JLI Podcast #41 – Justice League America #41 & Justice League Europe #17

Chris Hawton joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #41 in which Maxwell Lord becomes the superhero Maximum Force and gets tough on crime! What?!? Then Brent Thomas stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #17 where the Extremists hijack the world's nuclear weapons and hold the planet ransom! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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28 responses to “JLI Podcast #41 – Justice League America #41 & Justice League Europe #17

  1. It’s funny, Since it’s such a recent addition to Max’s story I wasn’t going to bring this up but your closing comments on this issue of Justice League America, I just couldn’t leave it alone.
    In his story arc in Wonder Woman, we find out that Max has a daughter who has the same powers as he does!
    Now Max’s daughter has red hair very much like Wanda and my first thought was Whatever happened to Wanda?
    Max kinda/sorta walks out on her towards the end of this run. (At least, we never see Wanda during the Jurgens run or later)
    The idea that Max might’ve left Wanda alone with a child plays into the stereotypical rich corporate jerk who takes what he wants and leaves everyone else to deal with the consequences of being in his orbit of influence.

  2. Legend says that a twenty-year-old Geoff Johns found a battered copy of JLA 41 missing the last few pages and took it as cannon. Thus DC 2005-onwards.

    All joking aside, great episode and I’m relieved that we are on the same wavelength when it comes to this issue. It’s, to my eyes, one of the all-around weakest of the run, for all the reasons mentioned (throwaway story, mediocre art, really questionable morals).
    Of course my introductory line shows that we are in the minority when it comes to some of the morality issues that arose and where very well developed in your discussion, since at least when it comes to Max, the negative characterization prevailed, and to some degree, the morality questions are similar to the ones that the Snyder-led DC movies also brought (Supes killing to mention the most obvious).

    Again, I concur with the assessment of JLE: what you love is really lovable, what you hate is really hateful, and, as mentioned, most likely the product of extending the storyline.

    I like your take on the Crimson Fox bits with Kara, probably what is now known as “shade”. And I believe that a shady Crimson Fox really works with her overall later characterization.

        1. In a surprise to no one, I am totally a General Glory booster and apologist. Can we call ourselves the Glory-oskys? (see it’s a play on “gloriosky”, one of Little Orphan Annie’s exclamations, and… never mind.)

  3. Impressive podcast most impressive. Using the Dragon type and talk software again this time. My keyboard is still on the fritz. So hopefully this makes sense. The Maxwell Lord story isn’t bad. I think it is in fact the making fun of the 90s. First his name Max force. You could not be more 90s than that unless your written by Rob Lee field. And the giant guns on the cover. Though I do like that he’s just sitting there writing something down with pencil and paper whether pointing guns at him. Don’t think that we Max’s reaction or other justice league that it probably would be. Martian man Hunter and Max getting along at the beginning is kind of cool. Though he had this does kind of putting back a few steps. With him controlling the chauffeur and the opening bit with Wanda. Though to be fair once breaks the ice there aren’t any more nosebleeds so I think he just talked to her. So hopefully he in using more my control on her at that point. For my own oy factor, I’m going to go with that he didn’t my controller after that. And she just enjoyed his company. The big villain dying and not having those we doesn’t count, because that was a fantasy Max was having.

    And I don’t think this guy ever existed. Other than the writing team making fun of 90s superheroes. I mean if this villain looked anymore ridiculous, he would have a Capt. America costume on, but the a would be removed from the mask and a eagle would be in its place. Yeah Maximo force is so 90s they could appear in an issue of cyber force and no one would bat an eye. And since nothing else in here is anything but a dream. It’s fine. The villain Master Tron. Having that quick back and forth with Max is kind of funny. But, he reminds me so much of the general. That I can literally hear J. K. Simmons voice when I read his dialogue. Is probably a joke on the hall or the pit. But, my mind just goes straight to when they took the shaggy man shaved him and put in a certain general’s mind into that body. Build Capt. atom villain whom didn’t appear until years later. But, is best known for the justice league Unlimited cartoon. When voiced by JK. Who also did a good job when voicing the gray Hulk in that one talk videogame. The character wasn’t the main hall character but you had a skin that she could get if you beat it a few times. Of the gray Hulk. Which is voiced by JK. Yet this is definitely an inventory story though.

    Though I guess we’re in luck that they had colored it before that saw print. Suddenly the inking had already been done are they could’ve fixed fire and ice’s uniforms. Not the greatest inventory story of all time. But, I’ve seen worse. Moving right a long. The cover is a bit just okay. Sears as a Kubert graduate is capable of so much more. The interior cover is much better and flows better to me. I.e. the first splash page. Having grown up in the 70s and 80s. I would see this as an interior cover, because we would sometimes get those coverlets comics. At different comic shops and people brought to make their. Crimson foxes axes definitely way over the top. For whatever reason comics always do that. Even her French Parisian accent is one way overdone here. It’s not gambit level but, but it’s still pretty bad. Yes the splash page is pretty cool. Yet I’m pretty sure this is Max. Well they have the magneto stand-in, so maybe he fastened the chair out of something. Who knows? No idea who the guy is with the beard or the guy was green and blue hair. But, the guy with the beard is in Metropolis. They must’ve been some superhero fighting alongside Superman. I just can’t think of anyone that looks like that. Crime buster is Hispanic and he never grew a beard. Nor would he be rocking the aviator jacket. Guardian was a blonde guy so.

    He also shaved. I’m not sure if Jurgens was on Superman at this time. So really can’t say who is in the supporting cast that would fit this look. He doesn’t have a robotic, so I’m guessing he’s not what’s his name. I haven’t a clue. So a second, we have the flash, power girl, Capt. atom and the rocket red. But, none of them can stop the missile from just crashing into the earth unless they let the magneto stand-in free? Or I don’t know have Sue get on the horn to Superman. And stop these missiles from falling. I get power girl isn’t as powerful as Clark right now. Still she is a massive powerhouse. And pretty freaking fast. So is Wally. And Capt. atom is no slouch either. But all they can do is give up and go to the Zack Snyder verse version of the Marvel universe? To me this falls under the category heroes lose because the plot says so. So Crimson Fox doesn’t do much in this issue besides be sarcastic, stand-in for the many but shots. And have an over-the-top accent. So for my recent YouTube output, as much as I’d like to call myself fire I seem to fit the Crimson Fox mold for this issue. What? It drives up view counts….. Not by much but still. I kid, I kid, this pages were constant than that somewhat. At any rate a doctor who podcast on this network would be great. But, I would be remiss if I don’t point out as many times as it’s been pointed out that Siskoid rides the coattails of the coups whos who podcast.

    You would kind of be writing his coattails for the straight out Gala freight podcast. That he does on the Wright on podcast. Though still that would be pretty cool. Especially if you cover the big finish audiobooks. Since I think they cover mostly they are TV shows. I don’t have as much of the fifth or seventh Dr. books as I should. That, for the ones I do they have been kind of fun. So maybe you could do reviews of those big finish audiobooks. Comics and whatnot. Also I like general glory as well. Though I mainly know him from this comic and that one appearance he did in the lobos back comic. Wherein one of his reincarnations lobo came back as a female version of lobo. During World War II and she briefly ran into general glory and his teenage sidekick. That was sort of Bucky. It was, well a Keith Griffin written lobo book. With general glory in it somehow. At any rate can’t wait to hear the next podcast.

  4. Another fantastic episode everyone! Chris and Brent were great (and helped check off Shag’s international guests card) and I thoroughly enjoyed the recaps of these two issues. Also, I can confirm… I am broken, but not about the New Gods! New Gods, Forever People, Omega Men…. it’s all the same to me.

    JLA – I agree with Shag, that this wasn’t the best issue. I know when I bought issues off the stands, I wasn’t excited if Adam Hughes didn’t do the interiors, no matter what the story was. Nothing against McKone, but I think this story would have been received better if Hughes had done the interiors. I think he would have nailed the expressions and the tone of the over-the-top action star of Maximum Force.

    JLE – I know those are missiles on the cover. I mean, I KNOW….. but, they always looked like ballpoint pens to me. It kind of lessens the evil-ness of Doctor Diehard. As far as the mysterious heroes on page 11, I would guess the bottom panel is someone from Metropolis, considering he’s reading the Daily Planet and the newstand seller is wearing a Superman shirt. So did Agent Liberty, Gangbuster, or The Guardian ever have a beard and were active around this time? For the middle panel, I agree with you guys that this is most likely a colouring error. It looks like a little bit of his hair on the right is a blue-black colour so I wonder if the rest of it is supposed to be that colour? Or something lighter? I don’t have a guess for this one, but the setting (skyscraper with clouds in the background, a lackey waiting on him) make him seem like a Tony Stark-like character which made me think it could be Bruce Wayne…. except Batman was already shown in panel 2, so who knows! Though, I do love how Green Lantern lounges around at home in his union suit.

    Once again, this was tons of fun and I am looking forward to the coverage of the Membership issue and the upcoming General Glory storyline. I mean, Guy Gardner becomes a comic book geek! One of us! One of us!

    Keep up the great work!

    1. The unknown cameos have been driving me mad. The bearded (Metropolis?) man is in Hal Jordan cosplay… then again, was the brown leather jacket and jeans look codified prior to Emerald Dawn? I wondered for a sec if it might be a miscoloured Lex Luthor Jr, but he was heavier set, with stupid mutton chops.

      As for the chap with the braces – how I snicker at ‘suspenders’ – it’s Mark Merlin. OK, it doesn’t look like him, and he was nowhere to be seen in the DCU in 1990, but why the heck not? Yeah, Mark Merlin, that’s it, it has to be!

      Anyway, thanks to Shag for another top show, how lovely to hear another English person, and one who paid my wages, too! Chris was a great co-host, as was Brent – I love the Japanese!

      Re: the JLE issue, Shag, I don’t understand why you and Brent were making the case for the chap at the UN being Max, when Sears drew a totally on-model Max.

      Dr Diehard is such a weird name, it’s nothing to do with magnetism… or is it?

      As for the JLA comic, OK, it’s a fill in, but I hate dream issues. And especially so soon after John’s mind trick on Despero. Has anyone ever really enjoyed a dream issue? Mind, it could be worse. It could be Kitty’s Fairy Tale.

  5. I wanted to be first to guess at bearded-mystery-man. Andrew Vinson. If you know, you know. And you are probably eligible for AARP.

  6. The mystery heroes: I wonder if the guy with the tie and suspenders is supposed to be Dr Magnus, leader of the Metal Men, with miscolored hair? Or could he be Jason Blood? Who was Dr Fate at this point, could that be Kent Nelson? If the JSA was back it might be Alan Scott, Wesley Dodds, or Ted Knight. I looked to see what DC Comics were out at the time for clues who bearded guy might be. Did Mark Shaw aka Manhunter ever sport a beard? Didn’t Will Payton Starman spend some time wandering the country and grew a beard?

    If parts 2 and 3 of The Extremist Vector seem like padding, part 4 will continue the trend. They run around inside Wacky World for eons.

    The strange thing about Silver Sorceress: this story would’ve been the perfect chance to give her a new costume. Current one gets torn up so she makes a new start in something silver and with less bizarre headgear. But instead they keep her in the same costume. Weird choice, it s not like she’s an immediately recognizable iconic character or anything.

    The Max Lord thing is strange. If you didn’t read JLA you’d really have no clue who he’s supposed to be or why he has random mind persuasion powers. You’d think an egomaniac like Lord would announce his own name to the Extremists.

    Once again, as you guys note, these insane murderous supervillains opt to not kill the main characters. Last issue: zap them all unconscious and leave them there. This issue: banish them to another dimension. It’s pretty silly, really.

    1. Other possibilities for suspenders guy: Geo-Force. He ran his own company and was known to rock a suit. He’d also have a butler around, given he’s royalty and all. Or, Katar Hol who I think was living on earth by this point and also would rock a suit sometimes.

  7. Regarding General Glory. I have fond memories of the character bc my dad liked him. My dad was a Captain America fan and he liked how the General gently lampooned some of the more ludicrous aspects of Cap…the long winded patriotic speeches, the ability to give an entire speech while leaping through the air, etc. I thought the General was a fun character and the story that introduces him is interesting. I think it was too long, it’s five parts. Imagine a five part story to introduce G’Nort. Less is more when it comes to a character who’s pure silliness like the General. Maybe intro him in a one-parter and have him make guest appearances every so often. Don’t make him a regular cast member. Though I’m glad for one thing, the General Glory story gave us an explanation for Guy Gardner’s ridiculous haircut!

  8. Not a lot to add on this one, but I think Shag may be on to something with this being an inventory tale. It does have that “out of place” vibe that those types of stories have. Also, as Shag pointed out, McKone’s art seems more amateurish. Look at Max’s tiny ear on page 10, for instance.

    Speaking of wonky anatomy, I can’t get past Dr. Diehard’s tiny chicken legs on the cover of JLE #17. That foreshortening is hard to draw, I know, but once I saw it, I can’t unsee it, so it must be off, at least for me. As for who that green-haired gent is, I was thinking Sarge Steel. But if that’s the case, then Sears (or Giffen on layouts) dropped the ball in having Steel’s trademark metal hand behind his back!

    Fun episode, despite these issues being a bit..meh. I’ve made my feelings known about General Glory, so I won’t reair my grievances here!


  9. Random asides to open:

    Are we talking Brains of Morbius or Night of the Doctor Sisterhood of Karn? 😀

    As I’ve mentioned before elsewhere my memories of the mentioned Superman comic was like the second one I got had the infamous Big Barda and Supes meet Sleez… Though much love to those lovely people that work on the thing.

    And ironically I picked up that Exiles omnibus, it arrived about a day after the podcast dropped. How’s that for synchronicity!

    Now I guess to the actual comics themselves!

    1. Listening to you describe the JLA issue, as you said not easy to get hold of, I kind of twigged the twist around the not!Kong moment. Though considering the bonkers stuff that the League has gone through recent I might have bought the whole thing if I was reading along at the time.

      I’m glad you mention how he treated Huntress, as I listen along I couldn’t help how she was treated and how it was questioned how heroic he was being. As I came in at the “end” of Maxwell’s story (y’know those stories no one remembers 😀 ) I don’t have the warm fuzzies about him, so right now he’s very much on the edge of villain here. Right now I’m deep into the Huntress / Power Girl era so I’m probably a little more sensitive to such things too be honest!

      1. It’s sad to say that I was so focused on the, to be a little crass, pair(s) of DD that I missed all the missiles surrounding the team! Though in my defence for Kara it’s her blank face, though I too like the sleeveless version. That collar though it’s really starting to get on my nerves it keeps getting in the way of her face and makes the images just look off, I still like the rest of the costume for now so that’s a plus at least!

        I got to admit the speaker at the UN building confused me reading along, at first it seems so like Maxwell and then Extremis just bust in and apparently, or to my eye, looked like they killed the speaker outright. I guess whilst the male heroes are being all mopey, not that I buy Supes and Bats giving up like that, Wonder Woman and the other female heroes are off planning to deal with those pesky supervillains! I’m also glad that they’re starting to add some depth to Crimson Fox, it’s just a shame that they went the classic route of giving her beef with the only other female hero on the team.

        Weirdly to me the issue doesn’t quite work because Extremis doesn’t really feel like that big a threat, Despero just the previous issue of the JLA felt scary but the Extremis doesn’t feel like that. Maybe it’s just that the whole nuclear armageddon, which I remember being very scary at the time, just doesn’t seem to have the same resonance now that it did back then.

  10. Great episode!

    I wonder if the Max issue isn’t available on the website because of his unsavory use of powers on the woman. In this day and age, might be too controversial.

    Also, don’t know if anyone has said it, but Mac having a giant MF on his suit is certainly a subconscious self-owning, right? He knows he’s a Mother F@#$er.

  11. Loved the show as always! Chris was great, and your history with Brent is insanely cool!

    For JLA #41, this is definitely a shelved story, so the question becomes, where *should* it fit into continuity. Our major landmarks are: Max’s power gained in #24, the JLA members in his dream and their costumes. Fire and Ice’s costumed changed in #31, so I’d say this story is between those. Max seems to have a good handle on his power by this story, and he only used it once each in #24 (calling Beetle for help), #26 (saving himself from an attacking Beetle), and #30 (“convincing” Huntress to join, BAD MAX!). His understanding of the power makes me think it’s after he’d used it a couple of times, and based on this story’s conclusion, I don’t think it’d be before #30, so my conclusion is it’s between #30 and #31. Now THAT leads to a worse rabbit hole of thoughts! Is that why Max was pouring on the charm when Huntress came to the embassy, determined to sway her *without* using his power? But still not willing to admit to her or anyone else what he’d done?

    Hey, I found another rabbit hole in the embassy’s back yard. The name of Max’s driver. I thought there were more scenes in previous stories with Max and a driver, but I was getting them confused with Boris the Russian embassy’s chief from Moving Day, and the Joker in JLI Annual #2. But! I finally found one panel in JLA #33, the Guy and Kilowog issue, and Max’s driver is named Mitchell there. That’s the same name given in this issue! No comment from Max about “my driver’s always named Rudolpho.” See above thoughts about learning his lesson in this issue.

    Does Paris have rabbits? Probably, but Power Girl’s cat must be scaring them away from that embassy. My only thoughts are: 1. Heck yeah, Sears did fantastic reflections with his artwork in this issue! 2. I have no idea who those panel guys are. 3. I always took that to be Max at the UN, especially from his nose bleed in the bottom panel. 4. Crimson Fox has been, in her own words, “impudent” since her first appearance, so sarcasm is perfectly in character. 4. I always find it fun, at the end of the story, that Lord Havok and Captain Atom just start arguing with each other. And not typical hero/villain arguing or banter. It’s really childish finger-pointing. “You idiot, you could’ve killed us!” “Me? You put the missiles in space TO kill us!” “Nuh-uh!” “Yuh-huh!” LOL!

    Oh, and I wanted me Dmitri in this issue. He didn’t get enough screen time about the Moscow attack. His wife and kids just moved from there at the end of issue #12. What if they had other family in the city? Or friends? He potentially had plenty to be upset about besides the Rocket Reds, and could have given us more exploration of his character. Ah well.

    Till next time, Glory-hounds unite!

  12. I’m a podcast cohost. But probably not the one you’re expecting.

    If you’re looking for a cohost for your Doctor Who podcast, I can easily change my name from DC Dave to DW Dave. Because I’m totally down for that. Sisterhood of Karn? Not a deep cut for me. Mentioning Charley, C’rizz and Lucie as companions? Pfft. Easy. John Pertwee’s tattoo a mark from the Time Lords? Yes. Ruth Doctor coming between Two and Three….well, let’s talk.

    Another great episode of the podcast. I will admit I had forgotten about this issue of JLA. The art is hit and miss for me. There are moments of greatness, like the group shot near the end. The classic JLI “faces” that really defined the book can be seen there.. I do like Max’s costume design, and the MF on the costume leads me to think of another set of words that MF might stand for. Which seems appropriate for Mr. Lord.

    Speaking of Mr. Lord, I do think that was him addressing the UN, by virtue of the speech he gives. But they sure don’t do a good job of making it obvious do they? As for our mystery panelists….I’m at a lost. I looked over all the comics that came out that month, and nothing is tie-ing in. I doubt it was supposed to be “man on the street” but I am completely clueless on who those two mystery people are supposed to be. Seems like they’re supposed to be *someone* though.

  13. On the “Rudolpho” bit — there’s no way that this isn’t a reference to a scene playing during the title sequence and credits of Mel Brooks’ The Producers. You know, when Max Bialystock is truckling to his patron, a rich widow, with a bit of role-play as Rudolpho the chauffeur while she role-plays the amorous Countess, and Leo Bloom walks in on this seduction tableau to his extreme, paralyzing chagrin. Of course I don’t need to describe this scene, you’ve seen the movie. But here in the comic, it’s Max Lord who wants the driver to be Rudolpho which casts him in turn as the naughty widow/Countess figure … so, I guess, you go Max?

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