Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Justice League America #43
Oct. '90
"If You Play Your Cards Right..."
Kevin Dooley, DC Comics' finest assistant editor, proudly presents
Keith Giffen, plot
J.M. DeMatteis, script
Adam Hughes, pencils
José Marzan, Jr., inks
Bob Lappan, letters
Gene D'Angelo, colors
Andy Helfer, editor
(There, Kevin--isn't that better than a raise?)

Justice League Europe #19
Oct. '90
"The Extremist Vector Part Five: Pushing the Button"
Uncle Keith Giffen, plot & breakdowns
Gerard Jones, words
Bart Sears, pencils
Randy Elliott, inks
Bob Lappan, letters
Gene D'Angelo, colors
Kevin D'Ooley, stuff
Andy D'Helfer, nonsense

As mentioned last week, JLA #43 was one of the two issues of this series I actually acquired during the book's run, so there's a certain degree of nostalgia involved in turning its pages again now. However, I don't think I pored over this issue quite as intently as I did the previous book--once again I no doubt wondered who these characters were, and even Blue Beetle's not as prominent this issue. Nevertheless, reading the book now, the story's a winner. (Hughes' art is also a welcome sight, although Marzan's inks give it a different flavor than I'd been used to with Art Nichols--there seems to be a stronger emphasis on dense shadows, for one.) Giffen and DeMatteis dug deep into DC's back catalog to unearth such forgotten villains as Sonar, Crowbar, Black Mass, Blackrock, Brainstorm, Cavalier and Quakemaster. Rather than forming their own Injustice League, however, they all get together to play cards at the hole-in-the-wall bar known as The Dark Side, whose clientele exclusively comprises super villains. Earlier in the issue, intrepid garbageman/journalist Wally Tortolini rescues Sonar from a run-in with the League, and in return Sonar (a.k.a. Bito Wladon of Modora) brings Tortolini to the card table. Hoping for a story, Tortolini instead leaves armed with the villains' myriad accoutrements.

Meanwhile, JLE presents a jumbled mess of a conclusion to "The Extremist Vector." I trust you're sitting down for this. The explosion set off at the end of last issue by Carny--who, it turns out, was also a robot--does indeed awaken "the Visionary," otherwise known as "Uncle" Mitch Wacky, the creator of Wacky World. Back in the day, Uncle Mitch caught the flu, which is fatal in his dimension, and so he placed himself into a cryogenic slumber. Now, of course, he awakens to find his world destroyed, but making things really convoluted, the nuclear holocaust actually wiped out the Extremists who caused it, and it turns out the Extremists currently terrorizing "our" dimension are robots built after the Armageddon to lend an air of excitement to Wacky World. Naturally, the robo-villains went rogue. So, Silver Sorceress (who survived last issue's blast unscathed) transports everyone--including Uncle Mitch--back to our Earth, where Mitch uses a kill switch only he can operate to shut down the Extremists. Well, except for Dreamslayer, who turns out to still be the original and not a robot duplicate. Then Dreamslayer tries to cast a spell on Crimson Fox, but she turns out to be Silver Sorceress in disguise. And so on and so forth. Anyways, the good guys win, but I think Uncle Mitch bit the bullet along the way. Ah well. The pictures are pretty; I really like Elliott's inks over Sears' pencils.

Oh, yeah, and apparently Dr. Light's been hanging out at the League's Japan embassy. I'm trusting that was covered in an Annual somewhere along the way and this wasn't as out of the blue as it first struck me.

"Europinion" gives us these cover credits: "Bart Sears, pencils; Randy Elliott, inks; Bob Le Rose, colors." No cover credits mentioned in "Justice Log," but there are some other noteworthy nuggets. In the spirit of transparency, Dooley responds to Mike Alleni of Staten Island, NY, who wonders why Fire's clothes don't burn: "Do you want a made-up science answer (unstable molecules, I'm sure) or can we just point to that stamp on the cover?" And in response to Greg Schienke of Charlottesville, VA, Dooley offers this insightful summary of what this whole Justice League experiment is all about:

[Justice League] was set up as a sitcom. Read JL #1--most of the action is bickering. Read Andy's intro to 'A New Beginning.' JUSTICE LEAGUE always was about 'the environment our characters inhabit,' 'the simple interrelationships of heroes,' and making the heroes 'act just like people,' funny, silly. As we've said, in this industry of 'normal' seriousness, JL is the aberration. And as Will Rogers put it, "We are all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can.'

Lastly, remember this show? Boy howdy, was I excited.

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, #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

The Flash ad copyright DC Comics, Inc. and CBS, Inc. All other images this post copyright DC Comics. Original text copyright Jon D. Witmer/The Danger Digest.

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