JLI Podcast #51 – Justice League America #51 & Justice League Europe #27

Jonathon Riddle joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #51! It's alien's night out on the town, but you should expect the unexpected when G'nort is involved! Then John Koos stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #27! Starro the Conqueror controls London and Martian Manhunter comes to the rescue... or does he? Finally, we wrap up with YOUR listener feedback!

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31 responses to “JLI Podcast #51 – Justice League America #51 & Justice League Europe #27

  1. Corrections department: 180.

    Also, Firestorm and Power Girl absolutely hooked up at the end of Crisis on Earth Prime, the last JSA/JLA crossover during their time. After the entire story was, like all Per Degaton stories, erased from time and the teams enjoyed, as far as they knew, their only Crisis-free get-together the story ends with them about to commence some age-appropriate canoodling.

  2. “We’ll have to ask Tim Price, he’s the expert. Our Justice League historian!” Oh no, the pressure! I mean, sure, I know some stuff, and of course I have thoughts, but y’all know, I’m not that smart!

    JLA #51 is absolutely hilarious, right up there with Moving Day, and Date with Density 1 and 2. You covered it more than enough, so just know I concur.

    Adam Hughes artwork is phenomenal as always, I especially love his take on G’nort as a human, it’s just fun and silly. I’m not positive what his last issue drawing is, and I’m trying not to cheat while I write this, but I believe his last issue for interiors is JLA #52, but he’ll continue to provide covers for longer, maybe until #55? Ok, now I’ll look it up to see how I did. Please hold. (doo-doo-doooo-moooooon-riveeeeeer-doo-doo!) Interesting. Very interesting. (That’s code for WRONG, TIM, WRONG-WRONG-WRONG! THE SHAME!)

    Side note: on the final page, a Dr Kafka is mentioned as referring Black Hand to the sanitarium. What’s the big deal about that? Well, JM DeMatteis introduces a recurring character in his run on Spectacular Spider-Man, the psychiatrist Dr Ashley Kafka. And JM’s run starts with issue #178, which comes out one month AFTER JLA #51! So that makes this Spider-fan very happy!

    JLE #27 is embracing the horror movie feel very effectively, or perhaps more like a suspense movie like Sixth Sense. Some scary moments, but it’s mostly building up unsettling moods. But again, you covered it fantastically, so I’ll leave it at that.

    Now has the JLE bailed out the JLA. To my recollection, I would say “no” with an asterisk. There’s no story in either monthly series where I’d say the JLE rode in to the rescue. You could argue that’s how JLE #19 works since the JLA was told to not engage the Extremists, and the JLE saved the day, but it was a JLE story from beginning to end, so that’s a stretch. However, in JL Quarterly #1 and #2, there’s some dangerous situations, and the JLA is the point team in the story, but pulls in some JLE members to assist. That is a lot closer to a JLE bailout, if we say the JLA couldn’t handle the problem on their own. In #1, there’s fighting big toxic guy, and as it’s a big teamup of some JLA, some JLE, and the Conglomerate, you could argue it, but it’s a tough call. But for #2, J’onn is told Mister Nebula’s origin and plans for Earth, and almost immediately says “I’ll call the JLE for backup!” Now they just get Blue Jay and Crimson Fox, but the point stands, J’onn needed more help, and his first thought was the JLE. I think this qualifies! What do you and the other listeners think?

    Interesting to notice that Power Girl’s Atlantean origin is not referenced directly in JLE. I will offer that JLE #1 has Power Girl mention the “Lords of Chaos”, which she fought in her 80s mini-series by Paul Kupperberg, and was using her now-mystical background as a through-line to the chaos lords. That’s the only mention I can think of, and it’s like two degrees of separation from saying “She’s Arion’s granddaughter.” I’m sure Symbol Pending will correct any Tim-splaining on my part.

    And of course Dmitri brings the most sympathy, concern, and heart to this issue. Oh big D, I miss you, buddy. But hokey smokes, Shag and John, please don’t fight, both Rocket Red armors are great, Dmitri wouldn’t want you to argue. Come, let us go watch American cartoons and have smores and chocolate milk, it’s little Mischa’s favorite.

    Such top notch guests and discussion! Thank you all!

    1. Yeah, my brain went to that scene as well, especially as I’d quite recently covered that issue! I think, though I still have a few gaps in my knowledge after her Doom Patrol appearances (#13-14) her Atlantian heritage wasn’t really made a big deal off, at least until they bought it up in JSA Classified just before getting rid of it.

  3. Loved the episode, two great guests for two great issues.
    JLA: I wouldn’t usually pay attention to what is basically a fill-in issue such as this one, but the fact that it’s Adam Hughes really makes all the difference. I have to thank you guys also for pointing out all the little details because it really pays off, and makes for a better rounded experience. Also: the passing of time and a better comprehension of cultural references makes everything far cleverer than my 30-year memories.

    JLE: Love the plot twist of which JLErs could not get possessed, be it for skin or whatever. It really heighthens de tension, and the interactions amongst characters that usually don connect that way (well, maybe Dmitri and Rex. And it’s been mentioned the three of them are parents as well)

    The Splash page is one of my fave JLE Sears images under his more “refined” style. I just love it, don’t make me elaborate on that.

    About the pace of the issue: in the silver age, j’onn would have beem possessed in one panel, here we get to SEE the process as well as the emotions as mentioned. In favour.

  4. Having absolutely nothing to do with the comics, and not having read the show notes, once the JLE issue came around I thought to myself, “That’s not Jon.”

    You see, I have a friend who’s name is Jon Kus, which sound exactly like John Koos, and I thought that Jon (not John) started listening to F&W shows.

  5. Impressive podcast most impressive.

    I’m not the biggest fan of the dog boy Green Lantern’s. But, this was a fun enough issue. Though I do prefer he looks more like a dog man. Human noses a little different. Probably because I’m not used to sing it with him. The art for this story is of course spectacular. And look I’m not the only person to see Shaq as blue beetle. You know normal actual human versus comic book character fits well enough. Back to that minute. Norton greeting kilowatt was kind of cool. Though it’s not a complete 360 panel from what I can tell it’s more of a from back to two thirds. And then the next battle is of course a side view. The first person in the picture is deathly fire however the other one is ice. For one you can see a lot of Sahara under that is definitely straight hair. Having wavy hair myself I can tell you it doesn’t look like it would under that towel that is a woman with straight hair. And I’m pretty sure fire stranger here to make it less curly instead of making it more curly. So I’m guessing the woman in the bathroom is ice. That and that is a huge bathroom. That fits more of the modest style of ice than the Bostick style of fire.

    As a massive fire I have to think also the hair is matching with the towel. Anything see it by her ears by her neck and on the top of her head. I also don’t see fire after a night out coming home for a glass of Earl Grey hot. Well a couple of it anyway. And if the mug Is to say something a little risqué. I’m not sure. Since I don’t know best whatever in the West. It was probably a gift from Guy Gardner. And thus she keeps it for that reason. Since for whatever reason she is in love with the man. Martian man Hunter stay with the group is a good idea. And yes I can see booster gold at this point having way too much fun with these three gentlemen out on the town. Especially when the Laurel to his hearty blue beetle gets there. N’ G ort backing up at the cat’s presentation makes sense. Maybe it was foreshadowing to the oh so wonderful movie of cats that came out not too long ago. For all we know the Green Lantern ring lets them see the future. And he was having flashbacks to that terrible movie.

    One for such a high-end restaurant this waitress is extremely lucky. Having worked as a busser at a racetrack I can tell you if you had gum you would be home. And not called back. At least for a day or two. We had one waitress show up in black jeans instead of the required black slacks. The lady in charge of everything since her home. So the fact that the maître d’ is just talking to this woman. In such a high-end restaurant. Is a little far-fetched. She darn sure wouldn’t have a smirk on her face while blowing bubbles in front of her boss. In the back they may hang around and talk their phones. But, from my experience when I used to work on the racetrack and yes we carry that tree like that. At least I did. The other woman with the glasses how she’s carrying it. The minute you hit the floor you got things done. You went back to the kitchen look for your orders made sure it was there. But everything in by computer. Mitch you got everything out fast. Made sure your tips were split evenly with the waitress, the busser and definitely the bartender.

    As a person in the back room handled the alcohol definitely got there cut up front. The people cooking things got paid with the got paid. Once in a while you would be allowed to drink out of the submission with a glass. Eight to go to baffle you needed to. But she made sure to hit the floor as quickly as possible and got everybody’s orders entered through to them and in that Cleaned. There is no way in my experience. You would be sitting there blowing a bubble. Specifically on the sales floor in front of your loss. Deftly not in this high-end place for all the clientele looks well-dressed and everything. It kills the ambience. Nope sorry this is fiction. Even when I worked the concession stands. Down on the floor. You had to make sure he gave the right amount ice and got out of their stuff done quickly. As well as got all of their food done right. Had your dress right. Smiled right. Spoke perfectly. Dressed correctly. No one in their right mind would of been on that floor popping bubbles.

    I once got yelled at by a customer for putting too much ice in the glass as I thought I was trying to cut back the amount of soda they were getting the money. I wasn’t. But you had to be very careful with all that. Son of the woman chewing bubblegum in this joint isn’t happening. Does in the next minute her next job which would be very quickly. Would be her asking if you want fries with that at whatever the burger joint she could work at. You’re not working at a place like this. But does offer a paycheck. But, your best bet is the tips. A new will be made certain to preform your job properly. Granted it’s been years since I’ve worked in the restaurant industry. But some lady walking around with bubblegum in a high-end restaurant nope.

    The crazy psychotic killer and beginner of the black lanterns. At one point having superior phobia is kind of funny to me. I see a bit of colons work in that one scene where John is transforming from his human disguise to the more well-known Martian man Hunter look. This is not his true for. But, it’s the one everyone knows him as. Still in shock that DC and Marvel almost traded him for she Hulk. At least that is what the one CBR article said so take that with a grain of salt since they’re not exactly the best when it comes to talking about industry things. This would’ve happened during the avengers justice league crossover. So who knows? Which would unfortunately taken away one of the best characters from the Supergirl show. I am glad that John was able to save N’ Gort and black hand. And back to that one bit where they’re having the mock talk about Martian man Hunter and the boys getting arrested.

    If you look at that close-up on page 20 on the second to last panel. That is definitely a shag smile that below is giving to booster. If you tell me that was shag cosplaying as beetle and someone just drew it I’d almost believe you. Just replace booster gold with Rob Kelly complaining about doing the Legion book. And Photoshop in a firestorm trade paperback in Beatles hands that he’s reading. His hands are shown in the panel, but that’s kind of all you would need to look like shag was on Facebook advertising for the next podcast. The book team putting themselves into this book is kind of funny. Did Andy work on Batman? I don’t really keep up with editors. But, him screaming about Batman not getting it is kind of funny. Did he have a bedtime on the book at some point? Is this like a 6. 50 joke? Or was it 3. 50 I can’t remember. The team versus team lineup on justice league Europe is also very cool. This is a very classic pose that is been used in many comics. I know in one of the old fantastic four books. Kirby used it. I have a trade paperback of volume 2 of the original FF stories. That does have this very pose on it. I forget who the FF is fighting. At any rate this looks pretty cool.

    Though the justice league versus the JSA pose is an interesting contender for the earlier versions. Though I don’t know what year it came out so I can’t say. Now I remember, name or had captured Sue. And if the rest of the guys facing off with name or. With the guy and point perspective i.e. this being a one-point perspective shot. Being Dr. strange in his astral projection form. He still has the blue cape and not the classic red Cape at this point. So the ancient one is still alive at this point. Fantastic four number 27. It’s also $.12 so I can’t really tell you which one came first. And they’re not really doing the running thing. But they are facing off in that particular post. More Johnny and then getting ready to fight along with name or. While reads holding them back. And she was doing that oy pose.

    So it seems John is not too worried about this threat nor is kilowattQ. If both issues are published at the same time. They apparently went and had a night on the town while Starro was attacking. And look Rex gets the first but shot of the issue. Blue Jay might want to fly a little higher there is no telling what Rex had to eat for lunch. The Catherine revealed is pretty shocking. Especially since she and Adam appear to be dating. Or on the verge of it. Poor Ralph finding out about Sue like that. DmitrI having that happen to his family is pretty messed up. Though y’all are right it is kind of screwed up that the heroes are the most effective when controlled by a starfish. I’m glad John came in, but they could definitely have used some sort of backup. Especially considering the ongoing in by himself is effectively given Starro the third most powerful person in the DC universe.

    To use us as personal weapon whom also has very effective mental powers. Still it was a good idea to have him save around see what was going on. But, John should’ve informed the Embassy of what was going down after he had a good look before engaging the main starfish. Since he kind of with guns blazing at the main star of once figure out which was in control. Had he not done that they may have had a better chance to stop the alien starfish. Still they had to keep the story going so this works well. Can’t wait to hear the next podcast.

  6. Another great episode and another pair of dare I say super Guests .
    Speaking my dinner andre witch sadly . To my disappointment is not about some body having dinner and talking to Andre the Giant.
    Has any one seen the parody movie Andy Kaufman made with Freddie Blassie ?
    It’s called my breakfast with Blassie .
    And have any Andy Kaufman films bin covered on film and water podcast? If not I’d like to recommend two Andy Kaufman movies my breakfast with. Blassie and one called the real Andy Kaufman .

  7. I ask, nay demand, a chance to defend my honour! 😀

    Though I definitely draw some comfort in that apparently now the go-to expert on all things Pee Gee, I don’t think I’ve heard my name dropped so many times in an episode! Even though alas I do not have an issue of All-Star #58 🙁

    I can’t fault your excellent guest observations, I too had noticed how the size of Kara’s… earrings have been growing through the issues, as said an obvious homage to Wally Wood’s original shenanigans.

    Looking at those ship names from the manifest are all meant to be Starfish and water-related references, we have Star(fish) and Libertad (liberty, something the host’s lack), and I had to look it up, but Daphne was a water nymph. Bluetooth is a little harder to fit the pattern, I doubt it’s for a wireless format from ’98, my best guess is that it’s a reference to the Viking though I’m happy to hear anyone else’s theory!

    Finally, despite John’s hurtful words I can’t help but agree with his appreciation of Pee Gee, I think she works best when treated seriously so when things get serious, or even when she jokes around, it has a greater impact!

  8. This. Was. Awesome ! This was my first comic book podcast, and I absolutely loved it. The descriptions, the history and, most importantly, the voices Jonathon does! Made me feel like I was snuggled up against him while he reads to me. I think I see another fun activity for us to share

  9. Well that was a fun podcast. You really need new listeners and letter writers because one guy got mentioned 3 times in the feedback!
    That out of the way your guests really shined this month, and considering who the the guests were the last two podcasts that’s impressive there wasn’t a drop off after two JLI/JLE creators!

    As for the issues at hand for JLA – what is odd for me was that while I know this was the last regular Adam Hughes issue I always thought there was an feeling of this art looking a bit like Chris Sprouse at times. Perhaps it’s just because Sprouse had done the JLQ. I also remember this as ironically the last caper issue. From here on in including the Boxing match the darkness starts to creep further and further in from the edges as breakdowns comes along. But this issue had none of that, it was pure joy and fun all the way – and without a crazy Booster/Beetle scheme at all. It showed how great at comedy all of the characters could be if placed in just the right situation.

    JLE however felt like invasion of the body snatchers and man that worked well as tale. I don’t think JLA could have done this story as well, but the more action/adventure tone of JLE it felt right in. Perhaps because there is already a history of JLE facing mind control that it felt in their wheel house?

    As to your two guests Mr Riddle brought amazing insight into how the art worked, I have to admit I’m no expert at seeing the depth of design and layout, but I know what I like – and having someone explain why I liked it was brilliant. It made us all feel a little smarter, Kudos for that and I hope to hear Mr Riddle return.

    Mr Koos brought a lot of energy to this episode and his love of Power Girl (and the debate about how to pronounce her name, for the record it’s Kara as I DID name my daughter after her) – as a fellow binge listener I know the experience is brilliant to charge through the back catalogue but then find yourself run out of episodes and have to find something else – I too am now on Who’s who. I know he is someone who only just found the podcasts but he does sound like he’s been part of the rotation for years! How does one do that, it’s a skill and a reflection of a happy and engaging personality.

    One more thing on the Firestorm and Power Girl relationship, part of me loves the idea that PG would love Firestorm but would prefer Prof Stein over Ronnie.

    When are tickets in the Koos vs Symbol Power Battle going on sale?

    1. Thank you for the kind words! I loved doing it.

      Yes, there is a clearly a cold war developing between myself and Symbol Pending, I do give great respect that individual’s passion for DC’s most misunderstood character. We understand her and love her deeply.

  10. Hey, glad the synopsis was useful. I did a bunch of favorite Martian Manhunter stories for the blog after the hero was killed off in Final Crisis, so I can co-sign on the positive sentiment here. Gotta also agree with Mark Baker-Wright that the one-punch sfx was missed. Thanks for featuring the Dark Horse Presents Aliens promo. I put that together to promote an unannounced guest appearance by Dell Dracula, but it was oddly appropriate for the alien-intensive pair of JLI issues covered this episode. Also, Martin Grey made a point of telling me that it was too long on Twitter, so a trolling win besides. I mean, there’s literally a joke about it running too long built into the damned thing. That’s not criticism; it’s validation.

  11. Hey Shag!
    Another great episode. Takes me back to reading these all those years ago. Loved the whole discussion around Kara or is that Kaa Raa?

    I love that you do it, however, I wanted to raise something with you about how you recognise your international audience. I’ve noticed that the US, French and British message board respondents get embassies in actual cities (New York, Paris, London) whilst other nationalities only get countries like “The Scottish Embassy”, “The Australian Embassy”. I am sure the Australian JLI embassy would be located in Canberra (even stated as the location of JLI member the Tasmanian Devil [page 1 Issue 1 Invasion mini series]) and the Scottish one I imagine would be in Edinburgh. Do you reckon that in future you might be able to locate some of the more antipodean embassies in actual cities and not just “somewhere in Scotland”? Just a suggestion to be a bit more inclusive. This might sound like nit picking, but hey it’s an INTERNATIONAL Justice League. If you don’t agree with me take it up with Dimitri and Catherine Colbert.

    Thanks for considering.
    Canberra Embassy

  12. (Instead of contrived insults to Shag… get ready for some contrived compliments to Shag… if at all queasy prior to reading, consider taking an antacid prior to reading this)

    Shag is right again! Okay… we got into it a bit about digital comics and the frame-by-frame format. Shag has never let me down in the past and didn’t this time. What am I babbling about? Well, my 19 year old daughter asked me, “what do you want for Christmas besides DC comics stuff?” Without hesitation I replied, “A Galaxy Tablet.” So, Santa Jor-L brought me a tablet. Yesterday, I subscribed to DC Infinite. Because some Huntress maniac was posting screenshots of pre-Crisis Huntress stories from Wonder Woman #301-321 on Twitter last week and I am finding it impossible to collect those physical issues without breaking the bank (or simply finding them), I decided to read those digitally as my first stories. DANG. THAT WAS AWESOME! The reason I was down on digital and frame-by-frame is that the last time I tried it I was using a smartphone and not a tablet. DUH! Of course there would be a difference.

    I am SOLD on the frame-by-frame… and the art quality really POPS. So cool.

    As a side note… Wonder Woman 321’s Huntress short ends with a statement to the effect of “continued in the Huntress miniseries”… which never occurred because of the Crisis. It was still awesome though.

  13. Ghosts did not ruin Cats. Cats was born terrible. And there is no worse song in that horror or a show than Gus the Theatrical Cat.

    Surely they’re is no ‘correct’ pronunciation of ‘Kara’, it’s just a matter of accent.

  14. Gnort did not ruin Cats. Cats was born terrible. And there is no worse song in that horror or a show than Gus the Theatrical Cat.

    Surely they’re is no ‘correct’ pronunciation of ‘Kara’, it’s just a matter of accent.

    1. I’ll say not all cats are bad . I had cat named Sylvester who was raised by are dog and I think he thought he was a dog . An anther cat named Samantha we use to have use play hot wheels with my brother she would use her paw an push the cars down the track . An are current cat sassy sue is a tuff old girl who chases dogs . Check my YouTube channel Bucky749 to see videos of sassy sue and our family dogs .

        1. When one puts their dog expectations on cats, cats will seem bad. When one puts their cat expectations on dogs, dogs will seem dumb. That’s just the way it is.

  15. As for the musical cats
    Ya it’s boring . I think gnort most likely made it better . But seriously who’s idea was it to see cats . What other shows where playing at that time I wonder .

  16. JLA #51 is a comic I completely had forgotten about until a few years ago when I pulled out he floppies and was reading them straight through. No idea why I forgot about it, the issue is great! I love Kilowog calling J’onn and G’nort his “homeboys” and Kilowog encouraging J’onn to change shape and let people see the “lean, green, fighting machine”. So many lines in this one crack me up! G’nort talking to Liberty the Wonder Pup is adorable and funny. I like the grouping of these 3 alien members of the JLI, being united (kind of) around their commonality of being the only one of their kind on Earth, even though they are all VERY different personalities. And Shagg, don’t feel band, you’re not the only one whose favorite comics come from the quarter bins. I know what it’s like, as a longtime fan of New Warriors, Nomad, Booster Gold, and Blue Beetle!

  17. Great show, Shag. I have finally caught up with every episode of the JLI Podcast and thought I’d chime in. I loved these series growing up. I started with Issue #1 right after Legends and never looked back… until it got too EXTREME!

    Always wonderful to revisit Adam Hughes art. Jonathon Riddle did a remarkable job of breaking down the how and why of Hughes’s storytelling in an easy-to-understand way. If he hasn’t already, Jonathon should consider teaching art. The story itself is a lot of fun and a welcome departure from the General Glory slog. One thing about the JLI Embassy is thee are an alarming amount of doilies around. Between those and the reclining “grandpa” chairs with pull-back handles, I’d think Max Lord hired my Nana as the interior decorator. I was looking for a love seat with the plastic over it!

    The Justice League Europe story with Bart Sears art nailed it, too. I always love Starro stories as long as I don’t think too much about how it would feel to have an actual live starfish suctioned to my face. Ugh! I hope the Embassy is stocked up with Nivea.

    Again, great show, Shag. I always look forward to listening.

    1. I have told Jonathon that before as well! When we read together, I enjoy the story and the graphics, but he has given me a real appreciation for the artistry behind scenes.

  18. I’m finally getting caught up on my Christmas break shows and this was such fun to listen to! The guests were a treat and it was awesome to hear about these issues.

    JLA – To me, this is the JLA at it’s best. It’s comedic but with action. Adam Hughes is such a master and all those little details really magnify the tone of what the issue is going for. My particular favourite moment was somewhat subtle, but it’s J’onn flying down in page 18 with the lady’s hair, the man’s tie and toupee, and the leather jacketed guy’s chain being swept aside. Such great action and humour!

    JLE – I loved the horror movie reveal of Catherine with a Starro on her face! And the following page with Dmitri’s wife and children is chilling. Brrrrrrrrr!!!!

    Well done everyone! Keep up the great work!

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