Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Justice League America #39
Jun. '90
"Blow Up"
Giffen, DeMatteis, Hughes, Rubinstein, Lappan, D'Angelo, Dooley and Helfer have done it again! (We're not exactly sure what they've done, but if our legal department doesn't complain, we guess it's okay...)

Justice League Europe #15
Jun. '90
"The Extremist Vector Part One: Kings of the Dust"
Keith Giffen - plot & breakdowns
Gerard Jones - script
Bart Sears - pencils
Pablo Marcos - inks
Bob Lappan - letters
Gene D'Angelo - colors
Kevin Dooley - patter
Andy Helfer - pitter

We're a long way from "Furballs" this week, as both books deliver heavy hitters with no punches pulled. In other words, there's a lot of fighting, and almost none of it's between Leaguers. First up, in JLA, the battle against Despero intensifies significantly. After taking down J'onn with a mental attack, Despero gets booted into the Atlantic by none other than Guy, and the kerfuffle--joined by Fire, Ice, Blue Beetle and Mr. Miracle--finally lands in Midtown Manhattan, where the whole shebang ends (for now) with Despero blowing up the League's shuttle, with Miracle still at the controls. As the pages turn, a few interesting revelations are made, as well. For instance, although no one should be surprised that Guy feels like this about J'onn--

--I had no idea J'onn felt like this about Gypsy:

Also, Beetle finally gets some respect ... sort of:

JLE, meanwhile, shows us what's left of Blue Jay and Silver Sorceress' homeworld, as the latter wanders dead streets only to run into the Extremists, the cabal of criminals who apparently caused the nuclear holocaust: Lord Havoc, Dr. Diehard, Gorgon, Tracer and Dreamslayer. While the villains' designs remind me of the worst excesses of the '90s, Giffen and now apparently regular scripter Jones provide some nice character beats amongst the Extremists, all of whom are slipping deeper into madness as a result of being alone together in the big, dead world.

Of course, the Extremists all cheer up when they find Silver Sorceress, whom they promptly beat to a pulp. Then, in her weakened condition, Dreamslayer has no trouble infiltrating her mind and exfiltrating the spell used to bridge dimensions, thereby bringing the fight to our world and, namely, the Moscow embassy of the JLI, where Metamorpho has arrived to retrieve Blue Jay. The Extremists might not look like much, but they make short work of Metamorpho, apparently letting him live only so he can warn his teammates. The next few issues should be doozies.

I know I've raved about Adam Hughes' art in the past, and while I don't mean to minimize the considerable talents demonstrated by JLE's dynamic duo of Sears and Marcos, I've just gotta say that Hughes' storytelling is absolutely first rate. You can take away all the words in this issue of JLA (of course, coming from Giffen and DeMatteis, you wouldn't want to) and still clearly follow the story just with the art. If I had more time on my hands, I'd mess around with Photoshop to prove it to you, but since I don't, you'll have to take my word for it--or track down this issue and see for yourself.

Both books offer cover credits in the letters pages; from JLA's "Justice Log," we learn: "Adam Hughes, pencils; Joe Rubinstein, inks; and Bob Le Rose, colors"; and from JLE's "Europinion": "Bart Sears did them pencils and inks, and Bob Le Rose did that color thang." Also noteworthy from "Justice Log" is this humdinger of an esoteric question from Jonathan Ezor of New Haven, CT: "Could you explain how Booster Gold managed to get a Legion flight ring, if all time travel from the Legion period back was shunted to the Pocket Universe by the Time Trapper?" I don't understand hardly any of that question, but it seems I'm in good company, as Kevin Dooley responds, "We can't explain Booster's flight ring, so we have him use it infrequently." Dooley was the king of keeping it real in these pages.

1990 was a good year for movies, and here's another one that helped define my youth:

The complete 60 Weeks with the Justice League on The Danger Digest:
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25/1, #26/2, #27/3, #28/4, #29/5, #30/6, #31/7, #32/8, #33/9, #34/10, #35/11, #36/12, #37/13, #38/14, #40/16, #41/17, #42/18, #43/19, #44/20, #45/21, #46/22, #47/23, #48/24, #49/25, #50/26, #51/27, #52/28, #53/29, #54/30, #55/31, #56/32, #57/33, #58/34, #59/35, #60/36

Dick Tracy ad copyright Disney. All other images this post copyright DC Comics. Original text copyright Jon D. Witmer/The Danger Digest.

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