JLI Podcast #18 – Justice League International #18 (Oct 1988)

The Irredeemable Shag welcomes guest host Rob Williams to discuss Justice League International #18 (Oct 1988)! In space, it''s Lobo vs the JLI! And back on Earth, something happens at the end of the issue that all JLI fans remember! Guy's Baaaaaaaa-ack! Plus Rob 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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40 responses to “JLI Podcast #18 – Justice League International #18 (Oct 1988)

    1. That’s one for ditching the Character Spotlight. And another via Twitter for keeping the Character Spotlight. Very decisive. 🙂 What say the rest of you?

  1. People deserve to know that Shag snipped the JLMay promo before it reached it’s transcendent climax. Censorship is alive and well in this podcast.

    1. LOL! To be fair, someone else created the edited version. I just asked to borrow it. Typically I try to avoid promos over 1 minute. I made a couple special exceptions for this episode. Still, trying to shorten when possible. Sorry! Nothing personal. Unless you want to take it personally. Then I’d be okay with that.

  2. My choice for a segment to toss when you get to Justice League Europe is… What’s the rush?

    Do you really have to do both JLA and JLE issues in the same episodes? Many of the story threads follow across the two series as if they were the same title. You’ve worked out a good system, it seems to me. Why mess it up?

    I store my Justice League A/E issues together in a preferred reading order, double boarding some A and E issues together as necessary when “the story continues” between books. When that isn’t the case, I group the main America issues together and Europe issues together according to their story threads.

    This is how the JLA/JLE books “ought” to be collected, I think, no matter what DC is doing in their trades. The reading order always seemed self-explanatory to me but let me know if you need help. (wink) It’s all Bwa-Ha-Ha Justice League. The books deserve the same loving care you’ve been giving them up til now.

    1. If you must combine them, only do the industry ads for one of them. They’ll probably be the same. Maybe toss that segment entirely if you must and consider it handled in Monitor duty. Maybe shorten monitor duty to a couple issues only.

      But I say, anyway, separate episodes for each issue. There. Let it be written. Let it be done.

  3. I would keep the character spotlight segment until you get through all the main cast members, and bring back when needed (say when a new member joins). I realize that doesn’t solve your problem until you’re several months into JLE, however.

    But ultimately, yeah, kill the spotlight. Most of these characters are well known to your listeners, and there is no shortage of places to read about them. Or just go listen to Who’s Who!

    Fun episode, as always. Rob 2.0 was a great guest, and YES! I feel the Michael Keaton vibe with Lobo here too. Maybe it was the way Maguire drew him, but I saw Keaton’s Bettlejuice in these pages back in the day. Beetlejuice would have just hit theaters in the spring before this issue arrived in June. Not sure that was enough time for Maguire to be channelling Keaton on purpose, but for what its’ worth, I always saw the connection.

    I remember being really excited about the upcoming Guy/Lobo dust-up. Good times!


  4. Ah, so THIS Rob you can be nice to!

    I remember these back-to-back covers, they were so goofy and fun, and kinda uncommercial.

    If you’re looking to drop a segment to make time for more issue coverage, I say Monitor Duty should go. But of course I’ve been trying to get you to ditch that segment from all (y)our podcasts for years.

  5. BTW, a story about Lobo, since you guys brought up some of his stories:

    In 1992, we were in class with Joe Kubert as instructor. Someone drew Lobo as part of that week’s assignment and Joe asked who this character was, and we explained, etc. At some point someone mentioned the Wisdom of Lobo book that was out at the time. Joe asked what that was, and we told him–a book made up of a new cover and 64 entirely blank pages.

    Joe shook his head in resigned disgust, and we moved on.

  6. First I think Monitor Duty should go. I enjoy it but with the many characters on the way I think Character Spotlight should be the one to hang in there. A Very Brady …uh I mean very Barda Justice League issue. Definitely the MVP of this issue in both the main story and the bonus feature. I didn’t start reading these books until around 1990 so I was very familiar with jerk Guy and was unaware of this whole good Guy thing. Of course they didn’t seem to get much mileage out of it during the course of twelve issues but that last page was a stunner!

  7. Fab episode from you and Rob – Our Canadian friend touches so many bases. The fact that he’s a schoolteacher puts him right in Guy’s ballpark. Just so long as he doesn’t hang out with that old slapper Kari Limbo…

    I’m not a fan of the cover, it’s not recognisable as Lobo… though the ‘sequel’ makes it better.

    Yay for Barda,and I loved the DC bonus books. Here’s a list of who did what on the bonus books. Who’s Rob Liefeld? And Jim Balent? And Hank Kanalz will never go anywhere at DC!


    1. The recognizable names are really the artists. I don’t recognize any of the writers except maybe Tom Joyner, but mostly as a fill-in (his only real run is on Deathblow which I didn’t read).

      But yeah, Rob Liefeld and Jim Balent became major stars (whether I like their work or not), Other names you might recognize include Gordon Purcell, Randy DuBurke, Dean Haspiel, Denis Rodier, Peter Krause (Power of Shazam), and Neil Vokes (Ninjak).

      We weren’t very nice to Timothy Dzon’s inks on Doom Patrol in a recent episode of First Strike.

      Of course, in THIS Bonus book, the inker is Mark Pennington, the amazing inker on Peter Milligan’s Shade the Changing Man!

  8. Another vote for skipping Monitor Duty, here. As for the Bwa-ha-ha Award, I agree that Gnort’s overlooked quip is the winner for this issue. Barda really did show leadership potential once she got hold of her temper here, and that really would have been interesting to see explored in the series at some point. Working with your spouse is dangerous enough, but when partner is actually the other partner’s boss? That would have been fun…to read…from a safe distance.

    1. Also: Rob’s classroom is AWESOME! I recently re-acquired the entire run of the ‘Mazing Man series, so I was especially psyched to see him standing a very welcoming guard over this hallowed place of learning. 🙂

  9. I say ditch character spotlight. At some point you’ll have covered everyone. Plus, people might want to cover someone already done. I know everyone loves Blue and Gold already.

    Monitor Duty helps place the issue in a time period by letting us know what is happening in the solo titles.

    About that Doom Patrol cover, I met Larsen at a con a couple of years ago and asked about it, specifically if he had been told to do the homage. He said it was entirely his idea. He thought it would be cool.

  10. So the guilting worked. Lots of opinions on the segment to keep. Well done, Shag.

    I enjoy both so it’s really hard to pick. Character Spotlight has a slight edge, so I vote to keep that one.

  11. Re: Monitor Duty versus Character Spotlight

    I love a good character profile, but you’re already demonstrating trouble coming up with new characters to feature each month. It seems to me that you will be better able to supply consistent monthly content with Monitor Duty, so my vote goes there.

  12. Catching up with the Podcast. Just read this issue, I’ve never liked Lobo, this is where I met him, and I don’t like him here. No love for any Lobo from Bradleyman. I know I’m in the minority, I have been for years. Other then him, this is a great issue, covered with the expected flair. I love the character spotlight, but if something must go, that’s the thing.

    Keep being great

    1. Commenting here since my dislike of Lobo was actually called out on the podcast.

      Sorry, Shag. While this was obviously “Lobo-lite,” it didn’t make me appreciate him any more. I simply don’t care for this character, and never will.

    2. I like Lobo here because he doesn’t win. I didn’t like what they made of him after. A guy like Lobo, you have to keep having him fail at what he wants and keep making him look ridiculous. He works as a villain and not a hero.

      Guy Gardner could not have survived as a JL member without scenes like the One Punch and the mouse ambush.

  13. Great episode, you fraggin’ bastiches!

    I agree with hedcannon that each issue deserves it’s own episode. They would still ring in well over an hour, most likely, but if JLA and JLE are combined I’d guess it would put the show over 3 hours on the regular. By separating them, the wait between episodes would not be as unbearable, either, if you can manage to release two episodes a month.

    I would love to see the monitor duty segment continue in the JLA episodes, with the character spotlight being dropped. However, in the JLE episodes, I would love a character spotlight segment there. You wouldn’t need to go on monitor duty for the JLE episodes because it would be redundant.

    Ultimately, it’s your show so I stand by what you decide, but I would be remiss if I didn’t give my opinion since you asked!

    1. Here’s an alternate idea…
      Do the two parter show and just divide them into two episodes that are posted every two weeks.
      Bring in a special guest to do the second character spotlight. If Shagg is going to combine them, it’ll still be a longish recording session but it won’t need to be a rushed recording session.

  14. Hey Shag & crew,

    I like the character spotlight, but it can get overdone. We don’t need to rehash characters that have already been done. If we can keep the a spotlight under about 8 minutes, that would probably be a good thing. And you shouldn’t run out of characters any time soon – the villains deserve the spotlight too. At least those that appeared more than once.

    Also, while I like the idea of monitor duty, we don’t need to know the whole story of what is going on elsewhere in the DCU. Just hitting what is going on with Batman eats up a good chunk of time. In the old satellite era, the monitor page had a single panel showing why “Hero-Absent-From-This-Issue” was out. Keep it to a sentence or three and it will work better. If you keep Monitor Duty, let’s keep it down to the bare essentials.

    If we’re talking about things to drop or reduce, how about the other podcast promo’s? You don’t need to eliminate them entirely, but it they’ve become SO long and SO numerous that I’m fast forwarding and skipping them entirely – which defeats the purpose of having them. If we listen to some F&W podcasts, we know who people like Siskoid and Rob Kelly are. We don’t need a list of all their podcasts just to to read 2 sentences of feedback. It just sounds like an excuse to plug the other podcasts (for the umpteenth time).

  15. I like the character spotlight segment a lot more than monitor duty. Because the guest does the character spotlight, it brings in more information on the guest host as well as the character.
    If you have limited time, monitor duty takes a lot longer than most character spotlights. I don’t think most of it makes any difference in understanding the Justice League issue that is the subject of the podcast. But, I also like the idea of a limited monitor segment that explains why a character is missing an issue or explains what she does in the issue at hand,
    Justice League; Europe will bring in new characters. The spotlight should be useful when you add that book.
    Finally, you have to keep whichever you enjoy more otherwise you won’t be “finding your joy” in the podcast.

  16. I vote for keeping the Character Spotlight segment.
    Love this podcast. Thanks for all the hard work to make it happen.

  17. All right, I finally have some time to write about the episode itself. What, did you think I only wanted to comment on the segments? Oh-ho-ho! That’ll teach ya!

    This issue is a favorite of mine. It gives extended cast members Gnort and Big Barda more attention, and boy does Barda shine! She has such potential full-time in a team or solo, and Giffen/DeMatteis did it so well. It establishes much better her role in JLI beside being Mrs Miracle.

    Honestly, my BWAH-HAH-HAH moment is J’onn getting Gnort-splaned on the definition of “Lobo”. Hilarious!

    Then there’s J’onn’s fight with Lobo, and using his shape-shifting very effectively. Maguire’s art really sells it, especially stretching his torso to slam the bastiches head into the floor, by having J’onn’s costume pull away from his body rather than looking painted on. Seeing J’onn’s red X in that panel is typical amazing Maguire realism. Love, love, love.

    Oh and Dmitri. While played for laughs at points (“But, I’m an atheist!”), he’s more and more becoming a great character. Standing up to Lobo and giving the “Fear of death does indicate cowardice” speech was a shining moment and defines the kind of hero he is. A great example how he became a favorite of mine.

    Question for the community: Dmitri losing his original armor. Was that solely a creative choice, or was there editorial pressure to get him out of a design that’s basically a Soviet flag? Was that viewed as a detriment to American consumers, or even moreso in other markets like Europe and Canada? Having DC’s premiere super-team featuring a hero from the current embodiment of oppression? I hope not, but something I just thought of. Yes, 30 years later and I’m just now thinking this. Sheesh!

    Ok, Lobo. This issue might as well be his first appearance, since I’d never read Omega Men, and it sounds like his origin is completely redone. But it’s truly insane to think that this storyline leads to him becoming *the* hot character of the 90s. I did buy WAY too many of his books back then.

    Here’s something from reading the original comic. On Lobo’s first 2 pages, they face each other, and there’s a close-up panel on his face in the bottom right of the first page, bottom left of the second, mirroring each other with Lobo smiling then scowling. That pair of images just jumps out at me every time. In other publications, you don’t necessarily get to see those panels side-by-side, and I wonder if it was deliberate or not. It’s a great visual either way.

    With apologies to the Beatles “Hello, Goodbye”, I’ll leave you with this:
    You say good Guy, and I say Lo-bo.
    Lo-bo, Lo-bo!
    You knock his head, he’s not good Guy, he’ll slay Lobo-o-o-o-o!!

  18. hi shaggy my name is ewerton, i’m from BRASIL, not BRAZIL( i’m don’t speak english very well) love your podcast, very fun to ear. keep the character spotlight please

  19. The book: Another well-done issue by the creative team. Looks great. Can’t remember when I read this, but I am not/never was a fan of Lobo. The pre-crisis character, the post-crisis character, the go-to cover character, or the singer. Don’t expect me to be your friend, Lobo.
    The guest: Thanks for sharing pictures of your classroom! Congratulations on finding a depiction of Fire that is suitable! ‘Mazing Man rules!
    The podcast: If changes must be made, ditch the monitor duty. My interest in other titles has waned, as this was the now after my collecting days. As for character spotlight, keep the focus on what had been done to the character up until the date of the issue under discussion. Don’t even acknowledge the horrible things done in the past thirty years. It is my understanding that almost every member of JLI/A/E has had a storyline where they have been either violated, mutilated, or liquidated. Nuts to that.

  20. JLI Bwa-ha-ha comments Page – the final Comment (for now).

    These are the comments of the Irish Embassy – its ongoing mission, to discuss the latest episode of the JLI Bwa-ha-ha Podcast, to try and inject the usual wacky humour in my comments that the JLI series was known for, and to boldly comment where no commenter has gone before!

    (Cue Shagg and Ryan singing the Star Trek theme – if they can do Star Wars, they can do Star Trek!!!).

    Another great episode Shagg and Rob. The adventures in Space of the JLI crew was brilliant and this issue was my first introduction to Lobo, who may have become a bit one-note after a number of years, but was an excellent antagonist to bring in when done sparingly. Alan Grant had some great fun with the character in the L.E.G.I.O.N and Demon series, before setting him up in his own series, which probably was the downfall for the character. He was better as part on an ensemble team or a geust star – in his own series, the stories became a bit repetitive.

    And yes, this is the issue where we had the end of “No more Mr. nice Guy!” – Maguire was excellent here, the sneer on Guy’s face in the last page proclaiming “I’m baaack” had a touch of menace that really emphasised that the old Guy was back in place.

    Re the segment to drop, while I would hate to see either segment go, I would prefer to keep Monitor Duty. I think after a while, you will run out of characters to talk about and it is nice to see where the various characters are in other corners of the DCU when the particular issue comes out. In addition, when you are doing the two issues, you can split the monitor duty between the JLA and JLE guest hosts whereas for character Spotlight, you would have to pick one person to do that.

    And sorry I didn’t comment on the last issue’s topic, I thought I had! In any case, my opinion was the same as the decision you made, so all is good!

    Anyway, can’t wait to the next episode and the upcoming Guy/Lobo fight!

  21. Great episode, guys! I finally got around to listening to it and wanted to share a few thoughts.

    When we found out our first child was going to be a boy, I knew that one of his names was going to be Bruce. My dad’s name is Bruce and that is my middle name. My wife and I talked about using a name from her family as well. It struck me that we should use my wife’s step-father’s middle name to honor him as well. His middle name? Wayne. That’s right, to honor both sides of the family, my son would be named Bruce Wayne Wildenberger. For some reason, my wife was against the idea.

    For the record, the PG13 version of Lobo is the one I prefer. Call me a prude, but the 90’s version was a little too…extreme for my tastes.

    I highly approve of your Bwah-Hah-Hah award. I had forgotten that this was the issue it came from and that it was Gnort who pointed out the fallacy, but whenever I remember Dimitri, his ‘orphaned children’ line comes to mind.

    As for the segment to go, I like Chris Franklin’s idea of keeping the Character Spotlight until you run out of character’s to spotlight. It can be brought back when a new member or supporting character is added to the book(s). Unlike Rob (Kelly), I actually like hearing about the other titles on the shelves that month. By accessing those memory files, it helps put me in the frame of mind I was in back in the day. That’s just my 2 cents for what it’s worth. I hate to lose either segment.

    1. Does your wife have anyone named Gordon in her family? Bruce Gordon is a good name. Just don’t give the kid any black diamonds to play with.

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