JLI Podcast #29 – Justice League America #29 & Justice League Europe #5

Another international guest! From the Canadian Embassy, Bass joins The Irredeemable Shag to discuss Justice League America #29 where Kent Nelson enters the mind of a comatose Blue Beetle and Fire's new powers are finally revealed! Then Bob Fisher stops by to chat about Justice League Europe #5 in which Captain Atom must answer for the team's actions last issue, then Metamorpho's long-lost wife pays a visit. Unfortunately, so does her new husband, and he's angry! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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16 responses to “JLI Podcast #29 – Justice League America #29 & Justice League Europe #5

  1. I don’t think Barda was an official member the way Scott was. She wasn’t listed in the roster. However Barda first got Involved because Scott was in trouble and then because she was such a powerhouse with a drill sergeant personality, she was brought on under “honorary” status to assist with things like Fire’s training. (Also, Scott and Banda’s house got destroyed a lot so she was living at the embassy during the rebuilding periods.)

    I think Beetle and I have the same mind-scape. Tons of beautiful women…only actually dated a fraction of a fraction of them!

  2. Still only a few minutes in, but I think of Barda as a member. It may never have been official, either because Max knew she wouldn’t follow orders or because she didn’t feel like dealing with the administrative hassle. But she clearly participated to whatever degree she felt like participating, and no one had nerve to stop her. Why would anyone turn down her help, anyway?

  3. I always assumed Barda was a member. She was active in the book and on missions far more than some folks who WERE at one point listed as members in Who’s Who (Creeper and Doctor Light, I’m looking at you).

    A few thoughts on JLA #29: On the cover, I see both Brooke Shields (below Ted’s right arm), and Katy Segal (then playing Peg Bundy on Married…with Children), looking over her shoulder to the left of Ted’s head. The ginger in the gray sweater and orange button up on the far left has always perplexed me. She looks like..someone, but I’m not sure who. Several of these ladies kind of look like Queen Bee too. Coincidence, or Maguire hinting at the root of Ted’s programming?

    I NEVER got the reference to Ted wearing Dan Garret’s costume in his mind. I remember thinking “Why is Blue Beetle dressed like Aquaman inside his own subconscious?” Now it makes total sense, as I see it as Ted feeling he will never quite measure up to Dan’s memory or career as the Beetle.

    Onto JLE #5: Why is Power Girl on this cover, and where is her cape? At this point, PG is never shown without it. Was it to show offer her butt? And count me as one of those guys who thinks Sears sometimes makes his female faces too harsh and sharp looking, particularly PG. BUT, she is distinctive looking, whereas I agree with Shag, all the other ladies look very similar. Even Sue and Catherine look too much alike in this one. I do like Bob’s Dolly analogy for Sapphire. I can totally hear that.

    Speaking of which, when Cindy and I covered “Metamorphosis” on JLUCast, we noted the rather…icky fatuation Simon has for his daughter. I don’t get that here, but it was there in the original comics if you read between the panels just a bit. I would imagine old school Simon wouldn’t want ANYONE marrying his daughter, not even his pet Cro-Magnon Java, because no one is good enough for her, except maybe…brrr…him. I need a shower.

    Why DOES Metamorpho have such crazy eyebrows? As drawn by Fradon, Aparo and everyone else in the previous two decades, he didn’t have ANY!

    Speaking of Aparo, you would think Batman would check in on his old teammate. Batman rejoined the Outsiders toward the end of that title’s run, and he and Metamorpho did know one another prior to the team, even if you have to discount some of Bob’s Zany Hany continuity weirdness in those old B&B team-ups.

    Anyway, fun episode as always! Great to hear more from Bass, and it’s always a pleasure to have Bob on our network!


  4. Yay for Bass and Bob!
    1. JLA- This was fun, funny, and a well-paced pair of stories with a satisfying set-up at the end. I disagree with Shag about the cover. Almost all of those ladies have the same nose and lips. The hair is all painstakingly different! Kudos to Kevin for that, but I see a sameness. Of course, Ted might have a “type.” Among the girls drawn by Templeton in Beetle’s subconscious, I spy Little Annie Fanny (right behind Kent on the scan you included) and Cheeta Torpeda, an obscure Jaime Hernandez character. Any other recognizable faces?
    Fire can’t fly very far, can she? Bayonne, NJ is closer to midtown Manhattan than Staten Island is!

    2. JLI – My big takeaway from this is that Giffen and DeMatteis cheated us. Twice. Two big resolutions happened OFF PANEL! This is the weakness of these books, when they sacrifice the story for the jokes. In this case, panels of Captain Atom (Attitude) flying and griping, instead of Captain Atom and Max going at it. Or even not going at it. Also, the sudden resolution of the Rex-Java fight and Sapphire’s exit. Sure, I can buy that Stagg manipulated Sapphire and Java into a confrontation with Rex, but the reader is never shown the machinations. It’s sort of like driving by a car accident. You see the result, you can guess the circumstances, but you never find out what happened!
    I absolutely loved hearing Bob’s “origin” story! That’s so wonderful!

  5. Impressive podcast. Most impressive. Ah he is waring his mentors outfit. Probly him thinking he doesn’t live up to the legacy. Not true cause Ted is aswome, but not sure he ever saw that. Was cool seeing the Blue and the Gold were an important to the plot of one of these stories. Cool Big Barda is here. As ya’ll vicariously live threw homes. I kind of do threw her….and some times fire. Fire was awesome in this. Ah so this is when she got her powers cool. Hmm, on the cover the one with Glasses is how I see my self. Though notably looks like Fire and Ice are right by BB. With the one woman between the too. Maybe Fire and Ice made BB watch my U-Tube channel and he wasn’t a fan on my Hawk Man vid. That’s Liz Anne Oswalt.

    Though ow they see Dr. Fate as old? He’s like 40 are 50 at most. Geez Ted. With or with out her weapon…. not seeing this kid Beat Barda, What Shag a fan of the lack of Cleavage on the cover? The end is nigh! The end is nigh! 😀

    Ah on to JLE. Seeing Rex and his wife was cool. Oy Java. Catherine was ok in this. Sue and Ralf are kind of funny. Yeah Captain Atom was acting a bit over the top. The fight with Ralph and Buddy was cool. huh Saphares Dad does look a bit like Joe Biden…. Any way kind of sad how it ends. Rex knows who he is now… and thus can feel what he lost. That’s a bit sad. Ah well. Can’t wait to hear the next pod cast.

  6. Cheers for another top episode, it was great to hear Bas and Bob.

    Now Shagg, you missed out the real significance of the date this issue of JLI came out – five days after was my 25th birthday. Batman film? Insignificant by comparison.

    While Ted being a ladies’ man in his own mind was OK as a running gag, showing ladies entirely filling his head was a tad reductive. There should be more to him than that. Or at least mine it for a gag… among all the tastefully clad women be fancies, have a shirtless Booster in there.

    Regarding the mental image of Ted wearing Dan Garrett’s uniform, maybe he literally has the first Blue Beetle’s spirit in him.

    ‘You’ll get to the light when your time comes’. That line of Nabu’s to Ted was extra-interesting in retrospect. As a supernatural wallah, did Nabu know how soon his time would be up?

    Oh, the irony of serial brain injury guy Guy saying he liked Beetle better when he was ‘brain dead’.

    I didn’t find the art at all disappointing this time. It was very appealing and sharp.

    Shagg, I always smile when you point out Giffen’s propensity to foreground bottoms. Given ‘Breakdowns’ as a storyline title was an in-joke, why not an all-above the waist issue titles: ‘And no butts!’?

    Regarding the JLE issue, I found it a bit boring, as a kid I quickly tired of the Rex/Sapphire/Stagg/Java dynamic – it was the same every time out. Having Sapphire Stagg show up here wed to freaking Java – he’s hardly Gnaark, is he? – made me like her even less than previously. I see the Dolly Parton art nod but I don’t see Sapphire as a Country gal like Dolly – she’s too thick, for one thing – more a spoilt New York rich kid. I should be kind to her, she always came across as much younger than Rex… and she was trapped by a creepy threesome – the much older Rex (he seems in his forties at least), the rapey caveman and the lustful father. Seriously, I can’t be the only one to see this? And I don’t like the way Sears draws her – she was bestowed a classic look by Ramona Fradon and they should have stuck with that. As for Bob’s question as to how they’d write her today, see the recent Legends of Tomorrow comic series – she was suddenly a scientist.

    1. You’re wrong about the true significance of the release date. It was actually 3 days before my 15th birthday. Much more important than any film .

  7. Living AND dying for Dolly as Sapphire. Now cannot unsee. Cannot unhear.
    I had decades of Metamorpho, Outsiders and JLE comics to go reread….

  8. Barda and the league are a lot like my wife is on twitter. She jumps into topics to remind everyone how capable and smart she is, but if I get myself involved in something stupid, she’s all “leave me out of this”

  9. Excellent show, everyone! I really enjoyed everyone’s insights to these issues. Specially the insight of Ted Kord wearing the original Dan Garret Blue Beetle costume. I never noticed that until now. I just assumed it was “generic superhero costume” because he doesn’t see himself as Blue Beetle in his mind but does see himself as a hero. Your analysis has just increased my enjoyment of JLA.
    For the cover, when I picked it up off the stands as a kid, as much as I enjoyed all the beautiful women looking at me (that never happened to this comic book nerd in the ’80’s!), I always saw the lady in the checkered dress on the left hand side as Queen Bee and I was confused. Why is Queen Bee part of Blue Beetle’s mind/dreams? She looks like she is plotting something. Is that why Blue Beetle is screaming? I had so many questions as a kid.
    Another great episode of one the best comic series of all time. Keep up the great work!

  10. Lots of great discussion on these fun issues, so you only have yourselves to blame for prompting my own thoughts.

    JLA #29:
    I caught on that Ted was wearing the original Blue Beetle’s costume on my first read when it came out (YAAAH!! I’M OLD!), but I hadn’t thought about why much before now. If Ted had wanted to be Dan’s successor why did he wear an original costume? So I don’t think that’s why the old costume is in his mind. Rather, Ted is near death, practically given up on returning to the “world of illusion”, and I think his mind is preparing for joining Dan in the afterlife, “clothing” Ted as someone he admires that has already passed on. Or similarly, Dan died wearing that costume, so Ted is dressed the same remembering how Dan died. This was reinforced when Dan died *again* in issue #18 of Ted’s comic just 2 years ago!
    I love Fire’s costume showing thru when she’s on fire. Her power running out quickly is also very similar to early Johnny Storm. And transforming into energy, well, just wait for next issue. (As usual, I have *not* re-read ahead.)
    I’m sorry to say, Barda is not a member of the team. But that’s never stopped other interesting characters from participating on other superhero teams for extended periods. Older examples include Zatanna with JLA, Black Widow with Avengers, Crystal with Fantastic Four… why am I only thinking of women? Oh wait! Wonder Man with Avengers. All of them had long associations with those teams, often in battle, before officially joining. Sadly, Barda never makes it official, as I’m sure it was entirely her choice.
    Thanks to Chris and Terry for confirming what I suspected: most or all of the women in Beetle’s mindscape are based on real people or comic book characters. I just struggle to place ANY of them.
    Let’s see, two big characters in this issue were Big Barda and Blue Beetle. Like Shag’s and my commissions from Ty Templeton. The synergy continues.
    So sorry to see Ty go. It was a quick year since he joined, and it was great to have him. Thankfully, equally good artists are on the way!

    JLE #5:
    Everybody talks about PG being on the cover, but what about Flash? He wasn’t in the issue either! It’s just a popularity contest to be on the cover, I guess. Sheesh, where’s my boy, Dmitri?
    I really dig comparing Sapphire’s look to Dolly’s. But I just don’t hear that voice. It’s a fun idea, but I’ll pass.
    “Captain Attitude!” Hilarious! I had taken the time to read Captain Atom’s series this year (thank you, DCU App), and stopped to keep pace with this podcast, and it’s fun to kinda experience reading those issues as they would’ve been released compared to JLE. But yeah, whiny Captain does not match his characterization in his own comic. Ah well. Plus, I have greater appreciation for Beetle’s anger at the Captain. But time for moving along.
    I love the panel you posted in the image gallery of Ralph wrapped all over Java yelling to flip-flop wearing Buddy to “Stop this lunatic before he KILLS me!!” That got my Bwah-hah-hah this month!
    Maybe I’m the only one who cares, but at the end of their series from Millennium, there wasn’t an Outsiders anymore. Metamorpho dead, Looker powerless, Katanna nursing over a comatose Halo, Geo-Force returned to Markovia, and Black Lightning taking a break. We haven’t seen any of them since that series, pretty sure none were in Invasion’s crowd scenes. Except for Batman. And for *that* part, wait for JLE #9.
    Since Animal Man and Metamorpho have musical themes. I have in my head ideas for the rest of JLE, but I haven’t tried to record them yet. But I’m sure there are more talented listeners out there who could do them justice. (ooo, I didn’t even plan that last bit!)

    Bass and Bob were excellent on the show. Good job getting them, Shag! Until next time, Time Priest, away!!

  11. This was the first issue of JLI I ever read! I got it when I was 8 years old in a random box from an uncle which was Kent to keep me quiet on the drive before we went on a long weekend camping trip up to a nearby lake where I promptly did nothing but read comics and swim. The stack contained several JLI and JL issues from this era, including the One Punch issue and Moving Day however even at that age my inner irredeemable-ness drew me for some reason to this one…
    Shame I have no idea where those have all gone off too since I started seriously collecting. I have the first 4 trades however and am certainly enjoying the show!

    -David Capune
    Ps for the pronunciation challenged it is KHA-PEW-NUH

  12. I’m late to listening – And haven’t listened yet- you guys make great driving listening-
    For no good reason, other then art style, In my head the events of JLA 29 are connected to issue 4-5 of Sandman. So not remembered as “light hearted” despite the humorous “I’m old” stuff-

    Any JLI issue with Meatmophoe related shenanigans is a favorite, so yes JLI 5 is on that list- I’m off on my drive-
    I’m sure I enjoyed / am going to enjoy the podcast

  13. Irish Embassy calling, and am just back from a meeting with Max Lord after I destroyed the Irish Embassy’s monitor board in the comments on the previous issue. I didn’t prepare for the meeting, because I spoke to Captain Atom and he said that Max would just offer me a promotion, like he did with the Captain. Big mistake trusting the Captain – Max was about to fire me! Luckily, I persuaded him that Nabu had taken over my body and that he should blame him for the damages. Think I got away with that one!

    The JLA issue was a good wrap up to the Beetle storyline and the use of Nabu was a clever one. When I had first read this initially, I was not reading the Dr. Fate storyline, so the use of Nabu…er Kent….threw me on initial reading. Rereading the issue after having subsequently reading the Fate series, it was a very good use of the character and probably helped to bring Dr. Fate back in again in subsequent issues. I was another who did not catch the significance of Ted wearing Dan Garrett’s costume – I had simply thought it was some sort of armour that Ted wore under the costume. The Fire subplot was just ok – after the previous issue’s cliffhanger, Fire’s new look being introduced did not have the wow factor that it could have been. The interplay between Fire, Barda and Miracle was good though and the next issue will be interesting to read again.

    The JLE issue was quite good. Was Captain Atom a bit whiny in the issue? Yes – but maybe he did have a reason too. Oberon was being very snarky and rude to Atom in the initial part of the interview and maybe that got Atom riled up more than he should have. It did seem unusual that he had not received equal status with J’onn on the commencement of the JLE, but maybe they just wanted to see how he would get on before securing the equal command status? The Metamorpho subplot was well handled too, and it was good to see Atom and Rex talking about the aftermath, with Atom giving moral support to Metamorpho after all that had happened. We will see the Outsider connection come into play in about 4 issues time, which will be fun to watch.

    Great comments from both Bass and Bob on the two issues. Not sure if we will get another JLI episode before Christmas but if we don’t, I want to wish Shagg and all of the JLI listeners a happy Christmas and all the best in 2020. Looking forward to the Apokolips transformation and the French class in the next episode.

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