JLI Podcast #27 – Justice League America #27 & Justice League Europe #3

New York Times bestselling author, illustrator and cartoonist George O’Connor joins The Irredeemable Shag to discuss Justice League America #27 guest-starring Amanda Waller as they try to deprogram the brainwashed Blue Beetle! Then fellow podcaster Greg Araujo is on-hand to chat about Justice League Europe #3 in which the team goes undercover as tourists to investigate the Global Guardians, and things go horribly wrong! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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24 responses to “JLI Podcast #27 – Justice League America #27 & Justice League Europe #3

  1. Regarding this cover there is a home in a later letter column when someone asks who is doing the covers. It talks about Kevin Maguire pencilling and inking the covers for 27 & 29 and how he had to painstakingly spend hours and hours drawing little dots for the cover of 27 and then had to painstakingly spend hours and hours drawing beautiful women for the cover of 29.

  2. I actually forget that we get the Date with Density in the middle of this storyline. I guess it just goes to show how invested we are in Ted’s situation that we forget years later that the story gets put on hold for a moment to go on a date night for some laughs.
    This recap of Sue’s history (herstory?) is why I had such a problem with that story in 2009. If Sue didn’t join the League until the Detroit years, then there’s no reason she would have been left alone on the Satellite for Dr. Light to attack her. She might have visited the Satellite with Ralph between their adventures. But I really don’t think the league was really big on having “civilians” just hanging around unaccompanied.

  3. So thanks to this and certain parts of Whos-who, I’ve started a Power Girl blog. it’s very, very early days but I’d love people to go visit and offer (hopefully) constructive comments.

    And I’m sure the podcast is excellent as usual, when I’ve the many hours spare to give it a listen I’ll let you know! 😀

  4. Another fun episode. Over the years of casually flipping through back issue bins I always thought that was supposed to be Martian Manhunter on the Justice League America cover. Keep in mind I hadn’t been reading much of Justice League America at that time and what I had was the Dan Jurgens era (hence the back issue bins).

    I’m glad you keep highlighting the fact that practically nobody on the JLE team speaks French. If only they could go to night school or acquire a French superhero. Hmmmmmm………. 😉

  5. Congrats on another great episode, the lads both brought a lot to the show.

    I don’t know Olympians, but it sounds great, and I like the look of the art I’ve now seen, George is a talented lad. And I’ve finally looked up ‘Scholastic Book Fair’, a phrase I hear a lot! But the mystery remains, what’s the extra music played on the podcast? I’m sure I asked about a previous episode in which Shagg said the music was ‘perfect’ for a JLE show, and I wondered if it was from National Lampoon’s European Vacation or something, but nada! Unlike Ralph, I hate a mystery :)

    (I may be misremembering my life…)

    Talking of Ralph, I never understood why Sue was drawn so differently in JLE to her classic look. She went from classic High Society cutie to generic babe… mind, she doesn’t half look good in the stereotyped French beret and Breton shirt in a few issues. CHAUDE!

    Brilliant thought from Greg about Catherine being swapped in for WW on the JLE #2 cover! But it looks as if the colourist thought they had Fire to deal with… I suppose the cut of the WW costume IS similar.

    Good call on Dr Mist on page 18 of JLA #27 – his jumper even has the green diagonal stripe from his super-loincloth.

    Baguettes sticking out of bags are the French equivalent of sticks of celery in US films.

    I also thought that JLE #2 cover was X-Men #141 homage. Such clever chaps you are!

  6. It took me a year to realize that it was Amanda Waller on the cover. Something in the next issue tells me ice and Guy are not too worried about Beetle.
    I skipped European League editions because I did not like the art, so when I got to the breakdowns I was like: oh shot I have to read these issues and I was surprised to see how the script was good. Everyone commented how justice league America was a big sitcom, I tell you justice Europe was definitely a sitcom.

  7. Another great episode in the books, fellas! You guys excoriated Captain Atom for saying that there were no European heroes “worth their salt.” However, neither of you took the time to examine the fact that he may have been right.

  8. Hi Guys. Once more I really enjoyed the episode. I find it really funny that Shag can’t remember the end of the stories but I can remember offhand comments from the letter columns of comics I read 30 years ago. Memory is a weird beast. I can bring up comicbook trivia from decades ago but I can’t remember my co-workers names.

    I had to dig into my longboxes to get involved in the debate about who inked what on JLA 27 and I think it’s a straight forward front back split. I think Dick took over by page 16. Mainly because of the shading on Beetle’s face. If you contrast this with Scott’s face on page 12 which I believe was inked by Joe you’ll see Dick has inked the lines free hand whereas Joe has used a zip-a-tone style pattern for the similar shading. Dick almost never uses patterns in the foreground. He uses them a lot in the background but this may just be because he often worked with a uncredited background inker.

    Another thing to look out for is the thickness of the lines. Joe tends to use a thicker line which occasionally rinses out the detail. Compare the thin lines on the litter bugs trousers on page 8 to the similar lines on Waller’s jacket on page 19. Dick’s default is a finer line.

    Of course it is really difficult to tell the 2 inkers apart because Joe trained at Continuity studios learning from Neal Adams and Dick Giordano so his line is not hugely different from Dick’s. Also if this was really up against a tight deadline it’s possible either of them could have brought in helpers who didn’t get credit. For example the last panel of page 8 really looks like the work Art Nichols did with Adam Hughes in later years and Art was a protege of Joe.

    I love spotting the differences between how different inkers treat the same penciler and I particularly like it when I spot an uncredited fill-in inker. I am still trying to find out who inked some of Uncanny X-Men 200 from years ago. Towards the end of the issue Dan Green disappears and there are a few pages inked by Dell Barras followed by a sequence that looks to me like it’s inked by Jim Starlin but I just don’t imagine him popping up in X-Men in the mid 80s. One day I will find out.

    And in Greg’s honour I could always mention the random page of Secret Wars II that is inked by Kyle Baker.

    We ended up with quite a dark episode it’ll be good to get onto the date with density next issue. Although that means we’ve only got 1 issue and 4 pages of Ty Templeton left to revisit.

    1. Just as I clicked on “post comment” I realised that Ty comes back in the Armageddon jam annual so we have more to look forward to than I thought.

        1. I saw that on Twitter but I don’t think my general comics knowledge is broad enough. I know the things I’m devoted to (like JLI, 80s X-Men, Who’s Who) in intricate detail but I know almost nothing about everything else. To use your favourite as an example I know almost nothing about Supergirl apart from the fact that I genuinely rate the 80s movie.

  9. Impressive pod cast. Most Impressive. Yeah I can believe the Wall could beat Betel. The only person who scares Bats. Still was cool to see her in this. And seeing her work with the JLA. And having the team have more of an emotional connection. The art is good, but I would have preferred the Betel cover. The crazy look of him in a strait jacket worked better. But, the Wall cover is pretty cool. I just would have liked the other belter. On to the JLE comic. This was pretty good too. Atom works well as a team leader.

    Though his JLU voice doesn’t fit this version. To me I can ear Duke from G.I. Joes voice here. Or cause I’m warped Sam the Eagle from the Muppet show. (That is a joke.) Hmm 3 stodges in different lang. That probly doesn’t need much translation. Like watching pro wrestling. It taps into the basic parts that work. Doesn’t need to be overly complicated. keeping it simple yet effective. Power Girl is still pretty awesome in this. Like seeing her, Flash and Ralf as the 3 amigos. They work well as a team. And them fighting the Global Gardens is kind of interesting.

    Can’t wait to see the JLEs and JLA stop the Queens plans. I always liked Bart Sears art work and it works well in this comic. Oh before I for get I still have the U-tube page. Liz Anne Oswalt. Back to the comic…. Yeeaaah Captain Atom if your gonna work in a country probly good idea to learn the lang. I mean he is there to rep the JLI er the franchise in France of all places. A lot of pro wrestlers that go to Japan learn Japanese… unless it’s part of their gimmick to piss people off. Hmm Ralf in RDJR look from Weird science… great now I hear him saying I..am Iron Man. Though P.G.s look is more Dynasty than Kelly Labrock.

    Still it works for her. Also why does Wally have blond hair? It makes him look to much like Barry. And speaking of hair…what was Ice thinking with that hair cut? And that Out fit. Why did her best friend Fire let her dress like that? It’s a swim suit with Shoulder pads..why? Just why? Any way can’t wait to hear the next pod cast.

  10. Hold on. Olympians. (click-scan-click-click) Oh yeah, the Tough Like a Girl podcast reviewed a couple of issues of that series last year! It sounded fascinating, and the artwork really suits the material. I’m sorry I haven’t read it yet, George, it really intrigued me, just trouble finding the time. And anybody who hasn’t listened to that episode, check it out: http://fireandwaterpodcast.com/podcast/tough18/

    Whew, JLA #27. So much to love, and already discussed amply. But I do have a couple of things, because it’s me and I wouldn’t want the Precocious Princess to stay up all night.

    The layout of the printed comic was so carefully done. Big reveals did not happen on facing pages, you had to turn to the next page to see it. My favorite: Waller tells a seated Beetle the code phrase “Bialya, my Bialya”. Turn the page, Beetle’s standing up saying “Open the door.” He looks incredibly flat, sullen, and intimidating, taking us by surprise as much as Waller, then attacks! Whoa! That’s taking advantage of the medium effectively.

    I also get emotional when Beetle is convulsing and Waller bear hugs him, shouting “Come back, Beetle!” Then whispers “Please.” It’s gotta be a whisper, right? The text is smaller and the word balloon is deliberately larger than it needs to be. For Waller to get emotional? Powerful scene.

    It is interesting how the JLA team uses code names more than civilian ones. It did feel like it happened organically. Fire and Ice joined the team all business to get taken seriously. Booster had that nickname before becoming a superhero. Ted just like being called “Beetle.” But in addition to J’onn, Guy is always “Guy” never “Green Lantern”, which I think he takes as an ego boost. But it does make sense in the real world. For a team, you use one name to refer to people all the time, regardless of the situation. Look at military nicknames. They don’t switch between names in missions versus downtime. You get a distinctive name and make it stick. The superhero genre is distinct thanks to “secret identities”, but this group doesn’t worry about that, so it works that everybody has a name they use all the time, whether it’s civilian or hero one.

    For the JLE, they’re still getting used to each other, but I think we’ve already seen that most of the team likes using “real” names over hero names, as though the hero names are “silly”. Thank Dmitri, the big-hearted bear for breaking down that barrier. Still gotta get Captain Atom to “take the stick out” though.

    Greg! Greg! Yes! I never understood Catherine’s outfit on the cover! It’s so NOT Catherine’s style! But as a redone Wonder Woman, it makes perfect sense! Thank you!

    Were you guys deliberately not mentioning the Flash museum as a DC Universe tourist trap? I understand if it’s too obvious a choice. But you know, I bet the JLDetroit headquarters would have been converted into an attraction. Steel’s grandfather was not averse to making a buck. How about the malt shop where the Teen Titans used to hang out?

    And yes, the Kara/Wally/Ralph trio was excellent. Ralph being the “voice of caution” is a little atypical in my mind for him, but I liked it. Interestingly, Wally and Kara had some great rapport in this issue, and I saw hints that Kara actually enjoyed teaming with Wally as someone closer to her own age, they’re legacy heroes who are trying to make their own mark, and both have blond hair. Oh wait…

    Another winning episode, Shaggy Man! I better go so I can watch She-Ra with my daughters. (Just checking to see if PP is still awake.)

  11. In French, the name Albert Camus is pronounced [al‌.‌bɛʁ ka‌.‌my] (roughly, ahl-BEAR kah-MEW). In English, it’s often pronounced [æl.bɛɹ kæ.muː] (al—as in Alvin—BEAR kam-MOO).

    Inspector Kam-MOO. The New Nuclear.

  12. I definitely agree that Power Girls based on somebody, and those sharp features remind me of someone, but I don’t think it Denise. Actually, Denise has a rounder face that’s ironically much closer to Kara’s normal features, though I couldn’t for the life of me tell you it’s meant to be.

    1. Is it weird that the first real-world person I think of in context to Europe and Power Girl is Princess Di? Not saying that’s who she is based on, but it’s what I thought of when the topic came up.

      The 1st issue cover of the Power Girl mini-series by Kerry Gammill and Dick Giordano is something where I could certainly see elements of Markie Post in though.

  13. Irish Embassy calling, and sorry for the absence. Once I got back from KooeyKooeyKooey island, I received a phone call From a Bea Queen saying something to me about Bialya, and the next thing I know, it’s 28 days later! Weird right?

    Both issues covered were well done, and like Shagg said, it is only when you are comparing the two together that you realise that Queen Bee is the main antagonist for both books. It was a smart move by Giffen & deMatteis to make the first JLE storyline involve an existing character from the JLI run, thus drawing in the JLI fans into the new book.

    The Ted storyline was very effective and the use of Amanda Waller was excellent, although to be honest, did she really have the training to deprogram Ted? One little editorial mistake in Waller’s conversation with Batman though – the antagonist in Batman: The Cult was Deacon Blackfire, not Blackthorn. I remember when I first read the JLA story and thought “Hmm, that doesn’t seem right!” I think apart from this, that was the only reference to the Cult storyline, until it was “New-52’d” in the Batman Eternal weekly series.

    While Queen Bee’s role was indirect in JLA, it is a more upfront confrontation in the pages of JLE, where Ireland’s own Jack O’Lantern (again, apologies from the Irish Embassy for his actions!) went toe to toe with Flash, PG and Ralph. Some excellent pacing on this book, with the explosion after PG and Captain Atom’s argument a brilliant kicker. I especially love the end with Captain Atom brooding and ready to take the appropriate action against Queen Bee and Jack’s attempts to discredit the JLE.

    Another fun episode and looking forward to the next one.

  14. Enjoy these show and loving all the great commentary on such a great (and overlooked) book. Remember seeing these back in the day and always getting a good smile after reading it. Keep up the great work, Shagg (and guests).

  15. Hey, I’m finally caught back up!

    I’ve seen George’s work in school before, but now I think I need to start getting the Olympians volumes for my 5th grade classroom.

    It’s funny – I remember the cover to JLA #27, but I didn’t remember the story at all, even though I bought it when it came out. I thought it was really affecting and made good use of Amanda Waller. I’m genuinely excited to see where it goes again.

    I, too, became a big fan of Sue Dibny during the Detroit era and love the dynamic between her and Ralph. I remember being disappointed that the Global Guardians were being used this way, as they were a favorite obscure team, but after 30 years it doesn’t bother me as much. The work by Bart Sears still holds up too!

    I don’t think you’re registering the people who retweet the updates with a comment, because I’ve done it for months and haven’t gotten a shoutout during that segment. I don’t need credit back, but you might want to look at your filtering, because others might be getting left out.

    Can’t wait to listen to the next episode in real time!

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