Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Justice League of America #52
Jul. '91
"The Battle of the Century! Decade! Year! Month?"
Pull up a chair, sports fans, as those pusillanimous pugilists...
Keith Giffen, plot & breakdowns
J.M. DeMatteis, script
Trevor Von Eeden, pencils
Randy Elliott, inks
Bob Lappan, letterer
Gene D'Angelo, colorist
Kevin Dooley, trainer
Andy Helfer, referee
...get ready to knock you out again!

Justice League Europe #28
Jul. '91
"The Man Who Wears the Star"
Keith Giffen, plot and breakdowns
Gerard Jones, script and script
Bart Sears, pencils and pencils
Randy Elliott, inks and inks
Bob Lappan, letters and borders
Gene D'Angelo, colors and colors
Kevin Dooley, this and that
Andy Helfer, stuff 'n' nonsense

July 1991 was the month everything started to change for the ol' JLI, taking a turn for the serious and setting up the massive "Breakdowns" storyline that will run through both JLA and JLE for the next eight months. (Don't worry--that's only eight weeks for us.) And what  could trigger such a sea change other than this little cliffhanger?

(JLE also ends with this revelation--after all, this is where the two books' continuities become inextricably--irreparably?--combined.)

The shooting is all the more shocking because the earlier pages in the same issue of JLA are, for the most part, so much fun. After months of slacking off, Beetle decides it's time to get himself back in shape, but when he hits the gym he's mercilessly taunted by--who else?--Guy Gardner. General Glory proposes the teammates take out their aggression in the boxing ring, but when Beetle shows he's the better pugilist, Guy attacks from behind. The dirty move, which does some serious damage to Beetle's ribs, leaves J'onn with no choice but to expel Guy from the League.

The story honestly leaves me feeling sorry for Guy--sure he's an unrepentant heel through and through, but he's shown once or twice that he's made of at least a lit bit of heroic stuff, and he's always been good for a laugh. Art-wise, Von Eeden's pencils look very good, but his layouts (as seen above) are often clunky. (Elliott inks this title in addition to JLE this month, but his work here overall doesn't seem as strong.) The undisputed TKO in the art department, though, is awarded to Bart Sears, whose cover for JLE (with colors by Bob Le Rose) is insane in its detail--I'd hate to be the guy drawing all those stars. (Speaking of covers, JLA's was done by "Adam 'Hulk' Hughes, pencil; Joe 'Rocky' Rubinstein, ink; Bob 'The Rose' Le Rose, color," according to "Justice Log.") Sears and Elliott's work inside the book is nice to look at, too, as the Starro storyline wraps up in very satisfying fashion, with guest-star Ice playing a key role and Manga Khan making a brief appearance.

Be back here next week for the beginning of the end.

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, #40/16, #41/17, #42/18, #43/19, #44/20, #45/21, #46/22, #47/23, #48/24, #49/25, #50/26, #51/27, #53/29, #54/30, #55/31, #56/32, #57/33, #58/34, #59/35, #60/36

All images this post copyright DC Comics. Original text copyright Jon D. Witmer/The Danger Digest.


  1. I always felt Ted shouldn't have even turned his back and is partly to blame. He got Guy pissed off, Guy went into a rage, and he turns around and talks to Fire? Not something you do in a fight. It didn't matter to Guy that he had his back turned. If Ted was facing the other way Guy would have attacked just as ruthlessly. Plus he did seem to feel some remorse after he regained his senses.

  2. Agreed. Ted is arguably just as egotistical as Guy in this issue, but their teammates' sympathies (save Ice's) lie squarely with the Blue Beetle. Fortunately for us readers, just because J'onn fires Guy doesn't mean the universe's greatest Green Lantern is going anywhere...