Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Justice League America #40
Jul. '90
"Hell on Earth"
Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Adam Hughes, José Marzan Jr., Bob Lappan, Gene D'Angelo, Kevin Dooley, and Andy Helfer present perhaps the strangest Justice League tale ever! (And considering how weird this book usually is, that's saying a lot!)

Justice League Europe #16
"The Extremist Vector Part Two: Conquest"
Keith Giffen, plot & breakdowns
Gerard Jones, dialogue
Bart Sears, pencils
Randy Elliott, inks
Bob Lappan, letters
Gene D'Angelo, colors
Kevin Dooley, sound
Andy Helfer, fury

First, a confession: I was remiss in my duties last week and failed to mention the debut, in JLE, of Power Girl's new threads. Of course, looking at the outfit, perhaps you'll wish I'd continued to spare you from acknowledging this embarrassing historical footnote.

So long as we're taking people--myself included--to task for clerical errors, let's also note that JLE's cover credits mistakenly name DeMatteis in place of Jones. Inside the book, I failed to recognize that Randy Elliott took over inking from Pablo Marcos this issue, but I suppose that just goes to show you that editorial did a bang-up job finding a replacement for Marcos. The story itself finds the JLE boarding a borrowed JLA cruiser to fly to Moscow, lest the Extremists slaughter them as they materialize in the transporters. By the time the League arrives, however, Moscow--and her protectors, the Rocket Red brigade--have been laid to ruin, and it doesn't take long for the Leaguers themselves to be incapacitated, leaving the Extremists to go destroy the next city they encounter. This is gonna be an ugly, protracted battle, I suspect.

Most bizarre in this issue of JLE is a completely unnecessary retcon of the Blue Jay/Silver Sorceress/Wandjina backstory. I understand that the creative team is trying to work in the Extremists, but saying Blue Jay and co. jumped back and forth between worlds a couple of times, and then showing them trading punches with Hal Jordan, is completely uncalled for. We know how this stuff played out back in Justice League #2, and boy howdy, this ain't the way it was:

Over in America, I'm not entirely sure the book lives up to its title-page promise of being stranger than ever--Kooey Kooey Kooey is still fresh in my mind--but it is a pretty fascinating read, ably complemented by guest inker José Marzan Jr., who does a fine job filling in for Rubinstein, although I hope the latter returns soon, all the same. Divided evenly into two acts, the book's first half finishes the Despero storyline, with J'onn infiltrating Despero's mind and offering the alien villain "mayavana," a once-in-a-lifetime Martian offering that creates a perceived reality in the receiver's consciousness that's even more convincing than the actual reality in front of his eyes; with this gift, J'onn convinces Despero that he's succeeded in defeating the Justice League and destroying the Earth in toto. The whole experience reduces Despero to a fetus-like state of suspension (from which he'll no doubt be resurrected again down the line).

Complete with costumed heroes attending a funeral and bold black borders lining every page and panel, act two is all about mourning for Scott Free, a.k.a. Mr. Miracle, whom Despero blew up last issue. Forgive me if I sound callous here, but JLA and JLE's letters pages run solicitations for Mr. Miracle's book, so I feel confident he's not actually dead. However, my confidence isn't shared by the cast of characters. Barda blames Max and lets him know with a powerful haymaker. Superman tells Batman (who in turn tells Max) that the League hasn't got enough muscle, and unless it gets more, Scott will be the first of many casualties. After thoughtlessly trying to recruit Gypsy for his new team at the cemetery, Booster gets scolded by Beetle and returns to his new Conglomerate office, where he's in no mood for Claire Montgomery's news that Praxis has sent "a confirmation." And then, there's Guy and Ice:

It's time once again for cover credits! From "Justice Log":"Adam Hughes did pencils 'n' inks, Bob Le Rose did colors 'n' stuff." From "Europinion": "Bart Sears on pencils, Joe Rubinstein on inks, Bob Le Rose on colors, Andy Helfer on lead guitar."

Meanwhile, the Dick Tracy marketing train keeps chugging along:

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, #39/15, #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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