Saturday, February 10, 2024

Justice League America #69 (December 1992)


I don't mind so much that Doomsday has just punched Blue Beetle to death on this cover even though that never happens. What I really mind is Bloodwynd's atrophied baby legs due to Dan Jurgens' particular foreshortening style. He just can't stop with that one leg bent so the thigh looks huge but everything below the knee sort of trails off into a withered appendage thing. Fire's butt and feet look so great though that I don't even care what happened to Booster's bottom half. My guess is Doomsday ripped him in two just before this cover was drawn.

The first page begins in the middle of the story with a helpful sales pitch from the editor.

Fuck you.

Sure, I act tough now, 30 years later! But I bet back in 1992, I was all, "Yes sir! Right away sir! I don't want to miss any of this spectacular story about the space man who punches Superman to death!" It would suck to get this comic book home, sit down to read it, and then see this message. Then you'd have to haul your ass all the way back to the comic book store and hope they still had a copy of Man of Steel #18. The clerk at my local comic book store at the time (Jeff of Brian's Books, probably on El Camino at the time in Santa Clara (don't dox me with all of this pertinent yet out of date information!) probably informed me that I should get Man of Steel #18 if I wanted the whole Death of Superman thing. I know he held a copy of the Death of Superman without me even asking! I think he idolized me. I miss him so much!

Too bad I don't know how to organize my comic books or else I would be reading Man of Steel #18 instead of replying, "Fuck you," to a comic book. If I had to guess, I'd say I didn't own Man of Steel #18 because I've already done a review of Man of Steel #30. And any rational being would assume that all of my Man of Steel comic books would have been packed away together. There's still some hope that eventually I'll read the first part of this story because my comic book organizing skills have nothing at all to do with rationality.

The Justice League are currently in Ohio putting out fires and rescuing people from the rampage of some space monster.

Outside their jurisdiction? I thought Ohio was in America? I'm fucking suing my elementary school.

I'm not actually going to sue my elementary school. Not because I don't think I have a case but because my elementary school was run by Satanists and I fear them. I could repeat all of my evidence here and risk awaking their wrath or, if you're curious, just search my blog for Haman Elementary. Your mind will be blown! Or not. I'm kind of an unreliable narrator.

Cat Grant has a nationally televised talk show which must air live because while the Justice League begin tracking Doomsday, Superman is busy appearing on the show.

That's a fucking dig at Batman, isn't it?

Maxima reaches out with her mind to find the creature and makes contact. She says, "He's hate, death, and blood lust personified. Nothing more." Also, let's assume she realizes its name is Doomsday so I can just start calling it Doomsday for the rest of this post, even if it's still just dressed in a body bag with goggles.

Nothing more? He's laughing joyfully here!

I guess if you're hate, death, and blood lust personified, those are the three things that bring you joy. So you probably wouldn't ever be called joyful or happy just because killing something or destroying a small town makes you laugh uproariously. But still. Some people never find the kind of joy that Doomsday experiences while breaking the neck of a deer! I'm a little bit envious.

Doomsday notices Beetle's bug following his trail of death and destruction and hurls a massive tree at it. The tree demolishes the Bug, sending everybody hurtling to the ground. The non-flyers are saved by the people who most want to fuck them.

This shot of Ice's half-top riding up exemplifies why Ice's costume is one of my favorites.

Meanwhile on Cat Grant's show, Superman spends three-quarters of the interview denying that he's the leader of the Justice League. "We're all equal!" he lies through his fat alien teeth. "They were an experienced and successful team long before I joined," he says, grimacing from the pain of becoming a liar on national television. "Can we please talk about something less embarrassing?" he says, "Like Lex Luthor's massive dong?"

Back in Ohio:

How can I find rekindle this kind of pure joy in my life?! Fucking Doomsday lives, loves, and laughs better than I do.

I can't remember the last time I experienced the kind of joy Doomsday has experienced twice in this comic book. To be fair to me, I have never tried strangling a deer with my bare hands or causing a multi-car pile-up on the freeway. There might be some hidden joys yet lurking in the depths of my being!

Guy Gardner's the first Leaguer to catch up to Doomsday and gets his ass handed to him in five panels. He's only saved because Fire comes to his rescue to distract Doomsday. If Guy were still a Green Lantern, the ring would have protected him from the brunt of Doomsday's physical assault. But the yellow ring from Qward has a more Libertarian attitude. Why the fuck should it protect Guy when he gets in over his head? Fucker brought it on himself! If Guy chose some stupid cowboy boots without bootstraps to pull himself up by, that's his own damn lazy-ass fault.

Bloodwynd punches Doomsday and Doomsday doesn't even say, "I actually felt that!" Instead he just punches the fuck out of Bloodwynd and laughs and laughs and laughs. He's having such a good time here on Earth! For once in his life, he's feeling the joy of living! Why would the Justice League and Superman want to take that away from him? Do you think Superman got killed by Doomsday on purpose? Because Superman is just that good? He just wanted Doomsday to experience one brief moment of all-consuming joy before Doomsday also died from his injuries?

Back at the television studio, some high schoolers in the audience get to ask Superman some questions.

That's a fucking super villain question. Even Cat thinks she's sus. Somebody arrest this girl.

Bloodwynd gets knocked into a storage vat full of oil which ignites all around him. Blue Beetle rushes in to help him without realizing that Bloodwynd actually needs fucking help this time. He comes upon Bloodwynd and thinks, "Of course! That's who Bloodwynd really is!" But before he can let the readers see who Bloodwynd actually is, Doomsday tears off his head, killing him.

I heard you can say up to nine words once you're decapitated. Mine would be, "Hey body! I'm over here! Put me back on!" But my body wouldn't because it doesn't have any ears.

Obviously Blue Beetle didn't really get decapitated. But who cares? Look at what Doomsday just did to a person without any super powers at all! The fucker might as well have had his head torn off. He's definitely only got seconds left to live anyway!

Bloodwynd somehow makes it out of the fire and back in his proper disguise just in time for Doomsday to grab his ankle and slam him into Maxima. Ice reports that Blue Beetle is probably dead and Booster Gold loses his shit. Back at the studio, Superman is all, "Violence is the price we pay to accomplish a greater good!" Sounds like fascist talk to me! But at least Superman means the heroes must pay the price and, sometimes, even lose their lives due to the violence. That sentiment is way better than when some leader demanding civilians pay the price for some abstract bullshit behind-the-scenes goal to make them and their buddies even richer than they already are! And Superman is about to prove his point in a month or two! Good for him, dying like he promised! Fucking Jesus, he is.

Superman hears news reports of the battle and flies off to get his ass killed. I know I have that issue somewhere but, once again, I'll have to read it out of order whenever I dig it out of a short box. Just know, if you hadn't heard, Doomsday kicks his ass and kills him by the time the next issue of Justice League America came out.

Justice League America #69 Rating: B. Doomsday really just does what ever other super villain does at the beginning of any story arc: he kicks major ass and the heroes are left bewildered and confused. But Jurgens wants readers to know it's different this time! So everybody who hits Doomsday says something like, "How is he still standing after my most powerful shot?!" And everybody who gets hit by Doomsday says, "I'm dead and/or close to dead! Owie!" Plus the DC Comics PR machine was really ramped up around this time and everybody knew the Death of Superman was on the way. So I guess it felt different even though it was just some weirdo in a green space suit with sharp bony knuckles on his fist. A lot of people were all, "Wait. This idiot is going to kill Superman?" But then I bet once he lost the suit and became the Doomsday everybody pictures, readers were all, "Holy shit! That guy looks almost as cool and dangerous as Lobo! Superman is in trouble!"

Remember when Hitman defeated Lobo by getting him drunk and then having Bueno Excellente rape him and they took photos to blackmail Lobo to leave Earth? They should have used that plan for Doomsday! I bet Bueno Excellente would have been all in on that!

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