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.

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