JLI Podcast #50 – Justice League America #50 & Justice League Europe #26

Captain Entropy joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #50! It's the final battle with the Evil Eye, as the truth about General Glory's past is revealed! Plus, Guy Gardner pays a visit to the DC Comics office! Then JT The Exterminator stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #26! Starro the Conqueror is dying and asks the JLE for help to return to his homeworld, but it goes horribly wrong! Finally, we wrap up with YOUR listener feedback!

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45 responses to “JLI Podcast #50 – Justice League America #50 & Justice League Europe #26

  1. Outstanding issues, outstanding episode. I have thoughts, so I hope this is not too all over the place.

    First, closing thoughts on General Glory: yes, this arc is much better than I remembered. What I do think now, in hindsight, is that back then I could not really “read” the heart and the pathos behind the General, Ernie, and yes, even Guy. I believe that still thinking as a teenager (I was 22, shut up), the JLI had gone from “smart funny” to “silly funny”. My bad. My WORST.

    On the discussion about New Gods and Mr Miracle being cancelled at the time (and the general idea that JLA/JLE were kind of jumping the shark) I believe it’s very much a sign of the times: we are now a year and change before Knightfall, Death and Superman, Artemis and such, a new phase, so to say, for DC.

    Now, the meat of the issue: the Kyle Baker story. Guys. GUYS. I loved it then, I love it now, it made me a lifelong Baker fan and I DID go out to pick up Why I hate Saturn. Besides it being extremely funny, the art is gorgeous (Guy’s Sam the Eagle face, hehehehe) and the inside jokes and characterization, boy: even if you are not familiar with Baba, if you had read Dr Fate, you are familiar with DeMatteis spiritual slant and the look (as drawn by McManus). And Crazy Keith…

    As for the JLE cover, which I love for all the stated reasons, at the time I made color photocopies of all 6 covers and held them in my bedroom wall. And the issue, I love, even agreeing with the flaws you found. I remember feeling the explosion was an actual GASP moment.

  2. First salute to to both the captain and the General and J.T and the captain did a great job .
    Also we here have welcomed three new members to our group . Muggsy the boy king’s twin bro ,Captain vegetable 2 , and Mighty Disc-Man . And are currently waging a war on mosquito force .

  3. No one told me that we’re using our made-up names! 😀

    I think the good Captain hit on something that’s bothered me about the JLA sometimes (more the JLE to be fair) with the comment about competent professionals goofing around in the off hours. Now I love a good comic book soap as much, if not more, than the next guy but the problem is because they do so little heroing a lot of their competency is implied. Which is ironic because in both the JLA and JLE we get to see them showing off some superheroics and just basically doing stuff.

    Personally, I have no strong feelings about General Glory at the end of the day, maybe it’s because we have a different view of our patriotic heroes. Look at the more goofy Brain Braddocks (Captain Britain) compared to the much more sincere Captain America!

    1. Might be my imagination but as well as noticing a little more Bluejay, Silver Sorceress seemed to be more present than in the previous issues. And I still kinda think Starro is the innocent here, not having read ahead, but maybe it’s because the “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!” is such an overplayed trope even at this point.

      And how could I not love an issue that has more Stiny the Cat appearances!

  4. Impressive podcast most impressive. The cover is fine. Though sadly it doesn’t really work as well as it could. Electric shock install the heroes is kind of cool. Though without work against the Martian man Hunter? As far as I know his main weakness is firing for a psychological thing that anything else. Not even sure if in her fiery form that fire is corporeal enough for electricity doing anything but whatever. Beetle kind of looks like Rob Kelly was told he had to read a trade paperback of the Legion of superheroes and review it for a weekly podcast. The inside artwork is pretty good. Admittedly I didn’t think of these issues at the time again I had stopped reading justly because I was in a small town and I only had a budget for so many comics I can find. At the time. Superman I had to get because well Superman. In other than KB toys I couldn’t even find the JLA. Much less JLE. Now I went back to laugh yet for college I went to my local comic store and picked up a few issues here and there. But, at that point general glory was already part of the team.

    And it was the issue where guy was boxing with blue beetle. And because this wasn’t written by Beau Smith. Guy got beaten up. This happened all the time before he was given a writer that found something to do with him other than making the Frank Burns of the group. This is of course in the back issue bins. At that point it was back to the JLA. And the comic was well horrible. As much as I like fire and atom smasher. The way they were handled at that time was not well. Luckily the invincibles writer let it be known he wanted to try to save the justice league. In an issue of wizard that came out not that long after. And also luckily DC comics decided to let him give it a shot. But, other than the aforementioned lobos back issues. I hadn’t really gotten a chance to read it glory in his heyday. Though from what I read in the back issues he seems pretty cool.

    No offense to them but I’m glad the new gods are gone after this issue. Orion in my mind wasn’t written correctly. He’s the guy trying to hold down his inner rage. You should probably root be written more like Wolverine and not just barbarian sub arc type. I don’t know enough about the new Mr. miracle to make a judgment on his character. He was fine here. Though fire and ice were done well. And beetle did have a good showing here. Though I’m not sure why they didn’t leave the dog at the base. Or with someone else. Do not have to bring the poor dog into the fray. Ernie was fine in this. Though I’ve seen better versions of Jack Kirby Ark types. Interesting that they have the girl that loves glory. Die while he’s out of the state of being himself. Since that was later used by marvels movies for Capt. America. At that point in the comics Peggy had just gone on with her life. And Was dating her sister or Nice I can’t remember how much time I passed that point. So the relationship changed.

    At this point I’m sure she would be Peggy’s great-granddaughter. But at that time she was her little sister I think. Or great-niece. The JSA working with glory to defeat the villain in that flashback panel was kind of cool. Sadly the general never made an appearance in Batman brave and the bold. I think he would’ve fit well. The last general glory story was done pretty well. In where they have the Weird Way, Kirby was signed his art on the side of the helicopter. Probably not the exact numbers and letters. But, similar enough. Any panel where the evil Dr. is kicking glory out the helicopter. The team gaining glory and the new Mr. miracle works out well in the end. The artwork is kind of cartooning. But, it definitely fits the story. It is crosshatched within an inch of its life. So the whole “feminine energy” thing from the art does not fit. Just so happens the artist had a cartoony style.

    I think the belief system that there is a more softer cartooning this from female artist comes from the fact that the first big one to hit was Cynthia Martin. Ramona Fradon. But, there were several different artists that were making waves it happened to be females in the comics. While one can argue that of course was strong in a Monga inspired style. And I couldn’t tell you if it was her or her husband during the artwork since Wendy penny and her husband take turns doing artwork and writing. I think. I think she does most of the art. But, I wouldn’t say that fits into what is generally considered Mogna these days. For instance the same time when I was picking up these back issues on the shelf a certain image imprint had just started. Which I believe they had issues before it was brought over to image by its creator Colleen Doran. I realize that that had at one time been published by the aforementioned Wendy penny and her husband. After Wendy went back to once again self-publishing elf quest and the different elf inspired comics they had. So while 1979 is not the earliest a female artist of some note has been there.

    I have to disagree with Frank that big profile names of artists in comics didn’t really happen until recently. In fact she was scouted by Keith Giffen him self. So to say that the big boom of comic artist didn’t start till a certain Vampirella model showed that she could also drawled on well. Doesn’t hold water. Though Amanda Conner. Did make quite a splash in comics as an artist. Speaking of Vampirella. One could almost laugh when someone calls the costume sexist considering it was created by artist Trina Robbins whom even wrote an issue or two of wonder woman. Her bring part of the l Eisner Award Hall of Fame. As well as being nominated for a Hugo makes her a bit known. Well, I could go on. Still that’s ignoring the whole comic. Which is unfair because it was pretty cool. And I was glad to see general glory back. The bit with Giffen and all of them was kind of fun. At the time I wouldn’t have liked work. I didn’t enjoy what he did on the shadow. Mostly because his style did not fit that character.

    And when you go from Chackin to Mr. Baker’s style. It’s a little jarring. Though I wouldn’t call him an indie artist. Since he had worked at Marvel and DC before this issue. The aforementioned shadow comic. Some work he did for Marvel. And of course this issue. And him having worked for Warner Bros. cartoons. Kind of doesn’t make him an indie guy. I wasn’t really into the Piranha press imprint of DC. So I to missed his issues of why I hate Saturn. It’s also an Eisner winner. So I’m guessing it had some sort of merit to it. And hey he even drew and eight the film adaptation of the Howard the duck a movie. So not only does he have Marvel credits for that. But, Lucasfilm. Back when those two are separate entities. Now I saw his artwork for plastic man in Wizard magazine I thought it fit way better than it did on shadow. So I might have picked up. Had I found it. This style definitely works for this very cartoony bit at the end.

    The addict eyes they give the artist of this comic does work pretty well. From the artist of the main story not Kyle since he was in this comic. Guy being the giant purple dinosaur was kind of funny. For this a Barney jokes? The end jokes about comic fans being pedantic about things and comics. Was funny even though it kind of hit close to home. I myself would never be pedantic about anything in a comic book. Ignore the parts of letters where I’m pedantic in this post. Moving along. Since the military is still being used in this I want to point out that it Reminds me of the action force comics as well as their toy line. In fact Boby V has even acquired the steel brigade. Which has the old file court gimmick from when Hasbro had it. Though they lost the rights to it and now he has. And you can kind of do your own character creation from the file card. It’s only one you can see who looks the database. And isn’t officially part of the toy line. But, it’s nice to have.

    They have the regular one, the night ops on. And the one I’m waiting for the female steel brigade trooper. I’ve already bought the regular one in the. but to make my own i am waiting on the female version that I pre-ordered. And hey Capt. entropy can even make his own from the regular one. And call him flying pinwheel.:D

    Kidding, kidding. Still was good to hear the captain on this episode. Moving right along. I really can’t say much about the JLE cover. Says at this point this cover had been copied to death. The homogenous of this cover were just a regular. Well the JLI cover this was based on. I’m not even sure how rocket red is being controlled. After all in the movie they had it wear masks stopped the creature from controlling people. They had changed the way store works but I didn’t think that much. So how it’s getting through his ironman like suit I have no idea. Nor why one is on his arm. The story itself is fine. I don’t have too much to say for it. The giant splash page at the point where the justice league meets star who is more impressive. I was more impressed by the one-point perspective than even thinking about all the butt shots. I must be getting old. All the glorious but on display here. Men and women. And the forementioned side boob. And my mind goes to the fact that your eye is drawn to this starfish. And that every person is in such a way said Sir I will drift to him. But keep them in perfect perspective of the shot. And that every bit electronics also points directly to him. Flowing naturally. Everything that slightly breaks the perspective is the curtain. But if it’s in such a way that it doesn’t hamper it.

    And even though Kara is in the foreground. The first thing your eyes drawn to at least for me is the giant starfish. The big reveal peace. That everything is built around. Even the rocks in their feet seem to fit within this one-point perspective shot. The wires are even set in such a way to where they draw your eyes towards the starfish. At least for me. Which again is because I’m getting old. And not noticing all the sexy butty. This story reminds me of that one episode of Dr. who during the 12th doctors time. I carry Ms. and 13th. And Jodi as the 14th. Since after all you can’t discount the war Dr. at any rate in that issue the pepper pots creator Davros. To ask the doctor into using his regeneration energy. Saying that he’s dying and wants to see the sun last time. So that the doctoral uses energy to let him see. But, in reality he’s using it to revitalize the Daleks.

    I wonder if the doctor who people had read this comic and used it. For The Witch’s Familiar. Then again maybe this plot has been used elsewhere before. And I’m just not aware of it. Or maybe it’s just because I have a warped mind and it goes back to remember this story plot and that. As for the last bit at the end. It’s fine. Clearly this was done by an American team. I can’t say too much about the hat at the instance I own a bowler hat. Any rate can’t wait to hear the next episode.

  5. Dear Shag and co….

    There seems to be a problem with my podcast app. Normally once I finish an episode it just starts the next one automatically but after this episode it seems to have stalled and not loaded the next episode in the series. What is even odder is that there seemed to be two episodes appear over 5 days which after consulting my notes on the time space continuum could have caused some sort of vortex, rift, wormhole type thing. Can you investigate this please?

    While I’m here I would like to say that the guests this episode were comedy gold. The joke about the publix ice cream (don’t worry I’m not going to delve into that conversation again) and the revelation that we ended up with an actual comic character on the show in Starro honestly caused me to laugh out loud again. Which if you are listening to the podcast while running is NOT a good idea (particularly when heading up hill).

    As for the issues themselves I will need to go back to check out my JLA 50 for the back up to read it again. I think at the time I completely ignored it the first time I read it. I might well have been annoyed about the story, but thats probably because it came out just before I started to learn how comics were made. Sure I’d been to the UKCAC 90 Convention in Glasgow (and the follow ups in Glasgow) but I didn’t really follow the behind the scenes elements of comics until probably after I met and chatted with Jeff Smith of Bone fame and the Bierbaums of Legion Fame. I think that was the 1992 show. So my appreciation for this back up – then would be almost zero. Looking back I wish I’d known more about the history of comics when I was in my mid teens before I started University.

    As to our Starro issue with JLE Sear’s cover is fantastic and indeed I do love the Face hugger Version of Starro – did it appear before or after Alien I wonder. I too was shocked at the history of Starro who like Shag (honestly can’t believe I am agreeing with him) was convinced Starro had far more appearances than he actually did. I do think the next appearance of Starro is over in L.E.G.I.O.N. or R.E.B.E.L.s ?

    Finally to the feedback section. Maybe I’m wrong but does this mean I can say “JLI Bwah-ha-ha Podcast – I’ve completed it mate” it’s been a very fun and unusual experience to blitz through the show – starting in June and to manage to catch up before October (which had been my target catch up point). The evolution of the show which might have seemed slow to some of you felt fairly rapid at points. The dropping of segments from the One issue per month shows really annoyed me at the time – particularly monitor duty – but I got over it. What I thought was really odd for me was the gap between guests returning didn’t seem that long to me, only a couple of weeks in some cases. The amount of International Guests particularly English guests was surprising – and that so many of us from the old country had encountered the work and efforts of Martin Gray made me chuckle, as too the stories of hunting for issues before comic stores became a thing…. There’s a story or two there (which I’m working on right now for something else that might appear soon).

    Right then I’ll leave it here and get back to trying to get the next episode to download… any idea how long tech support round here will take to get it fixed?

        1. Cool. Oh no I figured from older conversations on the board. both Smart Alecks. you’d just say something snarky back. Glad to hear you found that funny. I was worried I upset Rob or someone. I was pretty sure you’d get that I was kidding.

          1. Liz, all I can say is what I learned on Bat-Family Reunion: Your Steel Brigade trooper will NOT wear all green!

            Seriously, thanks for the comments and the vote of support!

    1. Doug, good to know JT and I each generated an actual laugh (even if you did have other uses for your oxygen at the time). I thought the Starto gag was brilliant, also. Publix ice cream forever!

      1. Martin didn’t you come along to Edinburgh Comic Con (the ones at the EICC?) I was sure we’ve crossed paths there recently – either that or someone similar to you visited my stall at some point (I don’t recall you or your look a like being the audience when I was interviewing some of the guests).

        1. Interesting. We’ve not been for, oh, maybe six years. I remember my boss’s young son Harvie was there dressed as Dr Fate, he’d have been about ten, and he’s just gone off to uni last week. I apologise if we’ve met and I’ve forgotten. Maybe Shag can bring us together at the Scottish Embassy!

          1. Was that the Lad who cosplayed as a different JSAer every year?

            If it was, his Jay Garrick with a colander on his head with paper wings was inspired. He also rocked up as Wesley Dodds another year.

            I think our paths have crossed but it’s unlikely you will have remembered me unless you had been looking at the still unsold brand new in box Super Powers Hall of Justice!

            As for a Scottish Embassy meet that would be a laugh.

            However I am NOT bring the Ferrero Rocher

      1. I now feel super old if that lad is off to uni. He was a complete highlight of every show that James ran. He and his Dad always came by our stall (when I wasn’t running around hosting panels, co-running the LEGO displays or co-ordinating the show volunteers a bit) and every year it was amazing what he managed with his costuming for JSA. If you are in touch with him please tell him me and my family say hi!

        I’m now convinced you and I have met Martin – but those Cons were a long time ago. I did the first two at Potterrow then all the EICC shows (and a couple of the smaller marts at the Counting House), but alas financially it wasn’t viable going forward for James to run them after having to swallow the costs of the cancelled shows in the Pandemic.

        1. We should sort a coffee. Harvie”s dad, Will, is the loveliest man. I stopped going to the comic com cos they never had any actual comic guests. So frustrating!

          ‘Doug and Mart had a long exchange about Edinburgh comic cons, if you want to see what they said, go to the show page. Ewerton Vieira Do Carmo said…’.

          1. Lol!
            Our shows always had Comic Guests at least.
            Not just locals but a lot of DC and Marvel Talent.

            But maybe leave this discussion for another day. Shag already lost control of one comments section!

  6. I decided to search my JLI collection, to research and make a video about General Glory and I was surprised to see that the five editions of Justice League America about General Glory were published in numbers 50 and 51 here in Brazil and as for Starro’s story this is the perfect example of how to balance comedy and how serious these villains are, watching The Suicide Squad it was impossible not to remember her

  7. Oh, bravo on covering these issues Shagg, Captain E, and JT. You did a great job, and such a fun listen. Kudos! Rocky Road ice cream for all! (food sensitivities permitting, of course)

    But no Shagg, I am not yelling at the podcast when you guessed. 😉 And I will totally own that reputations, as it’s my own fault. I always enjoy being along for the ride.

    JLA 50: Could this cover be an homage to JL #2’s cover? Antagonist up above, loosely based on Marvel character? The team writhing in pain? Energy/electricity? Maybe?

    Now I *was* wincing at the statement of “Shilo’s joining the team.” Because if you look at the page again, it’s never stated that he’s joining. Max is trying to recruit him, but Scott is a hard “no”. And is it a spoiler to say a character won’t be coming back when the stories never mention him again? Well, 30-year-old comic, so I hope not. But it does reopen the question: why were Shilo and Scott in this storyline? My feeling was it played with the guest star trope, thumbing their nose at a guest appearance being for a big reason, and just including the Miracles because they thought it’d be fun, or just to expand the cast for the anniversary issue. Or they had plans for later, and the upcoming Breakdowns series changed their direction dramatically, so those ideas got scuttled. Those are probably ideas that Shagg or the guests already said, so I apologize for my senility.

    Kyle Baker’s story was hilarious! Love love love! But wait, no mention of next issue’s villain? QWERTYUIOP? How rude!

    JLE #26: Having read both JLA Volume 1 Starro stories this year, I can confirm being surprised that he didn’t appear more. Part of my perception was seeing ads way back in the day of that terrifying Brian Bolland cover, and maybe single-panel flashbacks to the original League fighting him, because he’s visually fascinating and goofy at the same time. It’s like we’re subliminally trained to think Starro is a bigger deal than he is. Wait! Has Starro been using his mental powers on us all along? That… that … that doesn’t make any sense. Things are perfectly fine. The great Starro is all. Hail to Starro. Excuse me, I need to dispose of all of my lime. And Snapper Carrs.

    1. JLI had a lot of weird cast decisions. When you look at Shiloh, Orion, Lightray, Dr Light, Captain Marvel, both Doctors Fate, Animal Man, Wonder Woman, Huntress, etc. it’s a constant revolving door! On one hand, that adds to the chaotic and frenetic vibe of the JLI, but on the other hand you wonder what was going on behind the scenes that characters kept getting snatched away or given the boot like that!

  8. Your side comment about “Ratzis,” and whether it’s a comicbook word, or even retconned, reminded me of a Three Stooges I saw years and years ago. I haven’t found the one I’m thinking of (my mind may have built it from parts of several shorts), but I did find “Back from the Front” from 1943, where towards the very end Moe shouts out, “You Ratzi!”

    So it’s probably not the only time, or even the first. If — as so often happens — you get thrown back in time, rest assured you can razz ratzis with the best of them.

  9. Excellent show and excellent guests, Shag! I always enjoy hearing from Captain Entropy but was even more gob-smacked when you got Starro! STARRO! And here I thought Rob getting Alex Ross was a big get. And Starro did not disappoint. Both guests were wonderful and I had an enjoyable time listening to this episode.

    JLA – Being the end of the General Glory storyline is a little bittersweet for me. I did enjoy the story at the time, but I understand (and appreciate) it better now as an adult. But knowing that Breakdowns is not too far away brings sadness to the Bwa-ha-ha’s. But something that will cheer me up? That fantastic Kyle Baker story! I laughed out loud on almost every single page. So good!

    JLE – Shag, I’m glad you said Blue Jay did nothing. I’ve been pretty positive for both teams (even though I’ve stated I enjoy JLA more than JLE) but, boy, I did not like Blue Jay. I always thought he was useless. They never really gave him anything to do or say and he was there, mostly, to balance Silver Sorceress complaining about their destroyed home world. There. I got the grumpy old man yelling at clouds out of my system, so I can now say that I really enjoyed this issue. There’s not many world conquerors that would be okay to ask for help, so it’s nice to see Starro able to do that. I haven’t read ahead but I’m guessing this was Starro’s plan all along. It’s not a great plan, but it’s his plan so you do you, Starro. As a side note, we all love Starro and think he was in more comics than he was, but how come a giant, planet-conquering cosmic starfish is okay, but the Legion’s giant, space-travelling whale is reviled?

    Finally, it’s nice to hear Shag finally going through that special time in a boy’s/man’s life in the feedback section. Hopefully Rob will sit him down and talk about the birds and the bees and why he has hair in places he never had hair before.

    Well done, everyone! This was thoroughly enjoyable show. Keep up the great work!

  10. Thanks for another unfeasibly fabulous episode Shag, with two fresh guests! I missed Captain Entropy on MASHcast (insert your own asterisks) as I only ever caught the odd episode of the show, so it’s great to hear him here – that skydiving story was amazing. And JT did a brilliant job of fully grabbing the co-host reins…. has that pesky Starro left yet? If not, well, JT will save on moisturiser.

    The Glory story ended well, I was glad to see the Laughing Legend of World War Two join the JL, because his look is so great. I agree, though, he should have been the one to deliver the final blow, not Ice and Orion… mind, at least Orion is a Kirby fella, so there is a link to the General.

    I wasn’t sad to See Orion and Lightray de-League, they never settled in with the team… it’s always weird when New Gods are added to non- New Gods teams, they don’t sit right. The Fourth World characters should stick to their own corner of the DCU, the full-on Jack Kirby sensibility doesn’t sit well with the regular DCU. The JLA/JSA team up with the New Gods and the Legion’s Great Darkness Saga were, in part, so special because Kirby concepts dripping into the regular DCU had become a rarity. The Fourth World folk are overused today.

    Also, Orion in this run looked spectacularly unattractive.

    Shag, I think you’re right about that splash pic of Ice running from the falling craft being a homage, it’s sooooo familiar. As you say, though, it could just be the Action Comics #1 vibe… if one of our visual or memory pals, Chris or Damien, say, hasn’t got it by now, we may be reaching.

    I bought Why I Hate Saturn at the time it came out and remember rather enjoying it as a change of pace from my usual comics fare.

    I love a Starro story, so enjoyed this JLE arc loads. OK, it’s the usual thatched cottages view of the UK once you get outside of London, but it brings the tourists in, I suppose. I agree that the way Captain Atom and co ignored Wally over the Starro threat was a disgrace, and yes, Shag is entirely correct, Starro’s previous forays into conquering Earth really should have been on everyone’s radar. Well, beyond Captain Atom, who was lost in time. And Kilowog, who was in a different space sector. And Karen, whose history was fuzzy. And Silver Sorceress and dreamy Blue Jay, who were on a parallel world. But still, Wally gave a warning, Metamorpho was likely around and Elongated Man, as noted, had fought him, they should have been a lot more wary.

    Who made that comment about England having ‘puny dogs’? I couldn’t tell. Cheek.

    I liked the art a lot, but what’s going on with Catherine’s head? She’s not hot, she’s Hector Hammond in drag.

      1. I agree Mr Miracle and Big Barda should be more prominent in the DCU – Their whole premise is to escape the Fourth World after all.

        As to Martin’s point about the JLE membership not listening to Wally. I had to double check but it could actually be correct that Wally, Ralph and Rex are possibly the only heroes who might actually remember Starro. I was going to hand wave Ralph not remembering him if he had actually been Starfaced and there was perhaps a whole post hypnotic “forget me” thing going on there – but checked JLA 190 Ralph never was captured. Also of course in JLA 189-190 They had Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman in the league which post Crisis is very very hazy if it ever happened at all. If I’m honest I’m never actually sure if Superman only ever joined the Post Crisis JLA in the Dan Jurgen’s era or not. I think that’s the case but I’d need to check JLA Year One (well I say I need to check, any excuse to re-read that book is welcome).

        Regardless of all of this even if the JLA of the time post crisis had fought Starro it might not have been the face hugger version. So I guess it is entirely possible that the post Crisis Starro appearances would be Big Fish vs the JLA of Flash, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and Aquaman …. and then … JLE ? That would make Wally the only person who actually had heard about Starro via Barry and no-one would have a clue about the face hugger versions.

          1. I concur , indeed I’m swiftly coming to the conclusion that some of these comics are just made up stories.

    1. Martin, there’s a longer, more detailed version of the skydiving story, but it’s better face to face, and with alcohol. Next time one of us crosses the pond.

  11. I don’t have much to say about JLA #50, other than it’s weird that Orion and Lightray were brought in to beef up the teams strength in case another Despero-level threat came waltzing in, and when they leave they’re replaced by…General Glory? No offense to the good general, but if I think if Despero comes gunning for me I’d rather have the two New Gods on my team, just saying.

    I think it’s awesome that JT the Exterminators business is called Freedom Force! I wish he operated in my area. I love imagining Pyro and Avalanche to come out and destroy my latest ant infestation, the Crimson Commando sneaking up on and shanking an intruding mouse, or the Blob sitting on and crushing some roaches. I can imagine Destiny drumming up business for them. “I see a vision of the future…you may get termites in the next year…best to invest in our hassle-free maintenance plan now.”

    JT’s observations on Rocket Red are great ones. Later on in JLE (after Giffen is off the book) they do get into the implications of the Soviet Union breaking up and the impact on Rocket Red, but Dmitri is not a regular cast member at that point. There was a lot they could’ve done with Dmitri and didn’t. JT raises a good point about Dmitri, and I think it could be applied to guys like Bluejay and Silver Sorceress, too, if they’d had a higher profile in JLI, would they’ve been used for something other than cannon fodder later? It’s an excellent question and worth speculating about. After all, as a writer myself, I’m of the opinion there are very few “bad” or “lame” or “unusable” characters, each one is one good writer/story away from being a well thought of classic. A great example is Bullseye, who was kind of a goofball villain until Frank Miller got a hold of him. Or even Deadshot before Engelhart and Roders revamped him. To some extent, JLI did some of these characters a disservice. No reason Dmitri or Jay or the Sorceress couldn’t be major players or at least medium players now if an interested writer had come along and done something with them other than them lingering in the background.

  12. There’s another cartoon cat that resembles Kara’s cat…anyone remember Bill the Cat from the comic strip Bloom County? Bill wasn’t violent but otherwise he’s pretty similar!

  13. I’m not listening to most podcasts at a rapid clip these days, plus I started this one and got sidetracked by a week or so, and only then realized that I also haven’t finished episode 49 yet, either. But it’s the 50th celebration, so I need to get this in. I got into JLI largely because of the art of Kevin Maguire and how it combined with the work of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis to bring out the best in all involved. Like it or not, Jack Kirby’s work was never as good without Stan Lee scripting over it, and even if Maguire was technically better drawing other books, he was never going to have the same impact on Trinity Angels or even with good writers on other familiar IP. He will always be the great JLI, and especially nowadays, most people want all three on a funny project rather than the constituent parts. I recognize that Adam Hughes is an objectively swell artist, but he just never spoke to me in the same way on any project. I’m not as fond of Ty Templeton’s art as most here, and it was actually his run on JLI that eliminated my desire to continue picking it up. On the other hand, I really enjoyed Bart Sears’ art, but the writing and character selection on JLE turned me off. At this point in the publication history, I was long gone, and didn’t at all miss these titles. I do think I picked up #50 off a newsstand out of curiosity, thought “yuck” and put it back.

    I look at Linda Medley’s art here today, and I can appreciate the level of detailing. I get why someone thought she would work on this book. I don’t hate it on its own merits. But I still dislike it on a Justice League title. I don’t feel that it has the characteristics that I desire from a mainstream super-hero book. The heroes are stylized in a way that is better suited to a fantasy or humor strip, and the place where JLI lives is in straddling the line between comedy and super-hero dynamics. All of the previous artists either hit the mark or were close enough to it while favoring the heroic. Medley lands well on the comedy side. It looks like an Inferior Five, like an intentional parody, and JLI was often perilously close to falling into humor mag territory. DeMatteis has talked about writing the Despero arc as a satire of his “Fearful Symmetry” arc in the Spider-Man titles, but it still work when viewed as straight action/horror thanks to Hughes. Medley isn’t fooling anyone. Mike McKone still drew everyone to look cool as they fought evil flesh-eating penguins. Medley draws everyone as a goofus, so it only plays as humor, and the book hasn’t worked very well in that capacity for some time. I’d argue that the last truly amusing story was “A Date With Density!” The Wally Tortolini stuff was lame, and I still view Beetle and Booster as criminal embezzlers unworthy of heroic status over the “Club JLI” debacle. “Solicitations” was barely passable thanks to the cameos, and “Maximum Force” is pretty terrible. The worst crime of “Glory Bound” was that Medley didn’t carry enough water to drown out the stink the writing had begun putting off.

    You’ve made passing references in recent episodes, but who are all these people hanging around? Silver Sorceress and Blue Jay? Orion and Lightray? Beefeater? There’s all these SNL utility players trying to angle for their own skits without the chops, and then we devote a five issue arc to Brad Hall. Captain America is one of my all-time favorite super-heroes, and the Steranko-inspired statue is looking down at me from a bookcase as I write this. I should be a sucker for other patriotic heroes then, but the simple fact is that comics were filthy with them in the Golden Age, and we don’t need any more. General Glory is such a by-the-numbers lift, and really even more so of Simon & Kirby’s Fighting American with its meta humor, that he arrives at best a third rate rip-off. For a team struggling with legitimacy in the eyes of the greater fan community, he’s so obvious and worthless an addition as to be the JLI’s Cousin Oliver. He’s a grinning star-spangled horsemen of the franchise’s apocalypse, created not so much to contribute to the team as a vehicle for particularly cynical and mirthless easy gags. A book that once played straight enough to find humor within a dire circumstances or have it arise naturally from character now trots out a cornball stiff to serve set-ups. Regardless of intent, he makes a mockery of patriotic heroes, and really of the entire Justice League. He announces with full throat that Batman has left the building, and even Aquaman at his cultural nadir has better places to be, so long as its away from here. General Glory hijacks the title for a five issue backdoor pilot, just to stay and crowd the background. Three issues later, the extended arc to wrap up the run began. General Glory is trash, Giffen & DeMatteis knew it, and he signaled the need to get off the stage before they embarrassed themselves further.

    I really hate to point at a female creator as the point where JLI started to suck, so I’ll just blame Giffen & DeMatteis for not providing Linda Medley with better stories to draw in a way that I still don’t find appealing regardless. Actually, I’m going to really piss some people off and point to the bloom first falling off the rose when Ty Templeton didn’t replace Kevin Maguire, and that Adam Hughes papered over rough patches when the writing started to turn. Coming too soon to the JLI Podcast, “The Teasdale Imperative.” Try not to notice all the stupid crap with Power Girl’s cat, the Conglomerate, and the Spy parody pages while you’re trying to enjoy the Despero arc, gang. Anyway, Cousin Oliver Glory certainly underlines when the hard times truly hit, and I encourage indignant listeners to rank their favorite General Glory stories on a scale of Nightcat to NFL Superpro (I personally place “Glory Bound” ahead of Street Poet Ray, but “Visions of Glory” below Illuminator.) Never forget that time they tried to reboot General Glory in the last issue of JLQ by lifting wholesale from a recent Image comic when they were at peak derivative (and from a Captain Marvel swipe besides!)

    By the way, DC definitely paid Kyle Baker a full rate in all disciplines for his back-up story. By this point, they were very corporate, and everything had a concrete pay scale. I still have my battered copy of Why I Hate Saturn from an early ’90s printing. Certainly better than anything covered on this show in some time, so please do yourself the kindness of getting a copy.

    1. Hey I loved NFL Superpro! I almost got a copy signed by Fabian Nicieza at Edinburgh Comic Con but we got side tracked talking about my copy of New Mutants 97 going missing and his 50 copies being water damaged….

      So is Nightcat bad and NFL Superpro good? Just trying to get the scale right as I only know one end.

      1. Whoops. I accidentally left in my copy & paste from the Who’s Who podcast entry for General Glory from a few years back that I was supposed to use as a guide to avoid redundancy, but then plum forgot about while adding the Baker postscript after it. Looking back, it was maybe redundant after all, but I prefer to consider it the director’s cut of my Who’s Who vibe. But to answer your question about the recycled scale, it isn’t a ranking of good to bad, but more Nightcat being closer to Nelson Illuminator: Like A Nuke From Heaven, and NFL Superpro being on the Marvel Music Billy Ray Cyrus by Paul S. Newman & Dan Barry end, with Power Pachyderms serving as balance. I trust that makes perfect sense now and there will be no further notes.


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