Thursday, February 15, 2024

Justice League Europe #45 (December 1992)

Ha ha ha! Rocket Red taking out The Flash. Fucking comic books, man.

We are solidly in the early '90s era of the Justice League that I have absolutely no memory of. After Breakdowns, my interest levels for the series plummeted exponentially. Or whatever the opposite of that is. Logarithmically? Being that it's still 1992, I can't blame my flagging interest on having been overtaken by my other '90s obsessions, Sailor Moon and Magic the Gathering. My guess is that the comics that would eventually turn into the DC Vertigo line at the beginning of 1993 were taking over my brain and evicting any stories with Blue Beetle or Arsenal. You have to marvel at the brain's ability to defend itself from intense trauma that could cause considerable pain lasting for decades. My inability to remember any Arsenal story I read in the past has saved me so much grief. Also, I stopped reading The Titans when Arsenal became the leader so my brain wasn't working at just a subconscious back-up level. It was advising me to take the necessary steps to improve my life as well as blocking out the stuff I didn't act on fast enough. That explains why this "Red Winter" story arc pretty much ends my run with Justice League Europe and also why I have completely forgotten it.

I don't know Cyrillic and can't speak Russian but Gerard Jones knows both even less than I do. Maybe I shouldn't blame Gerard Jones for the "Я" on the cover. That would be like blaming the script writer every time an artist places the pips on a die wrong, or a colorist fucks up the American flag (they probably fuck up other flags all the time too but, being American, how would I know when another flag has been colored wrong?!). And, sure, I get that it's a design choice and nobody expects me to read "ЯED WINTER" by pronouncing the "Я" in Russian and the rest of the word in English! If they did want me to pronounce "Red Winter" as it would be pronounced in English but begin with basically the correct phonetic sound, the cover would read "РED WINTER" and that wouldn't suggest anything to anybody! It would just look like somebody completely fucked up. So maybe I should stop trying to sound smart and acting like a Goddamned pedant and just realize that the whole "Я" thing was a shortcut for readers to go, "Oh! Backwards R! That's like Communist crap, right?!"

The story begins with the Яocket Яed Brigade attacking and taking over an old Soviet base located in Ukraine. Is this where Putin got his idea for his shit invasion?! I mean, of course it isn't! But any time I read or watch something that reminds me of something that happened in the real world, I don't automatically think it's predictive programming like all the hoople-headed conspiracy theorists who somehow don't understand how fiction, especially science fiction, works. But I do remember the time I saw The Matrix in the theaters and a woman next to me exploded into tears when Neo, in his leather trench coat, stormed that office building by killing loads and loads of people with guns. She was all, "Is this where they got the idea?!" "They" being Dylan Klebold and that other dumb dumb, the Columbine massacre jerks. Often times, lady from 25 years ago, things happen in fiction that remind you of things that happened in reality and vice versa. Most of the time, they have no connection to each other. Bajillions of interactions are happening on this planet every fucking minute. We can only take note of a scant few of those interactions. And sometimes, two of those interactions seem suspiciously reminiscent of each other. But just think if you could perceives all of the interactions! Maybe coincidences would be less spooky if every time something happened, you would be all, "Ho hum. That reminds me of ten million other things that happened thirty seconds ago."

Justice League Europe can't help with the situation because Russia is all, "A-ha! You are Justice League Europe! And Russia is only partially in Europe! So even though Justice League America pokes their noses into everybody's business all over the world, we don't think you should! So stay out of Ukraine, buddy! Or, being 1992, should I say, 'Stay out of The Ukraine, buuuuuuuu-dddy!'?"

Aquaman steeples his fingers and says, "Bureaucracy makes the world go round."

I don't remember this version of Aquaman. I remember when they gave him long hair and a hook for a hand and a rage he couldn't control to try to make him more appealing. But I don't remember when DC thought, "You know who everybody finds really boring and sad? Aquaman! Do you think he'd be more appealing if he were a fan of pushing pencils and slowing down progress?" I don't know why they never went with my idea to make Aquaman more interesting: a guy who fucks dolphins and loves to brag about how many dolphins he's fucked.

Oh, I just realized why I find my version of Aquaman so appealing: it's basically Lobo and his space dolphins!

Power Girl angrily suggests they don't have to just sit around. Still hitting the Diet Coke, I see. She slams the table to emphasize her point and it doesn't break because it's haunted. She suggests they contact Dmitri, their Яocket Яed friend. Since he's Ukrainian, they figure he must know what's going on! Which is perfect Aristotelian logic! Obviously a citizen of a country being invaded by another country must know the reasons why they're being invaded! I can't even counter that kind of perfect argument!

Hal figures the only problem might be breaching international law by going into a sovereign country as the Justice League without permission. But one member of the crew has a solution!

"This mission will involve so much paperwork, I might sire a new Atlantean prince with my pants!"

I apologize to anybody who only reads my reviews for the pictures. Two panels scanned and both with mediocre drawings of Aquaman being more boring than usual.

Being a bureaucratic solution, Aquaman's plan will take a few weeks to get going. He has to go back to Atlantis, send out communications to Russia, hire aids, book travel, fuck some dolphins. At least he'll have Power Girl's help because he's asked her to come along as his partner, being that she's Atlantean and she has big tits.

After that's settled, some Modorans crash their sonic ship on the roof of the castle and are nearly killed by Power Girl. Partially because she's hopped up on Diet soda but more partially because they interrupted Aquaman complimenting her on her heroic abilities and big tits. Modora is the DC equivalent to Marvel's Latveria if you've taken a huge blow to the head and believe Sonar is as powerful or interesting as Doctor Doom.

We also learn Doctor Light gets high but she doesn't finish telling us what strain of weed makes her so giddy.

I would probably smoke weed except I can't stand people who smoke weed. Personally, I can't stand anybody who decides one activity they love should become their entire personality. We get it. You get stoned constantly. Wow. Maybe they instantly make friends with other people who smoke weed because they realize nobody else wants to hear them talk about all the weed they smoked lately. The only two groups of people who are worse are vapers and dog owners. Poor fucking dogs. Being loved by the absolutely worst people.

My apologies to my friends and family who own and love dogs. I'm sorry you had to hear how awful you are through this medium. Who am I kidding? The last people who would read this blog are my friends and family!

The Modorans have come to ask Sue and Ralph to come back with them for a visit to their newly free Modora, since Sue and Ralph helped kick Sonar out of the country in a 1992 Elongated Man mini-series. It's weird that I own that series because I don't like Ralph Dibny at all. It's also not weird that I own that series because I think Sue Dibny is adorable.

Unbeknownst to anybody but Sonar and a Яocket Яed, a trap has been set for Sue and Ralph. Apparently Sonar wasn't as defeated as everybody thought he was.

Crimson Fox hates this new outfit but I'm guessing the letters pages will soon be full of angry nerds despondent over her not choosing it.

Crimson Fox chooses not to wear the sexiest outfit to her date with Metamorpho for some reason. Perhaps she's a little bit scared of giving him an erection. He might ejaculate mustard gas.

Later that evening, just Flash and Doctor Light are left in the castle. Hal went to Oa, Aquaman and Power Girl are busy triplicating diplomatic forms, Crimson Fox has gone on a date, and Sue and Ralph have been politely kidnapped by the Modorans. Dmitri wanders in without setting off any alarms or dealing with any kind of security at all. Which you're probably thinking, "Why would he? He's their friend!" But don't you remember the cover?! That wasn't any old Яocket Яed! That was Dmitri! And he's become a huge fucking dick! Unless he's just being mind-controlled by Sonar because that sounds like the kind of thing you can explain with sound waves in a comic book. Whatever the case, he knocks Doctor Light and The Flash unconscious. But what he's going to do with them will have to wait until next month. Or the month after. Or the month after that. This is a six part story remember!

Justice League Europe #45 Rating: B. Everything moved along at just the right pace for the first part of a six issue story. The reader has been left in the dark for the most part which is fair since even the Justice League doesn't quite know what's happening. And then there's the big twist surprise ending that was only really a twist surprise ending if you managed to read the story without ever glancing at the cover! Readers are left thinking, "What?! Another traitorous Яocket Яed?! Is Dmitri another Manhunter?! Is this yet another derivative Gerard Jones story that's sort of been told before?! Am I really going to have to read six full issues where the antagonists are Sonar and Яocket Яed?!" If I had been smarter at 21 years old, I also would have asked, and answered in the affirmative, "Should I just stop reading this comic book now instead of wasting my money on five more issues of a Sonar/Яocket Яed team-up?!" Instead, that stupid 21 year old me finished out this story before dropping this book. What a naïve idiot I was!


  1. Wasn’t Gerard Jones the ALLEGED guy? I definitely thought that’s where you were going with the “Rocket PED” bit.

    1. Alleged? Downright convicted!

      That's pretty good though! Too bad I didn't think of it and was just being whimsical and hypocritical by using the backwards R with the P sound!

  2. I was using “alleged” euphemistically. XD Hence CAPS! 😸