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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Justice League Europe #37 - April 1992

Comics Weekend "Changing" by Gerard Jones, Ron Randall, and Randy Elliott.

I've mentioned several times that I have never read the issues of Justice League Europe that featured Aquaman as a member, and my intention to pick some of them up at some point and give them a spin.

Well, generosity, thy name is F.O.A.M.--about a month or so ago I got a surprise package in the mail from F.O.A.M.er Stephen Peterson--four consecutive issues of Justice League Europe, starting with this one! Wow, thanks Stephen!

As you can see from this issue's cover, this new iteration of the JLE is trying as hard as it can to reclaim the magic of the original JLA line-up, with its mix of old and new members, the book's new tagline, to say nothing of the design, an homage to the classic Justice League of America #9. But no issue of the original book ever opened like this:
That's Ralph Dibney Power Girl is talking to, who is currently squabbling with his wife Sue (R.I.P.) over her insistence that all the members of the JLE get new costumes, to help make a big splash, P.R. wise, at a U.N. fundraiser schedule for later that night.

After following up with some members of Scotland Yard regarding an intruder on JLE HQ's grounds, Sue has another fire to put out: dealing with the temperamental, high-priced clothes designer she hired to design everyone's new costumes.

Meanwhile, Flash and Aquaman(yay!) are hard at work. Well, actually just Aquaman:
Outside, we see the mysterious intruder skulking around the grounds, muttering to himself about art and life and language and meaning, bitter over his work being rejected from a recent museum exhibit. This is noticed by another person getting fitted for some clothes, in this case a tux: billionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne.

Later that night, the JLE is ready to meet their patrons, all of them in new costumes, save for Aquaman and Flash. Flash has a thing for Power Girl, but she seemingly only has eyes for Aquaman (love stinks). He drowns his sorrows in hors d'oeuvres.

Outside, we see our angry artist has some amazing powers--the ability to transmogrify matter! After messing with a bird and then a homeless man, he aims at the U.N. building, and that's when things get weird:
Their enthusiasm notwithstanding, our heroes are quickly stymied by a giant church, sitting just a few feet outside the U.N.'s door, a building that wasn't there just a few minutes earlier.

They all smack into it, and when they recover, none of what they see makes sense--the least of which is the word "deconstructed" floating in the sky. The JLE is confused, but there's someone else there to help:

...to be continued!

Its of course nice to see Aquaman back in a JLA book, even if he pretty remorselessly humorless here. But let's see what happens, there's more JLE to come!


Wings1295 said...

I remember at the time I was just happy Aquaman was appearing somewhere. Not sure how much I remember about how he was actually portrayed.

David J. Cutler said...

Good LORD, Flash and Aquaman had the right idea not letting that guy near their costumes hahaha...I'd never seen a single one of these before and they're now all among my least favorite costume changes of all time.

The tendency for most DC heroes to never behave like they're friends (Batman/Superman, Wally West/Kyle Rayner, Aquaman/anybody) was a big turn off for me, especially in the 90s. I know conflict's the name of the game, but I'd like to think these people would at least like and respect one another for the most part.

Russell said...

I agree with both the previous comments....and unfortunately, it turned out that the costumes AND Aquaman appearing here didn't work out. He was gone almost exactly one year later after doing almost nothing of interest.

Plus I hated his curly hair look as Ron Randall drew it.

Randy said...

Sometimes longstanding friendships can come from what could have been hatred.

In high school, I remember this kid in my math class who rubbed me the wrong way from day one of my sophomore year. I think it was November when we found out we had the mutual interest of comics. And lo there shall come a friendship.

My sophomore year of high school was 1984 and we remain friends to this day.

rob! said...

Joe--Right there with you.

David--Again, right there with you.

Russell--I think Ron Randall is a really good comic book artist, but superheroes are not his forte, and I think that shows here.

Randy--Shoot me an email!

David J. Cutler said...

Batman and Superman have known each other for 10-20 years of comic book time continuity, and they still act like its unpleasant to see one another most of the time.