Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Justice League America #78 (Early August 1993)

Do all women throwing cars look this sexy?

I don't believe I've ever made a woman angry enough to throw a car. Maybe I have and there just weren't any cars close enough to throw. That's probably what happened. Imagine being a man and not believing you've ever made a woman angry enough to throw a car! I probably do it on a daily basis without even trying! Definitely gonna think twice before getting into an argument with a woman in a parking garage.

The issue begins with a plane carrying food and medicine being shot down. One of the pilots says, "I'd hate to dump our load," which are some pretty good last words. They're better than the other guy's last words which are kind of racist. He's all, "Why do we even bother helping these people when the supplies we bring just get stolen by other people and relief workers are murdered because they're animals!" He doesn't say the animals bit but you can tell it was implied, being that I called him racist already. Maybe he wasn't racist but I judged him and, well, that's that. Everything he said after I looked at his smug pilot's face and bright blonde hair and thought, "Racist," can't be read any other way. I'm glad he fucking smashed his face into the side of that mountain. Good riddance!

Due to the violence on the island with the mountains now covered in pilot jelly, the United Nations has asked the Justice League for help securing the island and protecting the civilians from all the warlords trying to secure power by stealing the food and medical supplies being flown in. Guy Gardner seems upset by not only this mission but the time of the meeting, the nationality of the United Nations representative, the temporary recruitment of Jay Garrick, Beetle working on a new suit for Booster, doing the military's job for them, and just about every other thing mentioned in any panel for the first few pages. It seems Dan Vado's version of Guy Gardner is just a whiny, contrarian piece of shit. I won't deny Guy often comes off as whiny or contrarian or a piece of shit, but he often doesn't pull off all three multiple times across only a couple of pages.

Jay Garrick gives the new League a little pep talk, mostly so he can point out he's not just old but experienced as well. That's the line I use at the club every weekend!

Good thing there weren't any cars in the conference room.

Wonder Woman, realizing that the main thing any old man wants is to still feel useful, allows Jay Garrick to come up with the plan to invade, I mean defend, the island in the Indian Ocean. Shouldn't this be a job for Justice League International? I'm not sure why the American version of the team, the one with "America" in the name, probably because they're supposed to be defending America, was pulled for this mission. No wait, I am sure why. Even down a bunch of members, they're more powerful than the European group.

Speaking of being down a few members, readers already knew the team was down Superman, Fire, and Booster Gold. But it seems Black Condor and Agent Liberty have skedaddled as well. That makes sense because neither one belonged on the team. Black Condor didn't want to be a hero and Agent Liberty was a murderer who thought he was a good guy with a gun.

Jay's plan is to split the League into two groups. Blue team consists of Wonder Woman, Guy Gardner, and The Ray. Their mission is to destroy all of the warlords' fighter jets and missile sites. Red Team consists of Maxima, Bloodwynd, and Jay Garrick. Their mission is to secure the airport. That's the extent of his plan. See how simple the plan was? Exactly the type of job you give to the old man to feel useful. Plus the opponents are mostly young men forced to fight for the local warlords, so they surrender quickly when they realize they're outmatched by all the heroes. Finally, an easy win for the Justice League!

At least until the final page.

Justice League America #78 Rating: C-. This issue (which felt like a rejected Suicide Squad script) was 1/2 prologue leading up to the last page encounter with the real villains, The New Extremists, and 1/2 portraying Guy Gardner as a murderous, violent asshole. At one point while fighting basically young men who almost certainly were forced into fighting for the local warlord, Guy says, "If I don't kill something soon, I'm going to die of boredom." Has killing ever been an aspect of Guy's personality? I don't think he would have been chosen as a Green Lantern with murder in his heart. Sure, he loves to rough people up to prove how masculine he is. But craving killing something? Was Dan Vado's portrayal of Guy Gardner the reason I quickly dropped this book after he became the writer? The final issue I own is Part One of a multi-part story about Guy Gardner which speaks to how uninterested I was in Dan Vado shitting all over Guy. I get that writers often have different takes on various characters but isn't keeping them somewhat recognizable the job of the editors? That's my main complaint. My minor squabble is that Maxima never really overdrove anywhere! She just smashed a jeep or two and was all, "Boy, that Jay Garrick is a pretty good warrior for an old as fuck old guy."

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