JLI Podcast #37 – Justice League America #37 & Justice League Europe #13

Nathaniel Wayne joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #37 in which a stray cat wreaks havoc in the New York Embassy and a member of the team quits the League! Then comic's professional Matt Anderson stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #13 in which the same stray cat creates chaos in the Paris Embassy during a tour for schoolchildren! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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23 responses to “JLI Podcast #37 – Justice League America #37 & Justice League Europe #13

  1. I really enjoyed this episode
    I’ve said
    I always loved the look of Fire in the “oh I haven’t thought of that!”
    She reminded me of a girl I went to High School with. So while the scene presents Fire in a very uncharacteristic manner, it remains a long time favorite of mine.
    I’m always struck by the bottom right panel. Fire’s talking to Martian Manhunter and the way she’s holding her towel to cover herself (well, her front anyway) because the towel is only covering what J’onn or anybody standing in front would see otherwise. However, If someone came strolling down the hall behind fire….well, they would have had a very nice view of Fire’s Back(side)
    My Bwah-Ha-Ha moment is always the “Guy could have choked on a hairball/already put out the Cat exchange.”

  2. The two part “cat saga”- I love this story. This is where I remember the split between those who liked the “funny stuff” and those who wanted it “taken seriously” happened. I was on the “keep it funny” side. Looking back I think making the primary super-team the only humor in an otherwise dark DCU was an odd choice. I love this run. I love it for being odd.
    ((However in retrospect I loved it for breaking with the “traditional DCU”- so technically my opponents had a point- ))

  3. Great episode, but with caveats: I love Nathaniel’s YouTube work and I am also a fan of people reacting to stuff they are not familiar with, but in this case, it felt that it broke the format a little too much for my taste.
    That said, Nathaniel’s fresh eyes on this material were very welcome and their observation on the team dynamics and the EXTREEEEME movement were very controversial but on point. Ditto with what was said about Guy and also came up with Wally later in the episode.
    JLA 37 is an issue that I hold very dear, a lot of fun and yet, the Booster (never mind Despero) stuff is pretty not-your-usual-JLA material. The most vivid image I have of this issue, though, is the texture in Booster’s jacket on the last splash. My mind works in mysterious ways, I know.
    JLE #13…MEH. I felt the joke was overdone, although I did get a couple of laughs, but mainly from the children’s reactions. Sprouse… man, the Helfer office could find them, didn’t they?

    1. > it felt that it broke the format a little too much for my taste.

      With no disrespect intended to either Shagg or Nathaniel, I agree. Clearly, Nathaniel is good at what they do, and Shagg – part of your charm is you sparring teasingly with your cohosts.

      I’ve really enjoyed the wide-range of cohosts that you’ve had, especially the wide-range of cohosts that I’ve never heard before. The fresh voices have been great.

      In this particular case those, it was a good experiment, but one that I felt fell a bit flat.

      Any stumble that I perceived in the first half tho, was completely rectified in the second half, with the very charming Matt Anderson. He was a joy to listen to.

      My faith in the show remains, and look forward to the next episode.

  4. Yes! The two-part cat story! I think JLA #37 was the first JLI issue my dad and I bought new right off the shelf. Like Shagg and Matt, that cover just drew me in. Re-read both of these recently and enjoyed them. I’d never noticed the problems around the timeline between these two issues until you guys pointed them out. I could also see where maybe they don’t use the teleporters because you can only send over two people at a time? So whoever you send first is a sitting duck if someone is watching for them. How about the time difference between the USA and France? They’re actually six hours or so ahead of us, so that also throws confusion into the timeline; in these stories it’s evening in NYC and during the day in Paris. Something I’ve wondered about the JLE issue is J’onn bursting in and declaring the embassy is surrounded. Surrounded by who? Beetle, Miracle, and Fire are there with him, Guy is inside already, Booster has quit, so who’s left? Ice? The seldom-seen Huntress? Why was Ice left out of these issues, btw? Would she have been too sympathetic toward the cat and gotten Guy to be nicer to it? Hmmm…

    1. My “no prize” brain would say J’onn was bluffing about “the embassy is surrounded.” Which is not a bad tactic to get someone to surrender if there’s any chance of a peaceful resolution. Fortunately, the children surrendered quite quickly if not quietly. “WAAAAAHHHH!”

  5. So, JLA #37 is not new-reader friendly, and has an awful person behaving awfully. Got it. Seriously, Guy’s line to Fire was never good, but it really hit hard re-reading it today. It just doesn’t hold up well. No shame in saying it.

    Aside from that, I love this two-parter. Guy and his arch-nemesis, the yellow cat. If I even can work up the cash, I would love a Maguire commission of them together.

    I won’t go thru it page-by-page AS MUCH AS I WANT TO, but suffice that I’m with you Shag, I think the humor hits all throughout, and long-time readers as rewarded seeing subplots introduced and continued. Adam Hughes’s artwork and storytelling is gorgeous. I mean, I even love page 1’s street scene with ordinary people wearing winter clothes!

    Ok, one other complaint. No Ice except on the cover. Grump!

    For JLE #13, just continuing the fun with the other team. It really makes it one long story rather than a 2-parter. That cat causes trouble just by sleeping! And Wally’s dream of drowning is pretty tense, just for him to wake up with the cat on his face! BWAH-HAH-HAH!

    Ok, say J’onn J’onzz and Jean-Jean De-Jean. That can’t have been on purpose, can it? No, of course not. No. … No?

    Chris Sprouse’s artwork was good. I don’t think it’s Bart Sears level, so I’ll be happy when Bart’s back. But this was good, so I won’t nitpick.

    Another notable absence, no Dmitri. From a story standpoint, I get it, his kids are now here and would detract from Captain Atom’s awkwardness around the school children. I just miss the big lug.

    Great episode as always! Now I need to go tweet #PrimalForce at Matt!

    1. Oh! Almost forgot! “DC didn’t really have any sexy characters”? Ahem. Legion of Super-Heroes by Mike Grell in the 70s. Nuff said.

  6. Interesting mix of guest, Shag! In one corner, the upstart. In the other, the fan. I like the variety!

    Onto the books:
    JLA – This is when I started to check out. It felt too comedic. Where was a DC fan to go for some bigtime action featuring the best of DC’s characters? LEGION? Wait for the next crossover? JLA started its slow death cycle here – something we saw with the Detroit era – when the b-listers who are allowed character development become the focus, leaving the name draws out of the team book. Once the book hits General Glory, it rapidly finds itself on life support and wouldn’t become interesting again ever.

    As for the positive, holy crap, is Adam Hughes amazing. Yes, Nathaniel, there’s some male gaze here. And yes, Fire’s look is anything but practical. But Hughes draws the hell out of this book.

    JLE – This book i kept up with solely because of its inclusion of the greatest super-hero of all time — that’s right, The Flash. But even my love of Wally West couldn’t keep me focused on this book as it descends into pratfall after quippy pratfall. And once Sears departs , there wasn’t much for me to love. And from this issue, you can start to see the genius that is Chris Sprouse ascend.

    Great overall show, all. And Matt had a great origin story! Pretty sure Sony owns a third of his IP soul.

  7. I agree, this was a nice balance between uninitiated local curmudgeon, and newcomer/longtime fan. The first segment did remind me a bit of that fabled episode of Secret Origins featuring Shazam (cue sound effect).

    Is Fire’s mid-drift on the cover any worse than the massive amounts of cleavage on display with Power Girl? I know that’s her schtick, but geez oh Pete, Sears brings us a fraction of a millimeter from a wardrobe malfunction.

    I love Adam Hughes’ art, but anyone think the lighting on Guy’s face on page 16 makes it look like he’s got Old Man Turkey Neck? I know that’s the collar of his sweater, but it looks like a bunch of baggy Old Man skin!


  8. This was lots of fun! Well done, Nathaniel and Matt, on great discussions about these issues. It was hilarious to hear whenever “EXXXXTREME!” was brought up. As much as I love the Bwa-ha-ha JLI, I do remember being slowly turned off of comics at this time because of the the extreme-ness that was slowly creeping in. So to hear these issues covered which was full of capers and hijinx was awesome!

    I found it really interesting to hear Nathaniel’s take on Fire. These are things I just never thought of reading these issues at the time, but, in hindsight, make much more sense. While I agree with Shag that her character is one who is comfortable in her sexiness, there are definitely times where it’s reading like a man was writing her dialogue, i.e. “I never thought of that”. And If I can notice it, it must be bad!

    And the whole issue of JLE was great. This was the silly comedy at it’s zenith. Now, for people who don’t want the funny in their funny books, I can see how this would turn you right off of reading the Bwa-ha-ha JLI. I mean, the League doesn’t fight some Blue Beam or a threat to the Earth that will shock the DC Universe to it’s core. They were fighting a stinky alley cat while trying to maintain their composure around school children. It reads like an episode of Fawlty Towers (though I will not insult our British Embassy by saying it was just as good or better).

    Well done, again, on a great job, Shag, Nathaniel and Matt! It was great to hear your enthusiasm (okay, Shag and Matt’s enthusiasm) on some fun issues. I’m really looking forward to next episode and the JLAntartica! Keep up the great work!

  9. Impressive podcast. Most impressive. Ah the cat. The first appearance of that cat. That kind of became the mascot of the comic. Ah this is a funny bit with the characters. And yep Manhunter was great in this. As for Booster …yeah he’s whinny. But, so was Luke Skywalker in Episode 4. And that worked out well for him. Minus the sequel trilogy …aNY WAy. They were being built to something at the time…. then well. Booster had got oyed after this then built back up. and torn down then built up. At any rate this worked at ware he was. The art work in this is great, but not as good as A,H, became. The forshorting is great. Not Kirby level, but well done. And he gets better. Fire was fine in this. She jut had a blond moment. We all get them. Though yeah funny her seting Guy on fire. Guy can be a pain. And minus that one line…or many lines he’s said. He’s the loveable jerk of the team. The Dan from Night Court. You love ta hate him and when he gets his come upents. But, you wanna see Harry and the gang out do him not have Bull make him into a pretzel.

    So I’ll just mentaly delte. That he said that one line and have fun with the charcter. Ah was cool hearing Nathanie on the show. Was cool to have them descuse this comic. I like the issue and the the horror bit cover is a satple in comadey comics. So it works. To the point ware Alan Davis re used it when he was drawing and writing Excalaber. Snd had the group threatened by an exploding tweetie bird. He had just returned after leaving a bit. And since Clarmont had left a while back Davis came back as the artist and writer. This was before the JLA nail. Any way the bit works. And having the two covers ref each other was great. Ah Nathine not geting the comic pour them. Kind of makes them the Power Girl or Hawk Man of the group. But, ah well. Glad they were a good sport about it though. I like most of their pod cast stuff. Just mostly I like JLA more than they do. Moving on to JLE. I like Barts cover better, but he had been doing this longer. So he can do the fish eye and the four shorting. I kind of like the art inside. The theif is funny. And the cat at the end was funny. A good ending to the storry. A book end.

    Having tried to speak other langs. I feel Caps pain. Glad Ralf is there to save the day. And the danger room attacking the heros… wait this happened years later in X-Men. I wonder if the writer of that read this issue…hmmm. Can’t wait to hear the next pod cast.

  10. Congratulations on another terrific show. On the one hand, I wish Nathaniel had read the book earlier and he could have told you he hated it, and put off the appearance until a ‘friendlier’ issue came along. On the other, it made for a great listen, as Nathaniel offered his insights. Plus, annoyed people are always fun to listen to.

    Sensational podcast debut from Matt, let’s have more from him. Both these issues were great fun, but this was the best one and hey, Bea may have been in a towel over on JLA, but Wally was in his boxers in JLE.

  11. Legends of Tomorrow made me read the Booster Gold series by Geoff Johns and this Booster Gold series made me give JLI a chance, that is to say I started reading this league because of Booster and now he is gone, when I read this edition all the following editions were: okay when he comes back?

  12. I heard that grumpy old man Katar Hol facetubed his hot take on this story, which amounted to a big ol’ rant about how it took two issues for the JLI to adopt a dumb cat, unlike how the old League would adopt a bird on the first page of a 1964 book and then get on with an actual adventure! Yes, OK, Katar WAS the bird in that issue (JLA # 31) … wanna make something of it?

    1. I am disgusted that you didn’t do a profile on the real star of both books, Stinky the Cat! Not only does he carry on through the JLE run he, or a version at least carries on having adventures right up to Power Girls ’09 run.

      I demand you fix this immediately! Or y’know I guess my little comment here will be good enough 😀

  13. Irish Embassy calling and fine, I admit it, it was my fault that the transporters weren’t working to allow the JLA transport to the Paris Embassy. However, it was not my fault. It is standing procedure that we need to clean out the transporters if an animal of some kind is put through it. This was after Guy stuffed G’nort into the transporter after the Invasion to get him out of the way and it messed up the tubes for weeks – why do you think Animal Man’s luggage disintegrated when he was moving to Paris?

    Both parts of Furballs were excellent. The Hughes art on JLA 37 was absolutely amazing and we finally see the Booster blowup that was building for some time. The fight between Guy and the Cat was hilarious and it was great to see J’onn lose his “straight man” role to hit some zingers about Guy. All in all, an excellent issue.

    It was interesting to see Sprouse’s early art on JLE 13 – I think he is probably hindered by the inker because when he was paired with Steve Mitchell in the 1990 Batman Annual or by Karl Story in Legionairres, his art was a lot more crisper than what it appeared here.

    To No-Prize the quick arrival of the JLA shuttle – well, Beetle and Scott did retune the shuttle all the way back in JLA 31 so maybe it is a lot better at travelling vast distances in a short space of time?

    We will see some good stories with the cat around issue 20 or so, and there was also a good few mini-tales with the cat (pencilled by Marshall Rodgers) in one of the JL Quarterly issues.

    Great insights as always from your guests Nathaniel and Matt and am looking forward to the next episode.

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