Wednesday, October 6, 2010
60 WEEKS WITH THE JUSTICE LEAGUE: Week 58
Breakdowns Part 11
No--"Breakdowns" ain't over yet! So, drop to your knees and say a prayer for those forgotten, overworked souls:
Keith Giffen, plot & breakdowns
J.M. DeMatteis, script
Bart Sears, penciller
Beatty & Elliott, inkers
Bob Lappan, letterist
Gene D'Angelo, colorer
Kevin Dooley, slave driver
Andy Helfer, slave owner
Breakdowns Part 12
Keith Giffen--plot & breakdowns
Kevin Dooley--associate editor
After the lackluster performance of December 91, the "Breakdowns" team rings in 1992 with what is hands down the best issue yet of this storyline. I was hesitant going into JLA #58--it's one of those dreaded "punch-up" issues, continuing the three-way battle between the League, Despero and Lobo--but then DeMatteis upped his game significantly, turning in a phenomenal script with some of the best (and most consistent) humor of this book's entire run. Then, making things better still, Bart Sears tackled the penciling duties (with inking responsibilities shared by John Beatty and Randy Elliott), and man-oh-man are his skills a sight for sore eyes after the Wozniak debacle. Here are some of the issue's highlights:
J'onn finally uses his ability to shapeshift in a fight...
...and then he gets fed up with the whole show. Yet again.
Metamorpho gets in a one liner at Guy's expense...
...while Guy and Lobo knock the blue blazes out of one another.
Blue Beetle achieves, but fails to recognize, spiritual illumination...
...and then goes on to destroy the Lord Havok robot, who's been terrorizing the cave.
And most poignantly of all, L-Ron sacrifices himself so that Despero can be stopped.
JLE then picks up the thread, but the package isn't quite as dynamite as JLA. Most regrettably, despite some fine penciling, Darick Robertson does a lot of unnecessary breaking of the grid, and the layouts strike me as looking more "forced" than "creative." Happily, though, story-wise, L-Ron lives on ... after a fashion: In JLA, he had Kilowog turn him into a controller for Despero's malfunctioning collar, and in this issue, when Kilowog uses said controller, it zaps L-Ron's "consciousness" into Despero's body. It's all pretty wacky, I know. And speaking of wacky, Dreamslayer (in Max Lord's body, don't forget) has turned the inhabitants of KooeyKooeyKooey into a mindless army.
"Europinion" marks L-Ron's final lettercol, since he'll be rejoining Manga Khan to scout the stars for bargains, and so we can forgive him for neglecting to note that Robertson and Patterson did the cover (with colors, I presume, by Bob Le Rose, but I could be mistaken). Also, he advises that to say "G'nort" correctly, "Hold your nose and pronounce it like the 'n' in onion (and because G'nort stinks when he's wet)." In "Justice Log," the erstwhile robot notes, "Cover pencilled by Chris Sprouse and inked by Bruce Patterson with colors by Bob Le Rose." Additionally, when asked "why we never see Guy charge his power ring," L-Ron answers, "Because his oath won't get past the Comics Code." I'm gonna miss that robot.
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, #52/28, #53/29, #54/30, #55/31, #56/32, #57/33, #59/35, #60/36
All images this post copyright DC Comics. Original text copyright Jon D. Witmer/The Danger Digest.