The Feckless Wonder (uvula_fr_b4) wrote,
The Feckless Wonder

"Where the he-males & she-males paraded in style..."

This post concerns more fun and funny business I found whilst perusing trade paperback collections of superhero comic books I missed when they were fresh, courtesy of my city's public library.

This time the double-takes and head-scratchin's come from Justice League International, Volume Six (NY: DC Comics; 2011; 238 pps.; ISBN: 978-1-402-3119-4). JLI, as all good comic book nerds know, was the intentionally humorous superhero team title from DC Comics, plotted and written by Keith Giffen (who also did the layouts at first) and J.M. DeMatteis, which bowed in 1987 (the first issue, minus the "International" -- the title was changed from "Justice League" to "Justice League International" with issue 7 [Nov. 1987], cover-dated May 1987); however, this volume contains reprints of JLI's spin-off title, Justice League Europe (whose first issue was cover-dated Apr. 1989 and ran for 50 issues), as well as Justice League America, which was what JLI was called from its May 1989 issue to its Aug. 1996 one.


Anyhoo. The first panel that made me do a double-take (and nearly a spit-take....) hails from Justice League Europe, #7 (Oct. 1989), pg 11, panel 4. The silver gent on the right is Captain Atom, a Steve Ditko co-creation (with hellishly prolific writer Joe Gill) for Charlton Comics that DC purchased and finally started using in the late 1980s, after shooing writer Alan Moore away from him (and the rest of the Charlton roster) for his Watchmen project; the gentleman on the left is J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, a Superman-level extraterrestrial who is also a metamorph and a Professor X-level telepath whose one weakness is fire. The art is by Bart Sears (pencils) and Pablo Marcos (inks); the sad thing is, I don't think that MM is supposed to have a, uh, "head" shaped like a, umm -- "head."

This panel is worthy of Superdickery; I'm surprised no one's submitted it.

The rest of the panels I'm posting here are more in keeping with my subject header: they're all from Justice League Europe, and they all feature the art -- usually pencils, but, in a couple of instances, inks -- of Bart Sears. Yes, the art looks like it comes from the late-'80s/early-'90s; but, man, it still manages to be especially egregious even for the time in which it was produced.

The first sample is also from Justice League Europe #7, from the page immediately preceeding the eye-popping panel of "Martian Mushroomhead"; that's pg. 10, panel 3, for completists:

The lady on the left is the Brazilian superheroine Fire (formerly known as Green Fury, then as Green Flame), an import from the comic book version of DC's Super Friends cartoon show of the 1970s; however, it's the -- uhhh, "woman" on the right to which I wish to draw your attention: she is none other than Power Girl, a member of the Superman Family of Earth-Two who was folded into mainstream DC continuity in the wake of the Crisis on Infinite Earths debacle mini-series. Power Girl has long been mocked or admired by comic book nerds for her spectacularly non-aerodynamic, seemingly gravity-defying bountiful pontoons -- err, "frontal lobes." Here, however, as rendered by Messrs. Sears and Marcos, she looks like nothing so much as a member of a 1980s "hair-metal" band in full-on drag.

The rest of the exhibits are behind the cut.

The first panel is an excerpt from the splash page of Justice League Europe #9 (Dec. 1989); the pencils are by Art Nichols, and the inks are by Bart Sears. The gent on the right is, yes, Captain Atom (who was the field commander of the JLE); the lady on the left is the JLE's liaison, Katherine -- somebody. Sorry, her name escapes me: I neglected to write it down, and the Wikipedia entry for the JLE neglects to mention her. She was essentially the JLE's administrator/facilitator at their Paris headquarters, since I believe only two of their members (Rocket Red -- the Dmitri Pushkin one, or Rocket Red No. 4 -- and the Elongated Man [a former Flash nemesis turned good guy who was a serious contender with Batman for the title of "World's Greatest Detective," believe it or nuts....], if memory serves) actually spoke French. At any rate, from her debut she was depicted as quite the Baberaham Lincoln; here, she's still somewhat attractive, but in a more masculine way:

Poor Sue Dibny -- wife of Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, killed off in the Identity Crisis mini-series (which was written by Brad Meltzer; I've yet to read it, despite the fact that it's available at the two closest public libraries in my area) -- gets the she-male treatment on pg. 6, panel 4 of the same issue, as seen below:

Back to Power Girl: that's supposed be her on the left, with Dmitri as Rocket Red No. 4, and Captain Atom, on the cover of Justice League Europe #10 (Jan. 1990), below:

Next, a panel from this same issue (panel 3 on pg. 2), featuring none other than Bruce Wayne (with much bigger hair than has been his wont for the last decade or so; hey, don't sweat, True Believers: Tony Stark sported a perm/mullett combo in the late '80s....) and one of the twin sisters who were the first iteration of the French superheroine called the Crimson Fox. In addition to looking rather hi-test(osterone), Vivian D'Aramis seems to have a lazy eye; check out her right one:

The art here is by Bart Sears (pencils) and Pablo Marcos (inks). Man: and comic book nerds gripe about Vince Colletta being unable to ink/draw a person's eyes looking in the same direction.....

Same issue, pg. 3, panel 3; check out Vivian's profile:

Yo, Vivian: Jay Leno called, and he wants his chin back.

Still JLE #10, pg. 4, panel 2; Bruce and Vivian appear to be in some -- uhh, distress..?

Come to think of it, this panel is also a likely candidate for Superdickery. Unless she's just hiking him a football. *coughs*

Finally, a shot of Vivian in her Crimson Fox costume, pg. 7, panel 1:

Funny; I remember her twin being drawn much cuter in Starman, before she got killed by the original Mist's daughter (also the Mist)....

Last panel, still from Justice League Europe #10, pg. 8, panel 5: Power, um, "Girl" is in the foreground; Captain Atom's in the background:

Seriously, Power Girl here looks more masculine than my dad -- and he used to get mistaken for a rabbi in airports.

Maybe Dr. Wertham had a point after all....

Tags: comic books, stoopid, superheroes
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