JLI Podcast #44 – Justice League America #44 & Justice League Europe #20

Cindy Franklin joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #44! Can the League withstand the threat of a guy named Tortolini? Then Ynza Morganstar, the 108th Sage, stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #20! Can the League (and the Paris Embassy) withstand the might of a guy named Beefeater? Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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39 responses to “JLI Podcast #44 – Justice League America #44 & Justice League Europe #20

  1. Being a little basic sometimes, I tend to think of great episodes based on great issues, but guys, what a great podcast episode. Cindy and Ynza really made it. And yeah, the previous sentence implies I don’t regard these two as great issues, or better said, I DIDN’T. You guys really made me appreciate both a lot more, and that is why I love this podcast.

    JLA, you can really tell the love Hughes put into this issue, and those little background details like the whole Bea & Ted bit at the pool table is the icing on a delicious cake. As I mentioned somewhere else in a previous comment, you can tell the team at some point sat down and planned a couple of years of stories, all the way from Miracle’s tour, Tortellini’s exposé, and the General Glory references all over the place. Chaotic? Sure, but carefully planned ahead.

    JLE at the time was such a stylistic switch, it took a while, and although I “get” the Beefeater joke, alongside General Glory (which, as you mention, is also set up here) are just a little too much ask from my suspension of disbelief/comedy love. And I mellowed to it over the years, specially Rogers art. The Kara pinup is great, but the fact that it’s not just cheesecake (the guys offer plenty of beefcake as well) but a complex and well laid out gag with the crowd reactions and the onomatopoeias shows, once again, a creative team in complete control of what they were doing.

    And yeah, the page 21 page composition you mentioned is definitely a Maguire spirit taking over. Lovely.

  2. Fun episode Shag. Ynza and Cindy were great guest who will hopefully be back soon.
    Beefeater was a wonderfully nutty character that fits in perfectly in the cheeky DC universe.

  3. As always, a great show and great guests; Thanks Shag, Cindy & Ynza for your insights on these two fun issues.

    You asked for some clarification on the British elements of the JLE issue. The soldiers who wear the tall black furry hats (which are called ‘Bearskins’) are the Grenadier Guards, and they stand implacably in front of Buckingham Palace. They’re not the same as The Yeoman of the Guard – a tiny army corps who accompany the Monarch on certain ceremonial duties and – for fans of V for Vendetta – they still conduct a ritual search of the cellars of the Houses of Parliament looking for gunpowder barrels before the annual State Opening of Parliament (Thanks Guy Fawkes!)
    It’s this regimental uniform that ‘90’s fan-favourite The Beefeater’s costume is based on. Well… it’s totally ripped off really – if you check out photos, you’ll see that Beefeater’s costume is almost exactly the same as what the Yeoman of the Guard wear (although I believe that carrying the energy blasting Battle Rod is now optional!)
    Further obfuscating the issue , the Yeoman of the Guard are not to be confused with the Yeoman Warders, who are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London, the Crown Jewels and (in days of old) any prisoners in the Tower.
    Yeoman of the Guard are not generally Kaiju-sized as on the cover, and I can’t believe that you didn’t mention how Beefeater has kicked a great big dent in the Eiffel Tower causing it to become more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

    Michael, Esteban and Lisa are *absolutely* lifted straight out of the Fawlty Towers sit-com. (Also known as Warty Towels, Watery Fowls, Fatty Owls or Flowery Twats – one of the running gags was to mix up the letters on the sign outside the Hotel!) Lisa and Esteban in particular are very good caricatures of the actors Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs who starred in the show. Fawlty Towers is revered over here for being very funny for exactly the right length then quitting whilst it was ahead… although that may have something to do with the writers John Cleese and Connie Booth going through a divorce during the making of the second series. I believe it was a fairly acrimonious split, so further episodes were never likely to appear.

    The word Tuppenny is absolutely fine (if a little old-fashioned) as a British-ism (as in the phrase “tuppenny ha’penny” meaning very cheap and/or inferior). It definitely feels a little quaint, and implies that the Beefeater / General Glory team up comic book “Tuppenny Fun” is of a certain vintage. It does imply that the comic book cost two shiny pennies – pre-decimalisation pennies.

    Well, I’m off to re-read my grim’n’gritty Beefeater Mature readers Vertigo maxi series – thank goodness for those ‘90’s cash-in Beefeater spin offs! ;o)

    1. Oh. And on the subject of “Christopher”, only very close relatives are permitted the full use of our name.

      Only *my* mother calls me Christopher too… and then only when I’m in Big Trouble. Hearing Cindy call her husband by his full name – out loud – on the podcast triggered a Pavlovian response: “What have I done?!”

      Perhaps other Chris’s in the community will back me up on this?

  4. Shag! Stop reading my mind!

    Yes, I had every issue of JL/JLI/JLA at this point, and a few months after, until…General Glory. I know, broken record, but it was just a bit TOO farcical for my taste, and around that time Is when I stopped buying the JLA title until Jurgens came onboard. That also explains why I wasn’t showing Cindy the book, because the time we started dating, i had dropped it with issue #52, right before Breakdowns started.

    Isn’t Cindy a great guest? And despite the number of times you threw off on me, she never really took the bait, did she? HA!!!

    The discussion with Ynza was interesting, because I’m a HUGE Marshall Rogers fan, yet I don’t own this issue, and have never read it! I think I bailed on JLE after the Extremist storyline. This sounds so absurd, I think I can tolerate it’s inclusion of General Glory in one panel. I’m going to have to track this one down, since I know its not on the DCU Infinite app, for ….reasons.

    Another great episode, and these issues reminded me: Did you know Brainstorm has the honor of being one of the first Justice League villains cast in plastic and sold as a toy? YES! He was one of the characters included in Ideal Toys’ 1966 Justice League of America figurine line! Clearly he peaked then!

    Ideal JLA villains


  5. Great episode Shag! It was so nice to hear Cindy Franklin get to podcast without her husband dragging her down! And I love that you bring guest hosts like Inza who are fans that grow into podcasters.
    Thanks for the insight into why JLE is not in DC Infinite. I knew about that writer’s history but didn’t realize that might keep the books off Infinite. Still doesn’t explain why New Guardians is going on there though. I would think DC would be better off trying to get the rights back for Welcome Back Kotter!

  6. I do believe Shagg made an error while discussing Doctor Fate. Specifically Shagg mistakenly refers to the Female Doctor Fate that appeared in Teasdale Imperative as Inza Nelson. I believe that at this time Linda Strauss was operating as the good Doctor. Inza and Kent would not be resurrected and Restored to the role of Doctor Fate until right atround the time you read this post (or maybe concurrently with next episode’s issues)

  7. In Brasil the translation put the french people saying to beefeater: HEY MONSIEUR! WHAT IS YOUR SECRET IDENTITY? MARGARET THATCHER?! And i think that should be the one punch award, also i love the fact that despite being a ridiculous character, tortolini has gained a whole backstory, development and motivation, and I love Demmatteis for that.

  8. Impressive podcast most impressive.This is Liz Anne Oswalt. Seeing this average Joe with all of these two different weapons was kind of fun. Though yeah if Crimson Fox had not gotten him fired. This entire situation could’ve been avoided. Oh a bit off-topic I did like where Cindy mentioned that Chris has a Sgt. slaughter action figure. Irony I just bought a new Sgt. slaughter action. Mine has the two hands that can also do the point thing. Course mine is from when he was the Iraqi sympathizer for when he was able to wrestle Hulk Hogan. After taking the title from the ultimate warrior. So he could be the interim world champion. I’m just glad that the Sarge got a run with the title. Specifically this was after the whole Hasbro deal. Where he had to leave the WWF for a while because of the G.I. Joe deal.

    I bought mine because I’m planning to get some action force figures later. And if you remove the jacket it still looks like the swords which is kind of cool. For whatever reason the beret doesn’t fit on the action figure. But it did fit on a different figure I have from the Batman beyond line from Todd McFarlane stories. Go figure. I’ll just have to find a different hat for Sarge later. But he still looks cool. Sorry for the late lists on this. But I had been on vacation and just recently got back and getting back into the swing of working on the night shift at my job. The mort villains having a brief realization that it is what it is. Until finding out that their weapons are being used in a way that will implement them in a crime and quickly running out after doing multiple spit takes is kind of funny. It’s possible that fire could be kind of tall. And more than likely wearing high heels. And she is leaning on the table to use that post to our advantage.

    And why not she knows it will work for her. She’s comfortable using it why not? Beetle has been kind of a frat boy throughout. So he’s allowed his weakness to be exposed so she excluded. All is fair in the game. As long as it’s not the game of life. I’m guessing the chest thing is a reverse joke like people used to say when someone’s really smart. They’re playing chest while everyone else is playing checkers. And in this when they’re playing chess guys playing checkers so he’s kind of well not as bright. At least I assume that’s the bit. As for Orion’s outfit, let’s face it the new guides on exactly known as fashion icons. Not going to see Stacy London going on about how well-dressed they are on new Genesis. Mr. miracle is literally wearing the colors of the Christmas tree. And he’s added yellow to it. Though I am glad they realized rather quickly that that extreme 90s look was not working for Orion. Though his regular costume is kind of a reverse Superman outfit. Just instead of the Cape he has the helmet.

    And then we say fire and ice dressing as 80s as possible. Or early 90s. They look like they stepped off a Bengals video. Still there is blue beetle once again eyeing them. So yeah’s, I can see why fire with no she could use her assets to her advantage. The man Hunter freaking out at the end was kind of funny. So I am glad the reporter gave up all his notes. Still, they should give him back his job. Or Max should hire him to dig up information on other competitors. You would think a businessman of his stature would realize what an asset this guy could be to him. After all he got all this information on the JLI. Imagine what he could do when collecting data on their enemies. Are people who come into conflict with their funding. Or just information he could use for negotiations. This is an untapped market that Macs of all people should realize.

    Finally the Beefeater. This guy was a fun character and I’m glad we finally get to see him. They cover is pretty funny. And I do like seeing your Mars to Fawlty Towers. I didn’t watch the show too much. Though it is telling that it was popular enough for there to be at least two attempts to remake the show. One with Bea Arthur in the lead role. But unlike Sanford and son. And all in the family. This American re-creation of a British show did not work too well. At any rate I wish they had done more with this character. This goofball who is completely out of his depth trying to show the jail a how it’s done with been a great running gag. It’s too bad this is one of his only few appearances. Seeing the team up with general glory and this version of the Beefeater was funny. Though I did like general glory’s brief appearance in lobos back a bit better.

    While Marshall Rogers drawing the JLE. it sad he did become a regular artist on this that could’ve been great. The engines of the Beefeater was kind of funny. Though the security system is a bit odd. It looks like something Rube Goldberg would invent. And not something created by an advanced mind like Kilaqu. Though why you would have such a dangerous power source said in such a way that a weapon like that could destroy the whole building is kind of baffling. Did the JLE. Get their building design from the Emperor from Star Wars? This is the equivalent of the exhaust pipe that goes all the way to the main reactor. Just on a much smaller scale. It’s kind of embarrassing when your superhero headquarters is destroyed by a weapon that’s last use from the previous owner was to win at darts. I mean come on their attacks by despots all the time. Last issue they were attacked by a team of super villains that tried to take over the world. You would think they would have a better security system than something that can be taken out with a weapon that has been dropped down to a party favor.

    Still, it was good to see the Beefeater there. Can’t wait to hear the next podcast.

  9. Pastiche is a word I use all the time, so no need to run to the dictionary, but I still wondered how it applied to the story. No write-up (DC Wiki etc.) uses it because it’s not canonized, but I sort of thought that’s what Tortellini’s code-name should be–?

    Behind the scenes: After Shagg recorded with Cindy, he came into our Network chat to lord it over us that she was the best guest of all the Network All-Stars. I’m not taking that away from her, but the real difference is that Shagg was much NICER to her than he is to us. Maybe you just catch more flies with honey? I’ll ask Max.

  10. Thanks for another splendid show, taking in two fun issues. I’m so glad the Extremists story is over, talk about dragged out.

    Shagg you can get the Eaglemoss DC books very cheaply at the Zavvi US website (can I say that, or will the regular excellent sponsors make you remove it?).

    I loved Cindy’s origin story, it’s so sweet that she and Chris were enjoying DC books as toddlers, close by but never running into one another – think a really weird Sugar & Spike.

    I’ve looked and I’ve looked and I’ve looked again, but I just don’t see what Cindy sees as inappropriate re fire and J’onn on the cover. Help!

    The Pastiche title lettering on JLA is fab work from Bob Lappan, who might make a fun left-field pro guest.

    I love listening to Cindy, she’s so warm and wise and… logical.


    And welcome to my Twitter pal Ynza, I’d never noticed the unfortunate Inza anagram. Could it be that creator Gardner Fox planned to reveal her to be an axis spy but never got around to it, or changed his mind?

    I smiled at Mrs Dmitri reading a book by ‘Harry Robins’, presumably the DC version of Harold Robbins! And I really loved the Jimmy Cagney gag for Dmitri

    Dig Blue Jay’s paisley waistcoat and flip flops! Is it wrong that him going shopping in Paris with Silver Sorceress feeds into my theory that he’s gay? Mind, it’d have been nicely poignant if it turned that he and SS (and there we have initials as unfortunate as Inza’s anagram) were actually only pretending to have gone shopping and were really going to see a counsellor to discuss their feelings over the loss of their world. Can you imagine what a trauma that would be, to lose everyone you know as an adult, rather than a baby in Kryptonian blankets, then come to a new world, a parallel world, where you’re likely to meet another version of those you’ve lost?

    (Of course, this being comics, their therapist would turn out to be Dr Hugo Strange or somebody…)

    Cheese eating would not be an insult from a Brit – we love cheese!

    Bluejay’s black leather jacket was likely a reference to the Nineties trend for heroes to start wearing klunky bomber jacket… how could you have forgotten our Conglomerate chat so soon, Shagg?

    1. I think the image she sees is that J’onn’s right arm LOOKS like Bea’s right leg, where her right knee would be by J’onn’s cape and her right foot would be by J’onn’s heel. This makes it look like Bea’s legs are spread wide open! Yowza! I was a teen when this comic came out and you’d think my mind would have jumped at something like that but I’ve never noticed it before now! Thanks, Cindy!

      1. Thanks, it was obvious I was looking for something like that, but, probably because I first saw what I’m meant to see, I can’t change the image into looking dubious.

        I am an innocent soul.

  11. Cindy is amazing as always, what more needs to say about that! I looked because I’m that kind of person, and Bea is about 5’8″ whilst Ted is about 5’11, not that it makes a difference to the game but y’know!

    Yzna is an amazing storyteller and we share an obvious love of Power Girl! The fact that she’s probably more covered (Kara that is) than her regular costume make the who comments even more amusing to me, she’s also has a full-on Diana haircut here. And Stinky as a bonus. Also her reactions on the four panels near the ends are amazing.

    I knew that no one would miss the Faulty Tower’s pastiche, to bring it back around 😀 , and Michael and his wife are spot on to their TV show equivalents. It’s not clear in the comic but in the show, the wife is more ill suffering and often gets the better of Basil. Though she does put on graces to undercut it by shouting as she does here. Esteban is weirdly off-model to the other two, I think they’re going for a general British butler kind of looks otherwise I’m not sure why they changed the look.

    Tuppenny is very much a Victorian thing, like sensible people the kind who play football with our feet we just call it two pence! 😀

  12. The Pacific Canadian Embassy checking in here. Let me just empty the teleporter of all these atmospheric rivers!

    This episode had two fantastic guests! Everyone was a delight to listen to and hear their experience with the JLI. Though, having Cindy on without her other half makes me miss Chris not getting hit. Maybe she could hit Shag in the arm for some irredeemable comment? And hearing Ynza’s story was amazing. I love hearing everyone’s different experience with comics and how they got into the hobby.

    JLI – I loved Guy’s tongue sticking out on the cover. A reader could have no idea who the JLI were and would get the tone of the comic by looking at Tortolini and Guy. And the way the black rock weighs down Tortolini’s shirt as well how heavy his suitcase looks? Perfect! I know Hughes is known for his cheescake, but to me, he is also has a fantastic eye for detail. Maybe it’s just me knowing what’s coming, but it looks like Hughes is drawing Beetle a little chunkier here? Which would make it a great gradual transition as opposed to one issue he’s fit as a fiddle and the next issue he, well, looks like me. I should cosplay as heavy Beetle!

    JLE – I enjoyed this issue because of the humour compared to the previous Extremists storyline. But it’s around this time I dropped the JLE and just focused on the JLA (though I did come back for Breakdowns). I’m looking forward to the upcoming shows to see what I missed! Like you mentioned, Shag, the reference to Fawlty Towers was great, even though the depictions of the people are basically stereotypes. Maybe when DC gets tired of making Batman movies, they can make a JLE movie and have John Cleese star as the Beefeater’s father.

    Splatterhouse!!! A fantastic ad. TurboGrafx 16 was a weird thing and I wanted one so bad as a kid. I don’t know anybody in my neighbourhood that had one. It was either a Nintendo or the odd kid who had a Sega or the Richie Riches who had both. Maybe the kid that had a TurboGrafx 16 was the same kid who had an Atari Lynx?

    Well done everyone on another fantastic show! Keep up the great work!

  13. Great points in the podcast about how the JLA issue stars Wally Tortellini and the random low-rent supervillains he wins the weapons from–but it’s a delightful issue despite not having the main cast as the stars. Two points about this issue: 1) Tortellini is such an idiot. When the villains find him, beat him up, and take their weapons back, there was really no reason he couldn’t have fought them off. Sure, they outnumbered him, but he’d just fought off all those men in black, who also had guns! 5-6 unarmed guys in funny costumes should’ve been even easier for him to fight off, but he doesn’t. But I don’t mind that too much because it’s so amusing. 2) Blue Beetle beat up a bad guy! Blue Beetle actually did something besides crack jokes and pilot the team jet! As a Ted Kord mega-fan, that makes this issue some kind of milestone for me!

    As for the Beefeater issue of JLE, I was horrified to discover that when, inspired by the podcast, I went back to read it…I NO LONGER HAVE IT. When I purged my comic book collection a few years ago, I apparently got rid of it! Arrrgh! The agony! I am such a fool! Shout-out to my favorite insult the Beefeater hurls at the French: “Beret-wearing pastry-benders.” I don’t have the issue but I remember THAT. Probably because my dad and I went around saying it after reading the story! The things that stay with you…

  14. Meant to comment earlier: I actually had a letter printed in response to the JLI Beefeater issue. I just sent in a brief letter saying that his plan to join the JLI was “faulty reasoning,” and they replied “Well, he’s not a tower of strength like other heroes.”

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