed they all hated him for putting Elongated Man in that terrible outfit and Power Girl in hers. And even though I wrote that caption as if I had known all along, I really hadn't known all along. And I've read this before! I just thought he was acting nervous and guilty because he knew how terrible his fucking designs were.

The superpowered Indian girl from last issue breaks into JLE Headquarters and finds the tailor there. One of the two is all, "You shouldn't be here!", and it's not the one you think. Unless you thought it was Chandi Gupta, the Indian lass. Because, yeah, she said it. As if she knows who should be in the castle and who shouldn't? She obviously doesn't know or she would have yelled that at herself. The tailor, instead of saying, "Oh, I'm the official Justice League Europe tailor! I made Power Girl and Elongated Man's amazing new costumes!" Instead he says, "I'd like to see what a little punk like you is going to do about it." Which kind of blows his cover, no? He could have just repeated what she said and threatened to call the cops on her.

Chandi has a magic bow but I guess the tailor is already in melee range so she chooses not to use it with negative modifiers. That's when the suit of armor reveals itself as the lord of the castle and nearly kills the tailor. But Chandi stops it from murder so that she can tell it her origin story.

Yeah, but you left out the most important detail: your superhero name!

The Flash arrives to interrupt the nice chat between the mystic girl and the armored ghost. He pleads with them to contact Justice League America to save the day. I guess he doesn't know Superman is dead and Blue Beetle is in a coma and Fire has lost her powers and Ice quit and Booster Gold's technology has been demolished and Bloodwynd is actually Martian Manhunter. I don't think they're in any condition to save anybody's day. I guess, unbelievably, Sonar and the Rocket Reds are going to take over the world!

Justice League Europe #48 Rating: C. The story and art weren't as mediocre as the C rating might indicate. What the C rating indicates is how unbelievable — even in a stupid comic book that mainly deals with the unbelievable — it is that Sonar and the fucking Rocket Reds have not only defeated Justice League Europe but the Justice Society as well! And, I suppose, the Justice League Reserves! This wouldn't have happened if Batman had stuck around to lead the team.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Justice League America #72 (March 1993)

I had to double check the date to make sure this wasn't from ten years earlier.

Why is Flash in a black outfit? Is this The Flash from that evil numbered world (three being the evilest number)? Reverse-Flash, Doctor Zoom, PhD? Or, having gotten used to the terrible lighting in modern movies, I can just assume it's Flash in his red outfit but somebody fucked up on the lighting rig. I really don't know why all these old timers are suddenly on the cover of my 1993 Justice League comic book. I could speculate but there are so many comic book reasons for this that I might as well just read the stupid thing and let Jurgens tell me. But it's probably a dimensional cross-over story that won't make any sense because they'll tie in time travel somehow as well and didn't all the other worlds get destroyed in Crisis?

The story begins with Star Sapphire and Wizard breaking into a museum to steal a mysterious and powerful Egyptian scepter. They believe they've got time before the cops catch them because they left some friends on lookout. But as soon as they reveal that information, Martian Manhunter strides in dragging the unconscious bodies of Blockbuster and the Floronic Man. J'onn has a weird belt buckle that represents the American flag with a lightning bolt through it. Which must mean this is happening in one of those five thousand dimensions or Elseworld titles where the Justice League have become fascist assholes. The Secret Society of Super-Villains have a history of traveling between Earths so this might be one of those things.

Jonn's also rockin' hard cock-eyed nipples.

Wizard refers to the Floronic Man as "Plantmaster," probably because Floronic Man is an incomprehensible name that nobody has ever liked. Still, it's better than "Plantmaster." Wizard gives a whistle and Sinestro ambushes Martian Manhunter from the shadows. J'onn breaks his arm and then disintegrates Star Sapphire with his disintegration vision which is a thing I didn't know he had. I guess it's just heat vision dialed up to "murder." Green Lantern arrives just in time to see Carol Ferris slain and he's all, "Oh well. Hate to see good pussy put down but what can you do?"

Like the average gun owner, Hal only keeps from killing because there are rules against it. But he's all for doing it if attitudes and laws change. Big Stand Your Ground energy here.

You might infer from what I've written and the panels I've chosen to scan that Hal's interpretation of "Necessary Force" means murdering anybody trying to steal some old as fuck stick. But Sinestro and Star Sapphire did initiate violence against them, so I guess, with the new rules, that justifies the killing. But then again, with the new rules where the Justice League can use lethal force, I'd probably jump to the conclusion upon seeing Martian Manhunter that I needed to defend myself as quickly as possible. And while I might be dead afterward, I'm pretty sure my now being dead justifies my initial reaction to violence. Because even if I didn't try to defend myself, righteous "law abiders" like these pricks would just as soon kill me because they believe their guts and suspicions are always correct (not the suspicion that Star Sapphire is criming but that she's going to attempt "necessary force" first, is the meaning). And also they want to kill somebody. Remember that! Every cop actually wants to murder somebody! It's one of the main perks of the job!

What I'm saying is all police are sociopaths, if not psychopaths. The fact that so many comic book writers all have the "What if Superhero X Was Corrupted by Their Power?" says everything that needs to be said on that subject. I mean, it doesn't, but I'm gonna go back to reading the comic book now.

Not like this is much different from Superman sending villains to the Phantom Zone and Batman locking somebody up in Arkham without any due process.

I assume the villains Batman catch get a trial before being sent to Arkham for an indefinite period. But Superman has definitely been known to toss some asshole into the Phantom Zone without a second thought. And doesn't Green Lantern stick people in a prison on Oa based only on his word that he caught them committing unlawful acts? Aquaman probably feeds people to sharks. I think these alternate dimension stories where DC's heroes are fascists aren't meant to be "What if?" stories but stories which say, "See how terrible are heroes could be? Luckily, they're far less terrible than this!"

Green Arrow and Black Canary try to catch Sinestro before Hawkman does because they're liberal goody-two-shoes from the West Coast. They think Sinestro has rights and shit! What are they? Me?! But they fail to catch him and the Savage Hawkman smashes him in the face with his mace before taking him to the rehabilitation center in Nevada to have both arms amputated. That's not a usual punishment but Hawkman runs the outfit and is also a brutal asshole. Oh, so maybe, um, that is the usual punishment.

Commissioner Gordon, upset with how the federal government is using the Justice League to terrorize the world, decides to cry to Batman.

Two years and two months? Two-Face is behind this!

Batman informs Commissioner Gordon that he's fine with the Justice League killing super villains. Remember, Batman doesn't kill. But he sort of kills in that he lets death happen all the time. Not literally but definitely in semantic ways where a righteous asshole like me can twist the perception on a story to argue how Batman was responsible for some death or another. Somebody doesn't even have to die to prove that Batman kills. Often he'll commit such violence on a villain that if the story wasn't written the way it was, there's every possibility the villain could have suffered some mortal wound. I'm pretty sure he's run the Batmobile into multiple villains over his career. It only takes one that doesn't quite have the level of invulnerability Batman was expecting for Batman to wind up a killer. Unless he puts deaths like that in the "accident" column. That's what I did. I mean would do.

China, rather than be oppressed by American super heroes, decides to launch nuclear missiles at America. But The Flash and Atom show up to stop them just after the nick of time. The Flash, being an authoritarian jerk now, wears the black costume like on the cover. It's not a good sign when a hero changes their colors to black. Even Batman usually wears gray or dark blue and his costume is meant to keep him hidden in the shadows. You'd think black, like the Burton movie, would be his ideal choice. Maybe Batman saves his black outfit as formal wear.

Oh yeah. I said "just after the nick of time" and then didn't explain myself. The Chinese military press the ignition on their missiles so it's too late for Atom and Flash to stop the launch. But The Atom does manage to fuck up the wires in their computer console so that the silos close and the missiles explode within the Chinese base.

Atom means "another example." I guess he forgot what we did to Japan for some End of the War LOLs.

Back on the JLA satellite, everybody but Green Arrow have completely lost their minds. That's easy enough to understand. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and Green Arrow is a powerless loser. So how could he become corrupted? Hawkman points out that it's China's fault because "they rejected our plans for financial reorganization" and because of that, "they made the choice to fight." Unless he just means they made the choice to fight by trying to launch nuclear missiles at America. That's fair but his statement is patently unclear basing the second clause I quoted on the first one. Anyway, Green Arrow thinks maybe the Justice League went a little overboard by allowing a bunch of nuclear missiles to explode in China. Everybody else seems to have a super power I wasn't aware of until now: shrugging off massive deaths.

So naïve, Green Arrow!

Come on, Ollie! Nobody ever resorts to violence to teach somebody else right and wrong, or to convince somebody over to your way of thinking! They choose violence because it's the easiest and most effective way to get what they fucking want. And if you're arguing the pro-violence side by going straight to self-defense, realize that every asshole's idea of "self-defense" is finding some way to justify using violence for your own ends. Every time a gun nut has ever angrily tried to debate me when I pointed out gun owners are first and foremost cowards, they always want to bring up women using guns for self-defense. But that's mostly an imaginary tale! Usually women are killed by the gun owning men in their lives. And when a woman does shoot a man whom she's been abused by or terrified of, she's usually tried for murder. Because men are still mostly in control and men don't want to see women rising up and blowing their chauvinist heads off!

I can't fucking believe Green Arrow is my favorite character in this story. When did I become a beta cuck? I mean in my comic book reading and not my real life. I know exactly when I became a beta cuck in real life! Thanks a lot, American junior high school educational system!

Apparently, in this topsy-turvy world where Superman and Wonder Woman must have been put down almost instantly for things to get this bad, Hal Jordan is the vice president of the United States.

Hal Jordan in a political position? That's like teaching a honey badger to read fucking Shakespeare.

Hmm, there's something wrong with my analogy in that caption. I'm pretty sure Hal Jordan wouldn't have the attention span for politics because you don't use your fist enough in the legislature. But a honey badger probably is smart enough to read Shakespeare.

After 21 pages of this alternate timeline without any ties to the regular series, the 22nd page introduces the antagonist. The main antagonist? The bad guy that's bad in a different way from this evil Justice League?

Fresh from the pages of The Sandman (when The Sandman was still in DC's mainstream continuity).

Doctor Destiny lost his materioptikon to Dream recently but a lot of Morpheus's powers had leeched into his being (which is probably why he looks like a lich now). So even though he has ended up in Arkham Asylum where everybody thinks he's safe and sound, he still has tremendous power. So while I thought this was possibly an alternate Earth (even though they were all destroyed about eight years prior to this), it looks like it's the regular old Earth-2 (or is the newer, non-JSA Earth "Earth-1" at this time? I can't keep this shit straight) but warped via Doctor Destiny's power over people's dreams. That makes sense because of course Hawkman would be a huge massive power-hungry dictator! It's always the guys who fear crime so much that they believe anything they do to stop crime cannot be construed as a crime itself. The ends justify the means, so says libertarians when they're talking about a situation in which they prosper. But if somebody else is justifying some shit means to make the world better, like taxing the rich, then the ends no longer justify the means at all!

I'm really highlighting the kinds of people I loathe in this entry, aren't I?! It's something I have to do every now and then so that they know exactly where I stand and that I don't want them reading anything I write. If you don't say it pointedly and outright, they'll find a way to enjoy things that are absolutely shitting all over their ideology and beliefs. The best part about knowing my Catholic friend Soy Rakelson throughout high school was learning how they could warp any bit of media to make it seem like it supported their way of thinking, just because they liked it in some way. Being a Catholic, I don't know why Soy loved Rush's song "Roll the Bones" so much when the refrain is "Why are we here? Because we're here. Roll the bones. Why does it happen? Because it happens. Roll the bones." I think he just loved the rapping skeleton in the video because it said so many big words and it wasn't Black. Probably wasn't Black, anyway.

Justice League America #72 Rating: A. I don't know what else to say except "I love a good Elseworlds' story!" And this one gets to not just be an Elseworlds' style story but it gets to be in canon too! I also love Doctor Destiny. The Sandman story "24 Hours" is right up there as one of my favorite ever issues of a comic book (right alongside the issue of Seagle's House of Secrets about the Juris member Plyck and "The White Sheep on the Green Hill" from Peter Milligan's Shade the Changing Man). Hopefully the heroes are all dreaming this story and not actually committing all of these atrocities like the patrons in the diner in The Sandman story! Because if so, bye-bye China, I guess! Oh, and Star Sapphire. And Sinestro. And probably Superman and Wonder Woman! I mean, they're conspicuously absent! You know they wouldn't have condoned this Hawkman running the world shit. Who actually would?! I'm so disappointed in everybody except Commissioner Gordon, Green Arrow, and Black Canary!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Justice League Europe #47 (February 1993)

Sonar added orange dye to his sonic bolts for a better visual spectacle.

I'm ignoring the pun, "The Sound of Slaughter," because it kills a tiny piece of my brain every time I try to read it due to my brain trying to pronounce slaughter as it should be pronounced and also as rhyming with "laughter" at the same time. It physically hurts to read it which is probably why I shouldn't have mentioned it at all. Let's go back to the idea that Sonar's sonic blasts can be observed. Which I'm entirely thankful for because picture this cover, in your mind's eye, without the orange-yellow blasts. It's fucking ridiculous, innit? People picking up this comic book in 1993 would think, "Do his balls smell that bad?"

Hal Jordan has returned from his mission on Oa when this issue begins and, in typical Hal Jordan fashion (which I've documented time and time again so I don't know why anybody else doesn't feel the same way about Hal that I do), instead of investigating what's happened to his teammates, he struts right up to the entire Rocket Red Brigade and begins punching them in their vodka-soaked Russian faces. Dammit. I apologize for the obvious ethnic insult but I lived through the '80s and even though I didn't much think about it, some of Reagan's propaganda soaked into the wee corners of my mind. Luckily most of my attitude toward Russians was formed by pop music so I figured the Russians loved their children and also all became clowns after they served in the Russian military. But we're probably at a point where a few pointedly Russian insults can make it into my writing because of Putin's invasion of Ukraine (which is kind of echoed in this "Red Winter" story arc!). Don't get me wrong! I don't hate Russians because of what their leader is doing. I'm American! I know how awful it is to be blamed for the stupid violent imperialist shit our leaders do! But I think the atmosphere is a little bit okay for some vodka and potato and big concrete blocks making up the bulk of their architecture jokes! Sure it's low hanging potatoes! But that's the kind of thing people reading this blog believe I dabble in because they don't truly understand the subtlety of most of my jokes! Not that "vodka-soaked Russian faces" has any subtlety in it. But that's just the camouflage to hide all the really great lines that two or three readers will ever notice!

Hal attacks the Rocket Reds while spouting a load of allegations about what they're up to and expecting them to explain themselves while he beats the shit out of their vodka-soaked Russian faces.

Of course they don't answer, Hal. How much English do you think they know?!

Hal pulls the helmet off one Rocket Red's head and, hokey smokes, it's Dmitri! What are the odds?! Unless all the Rocket Reds will be revealed to be clones of Dmitri, like how all the Empire's clones turned out to be Boba Fett's dad! Hal tries to make Dmitri feel guilty but that doesn't work against brainwashed people so Dmitri just blasts Hal with his Apokolyptian gauntlet blasters. Hal, showing no remorse, blasts Dmitri full in his uncovered face with his ring, thinking, "It's much easier to murder you when I never actually worked with you!" Or something to that effect. I'm not the most reliable re-teller of stories. Once Hal takes out Dmitri, what other Rocket Red can stand up to him? None of them have armor forged on Apokolips. They just have rusted-out, Cold War technology that wasn't even great before the dissolution of the Soviet Union! But that's when brainwashed Flash appears!

I love this panel although I suspect Barry had used his yellow boot into Hal's face trick more than once in the past.

Do you think Batman gives pointers to all the other Justice League members about how to defeat every other Justice League member? When Batman learned Hal was going to be in charge of Justice League Europe, he probably took Wally aside and was all, "He's defenseless against yellow. If you ever have to take him down, just judo kick him right in the brain. He'll literally never see it coming. Also, stop sexually harassing Power Girl, you sex pest."

It turns out Wally learned the yellow boot move from Sonar. I knew he had to have learned it from somebody because it's too advanced a tactic for Wally West to have come up with himself. Actually learning about somebody else's weaknesses to use to his advantage? Why bother! He's super fast and can do anything! Would be his thoughts on the subject, I mean. Also, you know what? They're my thoughts on the subject too! How is The Flash ever defeated at all?! I'm going to stop suspending my disbelief in this fictional DC Universe if they don't start getting more realistic with how super speed would work! Maybe have The Flash accidentally run into a few buildings here and there because he runs faster than he can think or see. Hmm, I've re-thunk my thoughts on the subject! DC is doing just fine. I don't want them to think too hard about all the reasons super speed would be a terrible, uncontrollable curse. Let's just pretend he runs fast enough when he needs to and people can also hear him say everything he says while running around super fast.

Back in London, the last available member of Justice League Europe, Crimson Fox, pretends she's up to the task of rescuing the others. She probably can stop the Rocket Red Brigade all by herself unless the suits are hermetically sealed, making the Russians within immune to her pheromones. Also in London, an Indian girl who can make electric arrows has run away from her aunt and uncle, deciding that the only safe place for her to flee is to the Justice League castle. I don't know remember who she is but she feels like somebody who will wind up on the Titans.

Catherine, like me, doesn't believe Crimson Fox has what it takes to help the other members of the League. So she calls in the reserves!

Why is this the reserve team? Get them their own continent immediately!

Crimson Fox and her new underlings (I'm assuming Fox is the new leader) have no idea what they're even doing because nobody can communicate with the rest of the League. They'll probably have to wait until they hear a news story about the Rocket Reds invading Romania. Green Lantern somehow gets away, probably some auto-protect setting on his ring which really pisses off Sonar because now he has to save Ralph's life just to get another brainwashed Justice League soldier. Luckily Sue is willing to make a deal with Sonar, giving him whatever he wants if he'll save Ralph from the trap he set that nearly killed him.

Rocket Reds force the JLE Reserve's plane to make a crash landing as it tries to enter Russian airspace. That's when Black Canary is all, "I guess it's up to Aquaman and his bureaucratic nonsense!" Oh yeah! I forgot about Aquaman and Power Girl! What have they been up to since we left them about to kiss?

Notice how Aquaman specifies, in this melodramatic act, how he can't be with another "woman." He's definitely fucking dolphins.

Power Girl doesn't take rejection well but they must not have diet soda in Atlantis because she doesn't smash up the joint. She just leaves Aquaman to his lonely boner and his boring paperwork and his moist, succulent dolphins. She heads back to the surface with only an Atlantean headband to show for her journey back "home." It's kind of depressing and I don't give three shits about Power Girl. I'm not sure if not giving more or less shits shows greater apathy.

While Sonar's plan seemed to really be falling into place a few pages ago, it quickly begins to fall apart when Power Girl ditches Aquaman and Sonar loses the ability to listen in on either one.

Why are we checking in on Sonar if Crimson Fox is out there naked somewhere?!

Sonar suits up because it's time for the C-list villain to take matters into his own hands. This constitutes an expected failure on his part, right? His Rocket Red invasion plan gets stymied on a number of fronts in conflict with the Justice League when he should have been ruling several countries by now. I guess Gerard Jones actually thought Russia invading other countries would be difficult because the rest of the world wouldn't stand for it. Instead, we've learned most of the world barely cares. It's probably why Israel decided to finally go ahead with their longtime plans of killing and driving out the Palestinians. And they were right to move forward! The UK and the USA have decided, in this case, genocide probably isn't a war crime. Gerard Jones must be rolling over in his prison cell thinking about how he fucked up this story so bad! Oh, no, excuse me. He's out of jail now. I hope somebody checks his hard drive regularly to make sure he hasn't downloaded any more Oopsie! Pictures.

While sitting in a crashed airplane in the snow doing nothing, The Huntress spends a few minutes listening to World News on her transistor.

Oh? Latveria exists in the DC Universe? That's fucking news to me.

If I were Gerard Jones, I wouldn't jokingly be making reference to Doctor Doom in this story. It only reminds the readers that Sonar is a two-bit Doctor Doom, at best. If I owned any Marvel Comics, I would immediately be thinking about re-reading some Fantastic Four right now.

Oh, come on! I do own some Marvel comics! But they're mostly Ultimate editions of them! And Punishers by Garth Ennis! And maybe that series Gaiman did where they're all old timey pirates and shit. The main reason I don't drop this dumb Sonar story and read those comics is that I have no idea how I've organized my comic books. They're in one of the dozens of short boxes stacked up against a wall in the bedroom. You think I'm organized? I'm re-reading my old comics by random draw. Whatever's in the next box under Justice League will be what I read next!

Doctor Light arrives to help the Rocket Reds capture the Justice League Reservists. She does a half-assed job of it, getting trapped inside a lead Metamorpho ball while Metamorpho falls unconscious, unable to let her out. So she's suffocating, The Huntress was knocked out, Blue Jay was electrocuted, and Tasmanian Devil got his ass beat for talking like a pirate. Only Mister Miracle and Black Canary are left standing and they aren't exactly powerhouses able to take on a whole bunch of armored soldiers, even if the armor is of Soviet design. But just when all is darkest before the darkest night, they're saved by Green Lantern! No, not Hal. The gay one.

Is The Atom wearing a snow camo outfit or did the colorist just forget to fill him in?

Justice League Europe #47 Rating: B. The Justice Society don't answer to anybody anymore because no government wants to work with a bunch of old has-beens. So they have no problem creating an international incident by invading Russia to slap the young Rocket Reds on their backsides and give them what for. Also, we didn't actually know Alan Scott was gay in 1992 because nobody had told us yet. But there were hints! Like that majestic cape he's wearing. And his weakness being wood. You know, because he would get all turned on by boners which would expose his secret, closeted life and ruin his marriage. But his son Todd would probably have been, "What?! I'm gay too dad! Let's hit the clubs!" Then Jade probably would have taken a naked shower while they were out, really lathering up her secret bits and causing me to get some serious Green Lantern weakness in my pants. Um, anyway, this was a pretty decent issue! Except for the part where they refused to show Crimson Fox getting naked. That was disappointing.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Justice League America #71 (February 1993)

Judging by what I can see, the new members are Liberace, a gun, and Wonder Woman's tits.

This fake cover over the real cover must have been conceived before the invention of covers with cutaways that reveal the real cover underneath. You'd think that technology would have already been invented by 1993 because remember how that book everybody read in junior high, Flowers in the Attic, had a peekaboo cover? That book came out in 1979 and had a little window on the cover showing a girl's face and then you opened the cover to reveal that she was fucking her brother. V.C. Andrews' books were the junior high equivalent of Judy Blume's books in elementary school. Unless you were one of the freaks reading Stephen King. It came out in 1986 and while most people were all, "Big deal, you read horror!", those of us reading Stephen King in junior high and high school were all, "Do you know a bunch of twelve year olds have a gang bang in the sewer in this? And have you read 'The Lawnmower Man'? Not a hint of virtual reality in that thing! It's just a naked guy slithering around eating grass leavings! And don't get me started on the existentialist torture porn of Gerald's Game!"

Let's check out who's really joining the JLA (according to the cover which probably won't wind up being reality because Black Condor ain't the kind of guy to join a team like this and we know Wonder Woman never fucking finds the time for this shit, no matter how many times the creative team hints at her joining). I wouldn't mind the new roster being the one I wrote in the caption but some would suspect that it's quite improbable.

Holy shit! Underneath the fake cover is a cover where the team is breaking through the cover!

This cover, in an effort to minimize the usually fraud perpetrated by lying comic book covers, adds the question, "Is this the new Justice League America?" Because the answer to that question is, "No, it is not. It never will be. It's more a reminder to readers that The Freedom Fighters have recently had some legacy versions of those old heroes pop up in their own monthlies. But where is the new Phantom Lady? Va-va-va-voom!

This issue begins with Maxima, realizing the Justice League are now seen as huge pathetic losers, rebranding her image. She decides her costume needs less flesh showing and should maybe be purple instead of green. Nobody will recognize her as one of those Justice League failures now! She acts like she's honoring Superman by not giving up after losing one battle but she's acting like an electronics corporation that was recently found to be selling the organs of Chinese children which wants to continue to do business without a bunch of pesky liberals judging them. She's not planning on changing her name though so my analogy is imperfect. My analogy is also imperfect because a lot of people now be thinking, "Wait. What electronics corporation was found selling the organs of Chinese children? Did I miss that story?" Look, I just made that up. The analogy works because people wouldn't be surprised to find out that's something Apple was doing. My guess is one of the major components of the iPhone uses the ACL from toddlers but that's just speculation backed up by evidence. Not evidence that there's an organic component in the iPhone or that there are an inordinate number of crippled Chinese children near iPhone factories! The evidence is simply that Apple is just as evil as every other corporation and if something would make them a profit, they'd engage in that practice.

Maxwell Lord comes by to talk to Lady Maxima. He does call her "Lady M" at one point so I think Dan Jurgens is trying to make sure the readers note that two characters in this comic book basically have the same name. Was that intended? To portray Maxima and Maxwell Lord as two sides of the same person? They're both arrogant jerks who must control every situation. Also they're both villains but they don't really know it.

While Max whines at Maxima that his League might be dead without Superman (forgetting that Superman has only been a part of it for about ten issues), Oberon tells Booster Gold that his suit cannot be fixed with the Justice League's limited technology (limited in that it's 20th Century technology and not 25th Century technology). So obviously Booster Gold blames Oberon in the most offensive but it's the '90s so this is actually a joke, I guess, way!

Oberon is watching . . . Booster's ass as he leaves.

Booster realizes he's a huge ass who shouldn't have attacked Oberon the way he did in the very next panel but there aren't any panels of Booster actually apologizing to Oberon. Blue Beetle continues to "slip deeper into his coma" which is that a thing? Do comas have levels? I just figured our position in the universe was always either coma or not coma, not near a coma or deep in a coma or hanging out in a very shallow coma listening to people talk about you. That could just be my ignorance though. Maybe by "slip deeper," the doctor just meant "another day has gone by and the longer Beetle remains in a coma, the worse his odds of recovery are"?

I just remembered that website where an actual doctor would review episodes of House! What the fuck was that site? He was also a big comic book fan so he'd sometimes review medical emergencies in comic books as well. I haven't thought about that site in years. Probably since House ended!

Maxwell Lord's plan to hire new members for the League is to send out current members to hunt down heroes instead of inviting them all to a huge recruitment party. That should go about as well as the draft in America during the invasion of Vietnam.

Guy Gardner has been sent to collect The Ray. Hopefully nobody blames Guy Gardner when he beats the shit out of the kid and they realize Max is at fault for sending fucking Guy Gardner to recruit somebody. Of course it's going to wind up in a fight! Even when Guy isn't looking for a fight, he winds up in a fight. He's just one of those guys. We've all known a guy like that! Either they start some shit for no fucking reason or somebody starts something with them because guys who start shit can smell their own. I was still pretty young when I got tired of being friends with guys like that. Can I even call a guy like that a friend? A friend is somebody whose back you'd have if some kind of fight broke out but with this kind of guy, when you suddenly realize he's engaged in fisticuffs with some other jerk, you just shrug and think, "Enh, I'm sure he deserves whatever beating he's about to get." I was doing a disservice to them calling them my friend when really I was just another bystander watching them get their ass beat. But then, another kind of awful guy is the kind of guy who backs up a shitheel like that! The kind of guy who is all, "My friend just started some shit with some guy just standing around doing nothing! I'd better back him up and help beat the shit out of that guy!"

Anyway, why the fuck do I like the character of Guy Gardner?! I guess I'm like Ice. I know better but I just can't help myself! Also I feel compassion for him due to his brain damage and the way everybody treats him like shit without considering the brain damage!

1993 wasn't that far away and enough of us felt like The Ray here and still had the correct attitude toward cops: fuck 'em.

People hated cops for a century or more (and any "rules enforcer" since civilizations began). But then all the cop shows trying to portray them as the first line of defense against having your VCR stolen or the only people keeping the public space safe began flooding the airwaves. And then 9/11 happened and somehow cops were entangled with all the real heroic first responders and people began to worship their fascist asses. The split where people began to worship cops probably really began to take place in the Reagan era '80s though. By the '90s, you could see it writ large during something like the OJ trial where people actually existed who couldn't even conceive that Mark Furhman was obviously a huge sexist, racist who might have planted evidence. For decades prior to this, most people would have been, "A racist cop who hates dames planting evidence? Which one did it?" There were probably a lot of racists who hated cops but suddenly found themselves siding with cops when they fiercely wanted OJ found guilty. I remember my cousin's girlfriend at the time saying, "I'm not racist but this trial might make me one." As if rich men weren't getting away with murder constantly! But suddenly a rich black man has the means to hire lawyers that would stop at nothing to keep him out of jail was the unjust straw that broke your racist camel's back? Please. Any time you blame some other event that has shit-all to do with you for making you racist, you were already fucking racist, fam.

Even though The Ray flees, Guy doesn't shoot him in the back and then tell everybody that he thought he had a gun, forcing the Justice League to cover up his murder like they've covered up all of the other murders by cops. I mean heroes. Guy just grabs him with gigantic yellow tweezers and asks him to join the League. The Ray probably jumps at the chance. But meanwhile in New Jersey, Bloodwynd is hunting Black Condor who definitely does not want to join the Justice League. He doesn't even want to stop crime. Ever! He just wants to live in the Pine Barrens and pretend to be the Jersey Devil to lost hikers.

"Shirk your duties"? Fuck you, Bloodwynd, you arrogant conservative asshole Martian.

This is why The X-men could tell a wide variety of stories and retain a semblance of narrative reality that DC often had trouble with. Somebody in the DC Universe who can fly should be obligated to fight crime? What the fuck is that about? In the Marvel Universe, people with powers aren't expected to fight crime specifically. They even have a place to go where they can learn about their powers and be accepted for who they are. I never really read The X-men so maybe Professor X was a lot like Bloodwynd here and constantly pressured the kids at his school to join up with The X-men. I mean the ones with useful powers! Not like those jerks in the special class that Grant Morrison created. Although I sort of loved that beaked kid.

Maxima hunts down Agent Liberty. He's the guy with the gun on the cover because we all know liberty only exists because a guy with a gun kills people. Obviously he kills all the right people some how, even though one aspect of "liberty" is living your life without the fear of some coward with a gun blowing your head off because they've convicted you of some imaginary bullshit on the spur of the moment that demands the death penalty, even if it's just shoplifting (or the belief that you were shoplifting, most likely). I guess he's DC's '90s version of The Punisher but worse because he's tarted himself up to look like a patriotic good guy while The Punisher was all, "I'm going to name myself The Punisher and wear a skull on my chest so that nobody thinks, 'Oh, this guy loves America and is killing for all the right reasons!'" The Punisher just kills who thinks needs to be killed without having to polish his murder turd. The problem with this guy is his righteousness. Oh, and his patriotism! Fuck this guy.

This is how dumb this character is.

Just like every gun wielding asshole who thinks they're protecting freedom and loves America and worships cops and the military, he can't wait to shoot a cop in the face if the cop tries to constrain his liberty (his liberty being murdering people). I'm sure DC wants readers to see Agent Liberty as a real hero though so he probably won't shoot at the cops. But if he did, he wouldn't think he was in the wrong at all! Liberty to these assholes generally means "I get to do whatever I want at everybody else's expense." If they do something horrible to you, it's liberty and freedom. But if you try to do what they're doing to you, it's oppression and deserves a death sentence.

Not that I'm defending the cops in that panel! Their first instinct is to shoot the fuck out of Agent Liberty when they see him. Every fucking asshole with a gun (even cops who are supposed to be trained and, you know, brave) automatically assumes every other asshole has a gun and so they think self-defense means being the first person to shoot the other person in any sort of conflict. And you have to make sure to kill them so they can't get on the stand in court and testify to not having had any kind of weapon on them at all nor were they even thinking of escalating the situation to violence.

Only with Superman dead would somebody like Agent Liberty be asked to join the Justice League. Now, if he acted out of righteousness in stopping crimes but refused to kill people, he'd be Batman. I guess that's why he kills. And also why he loves America?

Back at JLA headquarters, Booster Gold continues to search for a solution for his destroyed suit from the future. Fire arrives to show him the final product on the 12 Months of Naked Fire calendar they "collaborated" on.

What the fuck is Fire wearing?

You know Dan Jurgens drew this picturing Fire simply in one of Ice's half-tops and her underwear. But the colorist, Gene D'Angelo, probably got a late night call from Assistant Editor Ruben Diaz screaming, "Augustyn let the shot of an obvious naked Maxima go because we knew the coloring of her suit would make it seem like she had clothes on! But what the fuck is Fire supposed to be wearing?! She's practically naked here! The Comics Code people will shoot my Augustyn's dog if we try to publish this! Color her fucking green so it looks like she has something covering her legs and tits!" You know the call went straight to D'Angelo because nobody drew any lines to show where her "green clothing" ends. Because of artist unions, I don't think colorists are allowed to draw black lines.

Fire informs Booster that she burned the calendars. She claims it's because Booster printed them without her permission and yet she was happy to be paid for provocative photos for a calendar before she knew Booster was behind it. I'm not sure she can argue consent in this case. She's just sorry that she was helping a sexist asshole who makes her sick get rich. If I were Booster, I'd sue the fuck out her.

Oh wait. He's threatening to murder her? I guess I'm back on Fire's side now. Mostly because of the underboob.

Booster Gold digs Skeets out of a box in the basement so Skeets can repair his super suit. No wonder Skeets wound up getting worms in its head and nearly destroying the entire DC Universe. Booster Gold should have taken better care of the poor little thing! Anybody else in that situation probably would have made friends with the first nerd caterpillar to come along as well.

The last new member is the new leader: Wonder Woman! Was that a surprise? Had you forgotten the cover by now? Seeing as how she appears 19 pages into the issue, I think Jurgens was hoping the reader would have forgotten by then too.

Superman is dead. Blue Beetle is in a very deep and getting deeper coma. Fire has lost her powers. Booster Gold has lost his powers (meaning his suit broke). And Ice decides to quit. That leaves Maxima, Bloodwynd, and Guy Gardner as the only remaining members of the League. Which is why they've hired, for a limited time anyway, Black Condor (who doesn't want to be there because he's not a hero), The Ray (who doesn't want to be there because he's so young), Agent Liberty (who doesn't want to be there because they're all Narcs), and Wonder Woman (who doesn't want to be there because she never seems to actually want to be there and always disappears after only a few issues). So that's the new League! A bunch of dumb jerks who don't even want to be in the League! I can't wait to see how they work together!

Justice League America #71 Rating: C+. I know Justice League recruitment drives always rely on spotlighting characters that need more support for their monthly comic books (or perhaps editorial is interested in having a monthly and gauging interest), but this feels even worse than usual. Max Lord has gone after three "heroes" who have no reason to be on the League and nobody in their right mind would have tried recruiting them in the first place. How long does this shit last? I guess all the DC fans who couldn't fucking stand the goofy Justice League finally got their wish! Now they have a useless Justice League with a non-hero, a murderer, a rank amateur, the villain Maxima, Martian Manhunter faking diversity, an apathetic Wonder Woman, and fucking Guy Gardner. I must have continued reading because I love watching things fall apart and centers not holding!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Justice League Europe #46 (January 1993)

Why does Sonar have three front teeth?

You know I'm seriously perplexed by Sonar's teeth when I fail to first mention how Power Girl's ass is the focal point of this cover. I wanted to say something like, "Hasn't Ron Randall ever seen a person wearing pants?" but I quickly realized it's 2024, not 1992, and women go everywhere in yoga pants meaning that Power Girl's ass in clothing looking just like an ass out of clothing is just common life these days. And thank God it is, by the way! I'm not judging! I'm anti-judging! Women might not wear enough yoga pants in public if I were being truthful and disgusting! Sure, sure! It's just about comfort! I get that. But the male gaze lives and breathes and refuses to die no matter the intent of women! We will leer and drool and think horrendously filthy thoughts even though you just want to get your coffee without somebody thinking about your butthole. I'm just here to say that it can't be helped! What can be helped is making a righteous, disgusting dick of yourself, guys. Keep those thoughts in your head. Don't think your disgusting imagination is reality! Leave women alone! You know what? Leave men alone too! Leave everybody alone in public aside from some minor niceties and politenesses! But also, women, wear more yoga pants! And sun dresses! Especially on breezy days!

You may have noticed that I embrace my perverse male gaze. But that's because I'm writing about it on a stupid blog that nobody has to visit and read. I'm not out in public waving my male gaze for everybody to see and be irritated by and possibly fearful of! I'm a comic book reader! We're gross and disgusting! And I'm not just talking about the guys!

This issue begins with John Belushi in Russia standing on a bread line.

Do young people even know who John Belushi is anymore?

I remember right around the time I would have been reading this comic book, I was volunteering back stage at the local junior theater to help move the bigger sets between scenes. I mentioned John Belushi to a couple of the kids as we were hanging out back stage and one of them said, "You mean Jim Belushi's brother?" That may have been the first time I felt old. Not even 21 yet! I think I fake angrily replied, "What? No, no! Jim Belushi is John Belushi's brother! Not the other way around!" Then I punched him in the face and threw his body in the creek behind the building and I felt young again.

Catherine discovers some intel about how the Rocket Reds might be invading Ukraine and other former Soviet republics to reform the USSR from twin Meat Loafs.

They would do anything for the re-integration of the former Soviet republics into a grand, sprawling collection of Communist states again but they won't do that.

Catherine has been unsuccessful at getting in touch with Justice League Europe to let them know her new intel. She's been keeping tabs on the entire League but can't figure out what happened to The Flash and Doctor Light. She also doesn't know where Crimson Fox is but she sort of shrugs over that information and thinks, "Do any of us ever really know where Crimson Fox is?" That's because Flash and Doctor Light have actually been kidnapped by the bad guys. Catherine searching for them makes sense in advancing the plot. But if she were to search for Crimson Fox, it would just waste everybody's time, especially mine. We know she's out fucking Rex Mason.

The Flash and Doctor Light have not only been kidnapped by Sonar's men, they've been strapped into a sonic brainwashing machine to make them loyal to Sonar. The Rocket Reds have already undergone the treatment and fallen to Sonar's clutches. Being that a test I took about forty years ago told me that I have the reading comprehension of an American senior high school student, I think that means Sonar is actually the one invading Ukraine!

Meanwhile, Power Girl and Aquaman arrive in Atlantis to the cheers of Atlantean throngs.

Isn't this just an old Sea Monkey advert?

Instead of getting to their diplomatic business, Power Girl moans about her fake Kryptonian memories and the loss of whoever she was while Aquaman cries about his dead wife and child. It's all so sexy that they wind up kissing. Sonar, being all about sound and shit, has all the heroes wiretapped so his men are all, "They gonna fuck! No need to worry about those two! Let's see if the Dibnys are fucking too!"

The Dibnys are not fucking. They are getting a celebratory welcome from the people of Modora whom they believe they saved from Sonar but they really just kicked the C-list villain down the road. And not that far down the road either since Sonar has already stolen all of his sonic technology back from the Modoran government and left a trap for Ralph in the newly opened Elongated Man Museum, the one place Sonar knew the trap would be sprung. Ralph is zapped by a sonic wand and, I don't know, dies, I guess?

Crimson Fox meets up with her sister to have some scones over coffee and also to brag about how much elemental ass she's been getting.

Sapphire Stagg probably believed the "he's not flesh" line too and then she wound up pregnant. At least one small part of him is definitely flesh.

Ralph isn't dead but the doctor proclaims that he's on the brink of death! So I was close enough, especially since I knew he wasn't dead. He outlives Sue, remember? Ah, Identity Crisis! You made so many friends!

Sue knows who nearly killed Ralph not because she's a genius but because it's fucking obvious. The trap was placed in Sonar's sonic staff! And no super villain would pretend to be Sonar because that would be fucking embarrassing. Even Crazy Quilt and Kite Man wouldn't stoop to pretending to be fucking Sonar.

Sonar doesn't think he's nearly the worst DC super villain of all time, probably because he knows Black Hand is still out there somewhere. He really believes he's become the Doctor Doom of the DC Universe! And that he's helping everybody by taking over the world!

I mean, he might be helping people. His technology certainly could be used compassionately. At the right price.

The problem with people who have the money, power, or technology to help the world is that they don't want to help the world unless it's on their terms. It's always selfishness over philanthropy. They're all basically Napoleon! Unless I meant somebody else?

Justice League Europe #46 Rating: B. I loved this issue! But I don't actually know what love is so it gets a B.