Monday, June 25, 2007

The Worst Comic Book Ever ...?

Usually, I try to focus on the positive here (I mean, as much as necessary snark allows). Nor do I usually rely heavily on the commentary of my fellow bloggers. But today I veer from that goal to examine a particular question:
Is it possible that JLA #10 is the worst superhero comic book ever?

Now, I realize that's not the claim that Greg Burgas is making. But one could make the case that it should be made.

First, let me clarify: by "worst", I do not mean on an absolute scale. Clearly, there are worse comics. I mean, after all, I own a complete run of the Detroit League. I've read Sword of Atlantis. I've read the Teen Titans Showcase Edition. Heck, I owned Dell's Super Heroes #1 (which really is the worst superhero comic book ever on an absolute scale); 40 years later, many of its readers still run shrieking from even a mention of the word "superhero", and some are still institutionalized and hoping that tonight is Pudding Night.

But we often temper our estimation of how "bad" something is by our expectations. You expect a cheap film made quickly with a hand-held camera and improvisational acting to be bad, which is why Blair Witch Project is "brilliant"; you expect a well-funded release from master of semiotic cinematography Peter Greenaway to be good, which is why The Pillow Book is nothing short of excruciating.

JLA #10 (and the "Lightning Saga" it culminates) comes with unavoidably high expectations. It's the JLA, for one thing. Plus, some new recruits the author has almost desperately been trying to sell us on as "JLA-level" and "part of the in-crowd". Add in the entire fricking JSA, a good chunk of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the (possible) return of the Wally West and Barry Allen, and tie it all up with a redux of the original "Revolving Door of Death" and its Ultimate Sacrifice. Oh, with special guest villains the Ultra-Humanite, Despero, and Per Degaton. And have it written by a best-selling author, one with deep love and knowledge of the characters involved, the same man who wrote the miniseries that sparked Infinite Crisis.

Really. If you're going to presume to do that, it had better be good. Perhaps even darned good. And, yet, as Greg Burgas correctly details ... it wasn't. Some have belittled his criticism of the issue, damning it as a reflection of his lack of familiarity with the beginning of the story and the characters in it, rather than any intrinsic deficiency in the storytelling.

I couldn't disagree with them more. Unlike Greg, I was familiar with every single reference, every single name, every single character backstory, not only from reading the beginning of the story, but from the reading the 50 years worth of comic book history it's based on. Yet I agree with his assessment wholeheartedly. As a commenter mentions, that background knowledge doesn't make the comic less confusing, just confusing for different reasons (such as internal contradictions, misplaced focus, mischaracterizations, defiance of continuity, etc.).

Confusing art. Did Zatanna magically elfinize Power
Girl's face, and did Wally spend his time off posing for Tom of Finland?

Confusing "dialog boxes". Not even I am gay enough to think that dialog boxes
should match someone's outfit [Blockade Boy: please weigh in on this].
Whose idea was this and do they still have a closet full of

Confusing dialog. I mean in the word b-- . I
guess we know what they're going-- . I mean, we don't really
care whether they fin--. Oh, apparently, Brad decided to use
again for the JLA and go it one better with ridiculous "stereophonic speech",
like Batman and Green Lantern use in this issue.

Confusing "moments". You "ducked"? Really, what the heck is that supposed to mean? Actually, I saw the lightning hit you, Karate Kid (through the force field, which you were supposed to have dropped). Is that just meaningful or just another one of those "cool moments" Brad seems to write everything around? I spent a year pondering what would assuredly be the ingenious, writer-ly ending of
only to be blindsided by an absurdist conclusion so crazy that Jean
Loring herself wouldn't have dared write it and so scientifically preposterous
(even by the internal standards of comic book science) that even Gardner Fox
would have laughed at it. There are no satisfactory conclusions in any of Meltzer's writing, just red herrings and "gotchas".

Confusing characterization. No, I'm not bothered by the fact that the Legion keeps from Superman -- oh, excuse me... "Clark" (you know, I've read just about every Legion story ever written and I can't remember any one of them ever calling him "Clark") -- their purpose in being there. I mean, I love the Legionnaires, but they're secrective, deceptive jerks, and always have been. Did you know they used to mindwipe Superboy everytime he went back to his time, without his permission? Yeah, well, he didn't know that either....

But why the JLA and JSA treat the LSH as a threat and why Superman doesn't
know that when they don't share information is because they are trying to
protect the future is utterly beyond my understanding of the characters.
Honestly, with all the first names, personal focus, heroes versus heroes rather
than villains, and Bendisian dialog, it's like I'm reading
"What If...
Marvel Owned the JLA, the JSA, and the LSH?"
It's pretty clear that what
you have here is a writer whose Child Within loves the DC characters, but whose Adolescent Within desperately needs to re-make them as hip, edgy, personalized Marvel characters. Comic book characters are like husbands; maybe you can improve the way they dress, but don't wed yourself to them if you're planning on changing them into a different person.

Confusing plot. Yeah, I think I'll leave this one to the Peanut Gallery.

Yet, there are some people who liked it. Well, historically speaking most JLA stories are, in fact, awful, no matter how fondly we remember them. If you're reading Countdown, I hope you are having as much fun as I am watching the Monitors try to lend dignity to the horrible old multiversal crossovers they are recalling; good luck with that when you're voicing over an image of Superman fighting Cary Bates. Oh, how I wish you we could retcon Superboy Prime into that battle, because the Rolling Head of Cary Bates would be my favorite comic book character of all time.

Anyway, you know what I think; what do you think?


Rob S. said...

They might have called him "Clarkie" once or twice. But only in the 2970s. And only on Klordny.

And you're absolutely right. The comic that rbought back one of my absolute favorite characters, starring zeven more favorites that I hadn't seen in a decade, blew chunks.

argh.sims said...

I have to sadly agree with you. It was an extended, pointless conflict. And it's not a very heroic sacrifice if you dodge the bolt.

I mean, what's the point? I'm glad Wally's back, but what a stupid way to do it. It appears Brainy expected Barry to return, and they didn't let Karate Kid come home because his mission "is just beginning." So all this mess is just setup another event? Is that all DC can do anymore?


Patrick C said...

It was a total letdown. None of the Legionnaiers died, and while I'm not a fan of random comic death (poor Bart) that's what they were selling to us since we saw the lightning rods. One of them would die so someone would return. I also noticed the force field around Val that he said he didn't turn on. Also, who was the girl running out of the fortress with Val at the end? What was the point of showing Despero et al. a few issues ago? I'm baffled by the whole thing. And pissed that DC screwed up the flash so bad that Impulse had to be sacrificed.

Unknown said...

I agree that the way in which the story was told got confusing. However, I enjoyed the whole series. Why? (a) I enjoy seeing characters I like, even if the plot boils down to a soap opera with people in spandex, and (b) I have low expectations.

Honestly, I think the confusing way in which the story was told obfuscated the overall plot- seven Legionaries must be found, once found a larger plot is revealed, the climax is when the plot is successful, and then resolution.

Hey, at least it's not: new villain, find villain, lose to villain, learn about villain, beat villain but with some consequence.

Anonymous said...

Btw that image was of ROBIN fighting Cary Bates, not Superman

Anonymous said...

The mid 70s Legion is the one I grew up with. It was good to see them in print. However the characterization was all wrong. The Legion's dialogue seemed distant and generic. They never called Superboy "Clark", they called him Kal or Kal-El. Maybe these things are all cluee that this isnt the Earth-1 Legion I hold so dear. But now I'm too bored to care. Way to go Brad...You managed to drive away a life long Legion fan with 100 issues of the Lightning Saga. Or at least it felt that long.

- Lauren

Anonymous said...

Btw that image was of ROBIN fighting Cary Bates, not Superman

I haven't seen the image in question but the comment about Superman fighting Cary Bates did confuse me, as both the Earth-1 and Earth-2 Supermen had enough sense to stay away from that crossover! The Earth-2 Robin was involved, though; he got dressed up as the Icicle and killed by the Earth-1 Batman. He got better.

Roberto said...

in fact, i liked (not too much) identity crisis. but, after reading his JLA run, I really think that Meltzer is a bad writer. bad dialogs... please stop calling superheroes by their real names!?! "clark"? "bruce"?

Anonymous said...

1. If you're all going to narrate so damn much, use a thought ballon so I can at least see who you are without guessing the color scheme.

2. "Bait and switch" is NOT a plot, even if you repeat it fifteen times per issue.

3. ...Yes. Even if you re-switch to show Barry's tiny, misshapen, decaying face (I think) flowing across the lightning rod a few pages later. Or maybe it's Jean Loring, the new Ms. Flash or Joannie Quick.

4. Superman shouldn't be so impatient, nor should he take things personally.

5. For all the standing around asking questions, someone should be able to explain something in a language other than "snark." Just once.

6. Something--anything--should HAPPEN in a comic book. This felt like watching someone's vacation picture slide show. Except the parts that didn't really happen. That's like looking at someone's postcard collection. "The Legion of Doom Headquarters? It was closed so you just bought a poster from the giftshop? How fun."

7. Sorry. I meant: "The Legion of D--It was cl--H--" It makes me very sad that people protecting the universe can't keep a coherent thought in their heads while someone else is talking. It makes me somehow sadder that Hal Jordan doesn't recognize his best friend's old house until he's in the immense back room.

8. Wasn't Wally sitting around on an alternate Earth? Is "The Lightning" a roller coaster there, maybe? And are lightning rods the admission fee?

9. Given the Barry fake-out, could someone at least MENTION the guy?

10. Mentioning another story, or even a hundred other stories, is not "continuity." At all. It's a poorly-written bibliography.

11. If you write comic books, don't be embarassed that you write comic books. If you ARE embarassed, then get a real job, loser!

12. If the characters are just going to stand around without doing anything anyway, wouldn't it be cheaper to sell a poster?

As a sidenote, I thought the evil Cary Bates issue was a lot of fun when I first read it all those years ago. So there.

Patrick C said...

Also, the interlac was wrong in the title for the issue. All of the 'h's were 'l's. So the story was "tle villain is tle lero in lis own story"


Anonymous said...

I thought the evil Cary Bates issue was a lot of fun when I first read it all those years ago.

Oh, hey, so did I. Of course, I was eight when I first read it.
I still enjoy it today, but mostly because it used certain JSA members who didn't get a lot of screen time in other crossovers, like Hourman, Dr. Mid-Nite, and Robin.

Scipio said...

"the immense back room."
Heh heh. Funny. Yup, that's Central City.

Pardon my error on the Cary Bates thing; I think the very sight of Cary Bates in villainous spandex damaged my mind or my eyesight, or both.

And, yes, there are thousands of Legion fans who could have corrected that horrible Interlac error, but I suppose none of them work at DC.

Steve Flanagan said...

JLA #10 (and the "Lightning Saga" it culminates) comes with unavoidably high expectations

I'd have thought high expectations were entirely avoidable for anyone who'd read any of issues 0 through 9. Yet this is DC's best-selling regular comic.

BIG MIKE said...

You know what I think? I think the only consoloation about Meltzer's run on JLA is this: At least it's a B-list league getting this treatment.

Anonymous said...

The whole run has been kind of dissapointing, but this issue was a huge let down. I love Wally West, but I felt nothing at all from his return. It seemed like the whole point was to set up future stories, not provide any sort of real pay off to this one.

Yeah, the old crossovers are goofy as heck. But, at least stuff happens. I'd rather read about Starman knocking around Ultraman with the Cosmic Rod or the Justice League travelling to a world where Nazis won WWII than about Superman feeling bad because his old friends lied to him and three villains just kind of hang around without actually showing up.

Anonymous said...

Also, Geo-Force. I didn't hate the guy before this story, now I do. In JLA he's portrayed as some kind of amazing guy, worthy of being on the team. Plus the whole reference to being as tied in with the Earth as Swamp Thing. I'm sorry, but that's as bad as saying "Oh man, you're as rich as Bruce Wayne and as much of a scientific genius as Will Magnus. Plus, you're so good looking all the women are nuts about you."

I did enjoy Geo-Force in JSA, though, where's he's arrogant and basically useless.

Anonymous said...

There was this one really jarring moment I noticed myself, where Power Girl yells out Clark's name in front of everyone from the JLA and JSA. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure that half the JSA doesn't know Superman's secret (not for long, at this rate) identity. I'm not even sure some of the JLA knows it. So why is Power Girl yelling it out like an idiot? There's a reason these people have code names, Meltzer.

Sleestak said...

I thought I read everything DC. When exactly did Wally go missing? I thought he just retired.

Christine Smith said...

And yes, with this issue.... no, with the 'I ducked' panel... this storyline has completely lost me. A LOT of the complaints against it were a matter of personal taste: fine. But we see the body of Karate Kid electrified by lightning. We KNOW it's electrified because (as I recall) we SEE THE BLACK SILHOUETTE OF HIS SKELETON. As scientists will confirm, this only happens when a body is conducting lightning levels of electricity. And then.... what? Wait? Now it /didn't/ hit you? What the hell?

I give up defending this run. When writer and artist can't coordinate enough to present visually the information given through text, some editor's ass needs smacking down.

Luke said...

I agree with Jon re: Geo-Force in "JSoA" -- Starman put himself over on him, and that was basically all she wrote. Although, I must admit, he did have my favorite goofy line from the crossover, "That's not only ridiculous, it's also insane."

I also agree that this crossover has not exactly been all that enjoyable for me, a regular "JSoA" reader who only dabbles in "JLoA" and doesn't know his LOSH history very well. There's no payoff here, only more setup. Say what you will about the bulk of poor 90s comics -- at least they had some ending, even if it got retconed or otherwise rolled back in a few years.

This story reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and At World's End -- marking time and padding things out to stretch 1 story into 2. Hell, maybe even more than 2. Is it any wonder that the most enjoyable DC stuff I have read this week is reprints from "Showcase Presents: The War That Time Forgot?"

David C said...

I really don't get the point of how Wally West has been handled since Infinite Crisis. The only thing we're told about what happened to him is that he (and Linda and the kids) are *not* dead, but perfectly OK... somewhere. (IIRC, Bart knows this, and implicitly knows the further details that the reader wants to know, and there's no given reason why he wouldn't tell anybody those details, but he never elaborates on-panel.) Well, he's back, which is a Good Thing, but what a clumsy way to do it!

I kinda like *some* of what Meltzer does, but his little stylistic quirks are becoming more than just quirks, mutating into some Godzilla-like monster that destroys the rest of his work with its atomic breath. Those goddamn caption boxes that switch unannounced between "thought" and "dialogue," and half the time can't be decisively linked to a particular character, just drive me up the wall.

Yonatan said...

the other problem with the issue... The original version of Karate Kid is nowhere near enough of a bad-ass to be able to dodge lightning. The Post Boot version... no problem. Even the 3boot version (who with one punch got the Sydney opera house to raise hundreds of yards of out the ice) would be able to dodge lightning. But the original val...not fast of good enough

Patrick C said...

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who had no clue who those captions belonged to at the beginning of the issue. (Sure, I figured out it was Black Canary but I shouldn't have to "figure it out.")

On the bright side, we're 2 months away from a different writer. In my eyes Meltzer lost any clout that he may have garnered from Identity Crisis or Green Arrow. If I see him writing anything now it either won't affect my opinion. or actually make me less likely to pick a book up.

And I mentioned it in an earlier post, but I'm still PO'd about Impusle. I started reading comics in '92 and Superboy and Impulse were 2 of my favorite characters, and I felt like I truly *got* them since I was there at the beginning. The whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

In the Meltzer-verse, martial arts is always better for 'moving fast' than superspeed ever would be. (See Deathstroke vs Flash, for instance...)

Anonymous said...

It was an entirely painful experience. I stopped buying at issue 4, when I realised that not only did I not understand whose little dialogue box was whose in certain scenes, but that I simply didn't care.

Plus, I really wanted to kill Roy Harper by that point, and I figured that probably wasn't a healthy reaction to a fictional character. I think if I'd stayed around long enough for Geo-Force I'd now be certifiably insane.

I'm going back to my happy Morrison-era JLA. Where Superman wrestles angels and Batman takes down Martians and to qualify for the League you have to take down a dude who has trapped the Big Seven in a false reality and is going to use them as the key to open up a gate to something nasty.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a recent mini-series about the importance of keeping identities secret? Y'know, like some sort of Identity Crisis?

ticknart said...

Something I really don't like is how Starman said that Karate Kid's power is that he finds weakness. Are they trying to turn him into Karnak from The Inhumans? What happened to him just being the greatest martial artist in the known universe?

He shouldn't have to be super human to kick Batman's ass because he's already supposed to be a better martial artist.

I guess I should ask, did Karate Kid ever have super powers? My knowledge of the Legion comes, mostly, from post Zero Hour stuff. I'd like to know if I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

There is historical basis for Karate Kid having a 'find the weak point of anything' power, that version of KK, at least. He used it against Grimbor's planet-circling chains, during the Grimbor story that led into the Reflecto Saga during the late seventies. No idea if that pre- or post- dates Karnak...

CandidGamera : said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the original Val was every bit as 'uber' as the subsequent rebooted versions - didn't he used to spar with, and stalemate, Mon-El?

Here's my speculation of what's going on with the forcefield shenanigans, and yes, I know I shouldn't have to explain it : The forcefields were designed to allow the Legionnaires to have a chance at surviving the lightning strike. By leaving his forcefield down, Val attracted the bolt - electricity and the path of least resistance - ensuring his comrades wouldn't have to chance being injured.

At the very last second, he raised the forcefield (command : 'Lightning Lad') once the bolt was already on its way. Thus, in a sense, he 'ducked.'

Rob S. said...

Karate Kid also found the weak point in a hollow diamond prison he was held captive in in a Silver Age story. So that part, at least, has precedent.

Jacob T. Levy said...

terrible, terrible.

The CSBG thread went a little off-track because it basically became about how much information should have to be revealed in each issue. But look: Brave and the Bold is another book that's massively dependent on readers knowing decades worht of stuff or looking it up on wikipedia or whatever. But no one' ccomplaining about it, because it's a ton of fun, terrifically written and gorgeously drawn, with lots of stuff happening every issue that you can follow just fine without knowing who Destiny or the Luck Lords are. The characters act like themselves, what they're doing makes sense, etc. etc. "The Lightning Saga," and particularly Meltzer's chapters? Not so much.

On Power Girl saying "Clark" in front of the whole JSA (including someone who's been a member of the super-hero club for about ten minutes): Meltzer's doctrine is that every good guy knows the identity of every other good guy regardless of how few times they've met or how little sense it makes, *and* that they use first names *at all times.* That's at least one thing he's consistent about...

Bill Reed said...

Brad Meltzer cannot write a comic to save his life, but this issue was not as offensively terrible as Identity Crisis #7, which is the worst single issue of any comic ever.

Anonymous said...

" We KNOW it's electrified because (as I recall) we SEE THE BLACK SILHOUETTE OF HIS SKELETON. "

Nah, that was him using his 'Radiographic Tiger' fighting stance.

(Word verification: suzfu. Suz Fu! That's what he was using.)

Anonymous said...

At the very last second, he raised the forcefield (command : 'Lightning Lad') once the bolt was already on its way. Thus, in a sense, he 'ducked.'

That certainly makes sense of something which otherwise makes no goddamn sense whatsoever. Basically several issues' worth of setup with no payoff. I'm sure we'll see some answers of a sort in Countdown, but so what? As Someone (Ragnell?) said, this guy wastes half an issue on "capture the flag" and then runs out of space for say, answers, Wally introducing his kids, any kind of payoff, etc.

And as for Impulse...I'm still in denial. Either an immense swerve or the dumbest move since DC released New Coke.

Reno said...

I knew I should have stayed away from JLA. Only reason I bought it because of the crossover with JSA.

I liked Identity Crisis, but with JLA Brad Meltzer's writing has become so confusing (never mind all the inconsistencies, etc. etc.).

At least Wally's back.

Unknown said...

Karate Kid didn't duck, we saw him fry. You 'ducked'? You, my friend are obviously a Skrull plant.

Anonymous said...

I am a Legion fan from the 80s Legion. The Legion actually aged naturally as the series progressed.

When Projectra changed to Sensor Girl she was an adults.
When her husband was killed earlier they were adults.
When she killed his killer she was an adult.
Now suddenly she is a kid.


Geez Brad.

Anonymous said...

"There are no satisfactory conclusions in any of Meltzer's writing, just red herrings and "gotchas"."

That is too true. Does anyone know if his novels are like that?

MaGnUs said...

I liked this, but hell yeah, it's been a confusing and lame-first-name-calling-between everybody ride...

I mean, it's ok for Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman, and hell, even Hal and Black Canary to call themselves by their first names (and yes, Red Arrow wand the latter two as well)... but I agree that it's stupid for Power Girl to call Superman "Clark" in front of all those people who won't know his secret (like miss-going-commando-on-a-cover-and-finally-ditching-my-top-been-a-superhero-for-ten-minutes).

Dwayne McDuffie will be welcome, I want to see more old school Legion done by a competent writer.


Sorry, I had to get that of my chest...

wrath said...

I dont care, It brought wally west back,...

Now I don't want that to sound like a ringing endorsement for the comic, however
wally has been my flash for many a year, and it warms the cuckolds of my heart to see him return.

Not that I wanted to see Bart get whacked or anything.

I think it is more important to start looking ahead, Let's put this current JLA unpleasantness ahead and look ahead and start thinking about how Macduffie is going to fix it.

I would bet that he kicks geoforces sorry rear to the curb and brings firestorm into the fold.

Patrick C said...

I have no problems with Wally coming back, he just made it look a lot more dramatic than it was. NOBODY thought Wally was dead, and of course he was coming back. But he was gone what, about a year? What was the point of sending him away in the first place? Wally was the Flash I grew up with, so I have no real attachment to Barry (other than watching him on Super Friends). I just didn't see the point.

David C said...

Patrick said...

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who had no clue who those captions belonged to at the beginning of the issue. (Sure, I figured out it was Black Canary but I shouldn't have to "figure it out.")

I keep coming back to this sort of thing as my biggest problem with Meltzer.

I'm not especially proud of it, but I can get a reasonable amount of enjoyment out of crappy comics. If there's one character moment I like, or a great line of dialogue, or an interesting plot twist, or a neat idea, I'll often forgive a multitude of other sins in a given issue. And Meltzer, for all his flaws, does tend to provide those moments.

BUT... For this kind of enjoyment, I need a comic to have a pretty breezy pace and clear storytelling, at least. If I have to work at enjoying a crappy comic, the whole thing falls apart.

Andrew Ironwood said...

I don't care what *any* of you say:

I still (heart) Polymer Polly...

Christine Smith said...

I think part of my problem with this issue is the art. If they had simply photographed minimates and imposed word baloons on them, it would have been much more emotionally expressive. While our erstwhile artist could probably improve upon, say, Youngblood, the original X-Factor, or Heroes Reborn Captain America, most of the contexts in which I find him acceptable are in comparison to Rob Liefeld. Okay, their ol' buddy comes back, and what do their faces express? Perhaps surprise on the level of 'I asked for 7-Up but this tastes more like Sprite', but certainly not 'Thank god, Wally's safe!'

Patrick C said...

Strangely, I thought he did an ok job with Karate Kid's face when he was told he wasn't going home. Yet when Wally comes back everyone looks like a mannequin. said...

And, yes, there are thousands of Legion fans who could have corrected that horrible Interlac error, but I suppose none of them work at DC.

No, no, this is another clue, don't you see? This is Earth-243 Interlac - this is not the "real" Legion! Don't you get it?

Me neither.

Scipio said...

"when Wally comes back everyone looks like a mannequin."

Probably because they're just as disappointed as we are. Batman certainly is.

Bryan-Mitchell said...

If it weren't for the Legion appearing in this I would never have bought another comic book written by Meltzer or Johns. They both burned me with Infinite and Identity Crisis and GL:Rebirth. But like a fool I bought Lightning Strikes because I love the Legion.

However, once again, the thing everyone is talking about in the series has nothing to do with what actually happens.

What did the mind-wiping have to do with who killed Sue Dibny? Nothing.

What did the Legion have to do with bringing back Wally? Nothing.

Can anyone explain any reason why the Legion would care at all about Wally? The answer is that they wouldn't. There's no reason why the Legion should be the one to rescue Wally.

Can anyone explain why it is THIS version of the Legion?

Can anyone explain why Superman never mentioned to COnner Kent that he was in the Legion just like Conner and, hey, they were in different versions of the Legion?

Can anyone explain why it took both the JLA AND the JSA to stand around while the Legion did their thing?

Can anyone explain why Ultra-Humanite, Despero, and Per Degaton were in this crossover? I'm guessing that it was to set up a future storyline in JSA but can anyone fault me for thinking that they had something to do with this crossover?

I agree with the Karate Kid thing about his "power" being stupid. The coolest part about Karate Kid isn't that he doesn't even HAVE powers. He is just a bad ass. He is just a normal guy who is so good he can be in the largest and most powerful superhero team ever.

It will be a long long time before I guy anything from Meltzer or Johns...

MaGnUs said...

"Can anyone explain why Superman never mentioned to COnner Kent that he was in the Legion just like Conner and, hey, they were in different versions of the Legion?"

Well, this one was easy: because Pre-Infinite Crisis Superman was not a part of the Legion; New Earth Superman was (the one that, apparently, was "young Superman".

Conner died in Infinite Crisis, before the creation of New Earth, and his Superman had never been a member of the Legion, he had, however, interacted with the Pre-Zero Hour version (and perhaps didn't remember it) and the Post-Zero Hour one, which was the one Conner was a member of.

Anonymous said...

Pre-Infinite Crisis Superman was not a part of the Legion; New Earth Superman was (the one that, apparently, was "young Superman".

Conner died in Infinite Crisis, before the creation of New Earth, and his Superman had never been a member of the Legion, he had, however, interacted with the Pre-Zero Hour version (and perhaps didn't remember it) and the Post-Zero Hour one, which was the one Conner was a member of.

My head just exploded.

Tom Foss said...

I think the one saving grace of this storyline, and in fact a lot of Johns' writing over the last year or so (see the first JSofA storyline, the GL issue where the JLA shows uo) has been how blatantly he's making fun of Meltzer's JLofA. He opens JSofA with the big three looking at photos, then deciding that that process is stupid. By the end, they're sitting around a table (just like the Big Three), except even that table is part of the action (with a dead body on it). He has Wonder Woman joking in GL about taking a vote to help their teammate, a dig at JLofA, where they do nothing but deliberate and vote. He has Vixen shouting out a Power Rangers morphing mantra, he portrays Geo-Force as an insufferable prick, has Superman acting happy and competent, has characters using codenames, has Starman calling a snake "Swamp Thing" as reference to saying that Geo-Force has Holland-level powers, having Triplicate Girl make fun of Black Lightning's costume, and even has each of his tie-in issues contain a battle, even if it's only incidental to the plot. Johns has spent the better part of the last year writing subtle commentaries on Meltzer's writing, and I find that hilarious.

Scipio said...

"how blatantly he's making fun of Meltzer's JLofA. "

Indeed. And yet almost no one seems to notice...

MaGnUs said...

Oh no, I've noticed it too.... and I'm soooo amused.

Are "Holland-level powers" those that let you legalize marihuana? (I know it's a reference to Alec Holland, but for a moment there, I thought his name was actually Holand.)

totaltoyz: "My head just exploded."

Just now? Have you onyl started reading superhero comics recently?

PS: Scipio, your comment to this entry was #52!!!!

Scipio said...

"Hey, at least it's not: new villain, find villain, lose to villain, learn about villain, beat villain but with some consequence."

That would have been great; I would have loved that. You why that's been a popular plot structure for 80 years? It's comprehensible. And it works. Unlike.... whatever Brad's been writing.

Anonymous said...

So Tom, you're saying that without Meltzer's run, Johns' run is a lot emptier because he doesn't have previous material to rift on?