JLI Podcast #35 – Justice League America #35 & Justice League Europe #11

Film critic Zaki Hasan joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #35 featuring the finale to the Kooey-Kooey-Kooey/Club JLI saga! Then Jimmy McGlinchey stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #11 in which Metamorpho goes to visit the son he's never met, but ends up in a knock-down, drag-out brawl with Guy Gardner! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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36 responses to “JLI Podcast #35 – Justice League America #35 & Justice League Europe #11

  1. On the word mistakes on the digital edition of JLE page 1, I think Mr. McGlinchey is right about it being due to autocorrect. If you look closely at the two pages, the font on the digital page is actually different from the early printed one. I think DC rekeyed in the words using a computer font (not sure if “Lappan” did the rekey though) for the digital editions so they are more readable, and that leads to mistakes like these.

    1. Max saw that they needed more women, and she did a good job helping them out against an Apokoliptian-powered thug. Inviting her to join seemed like a no-brainer at the time, but when you put it that way…

        1. Sure, the one thing he walked away from his EEO training with was how to use it for his objectives.

          But I just had a third thought, Symbol Pending, that may have played into his calculations. With Huntress, Max had a few seconds to defend himself. If he had pulled that trick with Wonder Woman or your Kara, and she found out about it, they’d have buried him in Tupperware.

          1. Oh yeah! Thanks. I forgot about that, ‘cause I was so enthusiastic about mindwiping that whole narrative, but that was far from the worst part of it.

  2. Impressive podcast most impressive. Glad everyone saw Major Desaster as a hero. And his worrying about big sir. Though now I here the Major with Ricky Gervaces voice. The office guy. Oy Bettele and Booster. Yeah that line of Max shoot them did not age well with what happened. Thankfully that got erased. So Dc erased that for us. Aquaman being serious works for him. Lucky he didn’t sucker punch any one in a pool.

    Sorry had to make the joke. Ice making the ice thing was cool. Sorry she got knocked out from it. But it was a lot of power. Huntress wanting to strangle Max makes since, but yeah self preservation comes first. She might have killed him or capsized the boat. And that would have killed Ice and Max. With only O-man and Huntress would have been. The only survivorS.

    Ah Guy in a bad end of a fight again. Still Beu Smith redeems him later. So that’s better. Still this makes Rex look ba so that’s ok. Yeah guy pre Beu Smith wasn’t as creative as he could be. Glad he didn’t have another personality change. Maybe he’d be the third frat boy to Booster and Ted.

    There a cool dueo but not sure about 3 of them. But that maybe fun. Rex seeing his kid was cool. Yeah think the metal men are also to build up Rex. But he is a cool character and makes a good character to follow in this book. Yeah pour animal man and Rocket red. Getting punched around. Still glad it was homes that got knocked out with one punch and not guy.

  3. Coming from the other way round, starting with more modern comic and working back, apart from the many mentioned UK reprints, reading these kicking plots down the read is a little off. Going through the JSA for my blog I find it weird that occasionally they’ll drop a panel or two of subplot for later. In fact, my latest blog post talks just about that plate spinning method of storytelling (which will be the one before as I promise I’ll post another before the next podcast).

    Not too bad as there’s no Power Girl to mention in these issues at all, but I’ll forgive them this once! 😀

  4. I’m not known as the Irredeemable Chris, but I do recall finding Hughes’ version of the Huntress VERY attractive, especially that panel where she’s sweeping back her hair while taking care of Ice. As much as I hate what was done with Max and Ted in Infinite Crisis, I guess there were seeds planted, particularly here. You just needed some evilly mutated Miracle Gro and a dash of early oughts cynicism to make them bear sour fruit.

    As I mentioned last time, I tended to be on the side of the “old school” Leaguers when they showed up, so I am totally with Aquaman here, despite still enjoying the current League’s antics at this point. And it is funny how this League fell out of vogue rather quickly. From hot enough to launch multiple spin-offs, to suddenly “an embarrassment” in just a few short years, the JLI’s trajectory is not unlike that of the 60s Batman television series. It would take another decade or two for folks to make piece with the BWAHAHAs, and embrace them.

    Nice to know exactly where the “ickier’ inclinations of Simon Stagg were first posited. I don’t think I read that Metamorpho mini by Waid and Nolan, despite being a fan of both creators. Bruce Timm and the DCAU crew definitely ran with that interpretation in the Justice League animated episode, “Metamorphoisis”, as Cindy and I covered on JLUCast.

    Great episode, and great guests! And Shagg was okay too!


  5. First, I enjoyed the two Ohio shout-outs in this episode: first for Akron and then for Cincinnati. That was too perfect, as I grew up near the latter and went to college not far from the former.

    Second, when I saw the weird stuffed animals in Metamorpho-Baby’s nursery, I was suddenly reminded of the Wuzzles. In case you don’t recall, they were a line of stuffed animals form the 1980s, where each character was a strange mash-up of two different animals (e.g., a monkey combined with a rhinoceros). I think they may even have had their own cartoon show at one point. Any way, I hadn’t thought about the Wuzzles for ages, but something about the toys in that panel sparked my memory.

    Third, thank you for another great episode

  6. Great episode about two great issues of both titles.
    A quick jump in regarding the embarrassment of riches all the JLI/E/A artists have been: Maguire set the tone, and he owned the facial expressions, so all artists following had to follow him on that. Now, some of the more “super” stuff he never really got (Captain Atom, Rocket Red’s apokoliptian armor, and so on), and there is where Sears excels: Shiny! Super! Muscly! Techy!. And here is where the Sears inks over Maguire make perfect sense. The cover actually looks like a collaboration that caters to each other’s strengths.
    Hughes is a monster, but I have to go for the day-1 artists here in this comparison.

  7. Great episode with some great guests. I’m glad the JLI cast is starting to show some variety in their personalities. And this is, I think, where peak bwah-ha-ha-ha-ness of the JLA begins its descent. Now that their book is pretty much filled with characters that only appear in the JLA book, the lunatics started to run the asylum.

    There is no Katana Banana which which I’m involved. I wish Shag would stop with those filthy rumors.

    1. Heavily reading between the lines here but it looks to me that it was probably others taking their toys and going to there own books. Others, like Morrison, taking Z-listers and turning them into best-selling titles.

      So you know after that and Wonder Woman being snatched away they just doubled down with what they’ve got, for better or worse. Personally, I’ve never read this era of the JLI so I’m looking forward (mostly) to what’s to come.

  8. Irish Embassy calling, and a very crowded one at that! Not only do I have all of the food we had prepared for when Shagg was suppose to call over discuss JLE 11 (thanks again Shagg for dragging me to Paris!!), but Aquaman has just arrived with all of the remains of Club JLI, including all of the food, saying that Beetle had told him to bring it to the Irish Embassy! Not only did I had to listen to Arthur moan for an hour about him not being a delivery man, I now have a ton of macaroni and cheese salad and crab legs, which do not go well with Jack O’Lantern’s scones! I’d invite you all to come over for a JLI party, but with Ireland in lockdown again, I am just stuck here with a lot of prawn cocktails and iced tea cakes to get through!

    Anyway to more pleasing matters – JLA 35 was a great end to the Club JLI saga. Having the mini-drama of Max, Oberon, Huntress and Ice stranded in the ocean was a nice addition to the drama of the runaway Kooey-Kooey-Kooey Island. Having the non-superpowered characters in trouble gave a bit more gravitas to the situation although it was punctuated with nice comedic beats like the arrival of the sharks and Oberon thinking he was hallucinating that he was seeing money. The Max Lord mind wipe is not a good piece for the character and I enjoyed the discussion between Zaki and Shagg on how these flaws were brought into the reimaging of the character in the Infinite crisis era.

    I also enjoyed the discussion on the JLI artists. For me, Adam Hughes is the premier artist for this era. I think his backgrounds are amazing and his characters are all different – you can even see it in the looks of Huntress and Ice in this story. I am not dissing the work of Maguire, Templeton, sears and the many others that were in this era – just for me, Adam Hughes’ work is slightly above the other amazing artists. I think we can all agree that the artists of the Bwa-ha-ha era are among the best.

    With respect to JLE 11, the one thing I thought of after my discussion with Shagg was that it was interesting how both Rex and Guy deal with their anger. Rex’s anger is a righteous one and while he is furious at times, he does not allow it to cloud his judgement. He uses his need to see his son to control his anger in the right way (Apart of course from knocking out Dmitri and Buddy). Guy’s anger however is unfocussed and that often leads to his downfall. Of course, I would think of this after I had finished the recording with Shagg!!

    I want to thank Shagg again for inviting me to discuss this issue, He is an amazing host and I really enjoyed speaking to him about the Bwa-ha-ha era, which is what got me into comics collecting so long ago. To take part in this podcast has been a highlight for me, and I look forward to listening to the shows to come, starting with his discussion with Joe Phillips on the JLI/Mr. Miracle special next time out.

    And if anyone wants me to guest on a podcast, I am available – maybe we could do an introspective on the Vext series – we can call it the Vext Files? Anyone, anyone? Mmmm, maybe not!!!

    1. Just on our discussion of the JLE 11 cover, I found another homage, but as an interior splash page, in Batman and the Outsiders Issue 50 from 2007, with J’onn and Metamorpho holding Grace back, drawn by Matthew Clark.

    2. I’ve never read Vext, but I continually keep an eye out for it on the digitals. If it ever appears there, I’m in.

      You were such a great guest, Jimmy. Welcome to the “other” Club JLI!

  9. As far as this issue is concerned, I can only think that he did mind control again because he was at risk of death. I have to agree with the idea of ​​turning the current Max Lord into a hero again. I would bring a Max from an alternate universe where the league died in the first fight with Despero, this Max saw his friends die and would be willing to do anything not to let this happen again. Evil Max would still be around in the DC universe if they want to use it again but the alternative Max Lord would be working with the League again even though the heroes are suspicious of him.

  10. Thanks for a tremendous episode (and not just because I was lucky enough to get a couple of free mentions). Zaki and Jimmy both brought a lot to the table (in Jimmy’s case, vol-au-vons filled with prawn cocktail).

    These were both fine issues… I especially love the JLI cover, the minimal design and the acres of vibrant colour.

    To be fair to Max as regards his mental control of Huntress, not only was it a case of damp her down or likely die, he does tell Oberon he’ll have another go at telling her the truth when they get back home.

    That later business about Max keeping Beetle and Booster on the team to ensure the JLI was ineffective never made any sense… despite the constant wacky shenanigans, the team always won.

    I love young Mr McGlinchey’s idea of a Rocket Red and Animal Man buddy (no pun intended) book because they are indeed both dads… call it Family Men.

    Okay, Sapphire Shagg… sorry, Stagg, may not be the sharpest tool in the box, but she’s not totally shallow – when you marry both Metamorpho and Java, you can’t be fixated on good looks. And I much prefer the original ditzy version to the DC Rebirth super scientist – why does everybody have to be super intelligent these days?

    Did we ever see the return of Metamorpho and Sapphire’s baby – he could have been called Metamoppet and teamed up with Plastic Man’s boy, Offspring, over in The Terrifics.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Martin – for the fate of Metamorpho’s baby, check out the Metamorpho miniseries from 1992, highly recommend it!

        1. I don’t remember it at all, as it turns out. Good read. And it seems I wasn’t wrong the other month when I was speculating on Simon Stagg’s creepiness as regards his daughter. Yeesh.

          Oh, and as for Akron, wasn’t he an Avengers villain?

      1. Wasn’t there also a Birds of Prey story that had Mini-morpho and Sapphire in it? Lemme look. Ah yes, BoP #51-52 from 2003. Simon still being creepy in that one!

    2. I agree, the Max retcon was ill-advised and made no sense. The JLI was effective in loads of stories and was at the forefront of all the big events like Millennium, Invasion, War of the Gods, Panic in the Sky, etc. Like said in this podcast, it’s really liked everyone turned on the JLI and instead of just quietly ignoring them they proceeded to tear them down. Very mean-spirited, especially since these books sold very well in their day and have loads of devoted fans.

  11. Another really good episode, as always.

    It really struck me when you and Jimmy McGlinchey were talking about how long his appearance has been in the making that this podcast has been going for 4 years already. How is that possible?? Anyway, he certainly delivered the funny as we would expect.

    I thought the three inkers really hurt the overall appearance of Hughes’ work this time around. Yes, some pages were great, but others just didn’t seem to have the same punch to them. I don’t know, maybe it was just me.

    I read along using my digital copy of JLI Vol. 6, but going forward I’m not sure how I’ll be able to read along, as it gets really spotty on DC Universe and Comixology. Maybe with the switch to Infinite, they’ll add more of the upcoming issues? Looks like the second omnibus is coming, but that’s pretty pricey, especially since I’m also still eyeing the 5YL Legion volume. Well, no matter what, I won’t stop listening.

  12. Wait, there’s someone scheduled for the show longer than me??! Poor Jimmy! Who else could possibly be waiting in the wings for their podcast debut in JLI Bwah-hah-hah Cast? I must know!

    JLA #35 was a hoot. I love the humor, the drama, the cover, the interiors. It’s just delightful. One touch I especially like about Hughes is he changes people’s hair. Specifically, Aquaman has his wavy locks at the beginning of the issue. But at the end, when his hair is freshly wet from being underwater and riding a shark, it’s matted down. Maguire did this all the time, and Hughes continues it. Love it.

    But I must admit, the tension of the team trapped on the ice raft doesn’t land as hard as I’d like. I guess I’m too cynical to completely buy into the idea that the JLA’s leader, main support staffer, a team member, and a member that has her own series would really die. Plus, they had the one team member with them who could keep them alive but not solve the problem, But I didn’t need to completely accept the danger to enjoy the story, or the mental breakdown of Max and Huntress. No, not the mind control part, when they start yelling at each other, “Who are you calling crazy?” “You! You-you-you-you!” Hilarious!

    Sadly, I’m cursed with remembering that fairly soon after this issue will be the last appearance in this series of 3 characters on the team. I know Shag gets ticked when I point this out, so I won’t say who, but I can’t help feeling the sads!

    Oh, JLE #11-12 are great Metamorpho issues, picking up nicely from #5. I love him outthinking Guy with a relatively simple use of his powers. But ok. I seriously just thought of one thing before writing in. Rex turns into gold. One of the Metal Men is Gold. THEY WERE NOT THE SAME COLOR! And from there, my brain went down a frightening rabbit’s hole of consideration, but I’ll spare you because I’d wear my fingers to nubs typing it out.

    And I really like Shag’s idea that the credit page was a late addition to acknowledge what happened in Buddy’s series. That makes so much sense. I can totally believe wanting to keep busy as a break from mourning, but the issue does read like that wasn’t a consideration outright.

    Does anybody else think that Animal Man on the cover looks a lot like Brian Bolland’s version? Very consistent with Maguire’s style.

    I also laugh at the bit where Dmitri and Buddy leave in spite of Captain Atom’s reservations, and then Cap is calling the JLA with the heads up, as though it was his idea. Oh Cap, you’re not fooling anybody.

    Such great guests for another delightful episode! Thanks, J-L-Icons!

  13. Another great podcast! I waited a week so I could enjoy it properly on a free evening with a fine beverage at hand. I love both of these issues! I agree that the KooeyKooeyKooey story may be zenith JLA, in that when it comes to fun and absurdity, it never gets as good as this again. The Wally Tortellini two-parter comes pretty close, though! The cover to the JLA issue may be an homage to the cover of Outsiders #13? I agree that Max’s actions here are awful, and I’d never noticed before that Oberon is complicit in it. Doesn’t jibe with the good-hearted guy Oberon is. I think this is the last appearance of Huntress in this comic, so maybe Oberon told her and she left, though unlikely she’d leave without beating Max down. I agree with other posters, she is a strange choice to have on the team, especially since, like Dr Light, both Doctors Fate, Wonder Woman, Orion, Animal Man, Shiloh Norman, and Lightray they…don’t really do much with her. I think this is the only “mission” she goes on as a team member and it’s really random. This JLE two-parter has always been a favorite. Next issues fight between Metamorpho and the Metal Men is classic and a lot of fun. Rex’s beat down of Guy is pretty brutal and seems to not fit somehow. Becomes a loose thread later because they never follow up on it. You’d think Guy would hold a grudge against Rex and there’d be some kind of reprimand of both of them (maybe relegated to helping Beetle and Booster clean the embassy) but everyone kind of continues on. Oh, well. Still, great issues and a great analysis by everyone involved!

  14. Excellent episode, gentlemen! It was great to hear from Zaki again and I can’t believe Jimmy had to wait 4 years to get on this podcast? Was the embassy transporter down for that entire time? I do remember there were problems with those transporters at some point…….

    For me, I really liked the characterization of Maxwell Lord on the ice raft. I thought it showed him that he’s not evil (despite what other, later comics might infer), but he’s not quite ethical. Thinking he’s about to die and wanting clear his conscience means he HAS a conscience and that this entire time his actions have been weighing on him. But of course when Huntress starts strangling him, he reverts back to his old self. That’s what I really liked about Max in this series. He’s a character who isn’t morally black or white, but grey. To me, it made him a much more interesting character.

    I’m looking forward to the next episode with Joe Phillips! With your connections, I can’t wait to see who you get next! **coughcough Adam Hughes coughcough**

    Keep up the great work!

  15. So of course not only is Akron, Ohio a real place but the wake for Jerry Fine the friend of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster who introduced them to each other had his wake there. And, of course the Hall of Justice is “from” Cincinnati Ohio.

    OK, did my part from being from Ohio

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