Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I've always been slow on this title, though...

A title I'm mildly surprised I haven't posted more of: From 1990, Justice League Europe #17, "The Extremist Vector, part three: On the Brink!" Plot and breakdowns by Keith Giffen, dialog by Gerald Jones, pencils by Bart Sears, inks by Randy Elliott.

JLE, of course, was the spin-off of the surprise hit Justice League International, and Keith Giffen brought humor to this title as well, although maybe not as much. Well, not always: issue #5, with Giffen's JLI co-writer J. M. DeMatteis and the Injustice League, is damn funny. But JLE's focus was more on super-hero action, with Sears penciling, and probably a good choice.

This was the third part of the Extremists storyline, which involved a super-villain team that were thinly veiled analogs of Marvel Comics villains: Dr. Diehard was Magneto, Lord Havok was Dr. Doom, Tracer was Sabretooth, Gorgon was (a more disturbing) Dr. Octopus, and Dreamweaver was Dormammu. I say "thinly veiled," but actually I'm not sure how many issues it took me to figure that out! Previously, the bad guys just crushed perennial punching bags the Rocket Red Corps, to establish how bad ass they are. And the JLE gets asskicked by the Extremists, for like the third time? Their strategy had a couple of flaws, though: the Flash (Wally, not yet the pro he would be in JLA!) gets distracted and drops the ball on covering Dreamslayer (who actually had a better design than Dormammu did at the time, and Dormammu may have actually swiped from him going forward!) and the team miscalculates whether the stolen nuclear missiles were in a stable orbit or not. (They weren't!)

There were two more parts of this storyline, which included a desolate alternate earth, and alternate earth heroes Blue Jay and Silver Sorceress, and Mitch Wacky, an alt-Walt Disney. They would all hang around for a while, to varying degrees of success. And this issue had two, almost three full-page spreads, but still has a lot more dialog than any Justice League book on the stands today. (There's a nine-panel grid page I might come back to, where earth's other heroes bag out of this one, leaving it to the JLE!)


Dale Bagwell said...

I got this one actually. Need to get the first and final parts, but yeah this was really good for the time and even holds up well to today. As you pointed out, some of the designs
for the fake Marvel villains were really good. Well maybe not Tracer's or to an extent Dr. Diehard, but the rest of them were pretty damn good.

I know they were brought back briefly during Coountdown some years back, but idk they were ever as bad-ass or written intelligently as Giffen did. Shame really.

Christian Zamora said...

I really loved this storyline and it did take me a while to complete it. I loved the fun JLA. And the JLE was more action driven but still quite exciting.

Could you believe I never noticed the parallelism between the Extremists and some Marvel villains? I always thought they were extremely cool. They should be brought back.