Thursday, March 21, 2024

Justice League America #82 (November 1993)

Kevin has levelled up his '90s Image style to include loads of lines on male faces, no pupils, and scads of teeth.

Other things Kevin West has in common with this awful trending style of the times: all pants are painted onto muscular legs while joining up in a weird diaper crotch area that all but screams "I used an articulated art figure or a small G.I. Joe as a model for this!"; thumbs that simply look like a smaller finger but is somehow longer than the other fingers because how do you make fingers come out of a hand?; when not drawing a fist, draw a claw (like the one on the cover where the hand becomes much too wide because they don't know how four fingers fit on a normal-sized hand and also the first two fingers are basically the same exact finger); when something blocks part of one of the character's limbs, completely forget how long or short or extant that limb should be on the other side of the obstruction.

Dan Vado's instruction for this cover was probably, "Guy Gardner loves killing. He can't get enough of killing. So show him absolutely thrilled that he's killing somebody. To make sure you know he's trying to kill Blake (or Corbett. You choose which hair style is easier for you!), Wonder Woman should be trying to stop him with one abnormally long arm. Try not to show any feet at all!"

I wouldn't bet on Vado having added the feet part of the instructions. How often do feet appear on a cover anyway? Unless the cover is by Dan Jurgens because he loves drawing people flying in a foreshortened pose so their weird atrophied legs can dangle beneath them.

If you're going to advertise the new Robin comic this way, I'm going to expect Robin to masturbate every issue.

"Finally some peace and quiet," exclaims Robin as he pulls his gay and straight porn out from the only place Bruce never looks: an old family photo album. "Bruce is in Metropolis flirting with Superman and Alfred's at some old SAS reunion in London that will probably wind up becoming a six issue mini-series because at some point Alfred had to not only be the butler who took care of his employers' mourning kid and refused to get him therapy but also a super duper bad-ass himself. Then Robin masturbates for twelve pages while Two-Face sits around bored wondering why Batman didn't get the clue about his heist which he wrote on the back of a Macy's bra catalogue. "Was the whole 'Double D' theme too subtle?" he asks and then answers, "Yes, Harvey. You're an idiot."

New readers to this series are greeted by the always useful trope of a newscaster explaining the situation from last issue.

Really, really, really new readers, like those born in the 21st century, might wonder what's up with those weird scan lines. That's what standard definition television looked like, kids. Only worse.

So aliens want their fugitives back and the government wants the aliens to go away so they want the Justice League to give the fugitives back and Captain Atom just wants to collect his paycheck without a lot of guff from his bosses so he wants the Justice League to give the fugitives back and Max Lord doesn't want his property destroyed so he wants the Justice League to give the fugitives back and Wonder Woman wants to make sure she's not delivering innocent fugitives into the hands of monsters for execution so she's decided to give the middle Amazon finger to everybody else. That's the bow pulling back finger and also the clit stimulation finger. It's a very suggestive Amazonian finger to give somebody. Also confusing.

Max Lord is all, "Please, Wonder Woman. Forget about the name of our organization for one minute. Pretend we're called the 'We Don't Want Our Headquarters Destroyed League.' It's just the lives of two aliens versus our property which cost like a lot of money. Please do the right thing." And Wonder Woman is all, "Those aliens have names: Blake and Corbett! Haven't you been paying attention to how often Blake and Corbett's names, Blake and Corbett, have been used in the script? That's probably to help humanize them with the reader so that the reader will be all, 'Please save Blake and Corbett! I don't which is which but I love them so much!' Which probably means they're super evil and Dan Vado is a conservative trying to pull a whole 'Law and Order wins again, you hippie peaceniks!' gotcha moment. But still, I must serve truth and justice before property!" And Captain Atom is all, "Sigh. I guess I'm going to have to bust Wonder Woman in the face."

Hey! That's pretty much exactly what I said! You didn't raise no illiterate here, Momma!

Also look at how long Max's legs are. So long. As Naomi Smalls would say, "They go right up to his asshole." Which, I mean, that's what all legs do so I don't know what the fuck Naomi Smalls was talking about on Ru Paul's Drag Race Season 8. Depending on if you understand anatomy or not, legs might even usually go past the asshole! I don't know where the leg legitimately ends although I'd say above the genitals which are about the same place as the asshole, roughly.

Captain Atom and his team of cardboard cutouts of every '90s character ever created have been tasked with investigating the alien ship, just to make sure it isn't harming the city by hovering over it. You know, the way Captain Atom harms the city by hovering over it blasting gamma rays and radiation into everybody's brains.

Apparently there was a time in the history of comic books when these characters were exciting and dynamic as opposed to boring and stupid. I, personally, don't remember that time. I've hated them forever.

Crater has five fingers not counting his thumb in that picture. If I were being charitable, I'd say the extra finger was a mistake by the colorist but why would I be charitable when I fucking hate these characters and the way they're drawn and their stupid single color outfits and their Goddamned fucking glasses and their gritted teeth and their stupid geometric guns that Rob Liefeld should have trademarked when he had the chance. Was there a school of art at the time competing with The Kubert School where a whole slew of up and coming terribly lazy artists were getting an education? Because how did they all draw everything so fucking similarly? How often were readers obligated to see people in the same pose as Cinder in that panel? Especially if you were reading Marvel at the time.

I already forgot the names of Crater's companions so I had to look them up. While doing so, I discovered The Peacekeepers had six appearances in total. About half of them were here in Justice League America during their first appearance. Hopefully the other appearances were where they were killed in battle.

Crater gets shot out of the sky by the space fish police but he's saved by Maxima. Man, I hate Maxima! Now this jerk is going to get another three appearances somewhere!

Every garbage human being thinks "just following orders" is an adequate explanation for doing whatever the fuck they want.

The space fish police in charge of the lasers didn't actually mean to shoot Crater in the skull. He was just following orders except poorly because he wasn't actually supposed to hit Crater is what I meant. So his commander yells at him which might be a joke by Vado because the previous panel with these two space fish police had them expressing their dismay about how much humans yell at each other. Or Dan Vado just isn't paying particular attention to what he's writing as he goes.

The space fish police commander mentions Blake and Corbett by name again when he suggests that maybe they leave Blake and Corbett to the Earthlings and just go home. Meanwhile, Blake tries to rape Fire. Unless it's Corbett trying to rape Fire. No, no. It's Blake. Obviously Fire says his name like eight times on one page.

At least Fire finally put some pants on.

My mention of Fire's clothing has nothing to do with Blake's attempt to rape her! Just in case that wasn't clear and if you're coming from tumblr, it almost certainly wasn't clear. I only mention it because the last time Fire was on panel, she was simply wearing a barely-long-enough-to-cover-her-ass shirt. Actually, it was the shirt she was wearing in this scene, I think. And I suppose if her legs weren't bright pink, it might look like she were walking around with no pants on. Hmm. I think this was another case where the colorist fucked up. Personally, I think the colorist fucked up by putting pants on Fire in this scene. I much prefer my Fire without pants.

Fire kicks his ass and almost learns that Blake and Corbett are pretty fucking guilty, making Wonder Woman look naïve and stupid and lame. Dumb compassionate people who believe in justice and freedom and turning hawks into doves! Dan Vado just showed them! See how Blake and Corbett were actually guilty and terrible people? The Justice League should have listened to the cops and the military and the government right from the start. I probably stopped reading this comic book because of Dan Vado's pro-authority attitude!

"No, Blake! It's me, Corbett! There's no time for rape! Otherwise, you know, I'd be all, 'Go for it, Blake!' It's just, you know, no time!"

Blake and Corbett try to run off but they run into The Ray. They try to kill him while Fire yells to stop them. So it should now be clear to everybody that Blake and Corbett are totally bad assholes. I hope all the readers have learned their lesson about helping out people on the run from authority. It's always a bad decision and the authorities are always in the right and boy, you sure wouldn't want to look like a total chump being fooled into doing the right thing, would you?!

Fire runs out and yells, "Boy, did we ever misjudge those two." Which seems like, maybe, the weakest observation she could make at this juncture. "Gosh and gee willikers, Ray! How'd we ever get fooled so bad? Hee haw!"

Blake and Corbett don't get far before The Ray stops them and Captain Atom shows up. But still, Wonder Woman won't give them up. She has Guy take them back to headquarters where she assures everybody that everything will be wrapped up nicely in the last few pages. Everybody trusts her because, you know, she's Wonder Woman!

Look at Guy using the third person pronoun even when it's not necessary. So considerate of others and their possibilities!

Back at headquarters, Diana tries to point out that Blake and Corbett's guilt or innocence doesn't matter in this case because it's the general principle of granting asylum that she's trying to protect. Yes, Blake and Corbett will be dealt with as necessary but not without the same basic rights to due process and not getting instantly murdered by Guy Gardner.

Well, maybe Diana can apply her theories to Corbett.

Well, well, well. It looks like some editors finally got hold of Dan Vado and were all, "Um, you know Guy isn't this big of a jerk, right? I mean, yes, he's a jerk. But he's not a murderer and he shouldn't be sexually harassing every female member of the League every time he enters a scene." And Dan Vado was all, "Oh, um, yeah, um, I know! I've got this, um, story? Idea? That, well, this is Guy's evil twin! Right? Always has been. Totally my idea all along! Big shocker right?!" I'm assuming that's what happened because I don't dare believe that I was wrong about Dan Vado's preoccupation with making Guy Gardner an absolutely terrible and unforgivable caricature of his already pretty shitty self. And there's no way editorial would be okay with having Guy commit outright murder in front of everybody. Therefore, this isn't actually Guy Gardner which allows Vado to pretend it wasn't Guy Gardner the entire time.

Also, it was going to be too boring writing a bunch of pages where the characters talk out their problems and settle on a good diplomatic solution. Easier to just have Guy kill the alien (Blake) that tried to rape Fire. Ultimately, nobody's going to be upset about that.

Justice League America #82 Rating: C-. The big twist was that the space bad guys on the run and being protected by Wonder Woman really were the bad guys. Vado spends one panel on Wonder Woman considering how she might be racist in that she sided with the human looking aliens over the space fish police. But that just shows that Wonder Woman is willing to question herself and do some real soul searching to uncover any possible flaws that might keep her from doing the best job of serving justice and truth. In the end, whether Blake and Corbett were actually terrible criminals, Wonder Woman did the right thing. It's the kind of right thing that nobody is willing to get behind anymore because it's more important to never be tricked by somebody presenting themselves as something other than they are. Internet trolls are huge on that. They won't believe any truth at all because they don't want to ever look stupid. Although they will believe the most farfetched conspiracy theory currently making the Tik Tok rounds. But that's mostly because you can't really prove a terrible Internet conspiracy false. So they never have to look stupid! I mean, obviously they look stupid believing shit like The Mandela Effect and Wayfair sex trafficking. But you can't prove that they look stupid until you prove those things aren't true! And good luck proving something everybody knows is preposterous anyway! You can't prove a falsehood, nimrod! Ha ha! Checkmate! I look super smart now by simply believing the dumbest shit!


  1. I was going to mention the very 90s facial buttress on the cover, but I couldn’t ignore the very un-90s ahegao face on Wonder Woman. Maybe the dude was ahead of his time.

    1. You're right. Ahead of his time. That Wonder Woman face compares to Finch or Daniels' blow up doll looking women faces during The New 52.