Wednesday, January 31, 2007

10 Things Batman Should Never Say

I take back everything I said about Mike Sekowsky during Widowmaker Week, because it's by far the best story in the recently released Brave & Bold Showcase edition.

I'd not read much Bob Haney before, and my impression of his work stemmed largely from other people's perceptions (such as H and Devon). So I wasn't really prepared for the experience of reading this volume. No matter, I suppose, for one could no more effectively steel oneself against Haney's writing than one can mentally prepare oneself to fall into a wood chipper.

It's not that it's bad, per se. A lot of people write comics badly; at Marvel, it's a job requirement. It's that it's so perversely and haphazardly bad. Villains like "the Collector", "the Molder", and "the Cannoneer"; French farce betrayals and love triangles that wouldn't have been believed on Three's Company; heroes acting and talking wildly out of character.

I kind of get what Haney the Hippy was trying to do. Haney was trying to bring a dose of Marvel-style "coolness" to DC comics. You'll notice oblique references to Spider-Man and the Hulk, there's lots of romance, and characters speak very -- well, I'll call it "casually".

Now, I've never heard Haney, never seen him, never even seen a photo. I can only picture him as a comic-book writin' Sammy Davis Junior, all angles, sharkskin, and sharp creases. Always wears a hat. Calls everybody "baby". Bloody Mary for breakfast.

He's probably not like that, of course; he's probably just a member of the generation that thought that's what "cool" look liked. So his attempts to coolify characters means that everybody talks just like Metamorpho.

Which leads me to the real point of this post:

(At Least) Ten Things Batman Should Never Say

1. "Why was that bow buzzard trying to ventilate your beautiful torso?"

Actually, I think we're pretty safe from ever hearing this one again, since occasions for saying it would be pretty rare. Unless, you know, he's talking to Black Canary.

2. "Have you flipped your badge, Commissioner? It's me, Batman -- your humble obedient servant and all-around crimestopper!"

This is the kind of talk that makes me want to beat Spider-Man to death with hammer. Besides, Batman is not a supporting character and so should never stoop to introposition.

3. "Sure, fella, and my best bat-wishes with it."

No, I'm not going to complain about "bat-hyphen" nouns. Haney was writing during the height of TV's Batmania, so I won't pick on him for that. It's "fella". Batman should never say "fella". Bruce Wayne is a blueblood billionaire not a salty stevedore.

4. "Brucie boy."

Another faux Spider-Man moment. What kind of person would have heroes with secret identities and loved ones to protect use someone's first name while they're in costume rather than codenames? I mean, other than Brad Meltzer? Let alone do it to yourself? Scipio does not approve of Batman referring to himself in third-person.

5. "Follow, follow, follow the gleam."

Batman should not be singing the song that won the 1920 Silver Bay prize at Bryn Mawr. Or any other. At least, not while swinging on a batrope.

6, "I'm a chemical pheenom."

This goes without saying (I hope). This is from the infamous "Bat-Hulk" story, which wastes appearances by the Joker, the Penguin, and the Riddler on some goofy "Batman becomes a monster with a bad personality " story. Maybe that's where Frank Miller got the idea for All-Star Batman?

I would say that Haney wrote this because he missed Metamorpho so much except--oh, wait that's right: Metamorpho's the co-star of this story!

7. "UHH ... Grip like .. a ... king crab's ... bite!"

I'm at a loss to imagine anyone saying or thinking this, let alone Batman. Maybe this is the same Batman who said, "Step away from the lobster trap?"

Oh, and pardon my adolescence, but I dare you to look at the panel without thinking something naughty and giggling: "The tall man grabbed Bruce firmly from behind..." . I think it's the word "slither" that puts it over the top. Well, that and "but he FEELS him ..."

8. "I'm being hit by a plastic deluge ... and it's hardening!"

Speaking of naughty pictures; oh ho, how ribald! As bad as the quote itself is, the picture (below) really completes it. It's Bob Haney meets slash-pic. C'mon, DC; break down and publish these in a 365 Days of Really Gay Batman Panels desktop calendar and you'll make millions!

9. "Commish".

Okay, I've performed emergency tracheotomies while lost in the Southeast Asian jungles and armed with nothing but a pen-knife and a box of Kleenex (I travel light). Yet I almost fainted when Batman calls Jim Gordon "commish". In any sensible Golden Age story, this would be the point at which a thought balloon would inform you that Robin is starting to catch on that Batman has been kidnapped and replaced by a criminal lookalike named Knuckles Brenneman as part of some byzantine scheme to gain access to the Batcave where an item kept as souvenir in the Hall of Trophies secretly contains information as to the location of unrecovered swag from the Amalgamated Gum Co. payroll heist that the Lefty Lochner gang pulled a few years ago before Lefty got sent to Joliet and the chair.
"Gosh, I bet that's the real reason 'Batman' didn't want to use our batropes and is letting me drive the Batmobile! I'd better wait and see what's he up to before I expose him! I won't expose him till we're alone in the Batcave and we're not surrounded by police who could help me -- that way, when the real Batman escapes he'll be just in time to save me!"
But in the Haney Age, it's the way everyone talks. No one should say "commish", except Harvey Bullock, who is allowed to do so precisely because it makes him sound cloddish.

However, Batman should say "I've got to get him! I want him so bad, I can taste it". Frequently. In fact, from now whenever I say that phrase at the bars, I will precede it with "As Batman said..." .

10. "Why, Commissioner, under that rocklike exterior of yours beats a rocklike heart!"

Actually, I'm less disturbed at Batman's flip disrect of the commish, than at the news the Batman apparently ogles his rocklike physique. Guess Bruce has daddy issues; let the slashfic begin!

Still, to his credit, while Bob Haney may not have known how to write Batman, he sure knew how to write Hal Jordan:

Monday, January 29, 2007

Fall From Grace

Today I watched "It's Trad, Dad!", a bizarre British film from 1962 about some kids trying to gather performers for a Dixieland jazz festival in their hometown. Odd as that is, it's made even odder by full on-stage performances with Chubby Checker, Gary U.S. Bonds, and other contemporary artists squarely outside the province of Trad jazz.

Oddest still, it actually works even though it shouldn't. It's kind of like watching someone successfully pull off wearing pearls with corduroy or discovering that raisins taste great on pizza.

It was pretty much the earliest real film of director Richard Lester, best known for his work with the Beatles on Hard Day's Night and other films. If you set aside the goofy sense of humor, he does an amazing job of capturing the experience of each performer (with what I assume were innovative approaches at the time, but which have since become staples of the music video genre).

You, however, might remember Richard Lester for only one thing: he's the person the Salkinds replaced Richard Donner with on Superman II (and who then directed Superman III, something we'd all like to forget everything about).

Since I (and most decent people) think those films are awful, I'm left pondering whether it was the fault of the material he was given. Was he simply out of his element? Or had Lester's light faded so severely that he went from brilliant innovation to hackwork in15 years or so?

My question to you today isn't really about Lester; it's about the Fall From Grace syndrome among comic book writers and artists. Who has suffered such a fall and why?

Frank Miller will seem a likely candidate to many. But I think upon sober reflection I've concluded didn't become a hack; we all simply finalized realized it. Some may say Jim Aparo's worked faded badly, but I would disagree; I still say it was always terrible.

Pardon me if this question seems too negative. But many of you have followed the careers of writers and artists more closely than I (who have been more preoccupied with the history of characters) and I seek your wisdom... .

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Place With No Face

Okay, I've never been invited to the Grand Opening of a website. Until today.

The Vic Sage site opens tomorrow; see you there.

Friday, January 26, 2007

"Because You Demanded It"

I wasn't going to discuss "the image" that everyone is talking about. Usually I pride myself on my irrelevance, and consider the Absorbascon not so much a forum for the comic book issues of the day, but a refuge from them.

But a regular reader has "demanded" my comments on it, and I'm happy to oblige.

To me, it's primarily just a visual representation of the "return" of the multiverse. (another thing readers have been "demanding" for years). It's likely that, as we used to say, "this scene does not appear in this comic!" Still, I don't believe that the mulitverse is going to remain a pure abstraction; surely, we are going to be treated to a trip or two to some other earths.

I don't expect a total undoing of the status quo; most the characters you've feared or hoped might get shipped off to other earths are ones we have already seen on "our" earth, One Year Later. DC has only recently relearned the joy of playing with its entire universe of characters and letting them interact with one another. It seems unlikely and unwise that they would move in the opposite direction.

Therefore, I imagine that the multiverse is intended as a mechanism for increasing the possibility of characters' interaction. Elseworlds might become places that "regular" characters can visit. Readers' ridiculous obsession with the world of Kingdom Come can be indulged on an earth all its own, rather than trying to shoe-horn current continuity into that unpleasant future. Character errors can be fixed more easily, particularly deaths that didn't work out well.

Like Vibe's.

Actually, on the whole, Vibe's death "worked well". It was an exceedingly tragic moment, ennobled by its crudity and pointlessness, rather than being gilded by some puffed up Universe-Saving Sacrifice or Weeping Heroic Multitudes. It was 100 times more real than Barry Allen's "death by apparent desiccation while having my life flash before me and I comment on it". I mean, as real as being strangled by the detached hands of an Ivoid can be.

Readers liked Barry's death because it was so "noble". Huh; dying to save the universe(s) doesn't seem "noble" to me, it just seems like common sense. That didn't move me much. Dying to save a single kid you don't even know (and who just dissed you)? That's noble; that's how Vibe died. It certainly is tragic.

The most similar death I can recall is the last death of Metamorpho, when virtually no one attended his funeral. But even he died sacrificing himself to save his fellow JLAers, not choking to death on a dirty empty street with not a person there.

But this post is not to advocate the Return of Vibe via the multiverse, sorely needed though it is; I mean, everyone knows that needs to happen.

This post is to advocate the Return of Barry Allen.

I don't advocate his return because I'm a big fan of his; I never was, really. All the time I knew of him, he was a boring guy with exceedingly far-fetched adventures based on extremely sketchy "science", pitted against wan, one-dimensional gimmick crooks.

But let's face some facts (at least, as I see them!).

1. His successors as Flash have failed. I'm not talking about their powers or how well they defeated the villain; I mean as characters. Wally showed promise, but it was only fufilled on the JLU animated series. In the comics, he was almost desperately "matured" into less intelligent, lower-class version of Barry, completely losing any of his original charm. Same thing, more or less, happened to Bart. Instead of just giving us faded copies of Barry Allen, why not just give us Barry Allen and be done with it?

2. Don't bother objecting that bringing back Barry Allen would "negate his noble sacrifice". That was over 20 years ago. Besides, it still "happened" to the degree anything in comics does. We've seen Barry again, repeatedly since he died. Barry's death has been milked, well, to death. He's a much more interesting character now; let's take advantage of that!

3. Everybody's doing it. If DC has not been wise enough to avoid mistakes it has at least been wise enough to recognize them afterwards. DC's brought back a host of characters who died, simply because they needed them and we wanted them. So be it. I think it's just fine if publishers want to give readers what they want, just as long as they don't give us what we expect or demand. Ollie Queen and Hal Jordan are not my favorite characters in the world, you know; I've dissed them enormously and repeatedly since they returned. But I'm still glad they're back, because they work in a way there replacements didn't. Barry would be the same.

4. His time has come. Some version of CSI or a knockoff thereof is on every network every night. I think it's time for a comic about a forensics cop, one who just happens to be the fastest man alive. Plus, in our world of hip-talking jivester heroes straining to be edgy, I would welcome the return of the Squarest Man Alive.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Public Notice on Green Lantern

I now officially recognize that it's not Hal Jordan's fault.

Hal's brother Jim, using a power ring.

Clearly, it's some sort of genetic defect.

P.S. This notice should not, in any way, be intereted as an abrogration of the right to make fun of Hal Jordan nonetheless. Void in Louisiana.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

52 Things That Occurred to Me...

about the return of the multiverse.

  1. There are a potential 51 versions of Vibe left, and I couldn't be happier about that.
  2. Is there a world where Power Girl is still wearing that headband, and how do we avoid it?
  3. Is there a world where Marv Wolfman never came to DC, and if so, how do I get there?
  4. Does the Haneyverse exist as a world of its own or is it too self-contradictory?
  5. Will I get to see a world where Koryak finally hooks up with Officer Malrey?
  6. Does the gang at Ace Comics get a universe and how does one get an invite?
  7. Is there a universe in which Ted Knight is the Voice of God? I mean, other than ours?
  8. Does the multiverse mean we might actually get stories told in the Golden or Silver Age style again?
  9. I have no doubt that the Phantom Stranger is exactly the same in every universe.
  10. And that Darkseid isn't interesting in any of them.
  11. Do you now need a valid passport to cross the vibrational barriers between the universes?
  12. Do any worlds still have letter columns?
  13. Is there a world in which Dr. Thirteen is the lead story and the Spectre is the back-up?
  14. Will any other world get its own "line" of comics, kind of like the Animated Universe?
  15. Should it?
  16. Is there a world where The Joker lasted 100 issues and Azrael only nine?
  17. Is President Bush the greatest statesman Earth-3 has ever known?
  18. Have gorillas conquered any of the universes, or did the dachshunds stop them?
  19. Interesting as Waid's Legion might be, can we get back to Earth 247 now? It was much more interesting than this childish generational conflict.
  20. Do all Ranns suck?
  21. What must be the total number of people that any version of June Walton has slept with?
  22. What must be the total number of people that any version of Dale Gunn has slept with?
  23. If any of the old multiverse worlds is familiar to you, which one would be your favorite (other than "Earth-1" and "Earth Prime")?
  24. Are there any worlds where Blue Devil is straight? Bi, even?
  25. Are coupons for Palisades Park from one universe good in all the others?
  26. Is 52 worlds enough?
  27. Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite knew all along, didn't they?
  28. Are there any worlds where the JLA is even remotely normal?
  29. The multiverse is really just a corporate mechanism that makes it easier for DC to absorb other companies or their intellectual properties, isn't it?
  30. Don't you hope there's a world where Lois still dresses like that?
  31. Is Hal Jordan's ego visible from other universes?
  32. I'd like to think there's a world where Jack Cole lived to see how he is now revered.
  33. Does the multiverse mean we might get to see Toy Boy again? Please?!
  34. Can we please send the Fourth World off to an Earth-4 just to keep them away from decent comic books?
  35. I think that, given his powers, Vibe should be able to transverse the vibrational barriers, so one should be showing up any day. Maybe even three or four!
  36. Can you use Baron Winter's house to get from one universe to the other, even though it's not Metro-accessible?
  37. I believe there's a happy happy world where Wonder Woman is dead and Dr. Domino is not.
  38. Did DC invent the concept of the multiverse or was that pioneered elsewhere in sci-fi literature?
  39. Are there any worlds where all your extra copies of The Death of Superman are actually valuable? And do they have Ebay?
  40. How many panels would it take Geoff Johns to ship Bart and Jaime off to Earth-8 and bring back Barry and Ted?
  41. If he did, would it really upset anybody?
  42. There should be at least one world where all crime and evil has been completely eliminated. By Lady Cop. Oh, and there's no VD any more, either.
  43. Is there a world where Batman's just a pale copy of Green Arrow, or does Green Arrow suck multiversally?
  44. I hope Earth 616 isn't part of the multiverse.
  45. Can we please see a world that's been conquered by, say, Per Degaton or the like? I mean -- what they actually do all day? Exult?
  46. Please tell me there's a world where the writers actually understand Aquaman.
  47. I'd read a book like 52 even if it came out monthly; is that what The Brave & The Bold will be?
  48. Should the Captain Marvel family stay in "our" world or get their own?
  49. Should we get some kind of vote or say in how the multiverse looks? I mean, other than voting with our wallets?
  50. If you could decide at least one thing or person would exist in every world of the multiverse, what would it be?
  51. If you could decide at least one thing or person would not exist in any world of the multiverse, what would it be? And, no, you may not say "Vibe".
  52. Will there be any practical, noticeable changes with the advent of the multiverse or it will it just be an excuse for retcons and the dismissal of goofs and incontinuities?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Anthro of Dupont

If you're reading the mind-boggling Dr. Thirteen story in Tales of the Unexpected, this is for you. If not, well ... do.

Most of you probably recognized that caveman who gets unthawed in the story: it's Anthro.

As the link explains, Anthro was one of the short-lived spin-off series from a story in Showcase. He had six issues of his own, showed up later in Showcase 100 (along with everyone else who'd ever appeared in Showcase) and later still in Crisis on Infinite Earths (along with everyone else who'd ever appeared anywhere plus a few who hadn't). But that was pretty much it for Anthro until Dr. Thirteen discovered him in the Swiss Alps.

What I really like about Anthro-- well, let's just say he was a very special social pioneer. He was ... different from other guys. Let's just say I think he'd be right at home at a Sunday tea dance with the Black Condor and the Red Bee.

I mean, I'm not saying he was a sissy, exactly.

Well, okay. Maybe he was.

Sissy or not, he screwed up his courage, as many young men must, and went out to his first all-male club.

Anthro, sweetie; when I said "club" I didn't mean--oh, never mind.

Of course, the first time didn't work out very well; he was there on the wrong night!

Has there always been a Drag Bingo Night?

Even before he knew whether he was more of a "spear-yielder" or a "spear-brandisher", he learned how to work the crowd.

"Non-chalant"? I've never heard it put so politely before.
Smart money's on "spear-yielder".

Early experiences widened his horizons... and who knows what else!

"His gift of meat almost r-reached my insides without benefit of passing through my mouth"
has its own exhibit at the Absorbascon Museum of Word and Thought Balloons.

Eventually, Anthro grew into quite a talented young man.

And popular, I'll wager.

Then, brimming his confidence (and who knows what else), Anthro found his place.

Twinks can be so stuck on themselves.

He almost got more than he bargained for.

D- Dorian? Is that you?

Once he found a "daddy" in the furry/B&D community, he learned humility, and the comic's storyline was pretty much at an end.

Still, he never lost touch with his softer side.

It's the "pinky up" that really makes the panel special.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hal's Little Story

I got asked for my own 'ballooning' of this panel...

"Sigh! I'm almost close enough to lick his boots!"
"Hera help me, is that my Pleasuretron 3000 on the end of one of GA's arrows?!"
"Sure, Hal, sure; but where's your museum, huh?"
"Nodding off! Must --use chairs -- for support!"
"Moons of Mars, he's actually thinking of building himself his own museum!"
"Okay, one more microblast of x-ray vision should remove that last brain tumor; what in Rao's name does GL keep doing to his head?"
"Jeez, what's with Snapper's grin? He better not have stolen my Pleasuretron 3000 arrow again...!"
"I have-a teeVEE show, I have-a teeVEE show...!"

Friday, January 19, 2007

This post is a clue

It is as I (among others!) deduced, demanded, and dreamed:

the Multiverse is back.

Or, perhaps, was never gone to begin with.

As previously mentioned
, I think the original undoing of DC's multiverse was a serious error. I hold this opinion not because I'm some Thomasian fanboy who has to believe that everything he's ever read in a comic book "really" happened. I hold this opinion because the multiverse is a firm yet flexible structure for helping readers and writers handle the long-term problems of a 70 year old and growing storyline with some characters that are fixed in time and some that aren't.

Don't get me wrong. I'm delighted that many characters previously kept separate on other earths -- such as the Marvels, the Freedom Fighters, and the Charltons -- are now part of the DCU proper. But the hard truth is, one universe just isn't big enough to contain the DCU. And that's a high quality problem, one I enjoy having.

You can -- and I'm betting some of you will -- comment on how much easier, healthier, and sensible it is to have a monoverse. Don't waste your digital breath. For the sake of argument, I'll even concede all your points are valid. It just doesn't matter.

A monoverse created through the contributions of many people over many years focusing on many different characters will inevitably lead to continuity conflicts. What begins as a fresh start will tighten every year as the storylines expand, and wind up as a confining straightjacket. A multiverse allows you to either parcel storyline out into various parallel worlds or reboot occasionally, starting on a "new earth".

The multiverse is back. The more you struggle against it the more it hurts, so just relax and enjoy it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Sargasso Planetoid!

This one's for you, Lou...

You may have seen this clip before (or like me, seen it when it aired).

Now them rocketships got them some SWEET turning radii. Gotta get me one of them.

Topics for Discussion:

Kairo. Was Pieface replaced because they were trying to be sensitive or was it just so they could use a funky accented character without being criticized? Or, was it merely a way asserting GL's ultraterran aspect?

Sirena. So, do you think it's just her hat, or is her head shaped like that, too? In comics, how exactly do you transliterate her hilariously garbled scream when captured?

Hal's head. Assuming that the mass of the space owl was similar to that of its terran counterparts and judging its speed based on the animation, how much force was applied when the space owl hit Hal's head and knocked him out?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The JLA Game!

Okay, I have to go away for a few days to a Land That Time Forgot, an Internet Free Zone, the Brethren haven of my birth. This means leaving you on your own a bit.

So, here's a little diversion during my absence. You already know how this game is played!

Now it's YOUR turn to determine what each of the Justice Leaguers are thinking in this panel as they teeth-grittingly listen to Green Lantern's self-aggrandizing bloviation.

I look forward to reading your efforts when I return to the 21st century!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Why We Love the Phantom Stranger VI

I scoff at James Bond. James Bond is a WUSS compared to the Phantom Stranger. The Phantom Stranger is a true International Man of Mystery.

If the Phantom Stranger doesn't like you, he will beat the living tar out of you.

When miscreants have beards, you have to hit them extra hard.

And that is why he wears opera gloves.


If you have minions, they'd better have insurance,
'cuz when P.S. starts a-wailin' it's like an Act of God.

No P.S. beatdown is complete without a severe and haughty tongue-lashing.

"Unhand that tricapital ophidian, you miscreant!"

Nuff said!

Once he's done pummelling you half way to Jesus and back, then he'll steal your girl.

What are you going to do about it? Shoot him?

As if.

Then, once he's done with both of you, he'll do something so gratuitously, awe-inspiringly fabulous that Bond would simply wet his pants even to view it.

Now that is a man. In an opera cape.

What indeed.

I'm sorry, but anyone who can see that without wanting to have the Phantom Stranger's baby simply isn't human.

Words fail me.

And all of this is done, of course, in The Outfit, which no one else (certainly not James Bond) could carry off.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Starman's Kicky Clix!

Behold, the glory that is...

What a build! He's big enough to be on The Real World: Opal City. Hats off to Wizkids for remembering that, because Starman was drawn by Artist of Athletes Jack Burnley, the character was better and more finely muscled than his contemporary crimefighters. Starman invented the eight-pack, baby. And check out those manly Westphalian watermelon-crushing thighs! Why, I bet he could incapacitate you just by kicking a chair at you.

As noted on the Superman Is A You Know What site.

Starman packs a good deal of muscle on his dial as well, particularly for only106 points.
His first two slots have Running Shot, which lets him zoom out and zap enemies on the fly. Similarly, he's got three slots of Energy Explosion for blasting entire clusters of opponents simultaneously. Energy Shield/Deflection as his defense power protects him from ranged attacks, and an inital slot of Leadership lets him inspire Willpower in his teammates (under the right conditions). Those two slots of Ranged Combat Expert will turn many a foe's adam's apples into applesauce.

Like many pieces, he's a leader and attacker at the start of his dial, but then, after he's taken a few knocks, becomes more defensive. In fact he's almost a latter-dial saint, using his Barrier to protect himself and his teammates, Force Blast to push away anyone who comes in for the kill, and his surprising Perplex to confuse opponents into lowering their defenses.

Besides, he has the JSA Team Ability, so if you keep another JSAer adjacent he can share their defense, making him tough to hit all the way down his dial. If you want to take down one of the JSAers, you'll have to be ready to take them all down!

Personally, I can't wait to have him face off against Jack Knight, and spank that slacker! He's also scheduled to school Ultraman at some point, who dare not relax for an instant.

The Golden Age Starman is one of the Uniques in the Origin set of DC Heroclix, coming in March.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mensacentric Superinactivity

So many people have been critical of the level of inactivity in Justice League of America since its relaunch. But, after all, Mensacentric Superinactivity is a long-standing tradition in the JLA, and one of the Clues You're In Justice League Story ...

"Fortunately, if I nod off my helm will prevent my head from falling forward."  
"When the movie version of this meeting is made, I want to be played by Linda Hamilton."  
"I bet J'onn could take the form of any calendar babe I wanted."  
"Dishwashing liquid, Captain?"  
"Relax, J'onn; it's Palmolive."  
"The irony: escaped the fire pits, but stuck at this meeting."  
"I would trade the whole lot of you for one athletic boy in green swimming trunks."

"Stupid tech geeks! This isn't AV Club! Get your butts over here before I fry them with heat vision!" 
"Heh. I can see down Wonder Woman's bodice. Heh. Heh heh." 
"Oh, Green Lantern; why won't you notice me?!"

It took Green Lantern and Li'l Aquaman 70 minutes and a bottle of scotch to get that gavel out of where the Atom shoved it; Snapper still has a limp.

"If only we had some photos of other heroes to stare at and discuss; or maybe some exciting UN resolutions."  
"Did I remember to tivo CSI:Gotham?"  
"God, my hands are beautiful!"  
"I bet the Martian Manhunter could take the form of any calendar babe I wanted."  
"By H'ronmeer, Green Arrow's mind is like a sewer!"  
"I'm so glad I built a toilet into this little chair!"  
"Huh; this table has 147 fewer atoms in it than it did at our last meeting..."  
"While I've been in this meeting, an estimated 11 people have been gruesomely murdered in Gotham, no doubt including one of my proteges."  
"Hey, Peter? Wait, let me put you on hold; Topo's calling me on the other aquatelepathic line-- Topo? Yeah, it's okay, it's just Pufferfish, he can wait..."  
"I'd give any one of them my virginity! Especially Green Lantern; gosh, his hands are beautiful!"

"Yes, actually; I suggest you, Clark, and I dismiss the rest of these losers and continue this discussion at my cave. We should take our time, about four issues or so, and go over lots of photographs in the process, as if we were unable to remember who any of our fellow heroes are without pictures to jog our memories. I'm in favor; say 'aye'." 

While the Miss Thing Sisters share their wardrobe worries, Wonder Woman slips deeper into paranoia:
"Who's behind it all? Why aren't female characters immune from danger and suffering? Why does Dan DiDio hate Cassandra so much? Who's killing the great chefs of Europe?"  
"I could be Kid Lantern if he'd only give me a chance!"  
"Spitter? Snippy? Spackler? Julius H. Schwartz, why can't I ever remember this kid's name?"  
"In the time I've sat here listening to this drivel, a rare jewel has been stolen, the reservoir's been poisoned, and a librarian's been shot in the spine."

Aquaman has "an important case" to work on? C'mon, even I don't believe that. Look; even Aquaman doesn't believe it. You can just see the implied thought balloon: 
"Let's see now: sea cow milk; fish eggs; jeez, if I forget anything, Mera'll kill me! Finny friends, come to my shopping aid!"

Sometimes during those slow times, the civicly-minded Wonder Woman leads them all in rousing discussion of international policy, particularly UN directives on NGO-initiated commisZzzzzzzzzzzznn....
"Must-- stifle-- bat-laughter!" 
"I could run over to Zatanna's place, finish, and be back before they notice!" 
"I mean, she's not that pretty. Not as pretty as me, certainly..." 
"HA! I knew I could p*ss on her hand from here! I'm the man! 
 "What do you mean, the sharks are 'busy'? Oh, for Neptune's sake, Minnow, can't you even handle Cutlass Charlie by yourself?! Fine, I'll contact the candiru for you..." 
"Then, after I've killed them all, I'll use my x-ray vision to put my face on every quarter in the nation..." 
"I really need to see a doc about these lesions; darn you, Zatanna!"

I mean, how bad is it when even the Milk & Cookies Club think your comic is boring?
"A quaker meeting?" 
Asked Starman, constipated. 
"Where is the Drama?"

Let's just hope that things in the Justice League of America are finally sparking up a mere six issues later, shall we?