JLI Podcast #42 – Justice League America #42 & Justice League Europe #18

Doug Zawisza joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #42 in which the League launches a recruitment drive (unsuccessfully) and Mister Miracle returns from space! Then Terry O’Malley stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #18 where the JLE are trapped on the Extremists’ post-apocalyptic homeworld run by theme park robots! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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26 responses to “JLI Podcast #42 – Justice League America #42 & Justice League Europe #18

        1. Also: the Black Knight over in the Avengers (once his eyes started glowing red thanks to some Eternals-related hoodoo that Sersi does to him) and the baddie called Proctor. I’m sure there are many others. :)

  1. Great episode guys, specially the first half.

    First of all, consider my mind blown same as Shag’s for not noticing in 30+ years that Miracle is coming back in the JLA cover and that it’s a cartoon character hand in JLE. Love both even more now (even though i hear *some* of the misgivings on the JLE cover).
    Loved how the first half turned into a review of those wonderful comics of the time, consider me a fan of H&D, Starman, Mike Parobeck and so many other things you touch upon.

    My only misgiving as a native Spanish speaker AND a latin-american is that it’s assumed that Bea is a Spanish speaker? She’s Brazilian, so her native language is Portuguese, not Spanish. Of course, she used to be a top-notch spy for her country back in the day (we will learn years into the future of this issue) so there’s a good chance she’s fluent in Spanish, but the issue ASSUMES she’s a native, throwing Spanish -language literature references and so on. It’s a nitpick? Of course, but hey, INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF FANS, right? You have a couple of high profile Brazilian commenters, wanna hear what they think.

    As for the JLE issue, I hear some of the problems, I agree with many (the filler style of writing in this multi-part, the bad use of stablished characters), but Terry did come off a little too much “old man yells at cloud”, specially once the novelty of not identifying the characters bit wore off.

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  2. I have continued to keep listening to every episode of the JLI podcast even if I’ve been a little behind with the comments. Of course that means I have not yet joined the Justice Log General Glory fan club. I really should have been a charter member as I’ve been a fan since JLA 46. I recently reread the entire Glory Bound storyline and I enjoyed it as much today as I did back in the 90s. I’m really looking forward to you getting to it.

    JLA 42 has long been one of my favourites. In fact I love all the membership drive issues (19, 24 and 42). There is something great about seeing the JLI interacting with the greater DC Universe. Talking of which have you considered that this issue is not available on digital as DC pays creator incentives for every appearance of characters created after 1978-ish. Maybe it’s got caught up in the decision not to digitally publish JLE because they don’t want the bad press of paying a particular writer. It’s a shame that we’ll never see hundreds of pages of prime Mike Parobeck art reprinted for the same reason.

    This was one of those issues that really spotlighted JM DeMatteis. My personal favourite is page 20 where we get the Barda/Scott phone call, L-Ron’s lamentations and the return of Guy and Fire & Beetle. L-Ron’s final line “You know this might not be so bad” should have won the Bwah-ha-ha Award.

    From a great issue of JLA to a below-average issue of JLE, I have always thought that The Extremist Vector was the weakest storyline in the Giffen run and it seems like Terry agrees with me. There is no doubt that it is more than just the change of scripter. I’m aware (due to my well read copy of the Legion Companion) that this is the era when Keith Giffen left the 5YL Legion of Super-Heroes. He apparently felt stuck in the middle of a political battle with the Superman office which led to the reboot in the hourglass issue. He talks about being so pissed-off that he considered leaving comics entirely. Maybe Keith plotted this issue at his lowest point leading to all the problems you guys identified. The funny thing is that somehow they managed to convince Keith to return to 5YL in enough time for him to draw the covers for the issues he didn’t write.

    Anyway that’s enough supposition on my part.

  3. just a comment: portuguese and spanish are not the same language, its not that easy to understand one if you speak the other one. other than that really funny joke. btw no meanwhile episode of scott adventures on space?? those are really good.

  4. Well, that was fantastic, much hilarity.

    As the mystery of the unidentified characters from last month still persists, I wonder if Braces Guy might be Jack Ryder, with the semi-green hair an allusion to his creepy alter-ego (like when Marvel used to show half a Spider-Man face)? I don’t know much about the Creeper, tbh. I’m sure he had a nice office at the TV station, but may or not have had a butler.

    The biggest unanswered question from this month’s episode is… is Terry OK?

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    1. Wait a minute! “Braces.” That was the big not-followed-up point from the first JLE story! “An old Nazi appears on our doorstop, says braces, and dies.” Was he referring to this “braces” guy?!?! See, me being a dumb American, I call them “suspenders” and only learned that term thanks to this show.

      Ok, new guess. The braces guy could be Jack-O-Lantern. The original was shown wearing them, and the replacement might also wear them or be forced to dress similar to the original by Queen Bee. Plus, that would mean the original story had the old guy trying to warn the JLE about Jack! What do you think?

  5. Well done everyone! This was an awesome episode with great guests! I can never get enough of Bwa-ha-ha and these JL characters as they always bring a smile to my face.

    JLA – I say this all the time (but I’ll say it again) I was always disappointed when the interior art wasn’t Maguire or Hughes. And seeing this great cover really set me up for a great issue. I really don’t have anything against McKone, but after seeing Hughes set up the hilarity inside, McKone was a bit of a let down. I mean, it’s no Superman Bicentennial Treasury Edition bait and switch, but that’s what it felt like as a kid. After saying all that, this was a hilarious and enjoyable issue and I can enjoy and appreciate McKone’s art now.

    JLE – uhhhh…… yeah, what’s going on in this issue? At least there’s that great tease of the hand coming out of the tube. Is it Fry from Futurama? Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

    Well done again, everyone! I’m really looking forward to JL Quartz! And after, “If You Play Your Cards Right….”. Keep up the great work!

  6. The Despero followup Doug referenced happens in Breakdowns, so you will get to it. (It establishes a new status quo that goes into JLTF.)

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  7. 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. I think I’ve read this issue when I was in college. It was in the long foxes of course. I’m old I’m just not that old. So I didn’t see it when it came out, but I wasn’t impressed with the current justice league books and I missed the JL I books. So I found this one in the bed and ran them through it. At the Acadiana book and comic shop in Lafayette. Back when I lived there a Ms. Teresa and her husband ran it. Well she ran it he was disabled. A retired veteran whom had been a Ranger. He was a Ranger not Ms. Teresa. Weirdly the thing that always stood on my mind loosey-goosey conversation between fire and the masked superhero. Not saying his name. Since I know it means in Spanish I will just pass on that one. It was also the reason I didn’t read his book. At any rate this bit with fire the masked superhero and blue beetle is kind of funny. And definitely memorable. The breast and but shot of Dove is possible. I’ve done it a few times on Twitter. And it’s not that difficult and definitely not the slinky spine that came in the mid-90s. For superhero women characters.

    The cover is decent and the artist does a good job at expressions. Though I am a bit surprised to learn this is Adam Hughes. It’s good, but even at this time he was better. Still than anything I can come up with most artists. But, when you realize you Jewitt it’s just not at the standards of that particular artist. At least in my opinion. Though it does its job well. The expressions are good everyone’s positioning is good. And you can see the one-point perspective falling from star man. Speaking of which shag is right this costume is a lot better than his peanut butter jelly costume. Though now I can’t think of the family Guy song every time I see him. Speaking of guy he does act a little oy this issue. I guess making sure we still see his character the way he was. He is getting depth but not the level of depth he got under BueahSmith. Hawk and Dove bit is nice. And cool to see Huntress back here. Though she’s kind of becoming a guest star in this book. As Cadillac hay in case restaurants here here’s a panel or two. The interior art isn’t bad though the artist gets a lot better in later years. Mike McKone definitely improved after this.

    I’m glad to see Scott is back. That’s a good thing he’s already got a grave marker since I think his wife is going to want to kill him after what he put her through. Funky Flashman is on point he does look like pictures I’ve seen of Stan Lee in the 70s. Oberon getting chewed out by ice is kind of funny. While Huntress is just kind of standing there smiling. To complete her guest appearance but not ever talk whatever reason.Oy. I’m not sure how they messed up light rays helmet. But, he looks like he’s being played by Michael Bolton in this issue. This was deftly not a good choice for Orion’s costume. He looks like he’s ready for a 70s barbarian movie. At any rate the sketch said got from Scott Hanna looks cool. Moving on to the justice league Europe cover. Disney crushing DC. Kind of reminds me of the current state of the movies. Nowadays Shang Chi is crushing the suicide squad. Power girl does look better without the long sleeves on her uniform. Though I still prefer her classic uniform better than this. I think Crimson Fox is climbing of the pull to get a better look at things. It is kind of a typical pose you would see Spiderman and in quantities type of issues. Where through the group shot he would climb up a little bit to look around. Fact he would get worse. It is weird that only she and elongated Man or doing anything to look around. The others seem to all be standing on the floor. Even though all of them can fly. Except for the flash. Well elongated Man and Crimson Fox. But, still always other characters can fly. Rocket red suit should be held to tell them if there is anything wrong with the atmosphere. Capt. Adam probably would be affected by it. At other scanners and rocket red suits if he could see somebody was waiting for them to get into the atmosphere for a clear shot.

    The Superman joke was kind of funny. Where rocket red literally says look in the sky. Business he opened the sky but close enough. Before the advertisement goes off. Then going to see what’s going on isn’t that bad of an idea. Crimson frocks screaming out oh my God is kind of appropriate in situation I find themselves in. The amusement Park robots is kind of funny. The president just giving up without even thinking of trying to find someone effective is kind to not great. Then showing them us the villains again is fine. Though if these androids are so powerful, no one thought to reprogram them to try to fight the bad guys? It probably would’ve been a good idea to have Sears create a new costume for the silver sorceress. I’m slightly shocked they didn’t. He is pretty good artist. But, since he has been used that much I guess it and have trade plans for her so they didn’t bother. The Walt Disney stand-in waking up at the end is kind of funny. Cool fan art from Terry O’Malley at the end was kind of cool too. At any rate can’t wait to hear the next episode. Oh yeah and I have a YouTube page.

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  8. Can we start a drinking game based on Shag’s “I never noticed (blank) on the cover until you pointed it out”. I think we’ll all need new livers by the time he gets to the end of “Breakdowns”. Get your eyes checked, man!

    I’m glad Shag and Doug at least mentioned Dove’s gratitous butt shot. That had to take a lot of work. Something I never noticed before is the man in the foreground’s hands (Max’s hands) are VERY tiny. Why is Starman’s hand so much bigger than his?

    Shag’s story of coming to this title via Will Payton, and by most accounts, after the book’s actual heyday, is very interesting. Not the standard origin story you would expect at all!

    Always a pleasure to hear from Doug! I still enjoy looking through his excellent Hawkman Companion from TwoMorrows.

    Hoo boy…that design for Orion and that HAIR. I think he and Lightray are more likely to show up a recruitment drive at The Headbanger’s Ball.

    Man, Power Girl’s chest is RIDICULOUS on that JLE cover. Did the spirit of Wally Wood posess Sears for this one?

    Since Terry was nice enough to compose our House of Franklin-Stein theme, I completely agree with everything he said! Yell at those clouds, Terry!

    Chris

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  9. I’m genuinely not a fan of the more negative readings, but I’ve generally got to agree with Terry with this one. And not just because I got a call out in the actual episode, which had me beaming for the rest of the day! <3

    But the whole JLE comic just felt like padding, as many have pointed out, and not particularly exciting filler at that. Though I think I'm more in the meh category than abjectly hating the comic. One thing I find curious is that it's Kara that shows the most concern about Silver Sorceror on the float, which I find a little odd as I don't recall them spending much time around each other. Also is the comment that she makes about the majorette because they look similar, the two characters even have their faces in similar places, or just an art fail?

    As for not knowing what powers Kara has I wouldn't worry about it too much, after about a year in All-Star they forgot she could fly and had her leaping around like OG Superman!

    As for the costume I'm sort of on the fence. In some panels, like the splash page, it looks fine and vaguely like her first high collar but with more room. But mostly the issue has it hiding the bottom of her head and then it just looks awful. I'm wondering if it's just one of those costumes that only certain artists can draw well?

  10. Thanks for another fantastic episode, with two excellent guests, as ever, well, except when you only have one guest. I believe that happens sometimes. Anyway, I did enjoy the contributions of Doug and Cranky Shtick Guy.

    That cover shot of Doug sticking out their butt – sorry, I mean Dove – is just awful. Wasn’t Jeanette Kahn still at DC then? Did she not notice these things (see also that horrible JLE splash page with Crimson Fox that you mentioned)?

    I found the scenes of Bea and El Diablo yadda bladda flapping, as our host would say, freakin’ hilarious. And maybe they weren’t speaking Spanish or Portuguese, to Ted it’s just boring Othmar noise, it may have been English.

    The final membership reveal could not have been more disappointing – Orion and Lightray? And the reason you don’t recall whether they ever did anything, Shagg, is that they didn’t. May as well have inducted the Creeper.

    Yep. Scott Snyder brought back Will Payton recently, but in a weird way. I consider that his story ended with Jack Knight’s book. Anyway, he’s now well and truly back in limbo.

    Given how often he gets mentioned, and how grateful we all are, has any thought been given to getting Mike’s Amazing World himself on the show (I assume that’s his name)?

    As for JLE, gosh, Terry really hates that cover – I think it’s great. Especially the pink.

    Oh, Terry really hates everything (apart from the lettering). Didn’t I tell you not to serve Diet Soda to guests, Shagg?

    Oh, and going back to the mystery men from last issue, thinking on, we can’t take it that the one chap was in Metropolis as the Daily Planet has a national edition, as confirmed in JLQ #1.

  11. Am I the only one that will pick up the ‘Hawk and Dove are awesome’ banner and wave it proudly.

    Why did they turn down the Justice League?

    Because they are too good for the League.

  12. JLA #42: Hawk & Dove’s handling in the book amuses me to no end, both on the cover and inside, for a very specific reason I don’t believe was mentioned on the show. They change human when the danger is passed, and they’re both very protective about their secret identities. So on the cover, they’re trying to get out of Max’s office quickly. (How they ended up there in the first place? Pfft, details!) Then rushing away rudely off-panel from Ice and Huntress makes perfect sense, and the befuddled Leaguers are funnier to watch since they don’t know the full story.

    Always glad to see Payton Starman. One of my favorite Roger Stern series. This was a fun take on him, and great to show his power levels by holding his own against Guy, not an easy feat.

    Wish I had read El Diablo back in the day, it sounds delightful. Parobeck’s JSA is an all-time great and all-too-short series! And it really didn’t bother me that Fire spoke Spanish in spite of it not being the Brazilian language, since English is already a second language, and you know, international super-spy. Plus, how about Fire and Beetle talking to each other with no flirting by either of them? Just two friends out running an errand. So of course it’s hilarious Beetle being fifth wheel during Yakkita-yakkita-yakkita, mister “pay attention to me.”

    JLE #18: Not a favorite issue, but I have to thank Shagg and Terry for putting the words to why. Well done! And now I’ve promptly forgotten them because old.

    Sleeveless is such a better look for Kara’s costume! It mystifies me why no one in the DC offices lobbied to make it the real look, or someone insisted the sleeves stay. Ah well.

    Still love the Silver Sorceress thinking “if I can just reach the weakest mind among them,” and it’s Wally. But that’s not saying Wally’s mind is weak, just that someone has to be last place. Or, there’s something about a beautiful woman casting a spell that Wally was susceptible to. I can’t imagine what, though.

    On a different point, blowing up the park. I just discussed this on the Batgirl Cassandra Cain podcast (PLUG!), where they showed all of the walls in a villain hideout were stuffed with C4 bricks in order to blow it up. Is this how villains actually build their hideouts so they can be destroyed? Do they feel safe, knowing they’re surrounded on all sides by explosives? And shouldn’t fights with heroes accidentally set off those explosives sometimes? Ouch, now my head hurts.

    But not from this show! Great episode, from Doug’s joy to Terry’s cloud-yelling! Thanks for another great one, Shagg!

  13. Another great ep, thanks! I won’t lie – totally laughed at the “It’s time to squeeze the Starm’n” line. Look at Guy giving Beetle competition for funniest JLI member.

  14. I love clouds! I’ve looked at them from both sides now! It’s lousy writing that I can’t stand! I forgot (at least) one thing about that issue that I wanted to discuss with Shag. The ersatz Walt Disney character shown in the flashback looked like Mitch Miller. Mitch Miller was not a theme park guy. He was a producer at Capitol Records in the 1950s and had phenomenal, and inexplicable, success with “Sing Along With Mitch” record albums. I wanted to get Shag’s take on that. I hope that most of you were amused. Gus, I’ll buy you a drink some day!

  15. I get it, Terry. Shagg is the guy who loves all the stuff you do, but has every opposite opinion ABOUT that stuff.

    (Actually, Shagg and I have a lot of common ground. My personal Shagg is my good friend Dr. G.)

  16. Love JLA#42. Membership drive issues are always fun, especially in this series. When I first read this I didn’t know who the New Gods were (other than the fact they’re Scott Free’s people) so I had no idea who Orion and Lightray were. Maybe because I had no precedent at all, I actually thought they looked cool, even with the Whitesnake hair, and I seem to be the oddity that likes this Orion costume better than his classic look. Not sure why they stuck both these guys with long hair when, in retrospect, neither had ever had long hair. If I recall correctly, the promise of having these guys on the team is never realized–super powerful beings from another world who can “beef up” the team’s ranks after the disastrous battle with Despero. I’d been nice to see them cut loose on some Despero-level threat, but we don’t get to see that.

    So, I noticed Scott in the background of the JLA #42 cover and J’onn and Beetle freaking out. But I’ve thought all these years that Scott was laughing at Starman’s histrionics while J’onn and Beetle were surprised by the same…not that J’onn and Beetle were reacting to Scott being alive! I’ve misinterpreted this cover since the issue came out! Holy cow!

    I completely forgot Huntress is in this issue. Other than the JLI special starring Huntress, I think this is her last appearance as a JL member until the Morrison run. This was a brief and bizarre run for her in the JLI. She gets pushed by Max’s powers into joining and then her two biggest appearances, she is stranded on an ice floe in the middle of the ocean arguing with Max, and then unsuccessfully tries to recruit Hawk and Dove. She had bigger spotlights–fighting the punk who took Barda’s megarod and rescuing Max from the brainwashed homicidal Beetle–before she was a member. Once she became a member, she’s barely around!

    I hear people’s complaints about Bea not being a Spanish speaker, but imagine that while Portuguese may be her first language, all the countries around Brazil speak Spanish. In her lifetime and in her career as a secret agent, she may have had reason to learn Spanish to travel to those countries. Given she obviously can speak English, we can assume she speaks several languages. I’ve also heard that once you know one romance language, it’s easier to learn the others.

    This issue has one of my favorite gags. El Diablo enters the restaurant and Beetle says, “How did you know we were here? You must be some kind of super-detective, like Batman!” and Diablo replies, “Actually, I noticed the giant mechanical bug-ship parked out front…” Great stuff. I am disappointed El Diablos series isn’t available on DC Infinite because it sounds like a fun read. I understand the reasoning why, but hopefully someday El Diablo, early 90s Green Lantern, and the Elongated Man can be released on DCI so we can enjoy that fabulous Mike Parobeck artwork. The early 90s JSA series isn’t on there, either, which I’d also love to read. I only read a couple issue of it back in the day.

    I share some of Terry’s reservations about this issue of JLE. It is very much an exercise of padding and let’s get these characters from point A to point B. It’s funny, though…the common complaint about comics from this era is that the writers do TOO much exposition in every issue, because of the “assume every issue is someone’s first” edict, and laboriously introduce every character and their powers. Terry seems to be annoyed that this issue of JLE didn’t do this and just expected a new reader to pick things up as they went, or be content not to know about certain things. Surely there’s a balance somewhere in the middle?

    Good point about the knockout gas affecting Rocket Red and Metamorpho. Probably shouldn’t have worked. Though is it established that Metamorpho breathes? And Rocket Red may have a built-in air supply but has to turn it on, otherwise he’s just breathing in outside air like everyone else. Maybe it happened so fast he didn’t have time. That’s my no-prize explanation for that one, anyway.

    1. Others feel free to correct me if I’m barking up the wrong tree, but I think with Bea it’s the implication that she’s from South American hence must speak Spanish. Which would be fine if they hadn’t made her from the only country that didn’t! And the fact that it would probably only need maybe a line of dialogue to fix.

      1. Marvel made the same mistake with Sunspot several times, too. He too is from Brazil but is shown speaking Spanish instead of Portuguese. A little bit of research informs me that 460,000 Brazilians speak Spanish, so it’s not out of the question Fire and Sunspot speak Spanish.

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