JLI Podcast #16 – Justice League International #16 (Aug 1988)

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL: BWAH-HA-HA PODCAST and The Irredeemable Shag welcome guest host Mike Harlow to discuss Justice League International #16 (Aug 1988)! The JLI infiltrates Bialya undercover and Batman goes in disguise as... Bruce Wayne?!?! The first appearance of the Queen Bee! And Kevin Maguire returns on art duties! Plus Mike and Shag cover what was on the shelves that same month, recap and discuss the JLI issue, and tackle YOUR listener feedback!

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27 responses to “JLI Podcast #16 – Justice League International #16 (Aug 1988)

  1. Is it me or does Mike Harlow sound a lot like Tim Wallace? I’m pretty sure Shag is recycling guests already and just making up fake names.

  2. Small world! Good to hear Mike Harlow drop in for this issue.

    I liked Booster & Beetle dropping in on Scott in Mr. Miracle #7. It helped that it was written by J.M. What is the JLI’s lamest cameo, though? I’m voting for Blue Beetle [#21?]… maybe the Power of the Atom #9? I’ll have to revisit those Captain Atom issues, but I remember them being off the mark.

    Re: Batman. Seems like Bat-editor Denny O’Neil didn’t want to muck things up between his and other titles, and hey, it’s *The Batman*… tough to be stingy with a hot commodity that everyone’s gonna want to use. A large part was probably the creative teams’ own interest, anyway; I doubt Starlin gave much of a crap about Batman outside the book he was working on. Great, now all I wanna see is Bwah-ha-ha Breyfogle.

    As for the Character Spotlight segment — Michael Bailey, cover your ears!

  3. That’s definitely Tora on the cover with Bea and Bruce – I was reading Bialyan Harpers & Queen Bee magazine back then and those hats were Bialyan high fashion, and the knife’s there because Ice is now a Top Undercover Agent. The whole point is that this is JLI undercover.

    Back to the broadcast, loving the banter!


        I have to say, you blew my mind pointing out on the show that that was QB, Shagg – 30 years of thinking I was looking at Ice! Interestingly, the folk at the excellent Grand Comic Database were apparently also confused – in their listing of characters on that cover they list Bruce and Bea only.

        Please don’t be insightful again, it upsets me.

  4. Splendid show, Mike is a top guest!

    I liked this issue a lot, what a lovely change of pace. Seeing the gang undercover was fun, though why ‘George Bailey’ wore glasses I’ll never know. If only Kevin Maguire had drawn Ted carrying that suitcase everyone clubbed together to buy George, I’d have wept buckets!

    As regards Jimmy’s comment about the puppet popping up in that earlier story, I’ll have to dig out my back issues of the UK Superman/JLI reprint, I’m pretty sure we did indeed stick it on the letters page. Probably it was just to amuse ourselves.

  5. I never saw that as Queen Bee either. I thought it was Ice for some reason. But I always caught the Bat-shadow, cuz…well…just come over to my house and look around.

    This is one of my favorite JLI issues period. Kevin Maguire at the height of his JLI powers. As I said before, I wasn’t a big fan of Magna Khan and all that. I think the art in those issues made it hard for me to buy all of that. But Bruce Wayne as James Bond? I was totally there. As a kid, one of my best friends was a HUGE Bond fan, and he and I concocted this story where he was James Bond and I was Batman, and we were old college buddies. And of course we went up against Ra’s Al Ghul! So Bruce to Bond is only a step away from me anyhow.

    Part of me always thought that Batman and Fire had some…er…heat to their relationship as a leftover from the now-completely-out-of-continuity Super Friends comics that Green Fury/Flame/Fire originally appeared in. Her and Bruce were friends BEFORE she got her powers. Maybe slightly MORE than friends? Hmmm….Loved their scenes together in this issue, and Batman’s assertion that he could be hideous under his Bruce “disguise”.

    If anyone is offended by this or any other appearance by Fire…lighten up. That’s the character. No one holds her on a pedestal for Paragon for Women’s Rights or anything. And as Mike pointed out, she’s usually in control, manipulating men into puddles of goo, so it’s all good. Okay, that one Secret Origins story by Chuck Austen is a bit much, but that’s about it.

    Mike was a great guest! You two had a great back-and-forth. Bring him back on for more F&W shows!

    Oh, and Wadjina is rocking the Toxic Crusader look. Which one came first?

    Great episode as always Shag!


    1. “But I always caught the Bat-shadow, cuz…well…just come over to my house and look around.”

      Hang on – did you just admit to being Batman?

    1. And then check out Waiting For Doom, the Doom Patrol podcast that Shag mysteriously forgot to plug after talking about the Doom Patrol for 20 minutes straight with Mike.

      1. Hmm does it count as pimping if I’m not actually pimping the Secret Origins Podcast episodes I’m on? Those would be the Legion of Substitute Heroes and Legion Clubhouse shows…

  6. Great episode for a great issue. Maguire returns with a vengeance. We all knew K’evin drew beautiful women, but wow, he pulled out all the stops with B’ea in this one! Yes, her “B’itsy” voice must be similar to H’arley Quinn’s. “Chahmed, I’m shoo-ure.” Oh, my heart!

    Another great but subtle example of K’evin’s acting prowess is on the last page, first panel. R’umaan is playing to the crowd, and doesn’t see W’andjina reaching for him, while Queen B’ee turns away! In that one movement, we learn she *knows* what’s coming and chooses not to watch. Awesome!

    Course K’evin and J’.M. aren’t resting on their laurels either. (Or their hardys?) This was a tough one for the Bwah-hah-hah award, being chock full of great gags! “Oh, you mean no one else was available?” Oh B’eetle, never change.

    And you two, S’hag and M’ike, have some a great rapport. I could have listened to you guys go on for another hour. So much fun.

    P.S. I dunno guys, don’t you think an apostrophe in Gnort’s name looks kinda goofy?

    1. Ugh, I just don’t know. Did I ever notice the Batman shadow on the cover before? I … must have … right? I’ve only looked at this cover dozens of times over the years? If not … ergh … but … mmmf …. big-time nerd fail!

  7. I don’t know anything about JLI. At least I didn’t until listened to my first JLI podcast when it showed up in my FW podcast feed. After many weeks I eventually listened to the episode with Captain Krik and was intrigued by what I heard- this sounded like no book I had ever read, certainly very different from what I read in the Bronze Age.

    Curiosity piqued, I was wondering where and how to try out reading this series. I was checking out the big sale at Ollie’s (thanks to those in twitter that flashed the Bat Signal about the sale!) and when I was scooping up Superman in the 50s and Superman in the 70’s, I found a book reprinting the teen issues- the very ones you are talking about now! Going to hold off on listening to this episode until I can read the issue, but I am looking forward to it!

  8. The name’s Embassy………..Irish Embassy! (or Embasshy, if you are Sean Connery!)

    Well, when Shagg mentioned that he wanted a assistant for his show, following his discussion with Mike Harlow, the embassy has received a number of expressions of interest. Shagg has sent me a list of the duties that he would need the new assistant to do. I am just e-mailing this list to those who expressed interest and…..wow, I have not seen so many people withdraw their interest so fast. What was in that list of duties Shagg? :O

    Anyway, onto the episode and with Maguire on art, this is a major return to form. Yes, Batman did come back onto the team way too early but I put that down to Guy’s expert pleading at the end of last issue. The humour of Booster and Beetle shone through big time this episode and it was a stroke of genius having Batman “disguise” himself as Bruce Wayne to go undercover. Although, your discussion of how Bialya benefited from Wayne Enterprise funds did make me ponder – would have thought Batman would be a bit more careful with where he invested his money!

    Giffen and deMatteis was really good in bringing back plot points from past issues with the re-introduction of Wandjina – it would have maybe jogged readers’ memories as to what happened with his other two colleagues. And the post-crisis re-imagining of Queen Bee was a much better character than her pre-Crisis incarnation, although Grant Morrison did bring that version back later in his run. And yes folks, that was Queen Bee on the cover! (Was there any doubt?)

    Finally, on behalf of the Irish Embassy, sorry about Jack O’Lantern!

    Looking forward to the culmination of the Bialyan adventure next episode. Thanks again Shagg and Mike for a great episode.

  9. I’m the guy who didn’t buy this off the rack and has been piecing together the early issues from the $1 boxes these last couple of years. So this was a relatively new reading for me … as well as spoiler free. As a result, the Harjavti death really came out of left field for me, reminding me of Roy Batty killing Tyrell in Blade Runner. I think it was doubly effective given the tongue in cheek manner of the book. You aren’t expecting gore, so when you get it …. POW!

    As someone said, this is Maguire at the height of his power in all aspects.

    And I always thought it was Ice on the cover. After all, she left a similar pair of lace topped hose at my house that time. Hee hee.

  10. Has anyone had a greater impact on a book and.m on comic book psyches in a shorter timeframe than Kevin Maguire? He drew relatively few issues, but he is THE JLI artist in all of our minds. Maybe Steranko on SHIELD or Marshall Rogers on Batman? It’s funny, too, because it isn’t like he was followed by slouches.


  11. I have nothing to add. Yeah, Maguire. Yeah, the humor. Yeah, Shag and his “friends.” This is a fun podcast and a fun comments page! Especially Jimmy McGlinchey! I love reading the dispatches from the Irish Embassy!

  12. I finally caught up! I can comment on an episode that is actually current! Woo! I have enjoyed the heck out of this show, and I look forward to following along all the way to the end (well, we’ll see about “Breakdowns”). I recently picked up the hardcover collection that this very issue is in, so I’m good for a few more before I need to acquire more collections….Ah, what the heck, I’ll just get them now and stay prepared (sure, THIS I can prepare for…). I got into this series with Justice League #1, having been away from the League for most of the Detroit era (not hating, I had just drifted away for some reason or another). As for this issue, the undercover hijinks followed by the shockingly gruesome demise of Harjavti worked perfectly for me back in the day, and really sums up the character of the series in general to me as well: comedy and very much not comedy, side by side and getting along just fine.

  13. The fact that Mike makes a BOND reference in his Iron Man story legitimizes it as pertains to this issue.

    Hey a lot of nightmare fuel in the Gallery this month for what is a comedy book. JLI, always threading that line.

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