JLI Podcast #38 – Justice League America #38 & Justice League Europe #14

Carlin Trammel joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #38 in which the Despero saga begins and things get deadly serious! Then Stella stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #14 in which the team battles Godzilla!?!! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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36 responses to “JLI Podcast #38 – Justice League America #38 & Justice League Europe #14

  1. Another great episode! Thank you for the disclaimer at the beginning. As a fellow podcaster covering the same era of comics, this issue comes up again and again and I’m glad you were able to articulate it, stressing the importance of collaborative media and how the actions of a single person can affect the evaluation of many others. I will actually share this with colleagues locally as a great take on how to handle the subject.

    On to the comics: love the Despero saga, but always forget the Spy magazine thing is in one of these issues and I do believe that it belongs in a previous one… I get what you elaborated on the jumping-on point, the regular characters not being featured and the general tone of the magazine, yet the effect is jarring to the say the least with the second part. Great analysis on the cover as well, which I never really appreciated and now I see I was holding on to an impression of a less-comic-literate myself.

    The JLE issue… another one I believe doesn’t belong in the sequence. I understand to have Sears have an uninterrupted run on the Extremist Vector they needed the lead time, but that is two fill-in issues with a very different art style in a row feels somewhat disconnected. Also, just then both titles would get very serious and high profile at the same time, it would have been nice to have a more synched-up monthly schedule.
    With that said, very interesting conversation on the role of women in the series, what the issue was attempting and how things were 30 years ago on this topic (not good, basically). it was great having Stella’s perspective on this, same as the name-checked Dr Schwartz-Levine some episodes back.

  2. I Don’t think she’s right but she has a point.
    1 In many Ways identity crisis is really bad.
    2 You know how it DOES work? IT’S a whodunit with major superheroes that WORKS. SuperheroES Dont usually have to figure out who dunit they figured out a murder that is’nt solved by CLARK KENT LOOKING
    3 Of course the flashback to the actual murder has the killer speak

  3. Impressive podcast most impressive. Finus I think I remember him from psychology 101. A Forman whom was noted for calmness till a fight broke out between to of his men and he stopped it. However some damage to the device they were working in that wasn’t fixed cause of the fight sent a pipe into Finus head causing brain damage.

    This causing his emotions totally different. Making him a man with out emotional control. And making make great emotional outbursts. He lost his job and what not. Making the first contacion to mental issues and one’s physicality. I think that’s whom y’all were talking about.

    So if that’s the same Guy that explains a lot about Guy’s change in personality. Though odd reactions in the JLI. Spacficuly J’ohn . He should be more concerned about how his mind was going threw that. Hmm took that class 30 years ago almost got a B + in it. I was maybe 18 years old when I took it and now 46. So a bit of time. So I may have some of the facts wrong. Never thought I’d have a use for it. Anyway on to the issue. Still on my phone as my com is still down.

    Pineapple bit is funny. Fox stoping the artical works. Ah Despro back that’s cool. I remember him keeping the flag when he fights the JLA again when J’ohn thinks he’s Blood Wind. But sadly I missed this issue. Ah Gypsy was used well in this. Sadly till the 200s she doesn’t get much to do after this. John was cool at the end. Ah the guy with the tv powers . I have this issue some ware. Got it from a 25 cent bin.

    So Pro Allen the Doom bot should be happy. His pod cast is pretty cool too. Maybe the guy with TV powers is a meta human and the vcr just actives his laten

  4. Part 2

    His latent meta Gen. There a Baldy award explanation. Ah fire and ice were cool in this. Oy sad to see Wally loses his personal growth but not hero’s in Criss level character assassination yet. Yeah Fire does have Wally wrapped around her finger I should take notes.

    Any way this is a fun done in one story. Oy I forgot Fire and Ice were off the team for a bit. Er JLA. Cool seeing Setlea on here. She didn’t read the JLA or E.?? For shame. Ah well. Ralf was kind of just talking. Ogling is not his thing. I think he sees no woman at all outside of Sue. Nope the guy Lioking at it other gal with upset girlfriend is older than this I even ripped it off for a Rouge Submission thing I did when trying to get work at Marvel.

    I got a no. But I know I borrowed it from some ware before this comic. Since I did that before Max was in the hospital issue. And I think Impact comics was still in the stands then. With BWL writing Jaguar. So not sure ware I got it from. But, some one else started it. I had Gambit in my sub so had to be after he joined the X Men.

    Probably a She Hulk comic. But I can’t remember. This artist may have seen it there. Or drawn it and redid her own bit. Don’t remember. I so wanted Wally and Fire to be a thing. The JLU was the closest I got sigh. This was a fun silly comic. This crazy old woman approves. Ah the Eastwood at Can probably had I.D. Security would check it. Even for him.,

    Just ask the legaly Blond actress. The rubber monster bit was funny. Though I don’t think this guy ever showed up again. What ya call him? Snapshot? Double take? Copy Cat is used. Xerox Man? Captain Double? He gets no. Name. Oy seems even main villains get no named. Sad.

    Well just add in guy. You would think he’d at lest appear in Harley and Power Girl? Or major Bummer.?But nope this is it. Pour guy. Not even in a comic con bit. Ah well can’t wait to hear the next podcast. Oh did I mention I have a u tube page and sometimes I play guitar or the harmonica on it.?

  5. I generally don’t pay attention to the creative team so the JLE stuff came completely out of left field for me, having had to go through a similar thing with (alas) several major properties I really appreciate how tough these decisions are to make. I also completely agree about your decision about how to proceed and the idea of not supporting them financially. I also apologise about bringing up the lack of these issues several times, now that I understand why it makes perfect sense. I’m as we speak rummaging )virtually) through the internet back bins for the issues in question!

    It’s kind of ironic how they mention Gypsies name considering these days they’d probably, for good reasons, avoid using the name. But boy is it obvious that the 90s have arrived now, However, I trust your judgment on this one, even though I’m not a fan of the cleaning house that DC (and Marvel) periodically tend to do by killing off old members of the teams.

    1. Lot’s of thing for me to get my teeth in with JLE and Kara O’Neil here! I know it’s an identity she adopts but I can’t get use to you both calling her Karen, I’ve always called her Ka-ra so I’m not sure it’s just me or it’s a UK/US pronunciation thing. Same that y’all call Terra (Tee-ra) Tara, which caused me some confusion with another franchise that shall not be named! And personally, I’ve always seen it pronounced can-nes, but we have a long tradition of mispronouncing the French language. 😀

      It would be remiss of me not to mention that Power Girls costume on the cover, which I personally hate the hair of btw, is the last appearance of her scooped top costume. Which despite what the boob windows people will tell you is the costume she wore for the longest time, so is probably the one that many people most associate her with. At least from this era, modern comic fans have a different point of view.

      I’m sure people are already bored of my rambly comments, but I want to finish by saying I like to thing Stinky from Power Girls ’09 series is the same cat. And I will take every opportunity to mention that cat!

      1. I still don’t get how ‘Gypsy’ came to be considered an insult – I’ve heard other abusive terms for Travellers, but never ‘Gypsy’. To me, it evokes romance, adventure as wisdom.

        I latched on to ‘Karen’ pretty quickly as my preference for Peege, to distinguish her from Supergirl, it always seemed to suit her… and now ‘Karen’ has been tainted!

        We must be from very different parts of the UK – I’m Co Durham – as the relevant pronunciations for me have always beem ‘Tar-ra’ for Tara and ‘Cans’ for Cannes. Ah well, ‘say lavvie’!

        1. Nah I think you’re just better at explaining thing than me! 😀 And no one wants to be exposed to my terrible Mummerset accent, I tried it once and it wasn’t fit for even my ears! The Terra / Tara is a US thing, it always confused me when Terra was on Buffy and called Tara it was just all wrong to my poor ears! 😀

          I came to PeeGee fairly late so she’d taken Kara back, or at least how I remember it, so I think of her as Kara first and Supergirl as Linda. She just never seemed to be Karen for me, and as you’ve said it’s now been horribly tainted.

          As I understand it, and I’d be happy if any Romani want to correct me, they’ve long had an (obviously incorrect) reputation as shifty untrustworthy thieves and cheaters. Until pretty recently many places in Europe wouldn’t let them still within the city limits after dark. Things get much worse in their treatment, probably too dark for here, and they still get a lot of grief in parts of the world. So I guess the negative alas cancels out the romanticism of the name 🙁

        2. I can shed some light, I think. I would put it in the same category as Indian (for Native American) and Eskimo (for Inuit peoples). These are not the names these cultures gave themselves, but were given to them. Indian because Europeans thought they’d reached proper India. Eskimo being what the first (more Southerly) cultures called their Northern neighbors (the connotation is “cannibal”). And “Gypsy” is a diminutive of Egyptian simply because Romani skin tone tended to be darker (genome studies suggest these nomads actually came from northern India). So right away, you have one culture misnaming another, then using the word as a pejorative, which is a form of aggression.

          Note how many people still say the word “gypped” to mean “cheated”, not realizing it is just as racially motivated as the surely-you-wouldn’t-say-that-would-you “jewed”. But “gypped” is derived from, you now guessed it, “gypsy”. So when the word for your culture was 1) bestowed on you by another culture and 2) has come to be, or has always been, a pejorative, or even just a collection of stereotypes (think of movie Indians or movie Gypsies and compare to the real thing), you have a right to find it offensive.

          I realize some Romani people are not bothered by it, or have reclaimed it, but that’s not a general sentiment.

          1. Thanks Siskoid… I don’t think I’ve heard ‘gypped’ since the Seventies!

            I suppose it comes down to what associations you have in your head – I’ve heard tell that my mother’s side of the family were Irish travelling folk (a picture of my great-grandfather implies he was actually a leprechaun) and have never thought ill of true Romanies.

  6. My Bwah-Ha-Ha Award goes to Stella for calling the show the Blah-blah-blah podcast!

    I think you handled the G Jones situation well. Skipping those issues would be a disservice to the other people who produced the work, but give Jones no more acknowledgment than listing him as the writer (although I’d be cool with it if you even skipped that).

    However I do disagree with the BHH Award for JLA 38. That pineapple totally deserved the award!

  7. I didn’t read the Justice league Detroit but I was able to get the characters because Ajax (Martian Manhunter name until 2003 in Brazil) shows on the monitor at the beginning of the issue #1. The first time I read this story, I understood that the city was New York, with the UN flag and I thought he had invaded the embassy, ​​wasn’t that where Steel was at the end of the Detroit League?

  8. Another delightful episode! First, just wanted to say how much I appreciated the intro. A very sensitive subject, handled with tact and delicacy. The author in question has written some of my favourite comics – not only JLE, but also Justice League Task Force and Martian Manhunter: American Secrets, and I’ve yet to strike my own balance in separating art from artist, if that is indeed possible.

    Anyway, the Despero saga is indeed one of the high points of JLI, and this first issue is absolutely amazing. A remarkable tonal shift for this book, but all the better for it. Adam Hughes really takes it to the next level. And that closing splash page is one of the best images of J’onn J’onzz ever drawn. Considering he’s my favourite comics character, that’s really saying something. Imposing and quietly powerful, a serene and wise figure, but one whose friends and surrogate daughter figures you should definitely not mess with. Exactly how he should be handled.

    This issue also, I believe, explains the somewhat baffling inclusion of John Henry Irons on the cover of the recent JLI Omnibus, a character who didn’t even exist when the comics inside came out. My theory is that Kevin Maguire had a list of every character to appear in JLI, and the inert, inactive, barely alive Steel (Hank Heywood) was among them, but he got mixed up and drew the wrong one. I have no evidence for this, but I think it’s a solid hunch!

    As for the JLE issue, this is very much not a high point of that book. In fact, I have apparently scrubbed it from my memory completely. Though I enjoyed the discussion. Onwards to the Extremists!

  9. The Despero storyline in Justice League America has the distinction of being one my favorite story arcs from the series while at the same time being the moment I realized I was becoming tired of the series (and this approach to the Justice League) as a whole. Now don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love this era of the Justice League, and it was definitely the shot in the arm the team needed at the time. But, the concept very clearly had a shelf life, and that shelf life was starting to come to a close for me about the time the Despero story was published.

    Having the team go up against a serious threat like Despero made me realize how much I had been missing a Justice League that could kick ass when it needed to. Plus, the jokes were becoming stale as they no longer had the same level of wit and meta-commentary about them. Not that I could make such an assessment as a clueless fifteen year old, but I was definitely starting to grow beyond what this version of the Justice League was offering.

    In particular, the misogyny and sexual objectification of the female characters was really bothersome to me. No, I wasn’t an especially “woke” young man, but I always had a deep respect for the female characters in my comics, especially the DC heroines, and it bothered me to see them get sexually objectified so much of time. I was also a Wally West fan (and still am), so the exaggerated characterization of his womanizing (which was present in his solo series but handled VERY differently) always bothered me. I don’t say all this to trash the books but to emphasize the point that the stories had started to degrade a little in terms of how the characters were being depicted, essentially becoming one-note parodies.

    It was fortunate that both books started to move in very different directions starting with the Despero and Extremists stories and then heading into Breakdowns.

  10. Another stellar episode! Or should that be another Stella episode? Eh, same difference.

    I appreciate you addressing the controversial nature of the JLE writer. It is often difficult to reconcile loving a work of art versus being aghast at the personal life of the artist. I think you have found a good balance of appreciating the product and not the producer.

    Now, to the 2nd most controversial topic of this episode, the pronunciation of the name Despero. I have always pronounced it Despero, but I can definitely see how someone may think it is pronounced Despero. Personally, I think Despero is correct, but if you say Despero instead, I will definitely know who you mean.

    As for the title ‘You Oughtta Be In Pictures,’ How were you expecting it to be spelled, Shagg? The way I see it, there is an extra ‘t’ in the word oughta. ‘Oughta’ is a contraction of the phrase ‘ought to.’ It sounds like you thought it should have been ‘outta’ which is a contraction of ‘out of.’ The title is a reference to an old Rudy Vallée song ‘You Oughta Be in Pictures.’ Maybe the extra ‘t’ was a nod to the movie nerd’s power which takes a character ‘outta’ the pictures?

  11. Hey, new-look feedback pages! Smart.

    Nice job on the Gerard Jones business, Shag. I’m with you on the question of reprints, good work has always been produced by less than perfect people. Mosaic is certainly a series I’ve wanted to see collected for years. Meanwhile, DC keeps actual questionable stuff in print – see the ageing of Arisia and, heck, the brutal death of Jason Todd – because there are no shadows hanging over the creators. I do feel for all those co-creators who could likely do with some royalties.

    Congratulations on two killer guests this time. Carlin is so sharp, and Stella, of course, is a legend.

    Justice League of America #38 was one of the most dramatic, shocking issues – I hated that Gypsy’s parents got killed after she received her happy ending (did we ever find out where her brother Evan was that day? Cyndi initially assumes he was also killed, but it was later implied he was alive). That JM DeMatteis was trying for satire with Despero’s internal/infernal monologue is bizarre, given this issue does have so much horror in it. I mean, the scene with poor Hank…

    It’s interesting that Shag mentions J’onn’s uncharacteristic threat to murder Despero – he had a similar, understandable bloodlust back in the final issue of the original JLA run, after Professor Ivo killed Steel.

    The JLE issue was OK, pretty standard fare, but I loved the Medley/Marzan art, it was so clean and characterful, just great. Apart from Wally’s shorts. Wally was in girl shorts, they were practically Daisy Dukes.

    I have a question. Given the film fan manifested not as a proper kaiju monster but as a costume, complete with detachable head, why was he giant-sized… shouldn’t it have been stunt person-sized? It’s only logical. Ask Cindy Franklin.

    Fantastic cover!

  12. From my perspective, it seems we’re getting a change over of two types of readers here. Those that like the humour of the JLA and feel the comics have already peaked and those that love the drama and actions and feel it’s coming into its own.

  13. I have not yet listened; my comment is inspired by the preceding comments.

    I can’t keep this secret any longer. I have to get it off my chest. I’m now going to tell you something that I don’t think anyone at Marvel or DC Comics ever knew.

    The primary diplomatic mission from one country to another is known as an “embassy.” Embassies are generally in the receiving nation’s capital. Lesser missions to foreign lands in other major cities are known as “consulates.” Consulates are headed by a consul, instead of an ambassador or charges d’affaires (think vice ambassador).

    Consequently, New York does not have embassies. It has consulates. It also has “permanent missions,” which are missions to international organizations like the UN.

    I feel better now. The truth had to come out. I hope comicdom assembled can forgive me.

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s come up previously! I certainly have mentioned that Scotland doesnt have embassies, but here I am, still in it! I don’t think it matters really, maybe the set-up is different in the DCU.

      Now, go and listen!

  14. Beaming in from the Pacific Canadian consulate (did I do that right?). Well done on another fantastic episode, Shag! I thought you did a good job with the introduction to the show. You were in a tough position with how to separate the artist from the art. What you mentioned was a great diplomatic way to cover these issues. To be quite honest, I never knew what happened with the writer until I started listening to this network so it was good for me to clear my ignorance.

    I enjoyed Carlin and his points on JLA were enlightening. And Stella was fantastic, as always! Someone has to take you down a peg, Shag! The Blah-blah-blah podcast is one of my favourite podcasts…….

    I definitely didn’t pick up on the satire with Despero . I mean, after all the jokey jokes, the neck snapping wasn’t what I was expecting at all! And with the amazing art by Hughes with the saliva bit on page 14? Or the next panel with the stretched eyelid? Whew! This is no Oreos and milk. Having said all that, I think that made the threat of Despero that much more intense. It really works for this issue because no one was expecting it. Even if JMD thought this was satire, to spoof the horror, they had to use some great horror imagery (the top panel on page 16, “Daddy is dead, child.”) to make this book a great scare. It really ramped up how badass this Despero is. So good!

    I think I bought this JLE comic based on the cover alone. I didn’t appreciate how good Linda Medley was at the time but I’ve loved her Castle Waiting series and looking back on this issue, it’s fun to see where she started.

    A fun time as always, everyone! Keep up the great work!

  15. As I don’t remember what happens with the cat, I was surprised to hear it wasn’t the same cat in the Power Girl series, cuz it’s just as ratty and disgruntled. If it doesn’t compute, I’m gonna say the cat’s fate changed post Zero Hour or post Infinite Crisis.


  16. This was the Spy Magazine one? My memory was that the Spy cover was the actual JLA cover! My old mind!

    But man, would this.move the turning point for JLA. Arguably, JLe should have had something with this much oomph, but what can you do?

    As for JLe, great handling of the elephant in the room, Shag. Well said. Proud of you, buddy.

  17. I felt violated by this episode’s preamble. “Show me where he touched your copy of JLI #38.”

    I used to see Spy on the magazine rack of the mall bookstores where I bought my direct market comics. I didn’t know who Donald Trump was when they made fun of him back then, but that’s the title that originated the phrase “”…short-fingered vulgarian…” Better days.

    I need to add a phonetic rendering of “dess-per-o” taken directly from Who’s Who In The DC Universe #16’s inside front cover or Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe Vol. VI’s “DEHS-pur-oh” (same difference) to all of my blog posts. Maybe I can get sounds clips of Keith David embedded. At least now I know who taught Shag to butcher the name harder than Despero did Gypsy’s parents. There is no controversy. If two guys keep saying “Supraman,” nobody’s going to assume that they’ve been saying “Superman” wrong this whole time. They’ll just give you their best Red Forman impression. Knuckleheads.

    I’ve never met an Eskimo or a Gypsy, so until I run across Stevie Nicks, I’m disincentivized from policing phrasing. That said, I did occasionally hear “jew me down” in my retail days and winced every time. I also had to apologize to my sister for teasing her with offensive Native American slurs that I didn’t take seriously twenty years ago when she was still dating her eventual baby daddy. Generation X will serve time for its own crimes.

    1. I have a few issues of Spy. I was looking for a more adult answer to Mad Magazine, though I don’t remember if I necessarily got it. Haven’t looked at them since the early 90s.

      1. I was never urbane enough to try Spy, plus a glance at covers on Google indicate that it was probably deeply problematic. Looks like Bonfire of the National Lampoon or Bill Maher Monthly. I mostly just remember the wonky proto-Photoshop in place of editorial cartooning.

  18. As usual, Shagg and guests did a fantastic job covering the issues, and I loved the discussion a bunch. Thanks gang!

    My own crazy observations: In JLA #38, when Kilowog walks past “Mr Miracle” who is holding an old land-line phone, Miracle has the wrong end pointing to his ear based on where the cord is attached. Not a “Bwah-hah-hah award” moment, but makes me giggle.

    For JLE #14, maybe I missed someone mentioning that the last page with Blue Jay’s “Help me” must be an homage to “The Fly” from 1958, keeping with the movie themes.

    So when the film nerd turns into Godzilla, he actually gets fire breath. So conceivably, he gets whatever abilities the movie character has, not the real-life attributes of the performers. That’s pretty remarkable for a throwaway joke story. 🙂

    About Wally getting a little better with Kara, since you’ll have just covered JLE #15 and PG’s new costume, I’ll leave it at that.

  19. Took me a minute to remember what I was coming back to say on the European segment.

    I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer on Wonder Woman’s swift removal from the book. Wonder Woman launched four months ahead of Justice League, with both spinning out of Legends. One had a superstar artist coming off of New Teen Titans and Crisis to launch a book wholly its own with lots of marketing of an iconic character. The other was by a bunch of unknowns or known unwanteds using goofball castoffs to tell funny stories in a market notoriously hostile to comedy. By the time of Europe‘s launch, both League titles were selling about twice Wonder Woman‘s, and the disparity got even worse almost immediately since Perez had just stopped drawing the title. It goes without saying that Wonder Woman was not launching a spin-off. I think the safe assumption was that editorial and DC wanted Wonder Woman to gain some eyeballs from and lend some credibility to Europe. I doubt Perez was ever fully on-board with loaning the character out or associating her with the Giffen/DeMatteis brand, and probably felt like he was betraying the Women’s Studies majors that dominated the letters column of his title. I’ve done a pretty decent job of not consistently producing Wonder Woman podcasts in general, but I’ve specifically deferred addressing what a two-edged sword Perez was with regard to his impact on Wonder Woman.

    I’m curious if Wonder Woman would have had any real impact on Europe‘s trajectory if she’d stayed. In all honesty, I think that her anticipated role was taken over by Catherine Cobert. She might have been the classy straightwoman in a flirtatious relationship with Captain Atom who helped the team out of diplomatic jams. To my chagrin, Perez was still writing Diana as the innocent, a role already well covered in the League by Ice. Cobert was a sophisticate, and much more reflective of prior characterizations of Diana. It’s altogether possible that it was down to creative differences, since the stolen lasso storyline was full integrated into the debut issue, while also serving as an excuse to exit the book. Possibly the things Europe wanted to do with Diana simply didn’t jibe with Perez’s vision. Between comparing notes and reviewing the first script, the writing may have been on the wall, and Perez pulled the plug.

    Shag’s interpretation of dePower Girl struck me as extremely curious in its ability to get most of the facts right while missing the primary consideration. Superman has always been big man on campus, so what changed? Byrne. No more pushing planets around. Torn capes and brow sweat. Superman is always top dog, but he was de-powered post-Crisis, and Kara wasn’t. The same year as Man of Steel, Power Girl’s issue of Secret Origins revealed that she’d been brainwashed by Arion into believing that she was Kryptonian, rather than Atlantean. That all came from Byrne insisting that there were no other surviving Kryptonians, but the story didn’t address her still having Pre-Crisis level Kryptonian powers. Nobody cared when Infinity Inc. was getting cancelled, but likely the Superman office had words with Andy Helfer once Power Girl was a regular in a top selling title. It was all part of a process of separating her further and further from the Man of Steel, including her terrible yellow costume that was far worse than the Warlord/Arion revamp that people always complain about. At least she didn’t look like a member of Youngblood.

    I basically refused to read any of the JLE issues not drawn by Bart Sears prior to “Breakdowns,” so I skipped this one without remorse.

    1. Maybe it’s just me projecting from later interpretation but I can see Diana being the straight (wo)man among all the crazy, kind of like how Hawkman briefly acted during his time on the JLI. As has been mention many times before the writers weren’t overly concerned about getting the characters consistent with other interpretations just what worked within the team dynamics.

      One thing to remember about Power Girl being depowered was that when she’d arrived Supes had already been toned down quite a bit, Earth-2’s Kryptonians don’t seem to be able to juggle planets or travel in time like in the Golden Age. in some of the earlier issues, it’s implied she’s about as powerful as Supes on his first appearances, leaping rather than flying and not showing any of the vision powers. I think it’s the level of power that she’s returned to, a little inconsistently (much like originally) it seems. Though I do agree with other comments that there was no reason to depower here, especially as the JLE wasn’t exactly throwing down with the big guns and you could have easily have played into the world of cardboard trope, she’s not exactly the hot-headed hold nothing back that she was when she first arrived.

  20. Irish Embassy calling – apologies for not posting for awhile; unfortunately, someone in the European team told Maxwell Lord that someone had been searching through the Embassy bins to collect dirt on the JLI and he has appointed me to to go through all the bins to remove anything incriminating before they are collected by the refuse disposal. Unfortunately, he sent Shagg’s bins first and boy, I am wrecked gathering and incinerating all of the stuff that I have found there!

    JLA 38 was a great issue. The first few pages of the magazine was very clever and gave most of the comedic beats of the issue. And then the arrival of Despero – wow! Listening to the podcast where it was revealed that JM de MAtteis said he was parodying the over-wrought villain was a surprise – I never saw it in that light. From what we got in the JLI titles previously, the Despero dialogue came across as something new and threatening, definitely something we had never seen before in the JJI titles. I think you also have to thank Bob Lappan for this, as his lettering of the Despero dialogue made it different from what had gone before.

    The whole episode with Gypsy was very horror-filled and the final entrance of J’onn made this a cliffhanger that you wanted to get the next issue ASAP. I will be interested in your discussion next time out on the first page of Issue 39 as it mirrors the last page of issue 38 but from a different perspective – the issue 38 works much better for me and the issue 39 page actually weakens the impact of this very tense ending.

    JLE 14 is a very nice palate cleanser before we come to the highly regarded Extremist storyline. It was basically a done in one, and I don’t think we ever saw the antagonist again going forward. I enjoyed Linda Medley’s cartoony style – I don’t think she comes back to JLE but she is definitely comes over to JLA for the General Glory storyline.

    Re the new scripter of JLE, I think the way you are approaching it Shagg is the best way to approach this and that’s all we need to say about that going forward.

    Going back to some of the previous episodes I did not comment on:

    JLA Annual 4 – Great story and a great teaming of the Injustice League and G’nort!

    JLA Annual – Enjoyable story with the Global Guardians – I would love to see Global Guardians done well but they always tend to be the Squadron Supreme of the DC Universe – always being mind-controlled – they are mind-controlled here, mind-controlled in a post Bwa-ha-ha JLE storyline and mind-controlled in Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern run. Johns had set up the opportunity for a new Global Guardians at the end of the New 52’s JLI (and the way Godiva and August General in Iron had bonded in that run, I would have loved to have seen them leading a new Guardians team) but unfortunately that went nowhere.

    Guy Gardner – Shagg, if you ever want to do a podcast on Beau Smith’s run on Guy, I would happily volunteer to talk on that as I loved his run. It was interesting to see Guy’s pre JLI days – one of the first back issues I ever picked up was the Green Lantern issue where Hal was to marry Kari Limbo and Guy appeared to confront them. His appearances in Legends was also very good, and there was one villain he took on, Sunspot, that I remember thinking could have been developed to become a great recurring villain for Guy – and then I found out Sunspot was actually a swipe by John Byrne at Jim Shooter!

    Booster Gold – The Booster stories were very good – thank you DC for butting all of that Volume of Booster Gold in a Showcase Presents trade!

    Power of the Atom – Another issue I picked up purely because of the JLI crossover – yeah, Ray didn’t come across well there. He must really not like the JLI team as I remember he turned up his nose on those members again during Jurgens’ JLA run.

    Justice League Detroit – Fun interview with Gerry Conway – this is a run I would like to look at in the future – I have read a few issues here and there but would like to go full dive into this soon.

    As I am getting to Tim Price/Frank level of comment length, will leave it there. Looking forward to the next episode with a double helping of Despero and Extremists!

  21. Coming in late, but this issue of JLA was definitely one of those that made me actually say “Oh $#!+!” repeatedly as I was reading it. For me, personally, this is kind of the book’s “last hurrah”, but, they went out with a bang!

    Oh, and as others have said “Spy” was a real magazine. I even had a few compilation books of their “Separated at Birth” columns. They were of course very irreverent, but often very on the nose. One I recall was an aged Bette Davis, and one of the talking trees from The Wizard of Oz.


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