JLI Podcast #45 – Justice League America #45 & Justice League Europe #21

Matthew Cody joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #45! Guy Gardner and Ice go on a date to watch an ice skating performance, but Blue Beetle has ideas on how to improve the date! Then Jeff Polier stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #21! The League moves to the London Embassy and the team members go shopping, all the while Captain Atom is thrilled to be demoted! Plus YOUR listener feedback!

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16 responses to “JLI Podcast #45 – Justice League America #45 & Justice League Europe #21

  1. Great episode guys! I really like this Date with density much better than #28. Basically, even with all his flaws, Guys is much less of a jerk and Ice is really in control. And that is the reason I can appreciate the cover’s gorgeousness much better, even when the consent question remains unanswered.
    The Oberon stuff… powerful and I’m really glad Hughes was around to convey those scenes (Hughes and Maguire are the masters of Max, as far as I see it).
    As for the Award moment: I have to go with the “wishful thinking” moment. The splash pages, good as they are, kind of become… a crutch? I mean 3? A bridge too far.

    Speaking of covers… reviewing the JLE cover this is conceptually so good! Not 100% sold on the character work (I feel Rogers was not there long enough to “get” the characters), but the layout and the design are fantastic. (I wrote this before you got to talk about Rogers character work. We are aligned).
    The story, same as the previous and the following, does feel like padding while Sears caught up on the next big saga (dull indeed). The only major points (besides the move to London) is the transfer of power, which is long overdue for Cath. BTW, Jeff was really good!

  2. Cheers to Matthew and Jeff for braving the embassies, some great comments as ever. I enjoyed both of these issues, the JLE one a tad more than the JLA one, as one date issue for Guy and Ice was enough for me; as ever, though, there were plenty of fun moments.

    I’ve only heard of Peggy Fleming (and Sonja Henie) due to Peanuts cartoons (Lord, I hate Woodstock).

    I really disliked the way that Oberon left the JLA book, he was such a great friend to everybody and just slunked off. I thought the League was supposed to be some kind of family, but they’re too busy being stupid to notice Oberon leaving. Then again, maybe he loved everyone so much that he couldn’t face an emotional farewell, so was happy to let the daft fight serve as a distraction.

    Re: the Justice League Europe cover I wouldn’t say the Power Girl face was a swipe from Alan Davies, to me she looks like a Stephen DeStefano ‘Mazing Man character. That grin!

    The pea souper when Power Girl and Captain Atom were crossing the road was ridiculous, we’ve not had that kind of thing since the Fifties – the Clean Air Act came in in 1962. And a pic of Karen in a bikini wouldn’t have made page 3 of a tabloid back then, it was topless models only.

    I didn’t find this JLE issue boring, I’d rather have interesting character interaction with yet another issue of the Extremists.

    My favourite scene was the Bluejay one, I can’t think why.

    Jeff‘s comments about people not being named or contextualised were very fair. I actually really liked the Rogers/Rubinstein art.

    Jeff was wrong in saying that Neal Adams and Jim Aparo were building on the work of Marshall Rogers – it was the other way around, if anything, both artists had at least a decade of experience on Rogers. What are you Jeff, young?

  3. Fun episode! I had forgotten about the giant-headed Guy Gardner character. I think they were injecting some Disney on Ice in there too. That show (which is still going) spun off of a Disney segment that used to be included in the Ice Capades from the 50s through the early 70s I believe. If you want to see some pure nightmare fuel, go look at the original Disney character costumes from Ice Capades. Mickey and Minnie look like they have had their faces half cut off! And Disneyland opened with these costumed characters in the park!

    I love Marshall Rogers. Folks who listened to Knightcast know that. He’s one of my absolute favorite Batman artists. And not to be THAT guy, but he followed Adams and Aparo’s lead in regards to giving us a “grim avenger of the night” version of Batman. Best capeage EVER. BUT…I don’t really care alot for his art during this period. He was going through a very…open phase with his art. Relying on lots of line work instead of spotting blacks. And his formerly dynamic figure work looked rather stiff. Now the opened look works for JLE here, but the stiffness adds to the…less than exciting nature of this issue. Maybe his heart just wasn’t into these assingments, but he did some work on GI Joe around this time too, and it was not his best work. His work on the Beefeater story last issue seemed more dynamic and a bit of a bridge between “classic” Marshall, and this version. Not long after this issue I was lucky enough to meet him at a VERY small comic convention near me, and got to geek out on him over his Batman work. He signed every Batman book he ever worked on for me! Thankfully he got to come back to Batman and show his greatness again in the early 2000s.

    1. I’ve seen advertisements that Disney On Ice is coming to my city in March. I checked out their first costumes, and you’re right, nightmare fuel! Maybe I’m still in the afterglow of podcasting with Shag about JLA #45, but I think it would be fun to take my family! I have a son, 17, and daughter, 14, that might opt out, but my youngest daughter is 10 so I’ll have to see if there is interest. Otherwise, maybe I’ll try to find some creepy footage of early shows on YouTube!

  4. Wow, loved this episode, Shagg! Both Matt and Jeff were great guests, but oh my gosh, Jeff’s poem! Awe-inspiring work, sir!

    JLA #45. I agree, the cover is problematic by today’s standards. A different angle I just noticed is how it reminds me of the covers from JLI #18 and #19, the Guy facing Lobo ones. No, I’m not thinking about a Guy-Lobo kiss, stop that. Just the profile shots of Guy and another character. It’s distinct enough to make me think this may have been an homage.
    This story is one of my favorites of the entire JLI era. It’s hilarious, Ice shows her quite strength, Guy gets a bit of a comeuppance, and the final scene being off panel is fabulous. My award goes to the full panel of the Guy-on-Ice figure in Guy’s bed. It’s the perfect climax of the story, complete with Guy’s choked reaction. You can almost hear the *snap* in Guy’s brain, totally setting up him going Looney Toons on Beetle. Love it!
    Hmm, does Oberon come back? Curse my memory, I *know* if he comes back, but for a change, I’ll keep my trap shut. :-X
    I had the pleasure of meeting artist Russell Braun at the 2021 Baltimore Comic-con, and he gave the usual “wow, I haven’t seen this in ages” reaction I expected when I asked him to sign this issue. This was one of his first jobs for DC, and we had a great time talking about it. That was fun.

    JLE #21: Not to be THAT OTHER guy, but I also didn’t like the artwork this issue. It’s strange because while I hadn’t seen Rogers’ Batman stories by this point, I had gotten his Silver Surfer issues, which were a mere 2 years before this one. And I loved his Surfer stuff! Well, mostly. His Ben Grimm didn’t quite work, but that was my only problem. And with Rubenstein inking both the Surfer run and this JLE issue, it’s not obviously an inking difference. Ah well, you try new things as an artist, and sometimes it doesn’t work out.
    I’ve been reading Captain Atom’s series on DCU Infinite along with this podcast, which has been great since I’ve never read it before, and I’m loving it. When it comes to love interests, I’ll say it right now, Cap’s got game. There’s Catherine in JLE, and in his series, there’s Nightshade from Suicide Squad, femme fatale Plastique, and the civilian woman who was born the same time as Cap, but is older than him because of his 20 year time jump. They’re all amazing, although Plastique is a *bit* scary. I guess flying around covered in silver must appeal to the ladies. Noted.
    Since Bluejay is an analog to Yellowjacket and Hank Pym, he could have had a partner-slash-love interest like Janet van Dyne, the Wasp. But we haven’t seen one yet, and it would have to be in flashbacks. (Oh right, JLQ #3 is coming up! I’ll have to look for that.) Any reason Bluejay’s partner has to be a woman? Bird names work pretty well for any gender: Cardinal, Sparrow, Starling, Robin, oh wait, is that one taken?
    I do like this issue. It suffers in comparison to JLA #45 in the same month, but I find it plenty humorous and gave us the JLE’s version of Moving Day.

    You know, another anniversary is coming up. This podcast will be 6 years old in March! Congrats, Shagg! And here’s to 6 more years of Bwah-hah-happiness! (Yes, I know how many issues are left in the series, and I stand by that statement, maybe minus 2 years.)

  5. Impressive podcast most impressive.This is Liz Anne Oswalt. This was the first guy and ice date, I had read. I think I got it for a birthday or Christmas with some other comics. It was what I ask for. Fires outfits are very 80s. Though they still work for her. Guy kind of reminds you more of peacemaker than Johnny Lawrence. Though that show kind of reminds me of the guy Gardner warrior comic way more than it does anything I read with peacemaker. It’s almost like all John Sina needs is to have a green outfit on any kind of be playing guy Gardner. But, the fact that the dates are going so badly with ice and guy kind of works. Oberon, leaving the team was kind of a bummer. Still it works well enough.

    Ice kind of dresses like somebody’s grandmother. I don’t really see the attractiveness of this. She looks like somebody’s grandmother getting ready to go watch their grandchild get a science award or graduate from high school. It’s great to see fire in her costume. Ice Capades at one time I worked for one of those convention centers that put on different shows. And they had the Ice Capades people there once. They were some of the nastiest people from what I can tell from having to clean up their locker rooms. Since we did the trash. Weirdly the nicest person was Taylor Swift to actually thanked us for cleaning up after her crowd. Though the person with the nicest fans was Alice Cooper. We did meet Mr. Cooper, but some of his fans at the tip to slowly cleaning the bathrooms. There was supposed to but they did. Moving back to the story. Fun to see that light ray knew what the Ice Capades were.

    Though I am slightly in shock of the two is probably the one I would’ve given the costume redesign to not to Orion. Since he’s kind of the one that needs it. The turtleneck look works for. Kind of disappointed in blue beetle. Attacking guys one thing that ruining his date is kind of a jerk move. There would be many other times to insult him, or demean him. Just ruining the man’s date. Won’t say what I would call this but it’s just bad form.Kilowog going along with it is a bit sad too. I mean it’s funny. It’s just they could have done this at a different time. There were for going with the Johnny Lawrence bit I wonder if guy went all Eagle fang karate on them? Also Orion I think would understand guy wanting to beat the slot out of these two. After all had a joke been done to him I don’t think he would’ve took it well. I get that he hates guy. But, I think this what’s he would’ve just let it go. All well. The Jem and the holograms type look fire is wearing at the end isn’t bad. Cool I can’t wait to see general glories appearance in this. The artwork deftly works better for her and this last part.

    Partially because I got rid of that god-awful dress she was wearing at the beginning. It’s not as bad as what Suze wearing. Looks like she shopped from the Joker collection. Still, even in the 80s and no one is winning a high fashion award. Any rate can’t wait to hear the next episode.

    I mainly know him from lobos back. A few issues of guy Gardner warrior. And the boxing issue from justice league.

    Moving on to the next issue. The inker and penciler’s styles do not work well together., Marshall Rogers art has looked way better and other things. And since I know the inker can do great things. For whatever reason this just did not work. Now that having to do with all of the day-to-day crap is kind of cool. And it makes sense that he gives to be just the field leader now. Okay, what is power girls big complaint? And the same thing she’s been complaining about throughout her time with the justice league? Let’s remember that from what she buys for Capt. Adam to give to Catherine. Doesn’t even tell him that this was what she’s doing. I’m glad this worked out well for Capt. Atom . But, had power girl misjudged the situation. She could’ve got Capt. Atom in a lot of trouble. Glad that she was right about them to. Still, she didn’t pick perfume, candy or a book. Or even some nice dress that Catherine might like.

    She went right to the “well hello there” gift. It’s very good that she did end up kissing Capt. atom on the cheek. And hopefully this relationship progresses. Because I hate to say it but I ship these two. She deftly does look better at the end of this comic and the bathroom with her hair up. Since I got rid of that god-awful dress she had at the beginning. It’s not as bad as what Suze wearing. Since it looks like she bought this outfit from the Joker collection. If you slapped an image of the Joker’s daughters head over Suze face you wouldn’t notice the difference. Seriously who did the wardrobe for this issue rip Taylor? I don’t think anyone would be getting a fashion award for this issue. Not even in the 80s. Any rate can’t wait to hear the next episode.

  6. I forgot that Oberon left the team in this issue! I think he does come back in Breakdowns, but it’s weird to reflect on, as of this issue, the only JL members left from issue #1 are J’onn, Beetle, and Guy! This was truly a team that went through a lot of upheaval.

    The JLE cover is interesting because you’d think the (as written in JLE) materialistic Wally would be overjoyed to be buried in merchandise, while Kara would be annoyed, but they’re kind of flip-flopped from what you expect.

    One of Marshall Rogers’ overlooked accomplishments is the new look of Deadshot. Before that, Deadshot had run around in a top hat and tuxedo (seriously!) and Rogers gave the character a really, really cool redesign whose basic aesthetics last to this day. I’m pretty sure Deadshot wouldn’t be what he is today without Engelhart and Rogers giving him a makeover!

  7. This was fun to listen to, Shag, and I enjoyed your other co-host for the JLE issue. Etrigan, er, I mean, Jeff was great! I look forward to the rest of the episodes, and love this podcast! BTW, I did give you a five star review 5 years ago entitled Just Listen Intently! It says Piperruth, and I don’t know if you knew that was me! Piper is my daughter, so maybe she set that name up or something and it posted that way.

  8. Pacific Canadian Diplomatic Office here. The Embassy/Consulate is frozen for the winter so we are operating out of a hipster craft brewery/logging tugboat. I really enjoyed this episode as the guests were fantastic. But, to be honest, the guests are ALWAYS fantastic and listening is such a joy every month.

    JLA – This talk about an “irredeemable” g(G)uy who was loved by a n-Ice woman despite all his flaws sounded…… similar to a certain host we know? I kid! I kid! Anyways, as fun as this issue was, looking back, with Oberon leaving, this really feels like the start of Breakdowns. And as much as I loved the Bwa-ha-ha era for these slice-of-life issues, showing Guy being such a jerk (even though he claims he’s trying to better for Ice), without showing any benefits he brings to the JLA makes you wonder why he’s on this team. Or even why the team would even want Guy! I mean, how many Green Lanterns for sector 2814 are there?? Surely they could get someone else?!

    JLE – Having stopped reading JLE at this point, who’s blue hand and white arm is that up by the DC bullet? Is that supposed to be Ralph’s gloved hand? As it doesn’t look like Ralph’s glove to me. And from the gallery posts, I have to agree with you guys, the art seems underwhelming and the story is a letdown after the great Beefeater issue. As much as I enjoyed your discussion, I’m not sorry I stopped collecting JLE at this point.

    And with all this talk of art, I curious what everyone thinks if, in an alternate world, Maguire/Hughes and Sears were able to stay on these books the entire time. Do you think the series would have lasted longer? Been more influential? The general vibe I’ve been getting from this series is that we all love the Maguire, Hughes, and Sears (even Ty Templeton!) issues, but whenever there’s a fill in artist, no matter how much we may like the story, it’s just not regarded as one of the better issues of the series. Isn’t that a saying? Great art can save a bad story but not vice versa?

    Anyways, no matter whether I like the issues or not, I’m loving this show! Everyone always knocks it out of the park every episode. Keep up the great work!

  9. I really like Kara on the JLE cover, but I must admit that the art inside really doesn’t do anything for me either. Whilst I hate to agree with Shag I really enjoyed this one, though I’ve often mentioned preferring the character beats over the action. It’s also a fairly Kara centric story, with her for once being helpful in trying to set up Captain Atom and Catherine.

    One thing that really stands out as weird is the Crimson Fox’s assistant calling her mum, it reads to me as if they’re meant to be a localised take on yes, ma’am but I can assure you we really don’t use it anything like that!

    Finally is there any real-world reason that the JLE was moved to London? It just seems especially weird as they spend much of this issue moving the Paris based characters from Paris to the UK.

    1. Although I also want to say that when they made the move, I remember being disappointed. London is just another Anglo-centric city, well exploited in Anglo-centric media. It solves some problems for the creative team and characters, but why not keep moving around continental Europe? Rome, Madrid, Prague, Brussells (if it’s good enough for the European Union…), there’s a missed opportunity there.

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