Thursday, June 21, 2018

80-Page Thursdays: Justice League Quarterly #1!

It's been six months since our last 80-page Thursday--a whole month of Sundays, as Ben Grimm might've said. Today we've got a recent pick-up, that I'm pretty sure I've had at some point; that I've read but still have trouble remembering. Well, maybe this'll help! From 1990, Justice League Quarterly #1, "Corporate Maneuvers (and Leveraged Buyouts)" Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, pencils by Keith Giffen (layouts) and Chris Sprouse, inks by Bruce Patterson.

Maxwell Lord (long before his heel-turn) has noticed, in the course of observing former JLI member Booster Gold, that public relations "hard case" Claire Montgomery has approached several unknown or obscure superhero types: Gypsy, Vibe's brother Reverb, the recently introduced super-boy scout Maxi-Man, and others. (Including Praxis, who would get a serial in later issues; he amusingly doesn't show up on film...which makes him an odd choice for this particular team.) She's putting together a corporate-sponsored super-hero team; and unlike some previous attempt at that sort of thing, this Conglomerate is sponsored by multiple corporations, including LexCorp, Ferris Air, S.T.A.R. Labs, Stagg Chemicals...and some others I don't recognize. And at least two of those are evil, but okay. They make their first appearance stopping a rogue telekinetic from destroying a chemical plant of one of their sponsors; not realizing he may have been experimented upon there.

Somewhat surprisingly, Booster is the largest gloryhound of the group, but largely plays it straight; and even he gets fed up with being trotted out at parties and ad campaigns. After a coup in a South American country to put a ruler more amenable to corporate interests in power, and a standoff against the JLI; Booster is hoping for a mission he can be proud of, which turns out to be cleaning up a sponsor's oil spill; and he goes off on them to the press. The team's corporate liaison, to in turn 'clean up' after them, turns to longtime Green Lantern bad guy, Hector Hammond, to set up an unfortunate "accident."

There are a few interesting character bits in here, but maybe not enough: on the cover, Gypsy is giving J'onn an epic "Yes, dad" eyeroll; but I don't think they actually interact in the issue! But we know the Conglomerate wouldn't stick around long--at least, not with this lineup. And everyone involved seems really (perhaps willfully) naïve in thinking they can sell out to the man and still do good. (Perhaps slightly less so than it would in the Marvel Universe, where something like this would've been sponsored by Roxxon, Oscorp, Trask Industries...)


Dale Bagwell said...

Who are the other companies you don't recognize?

googum said...

Pax Entertainment, Dupree Chemical, American Steel, Dante Foods and Ovel Oil. If they had appeared before, maybe they hadn't done anything evil enough to be noteworthy.

SallyP said...

gGod, I do miss the old JLA.

SallyP said...

Gosh, I do miss the old JLI. And Guy, and Fire and Ice, and Booster and Ted.


Dale Bagwell said...

Never heard of any of those. Must have been made up for the story