JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… Justice League Annual #3 (1989)

Al Sedano joins The Irredeemable Shag to discuss Justice League International Annual #3 featuring our heroes on a goodwill tour of JLI Embassies around the world! Hijinks ensue as Justice League America hangs with Justice League Europe! Then, the natives of Kooey Kooey Kooey have a special offer for the JLI! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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27 responses to “JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… Justice League Annual #3 (1989)

  1. I never made much of the Beach scene postcard with Booster and Beetle and Fire and Ice until after I re-listened to the episodes regarding issues 16-17.
    In this issues, we see Fire draped over Beetle in a familiar way (as in flirtatious) in a number of scenes.
    Lately we’ve seen Fire and Oberon heading towards each other. However this Postcard of the four heroes seems to call back to the potential shipping of Beetle and Fire. Ice is next to Booster, but they don’t give off the same Vibe. Booster is clinking glasses with Beetle and Ice is positioned to Balance against her best friend Fire But she and Booster might as well be in two separate photos. It’s not that they can’t stand each other or anything. Booster and Ice are friendly enough, but they are just both sharing the space whereas Fire and Beetle are much cozier.

  2. That cover is signed M/JR so you should know it’s by Kevin Maguire and Joe Rubinstein. Have I taught you nothing?

      1. In fairness, even if you had seen it M/JR could be a reference to McKone/Rubinstein. I commented before I listened when I saw your gallery post.

  3. My theory as to why the cover details differ is suitably international. Back in the day, foreign comics companies reprinting DC comics would be sent actual four-colour acetate (or similar, I never paid that much attention) plates. When translation is involved the lettering on the black plates wouldn’t be needed, so would be masked out and local translation used. It could be that after the plates were Fedexed back to DC the replacement lettering came with the cover, so someone had to get it re-lettered (I see they forgot the quotes around the first story title) and got playful with the Who’s Who description. And had a brain fart as regards Moessner-Loebs.

    Or the Construct is sitting inside the DC database…

    The real horror with the cover is that they couldn’t get the Buckingham Palace guardsman’s tunic the right colour. It’s ruddy iconic!

    That chap from Kooey Kooey Kooey has great style, I love how the black of his sweater picks up the stripes of his jacket.

    ‘The Men I never was’ – has there ever been a more awkward comic title?

    I want a Joshua Barbazon comic.

    Anyway, back to the episode. You and Al are doing a Boosterrific job so far, Shagg.

    1. That’s a logical theory for the cover error. Is it also possible that this is the story that Bill scripted as a test before taking over JLE and someone accidentally credited him not realising the published comic wouldn’t feature his work. Obviously it was corrected before publication but then reverted to the wrong version afterwards.

  4. Fun show guys. If you ever need an art detective in the future, feel free to call me. A hobby of mine amongst some of my toy nerd friends is identifying artists on packaging, licensing, etc, so, not to toot my own horn, I’m pretty good at spotting who drew what. I won’t pile on the “of course that’s Maguire” bandwagon…but yeah, of course that’s Maguire. 😉

    I will say, I’m not really sure what Power Girl is doing. Why is she fanning her hand? Did Ralph fart, and stretch away quickly, only to have his head reenter the photo? Or is she motioning Ralph to get in the required picture, and he’s only stretching his neck and head in, ticking her off?

    The art does look a bit rough in this one, but by this point, Annuals had kind of lost their “must buy” luster from a few years prior (like the New Teen Titans annuals that wrapped up major storylines, the legendary Superman Annual #11 by Moore and Gibbons, etc.) to become ground for fill-in stories, often drawn by untested artists.

    I do have one question: Is the cop partner J’onn is trying to avenge meant to be the old friend he reunited with in that wonderful Secret Origins story from SO #35 from a few months prior? I kind of hope not. My memory on this issue is a bit foggy. J’onn singing/praying at the end reminds me of the final scene in the Justice League animated episode “Comfort and Joy”, where J’onn does the same, much to the wonderment of the Kent family, who he is spending the Holidays with.

    Chris

    1. Dang, I LOVE that episode of Justice League, but I could have watched a whole episode with just J’onn and the Kents! (favorite line of course, “You mean, *Santa* wrapped those presents.”)

  5. Impressive pod cast. Most impressive. Sounds like this was a cool comic. Not a fan of the art style, but he story sounds cool. Ah the first appearance of Beef Eater! All hail the comeith of the great super hero that is beef eater! (LOL ) Any way moving on Oh I have a U tube page. That’s Liz Anne Oswalt. The Martain Man Hunter story looks cool. But , not sure about the art. But, I like it better than the main story. Yep this is what were talking about. The guy whom’s gay , but they don’t beat you over the head with it. They just put it in his marital status. No bonk over the head like most stuff does now days.

    He is a character in his own right. North Star… yeah Byrne hated how they did North Star’s coming out. It was a bit of a bonk on the head. Granted he did the same with Maggie in Super-Man, but still. A Character needs to be a character not a stereo type. Like Fire she’s Hispanic, but they don’t beat you over the head with her race. She has a personality of her own. She has a sexuality to her. And she’s a smart alec. A bit of a glory hound. Best friend to Ice. Some times she’s Lucy to Ice’s Ethel. Guess that makes Guy Fred. Moving right along. Basically her race is the lest important part of her. As it should be.

    Who the character is , that’s more important than the peace’s that make them. Race age, sexuality, weight, Shouldn’t make the character the peace’s that make us all the same. Interests , loves, hates, whom they are is what matters. That’s why I hate SJWs since they focus on the stero types. Any way moving on. Kooey Kooey Kooeyis fun to say. Fire made the right choice on losing this costume. Betel, Booster and Flash hanging out is fun.

  6. I bought this comic at the time, but have no memory of that Batman story. Based on your listing of his credits, I’m sure Tim Gula is a talented artist, but those pages…oof.

  7. I bought this issue, probably around the time it came out, or not too long afterward. I don’t know why, as I had stopped buying comics regularly by then. But, I remember the “Kooeykooeykooey” bit. It’s hilarious. But the pictures you posted don’t match my memory! And, like Rob, I don’t recall the second story at all! Never mind my mind, the real question is…where does this fit in? Last I knew, Blue Beetle was incapacitated. Does it happen beforehand? How did they get all those Embassies and teleports built so quickly? Come on, Shag, make with the explanation!

    1. It’s either right before or right after the JLA-Blue Beetle/JLE-Queen Bee stories. So maybe between JLA 25-26 and JLE 1-2 (since no Wonder Woman), or between JLA 30-31 and JLE 4-5.

      As for the embassies themselves, some existed since JLI #8 Moving Day, and the rest were being built in the meantime, but not featured in any stories yet. (I could swear the Tokyo embassy appeared before this annual, and it’s driving me nuts!) But I smell a missed opportunity for the Who’s Who pages in this issue: listing the first appearance of said embassies in addition to the staffers. Ah well.

      1. Duh! Of course this was AFTER the JLE-Queen Bee story, with the Rising Sun appearance! Way to fail, Tim! Off to the corner for me with my dunce cap.

  8. Irish Embassy calling, and a very tired embassy at that. We have just got everything in order for the big JLI visit – both teams coming to our humble embassy. The Embassy looks in top condition, all the refreshments have been ordered and after visiting Michael Morice in the UK Embassy, they will be looking forward to a great welcome, just after they finish visiting the Paris Embassy…oh wait, there’s the Monitor Board…

    “Hello? Oh hi Max, great to hear from you, ready to transport over? Oh, you can’t come? You just received word that a new nation wanted to put you up as a base? What country is that? Kooeykooeykooey? Seriously? Where is it? An island in the South Pacific, and Beetle and Flash wanted to hit there before the sun set? Oh no, I totally understand…….maybe you can visit another time? Ok Max, thanks, bye”

    *Sound of Monitor Board intercom being violently smashed*

    Kooeykooeykooey!!!!! What the f*$&*!

    On to the Annual and it was a nice change of pace having the League explore their Embassies (except the Irish one!) and showing how the JLI was really a worldwide organisation. The story allowed Giffen and deMatteis to pepper it with the wit and banter they are known for, while sewing the seeds for future storylines with the introduction of Kooeykooeykooey. The reference to Rising Sun was a nice call back to the recent JLE storyline while my vote for the longest call back to the joke comes with the Russian Embassy reveal to the team of the great plumbing – a nice nod to JLI 8 when Guy mentioned to the faux Rocket Red that Batman was impressed by the plumbing in the bathroom. All in all, it was a nice cleanser of an issue after the Bialya heavy storylines in both JLA and JLE.

    The Martian Manhunter story was a nice aftermath story to J’onn’s own miniseries and the Secret Origins story. The art was, in comparison to Maguire/Templeton/Sears and even McKone, not to my liking. I wonder though was it trying to match the art style in the previous storylines that I mentioned. The story itself was a nice J’onn story and showed how much he related to Batman as he dealt with his own issues of new identity.

    RE your query from my comment in the last episode, Black Hand will be coming back in issue 51 in Aliens Night Out – a fun issue!!

    Looking forward to the next podcast, in the meantime, I need to get rid of all of these sweets and cakes!

    1. I am just after reading the Captain Atom series from the 1980s and issue 38 had Captain Atom confessing to JLE about him relaying reports back to the Pentagon and the reaction of the JLE was “Meh!”. Even Dmitri commented: “Hokey smokes, Captain! I thought everyone knew you were American spy and my predecessor was Soviet spy! How else do you get in League to start with in first place?”

      Really enjoyed the Captain Atom series by the way. Has a lot of Firestorm parallels (Broderick started off on art, Kayanan takes over, and John Ostrander finishes the series), and the issues from the 30s-40s has a ot of JLE, with one very good team-up story with Dmitri and a lot more on the romance with Catherine Colbert.

  9. The “Captain Atom…TRAITOR!” storyline has gone from nonsensical to truly grating. He isn’t a traitor at all; he had a prior loyalty THAT EVERYONE ALREADY KNEW WHEN THEY HIRED HIM! He’s a hero who is publicly known to be a U.S. military officer; he’s sponsored and endorsed by the U.S. government and essentially publicly sent by the government to join the JLI.

    So, of course he’s reporting! So is Dmitri! So is Fire, for that matter! And Max would have brought those people in because they would observe and report what he wanted those governments to know — i.e., “Relax. We’re not a threat.” The implication that (goofy as they are) the relatively intelligent and sophisticated members of the JLs E and A would expect something different — especially Max — insults their intelligence.

    For another example of authorized reporting, look up the Wikipedia entry for “military attaché.” For an interesting discussion on a military member’s duty to report, watch the end of the Star Trek episode “Tomorow is Yesterday.” That’s the episode wherein the crew of the Enterprise goes back to the sixties and accidentally kidnaps an F-104 Starfighter pilot (très awkward).

  10. Oh, and I guess and I should do more than just vent my spleen in the comments section. It isn’t like this is a news article on a political story. It was a very enjoyable episode, and Al’s a great guest from a great city. Go Bulls!

    You are now way beyond the point where I was consistently catching JLA and JLE — I think just due to everything else going on in my life in the late eighties and early nineties. The Fire and Water Network has introduced me to a lot of tales from that era that I didn’t know I missed, and can go back to enjoy now.

  11. One more quibble: Regarding the mystery of the cover artist, Al said on Twitter that the important thing was “not to beat up on Shag for being wrong,”

    Doesn’t that violate the ethos of the Fire and Water Network? Isn’t that how we all find our joy? I need a ruling from Rob or Ryan. Siskoid and Chris are too nice to vote my way. I’ll still check out Al’s podcast on Marvel cosmicness, regardless.

  12. Wait, there were two stories in this issue! Shouldn’t that mean 2 guest hosts? Seriously, come on, people!

    That cover is so good (obviously Maguire 😉 ), and of course, even though Guy didn’t go on the world tour, he appears twice on the cover. Because rules mean nothing to Guy!

    McKone’s art was pretty rough in this one. Maybe he was rushed with the length of the story, or the inking got in the way, but this wasn’t nearly as good as JLA #25 or #28, or even Mister Miracle #6, but those all were likely stockpiled issues, without a tight deadline. Well, we can still see his style developing, which is cool in an artist’s early days. He’s just got a little ways to go.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the world tour story, but I wish all of the characters had been given more chance to shine. It was really a Beetle-Booster-J’onn story, with the rest of the cast tagging along saying little except for the occasional gag line. And it missed the chance to have different characters from the two teams interact a lot. I do take heart that we’ll see that improve in the very near future.

    J’onn’s story was a nice callback to his mini-series, and I agree, the artist was probably chosen to capture the feel of Mark Badger’s. It kinda worked, but I give it a “meh point 5.”

    One last thing. Fawlty Towers. Loved that show! My favorite episodes: “Gourmet Night”, “The Germans”, and “Basil the Rat”. I anxiously look forward to F&W’s new show: Fawlty Minutes, minute-by-minute coverage of the entire season. (You’re welcome.)

    Always great to hear Al! Thanks, Bwah-hah-hooligans!

  13. As a Brazilian I find the pool joke one of the best jokes made with Brazil in comics, no soccer, oversexualized women or confusion with Mexico (you guys do that a lot). Just corruption, which is a little problem we have here but still pretty funny joke. As always reading this issue in Brazilian Portuguese makes it 10 times funnier

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