JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… in Green Lantern Corps, Booster Gold, and Power of the Atom

We discuss the JLI appearances in both BOOSTER GOLD and POWER OF THE ATOM, as well as Guy Gardner’s appearances in GREEN LANTERN CORPS leading up to his joining the League! Trent Lewis, Diabolu Frank and Keith G. Baker join The Irredeemable Shag to discuss these side trips with some of our favorite JLI members! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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24 responses to “JLI Podcast – Meanwhile… in Green Lantern Corps, Booster Gold, and Power of the Atom

  1. Once again, a great episode, specially the Guy segment, many good insights there.
    One licensed psychotherapist note, though, on Guy’s diagnostic: according the the French school of psychoanalysis (Lacan et al) absolute certainty if one of the most, if not the most telling indicator of the psychosis structure (which includes schizophrenia). Actually, the capability of doubt is what separates us garden-variety neurotics from psychotics. So… just sayin’.

    1. Good point, Gus. Those Guardians of the Universe don’t have a good track record of looking for mentally healthy people. Like wanting someone “without fear”. Not a great requirement for a balanced mind.

  2. I hate this run of GLC so much- Guy isn’t a lovable jerk, just a jerk. Kilowog is a sad scientist, not yet cool trainer of heroes. Hal and his “not technically underage but sure acts like it” girl friend- this was NOT a good time to be a GL fan.

    1. I was doing peer counseling in High School for girls who had 20+ boyfriends from local AFB- so the Hal/Ariisa thing was enough to stop me buying

  3. I love the rest of these comics and the actual podcast was a blast. I need to remember to mention the stuff I like as well-

    1. I am re- listening to the Guy history, because I absolutely missed all of it when Hal/Arisa drove me off. I missed a lot, I’m glad to hear about now

  4. I recently went over my history with Guy Gardner while commenting on Zero Hour Strikes, so the short version is that I was introduced to him around Millennium when he was still in “nice” mode and found him to be a boob. I missed/skipped a chunk of issues in the teens, but came back during Invasion, partly because of a rare laugh out loud conversation around Guy being a dick to Mr. Miracle. My favorite Green Lantern Corpsman is John Stewart, the platonic ideal in the role. That said, I didn’t buy a single issue of Mosaic new, but I started on Guy Gardner’s shortly into the Warrior, stuck with its near fifty issue run, and back-filled the ones I’d missed. For a few brief months, he was something near to my then-current favorite character. I also have a strong affection for Alan Scott, but only as Sentinel in the modern age, and only as a Green Lantern as a period character. Hal is a trash person, worse in fact than Guy was perceived to be at his worst.

    That said, Guy was a really dangerous and problematic dude during Crisis/Countdown, my personal favorite Green Lantern Corps story arc. I’ve mentioned in the past how I have no interest in Flash’s powers and world, but Barry Allen was such a good guy and Cary Bates in particular wrote him so well that I tend to enjoy my exposures to him. I’ve been enamored with Green Lantern since reading an old O’Neill/Adams issue and he got arguably the best Super Powers figure, plus the lore of the Corps is so fascinating, but the star of most of those comics is the thoroughly worthless Hal Boredan. “Countdown” featured classic era optimistic fantasy with an enormous scope and pitted the best and the “worst” Green Lanterns against one another, plus Hal was powerless and p-whipped into obsolescence. What’s not to love?

    My opinions on John Stewart appear to be as one with Keith’s, except I gave up on DC Comics long before Robert Venditti came along.

    No offense, but I glazed over during the Booster Gold segment because it was unfortunately about Booster Gold. It’s nobody’s fault but Booster Gold’s.

    Ivy Town is in Connecticut, Shag. So pronunciation, then math, then geography.

    That last guy was a douche. I personally love Power of the Atom!

  5. Great episode! While the GLC and Booster never floated my boat, I really hoped Power of the Atom would be a great series.

    Alas, it petered our by Invasion and I have no idea why. By the time it ended, it has a dreadful pall around it, like nobody knew how to end it in a good fashion.

    But as always, great guests for the first two segments!

  6. Impressive Pod cast. Most impressive. Hey a Guy citric pod cast. Awsome. Huh so Guy’s look is based on the guy from Down town Abby. Interesting. I’ll have to use an image of him next time I do fan art of Guy. Or Dr. Spectrum. Cool that Guy beat the corps in a fight using his brain and skills. I like the Flag next to Guy. Yeah Guy’s ex was a wench. And Hal… er he’s Hal. No idea what else to say. The man is a horn dog. Cool Booster story. Ah so that’s how his sister died. I… couldn’t have done. Just being truthful. I’d just have to hope the JLI could have stoped the monster. Ah the Last Booster issue cool. No idea whom the gal was he was hanging with, but sounds like it was probly a cool issue. Glad he fixed the toys back up before leaving the comic.

    Some writers do others… oy. Atom… I like Stern… I realy do. But,….. Oy. First Atom is kind of a jerk himself. Then he talks the other person out of joining not really his business. And seeing how he worked for Task Force X. Not sure how he has a prob working with Jerks now. Oh… that was a different Atom. Well He worked with Ollie and Hal in THe JLA. Guy should be an upgrade. Not Sterns best. He’s done great work in the past. In Marvel and DC. This just didn’t work. Any way can’t wait for the next pod cast.

  7. I actually bought almost all of these issues right off the stands. The only exception was the GL issues before #200, although I was *ahem* “thoroughly browsing” them on the grocery store spinner rack. But I bought them a few years later. But that GL #200 was such a big post-Crisis deal, it got me to pull the trigger. And when it changed to GLC, well you know, team book now so that had to go on my pull list all the way to its cancellation. So yes, I remember all of these points about Guy, but I took them as him having a form of claustrophobia, which instead of shutting down, he lashes out. Not a reaction to his problem that endears sympathy. Just my 2 cents.

    Ah Booster. That whole storyline ending with Michelle’s death was so rough, and hadn’t their mother died during his return to the 25th century, which is why Michelle came with him to the 20th? So he’s just lost his whole family, and a twin sister to boot. Yet another reason the Manhunter’s thought he could be recruited a mere 2 issues later. I’m actually pretty glad that this part of the story didn’t become a big deal in JLI. It really would have soured his relationship with Ted, Scott, and the others.

    Hm, it’s interesting that Beetle held a huge grudge against Captain Atom when his story came out, but Booster’s lapse is barely a blip. Hmmmmm.

    Poor Power of the Atom. You know I love Roger Stern (I’m to blame for the F&W Present Special on him), but it wasn’t his best work that’s for sure. I did stick with it all the way through, but it hasn’t gotten the re-reads that his other work has. Ah well.

    But little piece of trivia. I met Graham Nolan at a con in 2019, and talked with him about this series. He shared that PotA #9’s cover was his first job drawing Batman. Considering his long stint on the Bat-titles, that’s noteworthy in itself.

    Did anyone else watch the DC Nation short based on “Sword of the Atom”? I seriously dug its 60s adventure serial cartoon feel, and wish they had finished the storyline. So good.

    Well that was a very full episode. Full of guests, full of comics, full of fun! Thanks, Loggerheads!

  8. This was fun! I’m really enjoying these Meanwhile.. episodes. All the guests were fun to hear (even Frank!) with their different opinions on specific characters. Though I was strictly a JLI fan and didn’t follow the characters in their own books, I really enjoyed the back story of what was happening at the time. In fact, it gave me a better understanding of Guy Gardner. I didn’t realize he had so many layers to his personality. Guy being a jerk, then a peacenik, then a jerk again was a funny ongoing joke in JLI but hearing what happened to him, makes me laugh less. This man needed help, people! Why aren’t his teammates more concerned?!?!

    I have very little knowledge of Justice League Detroit so I’m looking to get schooled next episode! Keep up the great work!

  9. A funny story, Millennium #7 was the only issue of that crossover event that I ever read, and it was my first encounter with Booster Gold. Not the best of first impressions, which (hopefully) explains why I didn’t initially like the TREACHEROUS SCUMBAG! (Sorry, I’m still working through some Millennium induced trauma). Fortunately, I’ve had more positive encounters with the Booster over the years, including in this podcast, which has allowed me to appreciate the awesomeness of his bwa-ha-ha-ness.

    Thanks for another great episode.

  10. Fun show! I actually had Green Lantern #116 where Hal’s battery malfunctions and sends Guy down his insane, convoluted journey toward jerkery. I got it in one of those Whitman comic 3-packs, the first issue of GL I ever owned. I bought the title off and on over the years, and picked up a few issues during Crisis, but I had no idea of all the twists, turns and retcons involved in giving us the Guy we know and loathe. I do recall Guy being completely villainous in the GL/GLC title though. I prefer the JLI version, thank you.

    I didn’t get on board with Booster’s solo series, despite loving his look. I’m not sure why. I only had a few issues here and there. One of these days…

    Power of the Atom…sigh. I think Stern did wonderful work at DC on the Superman titles. But yeah, this was a pretty “meh” series. I tried to give it a shot, but it just did’t grab me. I think you and Frank are both right (God help me), The Sword of the Atom revamp was already locked in, and a cool reinterpretation of the character, by his co-creator no less. They should have stuck with that.

    I really dug Graham Nolan’s run on Detective Comics in the 90s with Chuck Dixon, so it’s interesting to see his early work here.

    Chris

  11. I remember going through these GLC issues when I had to write a final essay for a course on Comics and American Culture- Guy was my pick, since I was reading JLI, but I focused more on the evolution of him from Hal’s seldom-seen-backup, to jingoistic 80s antihero, to solo 90s Warrior, which meant skimming through a LOT of material. I do appreciate the new perspective on his motives and feats. I can now look back on that New Year’s issue without shaking my head.

    I hope at some point in the future you’ll do a “Meanwhile…” feature on Guy Gardner Reborn- that series is a hoot and a half.

    BTW- Steve Englehart was also a guest at the campus: he still seemed a bit peeved at the whole “having no royalties for Guy’s re-imagining” thing.

  12. what a shitty mission to give to a green lantern: take these people who want to kill you to the place where you have no powers.
    Seeing the amount of trauma in the life of Booster Gold, makes me frustrated that Tom King had to create a new trauma in Heroes In Crisis for him to deal.
    Dont really care for ATOM: – Oh no! The shrinking guy is not going to join the team. Now we only have two green lanterns, a Martian, a technological genius and a Jack Kirby creation

  13. I think you mean the British-produced show Jewel in the Crown that we kindly shared with you! 😀 And like most British actors he was in Doctor Who, The Masque of Mandragora to be precise.

    To be a negative nelly on comics of the time it’s a shame none of the female JL heroes had their own solo series at the time (that I’m aware of obs). Power Girl, which I always bring things back around to, won’t get a short solo title for another three years and has been in so, so many team books. I will get to them eventually, someday, I promise!

  14. Tim Spigot-Smith? I think, Shag, you’ll find that’s Tim Pigott-Smith. Fascinating revelation, though, even if I can’t see the resemblance.

    Also, great point about Booster being like a Marvel character. Like Spidey he tried to earn money as a superhero and graduated from that idea.

    I loved Power of the Atom, it was so great to get away from the stupid Sword of the Atom business…what the heck is the point of a size-changing hero if you’re going to exile him where everyone else is the same size? And to go a bit DCOCD, look at the legacy – it set Jean Loring on the character path that led to her murdering Sue Dibny (which, of course, never happened). At least in Power of the Atom Roger Stern treated Jean decently, showed she wasn’t just a shrew. And oi Frank, I knew everyone from the old days at that party! I loved that Stern brought back Enrichetta Negrini, even if he couldn’t keep her name straight. And hey, she was probably DC Comics first Latina, doesn’t that count for something? Stern expanded Ray’s powers, gave him a great supporting cast, we had villains old and new… I loved the series.

  15. Shag, you and your guests have left me behind long ago on the main Bwa-Ha-Ha podcast. Not that you aren’t still doing great work — you are, and this episode confirms it. But for some reason I don’t remember, I stopped reading the Justice League books a couple dozen issues before where you are in the regular series.

    However, like Chris, I was there for Green Lantern #116 when the power battery blew up. I was there when Guy came back with an awful haircut and challenged his comrades-in-glowing jewelry. And I also like Booster and the Atom. So I listened to this episode. I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed all your guests, including any who may be known for being especially opinionated (by which I mean Frank, of course). Thank you all.

    I’ve had opportunity to know people who survived head trauma, and I’ve received some education on the subject. Guy didn’t need the Phantom Zone villains or anybody else to take on a different personality. The initial injury could have been enough. Do a search on Phineas Gage for more information. Even Guy’s healing (over time or with help by the Guardians) is consistent with reality, especially if he got the right therapy.

    The repeated head trauma events would only make things worse, though. Guy was always played for laughs or as the hero you love to hate, and I laughed or grimaced exactly as intended. But as Shag points out, the changes to Guy’s personality were beyond his control. So, looking back, Guy deserved my sympathy as much as Booster and Ray Palmer did, and woeful ignorance is my only defense.

  16. Fun episode, loved all three parts.

    Shag, I heard you wonder about Crisis finally starting to show up in GLC (and the rest of the books), while it was already half way over. That was by design. Crisis was written in the “future” of the DCU, about 6 months ahead of the entire line. The idea was to lay down the groundwork for Crisis, and let the books catch up so the mainline writers would have an idea where the story was, and could sync up character beats, costume changes (e.g., Black Canary’s Jazzercise outfit, which first appeared in Crisis before appearing in Detective a few weeks later). So that was definitely by design.

  17. I do think Shag and Frank are being a little harsh on Power of the Atom. It was a little dull but it had some good points. In particular issue 5 was the first comic I read with Ralph and Sue Dibney and I think Roger Stern wrote them really well. The general problem was the Silver Age quality of the book. Ray Palmer was too dull and his supporting cast were not very interesting. I’m sure that’s why they kept bringing in guest stars like the Hawks, Ralph and Sue and the JLI.

    The book did genuinely improve when Graham Nolan took over but I suspect it was already too late.

    Onto the Green Lantern discussion, the actual grading is John Stewart, Katma Tui, Kilowog, Guy Gardner, Alan Scott, Gnort, Jade, Kyle Rayner, Ch’p, Salaak, Mogo, everyone else who has ever been a GL, Shag with a plastic ring, then Hal Jordan. Of course Kari Limbo is an even more boring supporting character than those in Power of the Atom so thankfully everyone seems to have forgotten about her.

    1. Uhh…all of them after Tomar-Re, the Green Lantern without whom there would never have been a Superman, you mean?

  18. Great to hear the appreciation for Skeets, and an echo of my own bafflement that Booster’s little robot pal wasn’t brought over into JLI. At least we got an explanation during the Jurgens run, even if it was unsatisfying (okay, so Booster had him switched off and put in storage…but WHY? We never got an answer. Poor Skeets…). It’s especially odd, since, later in JLI, another sassy robot will come to be associated with the League…L-Ron.

    The worst thing about Ray Palmer throwing shade about the JLI? He shows up and talks smack AGAIN during the Jurgens run in JLA 66. By that point I was pretty sick
    of guys from the old JL showing up and talking smack but not doing squat. Aquaman did it, Hawkman did it, Atom did it, even Superman did it to some extent. Sorry, Palmer, but by the time you show up in issue 66 these guys have been the JL for over FIVE YEARS. When would the “you’re not the REAL LEAGUE” statute of limitations run out?

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