JLI Podcast #24 – Justice League International #24

The Irredeemable Shag welcomes guest host Keith G. Baker to discuss Justice League International #24! In this double-sized anniversary issue, dozens of heroes visit the New York Embassy and the JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE expansion team is born! Plus, Maxwell Lord lands in danger... twice! Keith 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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33 responses to “JLI Podcast #24 – Justice League International #24

  1. Great episode! Though I must correct Shag on one point. He said Max and Fire were the only Leaguers greatly affected by the gene bomb. That’s sort of true. Metamorpho was brought back from the dead (or whatever state he was in) by the bomb. And he became a Leaguer in this very issue!

  2. The scene where the Khunds bust down the door and the silent stare from all the assembled heroes, punctuated by Guy Gardner’s reaction and the giant green fist is an incredible moment in comic book storytelling. Easily the best Guy Gardner moment ever.

  3. J’onn J’onzz and Gnort shared an amusing .gif of Khunds and Cargggites.

    Spider-Man used to have a “world’s greatest non-mutant super-hero” banner for a while, and I want to say Fantastic Four used the exact team version this issue used.

    I wonder if this is the first instance of “off-panel characters talk over headshots of the new roster”, seen later in Meltzer’s short run of the JLA, or if it’s also something marvel did first…

  4. Fun episode. I could just feel Keith trying to pull Shag back to his earlier, more Irredeemable state. That 11 year old mentality thing was really kicking in with this one, as to be expected, since I have experienced you two in the same room together as well!

    This one is a classic, almost exclusively for the “membership drive” party. Some of Maguire’s best “acting” to date. I love how angry Batman looks in the panel when Guy realizes the party crashers are Khunds. Now, is Bats irritated with Guy, or is he scowling at the alien invaders? Either way it works.

    I hated to see Hawkman and Hawkwoman leave with this issue. In fact, I kind of wish Shayera had stayed, and then we could have had Katar calling in and griping about the team he wasn’t even on anymore. Plus, more Hawkgirl is always welcome. I do fondly recall the scenes with Fire. Hey, I was a teenage boy, cut me some slack. The headshot of Wally/Flash seemed to have his nose miscolored red in my copy as I recall, making him look even goofier than Maguire lovingly drew him.

    Great episode! I hope Keith found the restroom. And if he didn’t…good luck, Shag.


  5. It never fails….I listen to a podcast Featuring Shagg and end up spending money; not on psychiatrist bills or alcohol, but on comic books! After listening to this (admittedly great) episode, I had to seek out the ATLAS OF THE DC UNIVERSE. Thanx alot Shagg! Guess it’s OK, my kids don’t REALLY need to go to college……

  6. When I read this story in preparation for this episode (side note: The Max Lord Bonus Issue *is* included in the recently-published hardcover Omnibus), I definitely could tell that Firestorm was drawn “off-model” for what I knew had to be the “Blank slate” era, but I’d forgotten that Firestorm was more-or-less out of action between Invasion and his conversion to the Elemental Form (Keith seemed to gloss over the details, which I found disappointing as a Firestorm fan, but I guess he covered the most important bit… I’d just have focused more on how the “blank slate” personality *himself* refused the merge due to the trauma he endured while affected by the gene bomb, rather than simply suggesting Ronnie and Mikhail couldn’t do it).

    So, retcon time! During the mostly-ignored (for good reason) Armageddon Inferno mini-series, Waverider pulled the Raymond/Stein version of Firestorm out of his normal place in history to aid in the struggle against the forces of Abraxis. When the time came to send Firestorm back where he came from, Waverider mistakenly dropped him off at the JLI’s party. Firestorm walked around confused for a while, and none of the JLA-era folks (few of whom had any real dealings with the blank slate version) noticed the difference before the party ended, Waverider realized his mistake, and put Raymond/Stein back where they belonged. Problem solved!

  7. Greetings from a jubilant Irish Embassy. Why jubilant, you may ask? Well, it is the big announcement of the Justice League Europe team which will be based in Europe and of course, the logical place to have them based here in the Irish Embassy. Jack O’Lantern has been out decorating the Embassy rooms and the Irish Tourist Board is ready to have the world’s famous heroes photographed alongside some of the most iconic Irish landmarks – Captain Atom at Blarney Castle, The Flash at the Guinness Factory, Power Girl in the majectic Burren……wait a second, here is the official communique from Max…….


    *Sounds of furniture being smashed in rage*

    *some time later*

    Ok, ok, I have calmed down. Congratulations to………Paris…….on being the new HQ for Justice League Europe, I am sure they will be very happy there…*Grinding of teeth*

    Anyway, onto the podcast.

    This was a nice way to be a post script to the Invasion storyline and leading into the new development for the JLI. The first story, concentrating solely on Max, was a nice breather, focussing on Max’s recent past and the realisation from Invasion 3 that he possessed the metagene. It was interesting to see the sentient computer was still alive and the resolution broadly wrapped up the computer’s storyline until it was retconned many years later in the Justice League America:Year One annual to be Kilg%re and thus lead to the whole “Maxwell Lord is Lord Havoc” storyline – given the complaints we had in the podcast about the whole issue of Max Lord in Countdown to Infinite Crisis, it bears remembering that Max was treated much worse in the immediate post-Zero Hour JLA!

    The second story was a hoot. It was a nice lead in to the JLE storyline and again dealt nicely with the dangling plotline of the itsy-bitsy Khunds left in the roach motels. It was interesting in the page on Oberon’s interviewing the other heroes that you skipped over the end panel where Oberon was talking to Captain Atom – obviously, he was aware at that stage of Captain’s spying on the JLI from his own book, as will no doubt be discussed in your next podcast looking at Captain Atom. The JLE group is very interesting and definitely has more star power than the JLA team – even in terms of books, there are three members of the new JLE (4 if you are counting Wonder Woman) that have their own titles whereas no one in the JLA (if you exclude Batman) was fronting their own title at this stage.

    Great job as usual Shagg and Keith. Looking forward to the next side episodes before you commence the JLA/JLE tandem shows. Anyway, I must go, the New York Embassy are sending over some treats from the party in the teleporter tubes and I hear them being activated now so….

    ….er, why are there 6 Khunds in our teleporter room?!?! JAck O’LAntern, help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. “Calhoons.” Now I need to re-listen to the New Frontier episode of Gimme That Star Trek. Any correlation? Calhoons? Kah-hoonds?

  8. Great coverage of one of the BEST issues of JLI! It has everything that made JLI my favorite series. Humor. Humanity. Gags. Drama. Maguire. Jokes. Guy punching Khunds through a door. Just what every comic needs. Especially Guy punching Khunds through a door.

    Maguire nailed that scene perfectly. One subtle part is seeing Hal Jordan’s eye in his mask, not just white. It wonderfully emphasizes the “side eye” look, and much needed since Hal is in the forefront and on the left, the first face we see as the reader in that panel. His face could have looked a bit flat with a blank eye. Wonderful!

    And in those same panels, is that Power Girl holding a glass of … diet soda? Hmmmm…..

    Um, I’m gonna miss Maguire. Sigh. (But so awesome to meet him at Baltimore Comic Con, get some comics signed, and buy a print! Nerdgasm!)

    Props to Keith for some astute observations. Especially in regards to Hawkman and Flash/Wally. However, I would apply the “voice of fans” argument to Wally as well. “Barry’s the real Flash” was definitely a sentiment by many readers, and probably still is today. Presenting it as the older guys ribbing the young guy was subtle and believable. I was so glad Ralph continued this bit into JLE.

    Last, interesting next issue panel. Makes it seem either the box was a mistake, or that the story in #26 was originally planned to be next but delays forced a fill-in story. Back in the day, us readers were stuck having to wait a whole extra month to find out “how far do Max’s powers go”. The agony!

    Great show as always, Shagg. Almost time for 2 issues per month! Yay! And it bears repeating, it was fantastic hanging with you in Baltimore. You’re just the best, dude!

  9. Loved the show, funny as always. for me it was in this edition that max became a funny character, in the previous stories he was a serious character, somber, even when he was on the good side.
    I have a theory related to why he became a villain who hates metahumans, in this issue he suffered a trauma and started to get mad, and then all that BS about him making the league an inefficient team.
    PS: you mentioned extreme justice, in Brazil a podcast called TERRAZERO decided in a debate which is the best: extreme justice or youngblood. youngblood won. But there came the suggestion for a crossower drawn by liefield and written by Dan Ford called …
    EXTREME BLOOD or young justice … no, wait.

  10. I’m really behind on reading and commenting on this great series!

    “The Road Less Travelled”: I love the clear lines of Templeton & Rubenstein’s art – those silent panels on page 7 of Max discovering the body of the boss he nearly tried to murder, then doing the decent thing & giving him a burial of sorts is spellbinding storytelling without a single word or thought bubble in sight.
    GIffen & DeMatteis do an incredible job as well: they manage to tell a compelling story that demonstrates how Max has grown as a character in that tiny space that exists between the events of Issues 11 and 12, and the more recent effects of the Invasion Gene bomb on Max. That’s a very tight brief, and they pull off a masterclass.

    “Bonus Book”: For a “try out” book, I thought this captured the spirit of the League very well. The art is definitely a different, rougher style to the other two stories and – if we’re being honest – not in the same class. But for a set of brand new creators, it more than holds it’s own against the superlative JLA team we remember so fondly. I can well see this as a JLQ back up story. (Those quarterly books were so much fun – hope you get around to them soon.) Can’t believe you gave no love to the “Who’s Watching my Watchman” gag on page 1: that may be my Bwah-ha-ha moment of the whole issue!

    “Across a Crowded Room…”: Is this Maguire’s swansong from the book? If so, it’s a fitting exit that highlights his incredible skill at illustrating the subtlety of human emotion. The call- back to the Khund’s (there’s no need to massacre the vowel sounds, Shag – just concentrate on sounding the “d” at the end clearly and you’re good!) was both an effective threat and hilarious plot device in getting too many super powered heroes (and super powered egos) into action in far too confined a space. Setting up JLE with the ‘mugshots on a desk’ meme is a great lead in to the new series… and I’m excited to hear you cover their adventures next time!

  11. On the topic of pronouncing the alien race’s name, it seems that the question “is the H silent?” is better phrased as “why does our Roman spelling of it have an H?” Their own written name for their race (and their planet Khundia) is not something we know, is it? When we spell it in ours, which should have no resemblance to their alphabet, it makes sense that we wouldn’t just put silent letters in there for no reason. What I guess I’m saying is that since DCU residents do spell it with an H, that could be evidence that Shag is right to speak the H out loud.

    Of course, as long as we’ve had English reading material with alien characters, it’s just been accepted that the names of people, races, planets, weapons, customs, and so on are just spelled a certain way in our alphabet because they are. I don’t think we know what the doubled N’s and Z’s are doing in the Roman spelling of J’Onn J’Onzz’s name, why we write Phlox’s name in Star Trek with a PH and not an F, and so on. These sorts of details pertaining to interspecies communication is probably very well reasoned out in-universe, but for us, I’d say if there’s an H in the spelling, I’m with Shag on having an H in the pronunciation.

    On a different topic, are there even going to be any JLI issues discussed next episode? I thought Shag said it was a Captain Atom episode. If that’s the case, what comics should we listeners get our hands on and read for prep?

    1. So do you say K’Han?

      No. You do not. “Kh” is already used in the English language, and while it’s subtle, it slightly extends the vowel that comes after it. Or, if you want an in-universe AND meta reason that’s entirely based on whim (which a lot of orthography is, quite frankly), because they are warrior-conquerors, they have been given the Kh of “Khan” to relate it to the Mongol hordes.

      Either way, it’s – Kirk scream – KUUNNNNNNNNNNDDDDSSSSSS!

  12. Is not Khan someone whose name we would simply say and spell the way he does (as he would use our alphabet, being from Earth) — same as you and I extend that courtesy to each other? So we wouldn’t need to correlate the spelling with the pronunciation in that example. With aliens, they don’t spell out in our alphabet how their planet’s name is “correctly” spelled*, so Khund either is spelled by DCU residents with a silent H simply for reasons, or it’s not silent. Could be the former — that’s entirely possible. I’m just saying both are possible.

    * With Christopher Reeve’s Kal-El being a notable exception. Definitely K-R-Y, not C-R-I. He never lies, so that must be right. 🙂

    1. Let’s not act like English spelling makes any kind of sense. As a non-native speaker and someone who tutored others in how to write and speak English, the difficulty is that English spelling isn’t intuitive, quite the opposite.

      (French’s difficulty, if you’re interested, is its complex rigid grammar full of exceptions, based on the idea that early literary canon is linguistic Truth even if the great writers were making it up on the fly.)

  13. Another great episode. I’ve been lagging behind and finally catching up (oy, binging Shag is rough!)

    Just a point of clarification – Blue Beetle (and Cap) were from Earth-4, not Earth-C (home to Captain Carrot!)

    For me, being a big Power Girl fan coming into this issue, I was estatic to see her joining the team.

  14. I was looking at the face of Hawkman as he say’s “I trust you’re not going to…..” and I can’t help but think that he looks a lot like Mark Lenard, the guy who plays Spock’s father in the original Star Trek.

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