Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Justice League America #53
Aug. '91
Breakdowns Part 1
"Blown Away"
Blood stained the steps of the New York Embassy of the Justice League International this morning as police searched for clues to the identity of the would-be assassin who pumped four bullets into Maxwell Lord. Police inspector Andy Helfer noted that Lord was found in the library after Professor Plum was seen leaving with a gun. However, this testimony came from a dubious Miss Scarlett who had spent several hours working over a large bottle of V.S.O.P. (continued on page 3)
"I've never seen two men so wildly out of control," said witness Kevin Dooley, as he stood on the street outside the Machismo Club in the West Village. "It was wonderful," Dooley added. The fight allegedly started in the back of the club's main phone booth when the two men dived for a quarter which fell out (continued in Lifestyle Section, page 4)
Photo: Chris Wozniak and Bruce Patterson

Justice League Europe #29
Aug. '91
Breakdowns Part 2
"Turning and Turning"
Keith Giffen, plot and breakdowns
Gerard Jones, dialogue
Darick Robertson, pencils
John Beatty, inks
Bob Lappan, letters
Gene D'Angelo, colors
Kevin Dooley, associate editor
Andy Helfer, editor

The JLA creatives get, well, creative with their credits this week, peppering them throughout the text on a splash page made to look like the front page, above the fold, of the Daily Planet. And the creative energy stays high throughout the first chapter of the paradigm-changing "Breakdowns" story, which features appearances from the Injustice League--and we all know I'm always happy when they turn up--and Manga Khan. More importantly--plot-wise, anyway--the U.N. General Assembly replaces the comatose Max Lord as head of the JLI with the mysterious Kurt Heimlich, whose leadership will not bode well for the cast of characters we've grown to know and love in both JLA and JLE.

Chris Wozniak takes on penciling duties in JLA, with inks by Bruce Patterson, and the team does a fine job; I would have been perfectly happy to see these two do some fill-in issues earlier in the run, either here or in JLE, but considering the importance of this storyline, it feels all wrong to not have Adam Hughes--or even Kevin Maguire--on pencils. Furthermore, Willie Schubert takes over lettering responsibilities, following the completely dynamite run of Bob Lappan (since issue #1!), and man, it just looks wrong. (To be clear, Schubert's work here is fine, but his style ain't the same as Lappan's, and after 52 issues--not to mention JLE--the change is jarring.)

Fortunately, Lappan's still doing what he does best in JLE, but there again (despite what the cover says) penciling and inking are handled by a different team than Sears/Marcos or Sears/Elliott, who set the visual tone for this title and should be aboard for the last big story. Instead, Darick Robertson does pencils and John Beatty inks; their work is strong, but it would have been better suited to a fill-in. Anyhow, the story really gets moving here, as Heimlich conducts one-on-one interviews with the JLE's members and begins his structural shakedown of the organization: Heimlich fires Captain Atom, replacing him with BlueJay as field commander, and Ralph Dibny is also out, but his wife Sue is asked to stay on for monitor duty. With clues surfacing that Max's would-be assassin hails from Bialya, Atom then flies off half-cocked to confront the Queen Bee, only to be taken down by the Global Guardians, who were tipped off to Atom's impending arrival by none other than Heimlich. (Oh yeah, and Jack O' Lantern and his teammates are alive and well. Also--but I could be mistaken about this--I think Harjavti might be back, too.) As if that weren't enough Mr. Bigger and his Metawise organization are still spying on the League by means of the camera they installed in the cat's eye. Yeesh. And to think, people used to write into the letter col and say nothing happens in these JLI books.

Speaking of letters pages, it's cover credits time. "Justice Log" notes, "Cover by Chris Sprouse; Robert Le Rose, colors." (To which I reply, "How come Sprouse never illustrated the inside of one of these books?") And "Europinion" tells us, "Bart Sears, pencils and inks; Bob Le Rose, colors." (To which I reply, "Does anyone else think that cover doesn't much look like Sears' style?") Also in "Justice Log," readers just keep on asking for Blue Devil to be added to the team.

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, #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.

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