JLI Podcast #4 – Justice League #4 (Aug 1987)

It’s time for the fourth episode of JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL: BWAH-HA-HA PODCAST! The Irredeemable Shag welcomes guest host Mike Gillis to discuss Justice League #4 (Aug 1987)! This month Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire introduce Booster Gold and Maxwell Lord to the team, while the Royal Flush Gang attacks!! Mike and Shag cover what was on the shelves that same month, recap and discuss the Justice League issue, and finally YOUR listener feedback!

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33 responses to “JLI Podcast #4 – Justice League #4 (Aug 1987)

  1. Great guest, Shag.
    Another strong episode in a great series!

    I never liked Booster, but always loved the Blue and Gold dynamic. And this one reminded me why.

    Good job, guys.

  2. Geez, Mike is a top guest, very informative, articulate and relaxed. He makes a tough act for the next guest to follow.

    HEY, I read Wild Dog! Didn’t enjoy it or keep it, but I definitely read it. Lucky Shag added that Wild Dog editorial note, I was about to say it. Perhaps Arrow can also include Dog Welder as Wild Dog’s arch-nemesis.

    Still a bit to go, may comment more soon.

  3. Well, I was all set to talk about Wild Dog on Arrow, but Shag ruined it. I half expect to hear Silverblade is next for live action!!! Maybe a Sonic Disruptors mid-season mini series?

    Great episode! I love the heck out of Podcasta La Vista. I think it’s because I feel the same way about Ah-Nuld’s films as Mike and Casey do. I both inronically and UN-inronically enjoy a good chunk of Arnie’s filmography. Nice use of the Freeze clips. We can never get enough reminders that Batman & Robin exists.

    I’m so glad you guys pointed out the frisbee sized signal devices Maguire drew in the series. The classic JLA series showed the signal devices behind chest logos, in belts, rings, etc. All these years later, how did these things grow to discus size?

    But aside from that, the art is gorgeous. Just look at that panel of Guy mocking Batman, and you can see that Maguire could go dark and realistic ala Neal Adams if he wanted to. But then it would have obscured his awesome facial work!

    Again, great episode! Nice work Mike…and Shag too! And thank your daughter for the very nice Father’s Day greeting!


  4. Solid episode Shag.

    This issue of JL was very important to me at the time. Partly because it was the first “new member” issue, and since Green Arrow joined in JLA #4, it felt like this new series was honoring that legacy by doing a similar thing for its fourth issue. JLA history was a big thing to the teenage me, and so, intentional or not, I like the symmetry, Related to that…

    I didn’t know it at the time, but this was pretty much the last time any JLA book made a big deal about a new member joining. It could not have been more of an event to the old series, but during the Detroit era members coming and going became much more casual, which bugged me (Batman never even formally left, he was just gone one issue and never returned). So Booster joining felt like a return to the good old days. Little did I know that after this, the line-up of the team would be almost constantly in flux, and that sense of “this is an important moment” was pretty much lost forever. So I will always have a soft spot for this issue, it was the last of its kind.

    Gillis is always a ringer as a guest, and he did not disappoint. I tend to keep him off my shows because his contract demands are outrageous and in some cases illegal in some states.

  5. I’m paused at the 42 min mark. You say you can’t imagine what it was like to wait for the next issue of the Watchmen. I can! I was one of those who did that then. it was harder then waiting got the next issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths, but easier then waiting for the next Identity Crisis.

    1. It was made harder by the fact that the last three issues were massively late, and this was before the days when the internet provided accurate shipping information, so it was just a matter of ‘show up, see if Watchmen happened to be there’ for months on end.

      Not as hard as waiting for Miracleman, though.

      1. Amen; though nothing beat the wait for the third and final issue of Mike Grell’s James Bond mini-series, at Eclipse. 2 years between issue 1 and 3! Sad thing was, Eclipse had it on time (all 3 issues); their cash flow was just so bad it took that long to be able to pay a printer up front. Waiting for the finale of Watchmen was almost up there with the agonizing wait for a Star Wars sequel.

        It’s hard for the younger crowd to imagine life before the internet and a constant flood of pre-production material from Hollywood and from publishers (for comics). In that era, you had to make do with Starlog (which was good for sci-fi movies) and things like Comic Buyer’s Guide or Amazing Heroes for advance info. problem was, their info wasn’t that far in advance, since most of the marketing came in the final stages. Heck, Watchmen mostly got its advanced word from those DC “Who Watches the Watchmen?” house ads. Most of the publicity followed the first few issues, when they were suddenly the cover story of everything.

  6. I love this issue. My comic buying bestie Z was sooooooo happy to have Booster join. My first office job as a “runner” for an escrow company started this same month. I called the company car the bug. I might have had a Ted Cord fixation during this run. Z and I were taught right be “adult best bros” by this book. (Mind you all our plots were carried out in Champions or GURPS so no IRL damage)

  7. Another great episode, Shag, with possibly your best guest yet (easily in the Top Three)!

    I loved hearing Mike’s impressions of both Guy Gardner and Gnort. I’m not a big fan of Guy, because why would anybody actually like him? But if someone I loved was kidnapped, Guy Gardner would be one of the first people I recruited for the rescue mission.

    And, like everybody else, I got a kick out of your justifiably dismissive talk about Wild Dog, only to have to revise your claims now that the character is slated to show up in ARROW. Please, please, when you record episode 5, talk about how nobody remembers NIGHT FORCE anymore!

  8. Another excellent show. Mike Gillis was both knowledgeable and entertaining. Keep up the good work.

    I, also, read Wild Dog back in the day, in addition to Silverblade. Both were forgettable for different reasons.

    I do need to take issue with the Rainbow Raider hate, though. It seems like folks are throwing shade at this Bates/Heck Flash Rogue. Mr. Bivolo deserves none of this derision. Hell, Geoff Johns liked the idea of the character so much that he killed off Roy G. when he was writing Flash so that he and Van Sciver could steal his power set to later use as a basis for The All the Feels Emotional Spectrum Corps in the pages of Green Lantern.

  9. Great Fracking episode guys!

    I think Guy is my favorite in the JLI because he is such an idiot but like discussed in your podcast, he had moments of honest human qualities.

    Can’t wait for the ONE PUNCH issue. It will be Fracking stellar!

    Lucien (Lou – see – in) Desar (Day-Zar)

    1. He is the Guy you love to hate. Which really adds something to the team interrelationships, and keep things even funnier.

      Let’s not forget: T-3 issues to a brand new Guy. *grin*

  10. Thanks for another excellent show, with another excellent guest! I’m taking the challenge of reading one month at a time to coincide with the podcast! I’m going to fold in a bunch of other series to this reading project like Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Checkmate, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern Corps, Suicide Squad, and the Superman books. I like the Monitor Duty segment because I would like to have my read of the different series jiving by publication dates, but I have some catching up to do to make that happen. The great thing is that there are some fantastic podcasts that cover these series so I’m looking forward to diving in! Heather is happy with her Double-Stuff award, and she was trying to snip that portion to show off to her family and friends!

  11. Irish embassy checking in once again.

    Another great episode, Shag and Mike (by the way, as it was mentioned in the episode, can you send on some more Embassy pens, we are running low on them here in the Irish Embassy). I loved the discussion on how Maguire’s art emphasised the body language, letting you see what the characters were thinking. Another good example came at the end, when Booster had accepted membership from Batman, then came the TV report with Maxwell stating he was the League spokesman. As the rest of the Leaguers are watching this, Maguire has Booster drawn with the towel he had hiding his face. Without words or thought balloons, you know Booster is thinking “I have reached the pinnacle, joining the League, and this bozo is going to ruin it for me!”. Great art by Maguire.

    The Booster/Beetle friendship started here but in my mind, in the early days of JLI, I felt Beetle and Scott had more of the buddy vibe. They did pair up in the first annual and were always the helmsmen for the shuttle. Probably with the introduction of Big Barda in the series was the Booster/Beetle pairing strengthened more as Scott dealt more with his married life. I guess Beetle and Booster became the bachelor boys of the JLI with Scott being their married friend who joined them on occasion when Barda let him let off some steam! 🙂

    Next month – One Punch!! Looking forward to that!

    1. I agree, Jimmy. The Beetle/Miracle friendship kind of suffered after Blue/Gold became a thing, which I always felt was a shame. Don’t get me wrong. I *loved* Blue/Gold! But Mr Miracle quickly became a favorite of mine in JLI, and Ted and Scott were really great together. And I guess that was the problem. They weren’t as funny as Blue/Gold.

      But then, I was in favor of more Blue Beetle, period. Ted was consistently gelling well with most of the team. His chat with Canary in JL #3. Piloting with Scott. Even talking with Batman! If Giffen hadn’t wanted to keep Ted as the clown, he very well could have grown into leader of the team.

      Ok. Too far. Reel it in, Tim.

  12. Hey Poozers!! Australian Embassy here.

    Another great Ep Shag and another great guest, Mike was fantastic. The Wild Dog correction was classic, good stuff. Well caught Shag, as you can see there were plenty of people waiting in the wings to take you to task about it. Great to see the community growing and each week seeing the same names coming back to leave comments. Thanks to Paul Hix for the kind Kilowog reference, I hadn’t seen it till Shag covered it. I was worried he might have gone with liking me to Snapper Carr given my barely sufficient tech support role on the Waiting For Doom podcast!! Keep up the good work guys. Can’t wait for the One Punch!!

  13. “Dark and post-modern;” the revised form of “grim and gritty.”

    Guy as Biff Tannen is an apt description, though guy steps up to the plate, while Biff is always the coward and bully.

    This issue is still maintaining the nice balance of action and comedy. The comedy is getting stronger, as personalities are more established and the inter-character dynamics are pretty well in place. We also get a little more of the mysterious Maxwell Lord.

    Booster was an interesting addition. He’s not what you first think of, when you talk about a JL member; but, so are most of this team. This is definitely a group of misfits, with a couple of JLA stalwarts to guide them. Booster fits right in. In many ways, I felt that JLI matured Booster, if that’s possible. I was indifferent to the character before this; but, became a fan of him here, though more as a duo, with Blue Beetle. After this though, he seemed a stronger character.

    Wild Dog was just a bad attempt to cash in. DC already had that character, in Vigilante, though his costume was a little too superhero (even more than Punisher) for the role. The jersey doesn’t help the visual; but, Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty should have been the team for it, given Ms Tree. She was Mike Hammer’s Velda turned into the hardboiled PI. Hammer is one of the antecedents to characters like Mack Bolan and the Punisher (along with pulp heroes like the Spider and Operator 5) and Collins is a master of the pulp crime novel/PI story. It just didn’t gel. It gets points for setting it in the Midwest (the Quad City are of Iowa and Illinois), as did The Question (Hub City was based on East St Louis). Now, the James Robinson Vigilante mini-series, that Mike mentions; completely awesome. Greg Sands does his Hollywood work, then goes up against Bugsy Siegel and the beginnings of the Las Vegas casino world. It would make a fantastic movie: one part LA Confidential, one part Bugsy, a little Gene Autry, and a lot of great writing.

  14. Great episode Shag. I have never read the whole series of JLI in the post crisis time. I have only have a few issues when it would part of a cross over for “Funeral for a friend” and “Zero Hour”. Also have Annuals 5, 6 and 7 and Annuals for Europe 2, 3 and four for the big DC annual events. I really loved the big summer crossover events during the late 80’s and early 90’s.
    Because of this podcast and secret origins I am going to pick up the trades and read along. I am also going to read blue beetle.

    Keep up the great work.


  15. So many great comments this month. These fans are just the best. Big thanks to you, Shag, for sharing them on the show. It’s a hoot to hear my name, absolutely, and I’m glad to hear the rest of the Bwah-hah-horde as well.

    Black Canary: she looks so good in this and every issue, like that panel where the whole team’s standing around Max, I get sad thinking she’ll be out of the book so soon. Too soon.

    Dr. Light: she’ll be in the upcoming JL Annual, but also one or two future issues/annuals, still not in costume, working at the Japanese JLI embassy. And most importantly, she is *in* costume (that’s the real first time for this series) during Breakdowns when she and Tasmanian Devil are brought in to replace … I shouldn’t say for the new readers. (yes, I’m going by memory, no cheating or googling, so I could be off.)

    Ever since the comparison was made of Blue Beetle for Wash, I can’t shake the Firefly theme. Here’s my take on how JL matches up:
    Reynolds: Batman
    Zoe: Black Canary
    Wash: Blue Beetle (Duh)
    Jayne: Guy Gardner (du-uuuuhhh!!)
    Book: Martian Manhunter
    Kaylee: Booster Gold (tough call, but I wanted to keep to the “core” JLI, and he does have super-gadgets)
    Inara: Fire
    Simon: Mr. Miracle
    River: Ice

    Thoughts? How would you match up JL-Fly? (not sorry)

    Great episode, Shag and Mike! Still going strong, just like the comic! I can’t wait for “ONE PUNCH!”

  16. Just started listening to the episode, and wanted to comment on Scooby Apocalypse. As you mentioned, J. M. DeMatteis is writing it. He’s also written three episodes of the “Be Cool, Scooby Doo” series that’s on Cartoon Network now (it’s the latest incarnation of the show).

    Let’s just say he hits it out of the park there, too. The series itself is pretty comedic in tone overall, but his episodes are exceptionally funny.

    Okay, back to the show.

  17. Hey, Shag!

    I don’t know what I was thinking, but I didn’t love this as a kid so thank you for doing this show and making me reexamine and appreciate this series, particularly this issue. I really just started listening to the show starting with issue/episode #1 and I’m now up to date, but #4 is the first one where I actually have the comic myself. You can be sure, though that I’ll continue to listen for as long as you and your various co-hosts put the show out.

    I bought it off the shelf, but I just didn’t get that there was a joke implicit in the series. I also didn’t appreciate Maguire’s art for its brilliance back then. That one I came to on my own several years ago, but it’s great to see the love he gets throughout the comics podcasting and blogging community.

    Thanks again for a fantastic show,
    Henry Santa, Jr.

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