BREAKDOWNS begins here! Michel Fiffe joins The Irredeemable Shag to chat about Justice League America #53! Maxwell Lord has been shot! While the heroes cope with this tragedy, the U.N. debates the future direction of the JLI. Then Jarrod Alberich, The Yard Sale Artist, stops by to discuss Justice League Europe #29! While the team investigates Max's shooting, the new U.N. liaison fires Captain Atom. This leads Captain Atom to Bialya, face-to-fist with the Global Guardians! Finally, we wrap up with YOUR listener feedback!
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41 responses to “JLI Podcast #53 – BREAKDOWNS: Justice League America #53 & Justice League Europe #29”
“Shakedown, breakdown, takedown”
OK, so maybe this episode has put a little Bob Seger music in my head.
Your busted . That’s a good song . But I like Hollywood nights and night moves the best .
When you hear the chime, Turn the Page.
Nothing wrong with that. It’s an excellent car chase song!
“ Shakedown, breakdown, takedown
Everybody wants into the crowded light
Breakdown, takedown, you’re busted
Let down, your guard, honey
Just about the time you think that it’s alright
Breakdown, takedown, you’re busted…”
Ok, so chiming in on Breakdowns overall first: I guess the bad reputation is because the the final result is much less than the sum of its parts, such as the two commented in this podcast, which are, as you noted, objectively good. That said and being one of the negative voices, I have these issues hard bound in a single volume, I will share the book on the socials.
JLA is grim, yeah, but it has to be, similarly to the “Mister Miracle is dead” issue. And although I tend to agree with Michel on JLAnt, their comic relief here was much welcome. Wozniak… I don’t usually bunch him with the EXTREME 90s guys, and I tend to like his art, but not for this book, mainly for the reasons you mention. His style is perfectly suited for Tasmanian Devil, though, which we will see him draw presently. And I’m sorry, but JLI family titles not lettered by Lappan are a travesty for me (thank you for pointing out one of the reasons I really didn’t like the lettering here)
JLE is a great issue overall, the interviews are classic JLI, and Robertson does fit with the titles style seamlessly. The One Punch: both were deserving, and yes, I did get the JLA/JSA vibe from the splash.
Now, I just noticed: is the podcast doing a greatest hits final run as well by inviting past hosts to review Breakdowns? If so, great idea and … where do I sign up?
Final off topic note: Just started a new Spanish language comics podcast, this time with my husband Ian. It’s called Ian lee Crisis (Ian reads Crisis) and it’s him, and non-reader picking up Crisis on infinite earths for the first time while I hold his hand. We are also inviting readers to do a little “book club” read along with us.
I think the “grim” of JLA might stick out more clumsily to me than the Mister Miracle funeral because of the art. Hughes was great with body language at those quiet moments of grief, but here, it just looks and feels disjointed. But I don’t think that means Wozniak is doing a bad job, maybe more like he brought a heavy metal electric guitar riff to play with a 3 piece jazz band.
If my Spanish was better, I would totally listen to your show, Gus, pero es muy malo. Good luck with it!
From all the talk leading up to “Breakdowns” of it being the start of the end, I was thinking this was the storyline where Booster had the terrible armor, died, was a zombie, and then got better. But this was the story with the Heimlich Maneuver which I have some vague, but fond, memories of. I look forward to seeing how well the story holds up.
heh heh x-force 1 MY dad (see practically every comment ive ever made) bought SIX COPIES. it’s no joker clown prince crime!
wait! “Back to mars”? Was’nt there nobody on Mars at that point?
If you’ve ever been to Mars, you can go back to Mars whether there’s anyone there or not.
J’onn calls that out, saying it’s a barren wasteland but preferable to dealing with the goofballs of JLAnt
Great episode, everyone!
I think you all missed a JLE gag (no forthcoming pun intended). Rolf sounds like Ralph, which means to vomit. Rolf Heimlich! Get it?
Ooo, good point. And “ralf” was a frequent sound effect used in 80’s Suicide Squad when Captain Boomerang hurls. His lunch, not his boomerangs.
I loved Breakdowns at the time, and sort of think that it gets a bit of undeserved blame for the League that followed it, Superman and Friends and then Wonder Woman and Friends with off-model JLI characters running through bronze age retread stories .
I guess that is a very good point. We hate it because of what it means (the end of this Era, a subpar follow-up).
I’m in the same boat of having a fuzzy memory about Breakdowns so I’m reading this as kind of a series finale of a TV show, more specifically a sitcom like Seinfeld, so the callback to the JL-Ant makes sense to me here. And I enjoyed both of these issues.
Michel, as defender of all sub-par crossovers, seemed like the perfect guest for the first issue, and I really appreciated when you both focused on the art, which was hit or miss for me, but hearing how the artist could have been influenced by current 90s trends rang true as it made me think of those Herb Trimpe diary pages that cane out a few years ago about the end of his career where he also tried to capture the trendy art styles just to keep getting work.
The JLA character tone was off for me, and came across a little melodramatic, but then I thought of the idea of these powerful people being powerless in Max’s recovery, and it made sense why they were so volatile.
The JLE issue is a great, lighter continuation of the story, and the intrigue being set up has me ready for next month’s issues. Am I the only one who agreed that Captain Atom should have been fired? He is a terrible field leader.
The art was great, and while I enjoyed the interview gag a lot, it did give me JLA TV Pilot PTSD.
Lastly, after rereading all of these JLI issues, I definitely see an understated close friendship between Beetle and Fire. There are so many interactions between them throughout the book, so much so that I think you speculated that maybe they were being set up as a couple, that it made the “cutes” comment barely seem out of place. Ted must be a very charismatic person, first he’s pals with Scott, then Booster, and now Fire. Everyone loves Ted. Well, except Guy I guess.
I’m glad to finally be caught up, and now I can punish everyone else with these long reactions to the pod instead of just burying Shag with Twitter notifications.
“I’m glad to finally be caught up, and now I can punish everyone else with these long reactions to the pod instead of just burying Shag with Twitter notifications”
Oh you are in good company young man, now that you have caught up however, there’s actually a line to join for the “long reactions” indeed it’s a whole section of the site. Just pick your number from the counter and when a desk is free we’ll call your number 🙂
Can I also get a half pound of Virginia Ham?
You want that thin-sliced, sir?
Sir, this is the DMV, have you brought your eye exam results?
Welcome to the party, pal! 🙂
Okay I’m only half way through this and about to embark on the section with Jarrod. But I thought I’d pop in to say thank to you Michel Fiffe for an excellent first half. I disagree over Jlant (Is it Jay-el-Ant. or Jil-ant like Galant I’d ask the host but we all know Shag can’t pronounce nuclear so what’s the point in asking him?) but that is comedy taste which everyone’s mileage might vary.
What I do agree with is that JL (I/A) had great comedy moments but to all those who complained every month it wasn’t serious enough – did they even read the book? There has been load of dark stories in the book and also high adventure. That the comedy stood out was because the comedy was different and most of all funny. But there are darky dark darkdark stories woven through the book’s run. The Megarod story alone was fairly dark outcome! Despero, Teesdale, Caitiff, Beetle’s Brainwashing, Max’s dark side. They all happened as well. Overall this run was fairly Balanced (particularly if you include JLE) it’s just for some any comedy was too much comedy.
Anyway I’ve got to run now so I’ll check back in after JLE and the Feedback section.
Oh and Shag… Happy JLI Bwah-ha-ha Podcast Birthday!
Thank you Messrs Shag, Michel and Jarrod for all the great chat. It’s exciting to get to Breakdowns, though sad we’re now on the down slope for both the comic and the podcast. Regarding the ongoing question as to whether this storyline was divisive among JL fandom, OK, it’s no Teasdale Imperative… Seriously, I’m not best placed to answer as I was heavily into UK Legion fandom, I don’t think there was an active fandom over here for any series bar the LSH and the X-Men. I don’t recall what the lettercols were saying a few months down the line; the only place I really hear Breakdowns was controversial is this fine podcast.
I really enjoyed the ChatGPT discussion with Michel. Me, I’ve not tried it, I don’t need help, thank you. I have a brain the size of a planet.
I like the black plaque in the cover logo of JLA #53 – it’s like the shadow of a tombstone looming over our heroes.
Chris Wozniak does a pretty good job, and the pages don’t look much different to previous issues – apart from the super-big J’onn, I don’t see a great deal of difference in the way folk are drawn size-wise this issue… Blue Beetle, at least in my memory, was never a skinny Spidey type on JL/JLI/JLA.
I do recall that I was disappointed to see the creative team go back to the Bialya well in JLE #29, and have the Global Guardians shown as dupes yet again. I was, though, thrilled to see Bluejay get his due and be promoted to field leader; he’s the best.
The Darick Robertson/John Beatty art is just wonderful, it’s a shame Darick didn’t stay at DC. Not that I didn’t enjoy his work on New Warriors, but that comic featured a character with the name of Night Thrasher. Now that’s worthy of a Bwaa-ha-ha.
And back to Blue Beetle, his proportions in JLE look much the same as his proportions in JLA.
And finally, Shag, congratulations on the seventh anniversary of this podcast. You’re the best.
Sad songs turn em on , sad songs when hope is gone a sad song says so much – sir Elton John .
It was the song playing my head after the I heard the episode.
If you’ll excuse me . Sorry for not being very original but that’s all I got this time .
I’ll end with a joke.
Booster : (dressed as cliff from issue 1 of Cadillacs and dinosaurs ) hey ted .
Blue beetle ( dressed as dynamo from thunder agents ) yes booster !
Booster : what do call a large reptile with a head ace .
Blue beetle : (scratches head ) I don’t know booster what do you call a large reptile with a head ace ?
Booster : a dyna -sore. ( symbol clash )
( insert laughing ) (close curtain)
Ya sorry it’s the best joke I could think of .
I have to ask even thou I don’t think it’s this blue beetle . Is excited for the blue beetle movie ?
I cannot wait for the film already told my wife and kids if there is a midnight showing I’m going to see it on opening day. The last time I did that (indeed possibly the only time I’ve done that) was for JL (In IMAX no less) and that went so well … that I’m hoping BB will help me wipe that experience from my memory.
We can only hope . Also have a got a blue beetle shirt for the event . Be cause I was looking on Tee Public and they have awesome blue beetle shirts even some with the blue and gold combo .
impressive podcast most impressive. I think I saw this one in a comic shop. Well actually, borders. Or some bookstore that was in the mall. I didn’t back is at the time I was into buying impact comics. Cipro he got the latest issue of Jaguar or the black hood. Or it may have been sleepwalker. At the time I was on a high school or college kids budget. So I grabbed a handful of comics. And of course one of those would always be one of the Superman issues. So this was at the triangle time I think. I don’t remember seeing it in the bins. What I would go to my local comic book shop years later. The covers not that of the artwork inside of it is pretty good. Though it seems the part of Superman is being played by Brock Lesnar in this issue. Because GE’s. What has Clark ever been that big? He does look very patriotic with the red and white striped tie and blue jacket. As for Lois she was probably about to do a Jazzercise class. In her home. Maybe a show that she wants to exercise from was about to come on at this the news bulletin broke through? That are featured on the TV is about to pop in the DVD. Will probably VHS tape.
The storytelling in this is very good. The artwork is of that graphic style at the time. And it works well. Though everyone has put on a bit of muscle. As a teenager I would have probably just thought yeah this looks awesome. It works for general glory and John Jones. But, for Beetle and Guy it seems a bit much. I see the butt shots have stayed. It is cool to see the conglomerate folks in the issue. Since sadly they didn’t get that many stories outside of the one, one shot. The expressions are pretty good. And it’s good to see the aunt Arctic justice league team there to look in on Max. Sorry I still hate power girls white and gold uniform. Not as bad as the one she had before, but still. Seeing the European team in this issue is kind of cool. And it works. Seeing Catherine with a more modern hairstyle is interesting. Her losing the bouffant is kind of cool. I think that’s to that supposed to be in the purple dress. I can’t see so chiming in on everything in a leadership sounding role. She’s smart enough to, but generally speaking she doesn’t speak up directly in such a way. She generally talks around with Ralph so I’m going to guess the woman in the purple dress with purple earrings is Catherine?
The Kurt Heimlich guy who comes in later is an interesting addition. As he walks in with the 11th Dr. suit. Though at least we know if someone is choking he can help. He’s probably got that maneuver down pat. I did like saying beetle comfort Fire. Showing that they become good friends.Giffen, added the end kind of works well. So odd he wasn’t drawing anything fully at the time. They mostly the breakdowns I think. The covert for the Europe issue is pretty cool. And tells the story well. It is kind of sad that this team of global guardians other than the super friends book and this one didn’t really go anywhere. Not thrilled with Catherine back to her 80s haircut, but it is what it is. I guess that other issue was building to the reason why they get rid of Capt. Adam as the team leader. Though one incident should be enough for him to be removed. But, it gives a reason why he can go to that country since he’s no longer part of the team. Power girl in her brie Larson’s phase does get old quickly.
Also not thrilled with the characterization of Wally in these issues. Since it didn’t line up with his book counterpart. But, the bit where Heimlich praises him is good. As well as calling him out on the voucher thing. The rocket red language bit is funny. Though having tried to learn Russian once. His grasp of the English language is quite impressive. This is a very different way of talking. I realize his vocal stylings or a bit of a stereotype. But, the fact that he speaks English as well as he does is impressive. Not as impressive as Jackie Chan speaking English having once tried to learn Mandarin. The metamorpho bit was there. Though claiming he’s not cut out for teamwork is odd considering. He’s been part of the outsiders, on this team. Back in the new outsiders. And probably a bunch of other teams I can’t remember. It’s kind of like saying that man’s a loner you can say it fits. And on paper it does, but whom he chooses to work with kind of states otherwise. As Batman has the bat family. And Metamorpho here has all these different teams.
The Crimson Fox bit works well. Though I’m not sure which sister she is. The other headdress thing makes no sense. Kind of sad that her live action version worked way better. And that one bit where she was on that show that was the DC version of damages can report is called. The woman from high school musical was the star of it. And I think Crimson Fox only made a few appearances on it. Yeah I’m glad they called out sober sorceress on her goofy custom. Not sure why they never redesigned it? I think they helmets postal look like a crown. And obviously a riff on Scarlet witch is classic headpiece. But, since they’ve already established the rift they could get rid of it now. Blue Jay as team leader? This definitely proves Heimlich is up to no good. I’m not saying blue Jay doesn’t have potential to do this. But we get to see him doing anything to show he had any desire or any interest in it. Or a talent for doing such a thing. Having Catherine have to clear everything through him is kind of annoying.
Sounds like Heimlich will be a micromanager. There’s nothing worse than that. Glad I haven’t had to deal with one of those in decades. This is one of Ralph’s best costumes. So I have to disagree with Heimlich’s thoughts on it. And I’m not sure why he thinks he’s a fashion icon. Again it’s the 90s and this man is walking around in that suit with that weird kewpie doll hair cut of his. The panel with beetle and fire is pretty good. I wonder if they were secretly dating? He does that her type. Why is blue Jay orange? Has he secretly be dating Star fires sister? And her foundation accidentally rubbed off on him? Not sure why it’s guy and while talking about checking up on Heimlich. After all with beetle and John right there you think they be starting an investigation of some sorts. Both of them being known for the detective skills. Heimlich warning that the Queen bees people is messed up. As for the kernel being alive maybe he’s a clone? Or a clone was killed? As for Jack working with him. Maybe this is him getting revenge since he first started working for Queen bee because she used her pheromones to control him.
Now the whole global guardians are working for Queen bee? That’s weird. I just assumed jack-o’-lantern had gone off in his own and betrayed his team. Them all being affected by Queen bees powers is worse. Still I look forward to seeing how they resolve this issue in the next book. Can’t wait to hear the next podcast.
Blue jay as team leader Really??!
That’s like letting shrinking violet lead the legion or having Scott lang lead the avengers .
Have any of those happened . I’ve read some legion and some avengers . An I hank pym did lead the avengers but I think only for one issue . I want to say he was chair man when wonder man showed up .
Hank Pym has indeed led the Avengers…when he was in his super-scientist Dr Pym phase where she shrank and grew other objects. And maybe other times. And Wasp was a very effective Avengers leader.
Another note is Violet does lead the team for a short period during the Archie Legion era which I unabashedly love.
I know plenty of fans who agree with me that the Wasp is the best Avengers leader. Because they gave her a style consistent with her character. The problem is Bluejay … hasn’t been developed at all. Ah well.
I remember this early half of Breakdowns better than the latter half. I liked the JLI getting a new boss and basically having to re-interview for their jobs. And the new boss had a good point about Silver Sorceress’s costume! I found the change of artists from Hughes and Sears to Wozniak and Robertson very jarring at the time and the new art unfortunately didn’t appeal to me. I think that plus the not-fun storyline made me not reread these very often, thus I don’t have much memory of them. Upcoming episodes are going to bring back a lot of memories.
I would later love Mr Robertson’s art on New Warriors, though! He did angst and emotional conflict so well! And he designed my all time favorite Firestar costume!
Sears drew one heck of a Global Guardians on that JLE cover. They look so cool! Makes you wish he’d had a chance to draw the entire group. I wonder why Impala, Owlwoman, Rising Sun, and Thunderlord got left off the cover, though? Btw, Shagg, did I miss an episode of the pod where you cover JLE annual #1? It’s got nice Linda Medley art and established that all the Global Guardians, not just Jack and Owlwoman, are working for Bialya, something that hadn’t been made clear before.
Hey no reason to diss Bluejay being named JLE leader. Heimlich calls it out, Bluejay demonstrated amazing grit and initiative in the Extremist Vector story. And plenty of lower-powered heroes have led superhero teams: Batman, Captain America, Storm when she had no powers, Black Canary, Robin/Nightwing, Dream Girl, Brainiac 5…
Now that I’ve filled up the comment section with replies to other people, I guess I should post my own thoughts. I guess…
JLA #53: I’m not a fan of the art. Woz just doesn’t work for me. It’s not limited to this series, so it’s not a comparison to the other JLI artists. There’s something about it that gives me the “mehs”. Which is weird, I’m just not that picky! But I do agree, the opening page is really good.
We get the surprise development last issue that Blue Beetle has a weight problem, and this issue, you’d never know it. Very frustrating because I wanted that to be important and not swept away.
But really, those are just my nitpicks. I enjoyed the story a lot. The team feeling helpless in the situation, glad to have a distraction and going to work, and the well-meaning but hilarious JL Antics were all great! And a new UN appointed administrator hinting trouble for the team? I’m on board!
For my Bwah-hah-hah Award, it has to be Guy saying “Just try and ignore me.” Followed by successive and louder “I SAID JUST TRY AND IGNORE ME!” But yes, the J’onn and Beetle scene tickled me plenty. So we’re ALL winners!
JLE #29: So yes, Robertson was great to see on the art. The interview pages sold on him very easily. Still picturing the scowling Power Girl panels. And whoa, Crimson Fox in her interview, playing with her head piece like it’s long hair, is quite a … memorable moment.
I did have a thought on the coloring panel. Blue Jay’s gloves are supposed to be pale orange. But in these panels, he’s actually not wearing the gloves, because there’s no claws or plumage up the arms. So the should be flesh-colored hands. I’m thinking the color guide said to make his hands orange by mistake, and likewise carried that mistake to his head because, reasonably speaking, his skin should match and the art looks like bare hands not gloves. Or maybe I’m overthinking it. *gasp!*
Were there questions I heard? Who shot Max? (heh-heh) Who is Heimlich reporting to? (heh-heh-heh) Who is that bearded Bialyan? (NYEH-HEH-HEH-HEH!!) Sorry, I don’t know what came over me.
It was really great having two artists on the show at once, giving some fun perspectives. Thanks, gang!
Well, the doily count is clearly zero this month because the issue primarily takes place in a hospital. However, it does continue the JLI tradition of checkerboard flooring that dates back to issue 1. These guys love their squares. Plus, you’d never see a couch with individual cushions and skirting in a hospital waiting room. That thing would be destroyed by wear and tear in a few months! C’mon, Wozniak! I can forgive the overly-roided out heroes and Beetle’s instant six-pack, but let’s get the furniture right!
Woo-hoo, more Bwa-ha-ha! Well done, everyone on a great episode! This is bittersweet as I have feelings about Breakdowns but knowing that it’s leading to the end, though I will certainly pull out my issues of Formerly Known… (hooray for Mary Marvel!), I Can’t Believe It’s Not… (boo, corrupted Mary Marvel!), JL3000, and that one shot DC Retroactive to keep me going!
JLA – It’s funny that JLI had been known as the jokey book that everyone made fun of, but I remember that as Breakdowns was happening, trying to show a serious side of the book, everyone complained about the lack of humour! There’s just no pleasing some people!
I know there has been a lot of discussion about the art, but I just want to bring up that J’onn has such a small head compared to his body on the last page. While Michel gave good context about Woz (and Liefield), I still don’t like it. Grumpy grumpy grumps.
JLE – I agree with Jarrod (and everyone here), Darrick Robertson is great on JLE. Compared to the JLA issue, Darrick just captures the facial expressions that we come to expect from JLI. I know I’ve always championed JLA over JLE, but, in this case, I certainly enjoyed the JLE issue a lot more. Was it just because of the art? Am I that shallow? I guess we’ll never know….
Well done again, everyone! I had lots of fun listening to this discussion and I am looking forward to next 9,341 chapters of Breakdowns!
Keep up the great work!
And I’m back, wow that was longer than planned. I did actually finish off the episode on Monday – but you know I had to gather my thoughts (and really that can take a while as I’ve no idea where they come from or where they go to).
First off – as I said before the guest have been fantastic this week as usual. That it’s two returning guests is nice as we get to hear how they found the evolution of the comic over time instead of just a one moment in time. So top marks to Michel and Jarrod. It was also great to hear about the impact meeting Shag has had on your careers, obviously you didn’t want to say it out loud but we all know that you looked at Shag and found him a perfect motivation to avoid ending up like him!
As to the issues in hand – I’ll start with the art.
Wozniak’s style seemed overly muscled to me at the time and now… screams to be the beginning of the Extreme era. However and I don’t mean to be rude, while the style seems similar I’m not sure it’s enough to have been able to launch a indy title. I’m sorry to say that for years in my head Wozniak and Wojtkiewicz were the same artist and I always thought Wojtkiewicz’s art was after Wozniak changed his style. Obviously I should blame my dyslexia but I think I was about in my late teens when this all happened so I’ve no excuse. But I do recall that I didn’t like it very much and didn’t help with me liking Breakdowns.
Robertson’s art on the other hand… Was fantastic and I was disappointed he didn’t get to stick with the title. I’ve enjoyed his work since JLE as well and I often wonder if he had stuck around after Breakdowns how much would have changed, would he have given us the Atlantean Costume or a better version of it? I don’t know. What i do know is that in some sections of the interviews I was almost sure it was Maguire back on the art particularly Silver Sorceress. Maybe that was the idea or the influence of the inker but I loved the art in JLE.
Now to the story and dialogue.
While I’m here way to call me out as the only hater of Breakdowns Shag. Thank you so much for that.
While JLA worked well with the comedy parts, the impact of the JLE issue hit harder. Obviously “Ambassador Heimlich” is actually two “people” Kurt and Rolf – and part of Max’s long term plan to undermine the league and to make sure they didn’t have any great power without Max in charge. The through line from this to Countdown to Infinite Crisis is crystal clear and not at all just a jokey idea to bring in an East German with dodgy background for line about how he had to fire Captain Atom for … “choking” when in charge. Come on the joke is JUST SITTING THERE.
But this brings me to the actual point about particularly the JLE issue – the difference in the dialogue. While the books were fairly separate before, now that they are one story till the end the jarring difference in dialogue between JLE and JLA sticks out. The lack of landing so many witty lines in JLE compared to JLA, the whole “Cutes” line which I don’t believe for one second J M DeMatteis would write and the whole PG is angry thing again in the interview section.
As things start to fray from here on in I think it’s these sort of elements that hurt my enjoyment of Breakdowns (and indeed the JLE/I/A as it goes on to be with Wonder Woman etc) the writing / dialogue didn’t sound like the characters we saw elsewhere, the art was very different. While I enjoyed the Dan Jurgen’s league – even Ron Randall’s pencils couldn’t keep me engaged with JLE even if I probably still have all of them in the long box. But those stories are out of the scope of this Podcast.
I always felt that asking J M Dematteis to crash another JL into the ground was the wrong call. I know they needed to clear the table as much as possible but I still felt it would have been better overall for the titles to have a short run to the end and not as much “things can’t get any worse” – no wait they absolutely can. But again thats in the future of this story line. While these two issues are solid in terms of driving the plot and particularly JLE trying to dispose of Captain Atom from the team, as if he was going to be needed to be written out pronto for some strange reason, it does feel as if there is an element of cruelty coming into play like a mad professor deciding to punish those he felt were ruining his experiment. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but did Giffen perhaps want to make Breakdowns a reaction to the negative letter writers who seemed to get so much attention? “Oh so you don’t like comedy and you want it serious do you? Well HOW ABOUT DARK SERIOUS COMEDY” I dunno.
Maybe this is why I don’t have fond memories of the final run. Maybe it was the whole Kurt / Rolf thing which made me wonder if the editors were also caring as much?
Anyway I loved the episode and the guests. I think I probably enjoyed the issues as well a bit more now looking back, but I have to admit I’m still not a fan of the Wozniak art style and that annoys me because I can see how Von Eden’s art might have influenced him and how this seems an artistic direction from editorial. I should be okay with that but maybe it’s because I miss the old days…. of like 5 years ago in JL!
As I’ve said elsewhere kudos on the 7 year run Shag, it’s only been 1 Doug year for me of course and for poor Chris Pine up there, I suspect it’s been like a few hours. Almost like visiting Narnia I guess 🙂 I don’t want the show to finish … but then I didn’t want Giffen and DeMatteis run to finish either!
Firstly, I love that Michel Fiffe can’t stop cursing on the all-ages JLI show. He’s a modern Image creator, and they don’t give a f— over there, even (especially) on their (pro-incest, explicit content, mop & bucket) legacy super-hero titles. If I had more integrity, I’d do the same thing when visiting The Fire & Water Network. But I’d also get edited and disinvited, because I don’t have Copra under my belt.
As previously mentioned, I so enjoyed the ’91 Annual that I committed to at least buying the early Breakdowns chapters, possibly inspired by the Keith Giffen house ad. It’s funny though, because I only liked JLI when it was funny, so why come back for an extended grim n’ gritty arc? Blame the ’90s and my increasing buying power, I guess. This was a weird time period when I was buying from multiple sources– the flea market comics booth on weekends, convenience stores & mall bookstores on weekdays. My school was almost literally across the street from the mall at some points, but around this period we moved a few miles into the burnt out industrial side of town, so I took it where I could get it and make a clean exit. I was still focused on the X-Titles in the midst of Mutant Genesis, but DC was making inroads again via The Sandman and New Titans (with this months’ #78 managing to get sunbleached in the car in just the hour or so we’d parked in the mall lot. Because summer in Texas.) This was also the first month I sampled the David/Keown Hulk and Messner-Loebs/Williams Jaguar, which were more like what I liked about JLI than the actual books I bought under that banner.
I give Bruce Patterson all the credit in the world, because over the course of his run, I would grow to despise the work of Chris Wozniak. He was a great inker, and at this stage, he makes the art merely disappointing rather than offensive. Wozniak randomly followed me on Twitter a few months back, in the early days of his quixotic Batman crusade, so I gave him a courtesy followback. He’s a better artist these days, and I could almost like it, if he didn’t find humor in depicting the aftermath of the rape of teenage girls and giving big ups to Comicsgaters. A mutual unfollow followed.
I held back on commenting because I thought I was going to actually read along, but have since noped-out after tossing through #53. My strongest impression was its lack of impression, but I was curious enough about the shake-up and the arrival of not-Henry Peter Gyrich to give the title some more length of rope. I had not read Justice League Europe since the earliest issues, and really hadn’t even kept up with its basic happenings. I didn’t care for the line-up, so the art had been the main draw. I certainly missed Sears, but Robinson was a lot easier on the eyes than Wozniak, and the HR review story recalled the fun earlier JLI material. I vaguely recalled the Jack O’ Lantern subplot, though I dropped JLI for the first time during the initial Bialya story, so I’m not sure I made the connections. I’m also not confident that I was familiar with the Global Guardians at this point, since again, I bought but barely skimmed the early JLEs before dropping it. I’m sure a desire to contextualize all these characters and happening helped drive me to part 3…
You’re gonna have to show your sources when it comes to Breakdowns’ unpopularity, Shag, because none of the guests seemed aware of it, nor am I.
I can only guess that it was just the normal tail-end blues, where the run has been going so long, it’s already shed a lot of readers and is disappointing the ones that stayed by 1) ending and 2) just how it’s ending, in addition to its best art being behind it. Fairly normal in the life of a comics series back then.
I’ll do my best during the feedback to highlight folks that expressed displeasure with Breakdowns. It’s just a general echo I’ve heard over the years.
For example, here is one review that relates the general displeasure: https://popcult.blog/2021/05/16/comic-book-review-justice-league-breakdowns/
Who am I gonna trust? A clickbait blogger or you?
-Siskoid, a clickbait blogger