Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Justice League of America #16

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Justice League of America #16

Well, this wasn't so bad. It's got John Stewart and Guy Gardner in it for one thing. And Roy. Roy is always nice. It also picks up on a plot point left over from the Ion mini-series...just what the heck happened to that Tangent Lantern that Kyle left with Guy anyway?

We begin with a couple of lowlifes breaking into Guy's storage rental, and rifling through his stuff, looking for things to steal and sell on eBay. Unnoticed in a box, labelled "Kyle's Green Lantern thing" is the Tangent lantern that Kyle gave to Guy for safekeeping quite some time ago. It starts to glow for some reason, and a bolt of light bursts out of it, along with the words "Joker...Flash...Atom" THAT can't be good. Then good old Al disappears, only to be replaced by a really cheesed off Tanget Atom.

Meanwhile, John Stewart is sitting at the computer monitor back at JLA headquarters playing chess with a mopey Red Tornado. He's been downloaded into the computer while they try and figure out a way to get him a new body. Reddy picks up the distress call from the police, and John heads out to the storage rental place, meeting Black Canary and Roy. Paul, the remaining thief is busy spilling his guts to the cops about what happened. I do rather enjoy the fact that John...a Green Lantern no less...is highly skeptical about the kids finding a magical lantern.

Turns out that the first responding officer disappeared, and then the new Atom beat the crap out of her backup. John's still not quite sure why the League has been called into this, when the cop in charge points out that the rental unit was one leased by none other than Guy Gardner. You can just see them sigh, and head into it.

John calls up Guy on his ring. Guy unfortunately for John, is a leeetle bit busy at the moment, fighting a large tentacled, toothy space monster, with a glowing green chainsaw, so he says he's busy and that's that. John is just astounded that Guy "hung up" on him. Tee hee!

Meanwhile Canary and Roy confront the Tangent Atom guy, who is trying to make the Tangent lantern work. His attitude is a bit truculent, to say the least, and he makes Dinah intangible, and sends her through the floor into the basement, so of course Roy starts shooting at him. Then Atom breaks Roy's bow, which has to make him cranky, so he starts using Guy's assorted junk to beat him up. Exactly why Guy would have rakes and hoes up against the wall is a little baffling. Despite his last name, he's never struck me as the gardening type.

John gets Dinah out of the basement without causing any massive destruction of private property which is actually rather nice. Then she gets on the ring line and starts yelling at Guy, who is STILL a little occupied, but not quite as occupied as he was, as there are lots of pieces of tentacles floating in space. At first Guy is a little confused, since obviously he doesn't keep his regular battery in his rental storage, but then realizes that it's the lantern that Kyle gave him to hold.

Well isn't that a fine how-de-do?

Dinah and John rush back upstairs only to find that Roy has managed to beat the Atom into unconciousness, which I find to be a little unbelievable, but I'll let it slide. Then there is another zap of green glowing light and the thief Al is back and the Atom is gone.

Now the narrator changes, and it turns out that the poor policewoman who got zapped has been exchanged for the Tangent Flash, the scantily clad young lady from the cover, and that now she's stuck here.

They never do explain why the lantern said "Joker" in addition to the Atom and the Flash, but methinks that will be a plot point for another day.

So...not a terrible story. But by God, it sure was horrible art. Ed Benes and his butt fetish didn't do this issue, instead we had Joe Benitez, who apparently has gone to the Turner school of Scratchy Artwork. Gosh, but I do NOT care for it. AND, he has portrayed Guy with that goddamned bowl-cut hair that he hasn't had in more than ten years for heaven's sake! READ a BOOK once in a while! Guy also has white boots, which is incorrect. There are a number of ways that the artist doesn't mesh up with the writer, such as when Roy says that the Atom broke his Quiver...and that is why he beat him up. He didn't break his Quiver, he broke his BOW! Oh, and Guy doesn't have green eyes, he has BLUE eyes. And Dinah has Ice's hairstyle ofr some reason.

Isn't this supposed to be one of DC's premier books? Could we PLEASE find a good artist for it? And by that, I mean of course, one that I like? Because it's all about me, me me. Howabout Dan Jurgens? I like Jurgens. Or Mahnke, or Tom Nguyen or somebody. Not Ivan Reis, because I want him to draw Green Lantern until he's old and grey.

Any thoughts?


At 1:15 PM, Blogger Patrick C said...

I would LOVE Doug Mahnke on JLA! The whole Red Tornado plotline is driving me crazy. The entire first arc was all about how powerful/indestructible that robot body was! I like Dwayne McDuffie, but come on, did you read the issues before you came on?

At 3:40 PM, Blogger chrishaley said...

I'd like to throw my vote in for Doug Mahnke also.
I wish Ed Benes would be shot out of a cannon away from JLA.
I don't want him to be hurt, I just want him far, far, far away from that comic.

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick: I think Batman's idea wasn't that his body is indestructible (it clearly isn't, since he gets blown up so often), but that he could be rebuilt. He's like a kamikaze who can come back again and again.

Sally: There's some precedent for green eyes.




Personally, I think they work better with the whole *Green* Lantern thing.


At 7:49 PM, Blogger Dwayne "the canoe guy" said...

I've been reading this book and every month I feel that I have absolutely no idea of what is going on. The first 11 were painful, #12 was schmaltzy, #13 starts of as part 2 of a story (where the hell is part 1?) and now this.

I have no idea who/tangent is and it looks like a launch for another book that I don't have time/money to read.

I'm still trying to play catch-up on Blue Beelt and feel like I need to read Booster Gold as well.

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous CaptainAardvark said...

Dwayne - Part 1 of that story was the JLA Wedding Special

As for this issue - a big 'meh' from me. The first arc was little more than a dumb extended fight sequence, and this wasn't any better - especially with Benitez' art, which is even worse than Benes' in some places. Even a Guy appearance couldn't save it.

I'm pretty close to dropping this title, to be honest.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

I would love to have Doug Mahnke draw JLA.

I KNOW that Guy has been portrayed lately as having green eyes, but they are BLUE! I'm telling myself that it's the reflection from the ring or something.

If McDuffie could get a decent artist, I think that the quality of the book would rise in leaps and bounds. Whenever there is a good collaboration between the writer and the artist, amazing things can happen.

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe wearing the ring for so long turned his eyes green, like John Stewart on the Justice League animated series. And come to think of it, comic-John occasionally had green eyes during the Sinestro Corps storyline.

I sort of like all the Earth Lanterns being greenies. I guess we might have to agree to disagree here.


At 7:47 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Hal has brown eyes and Kyle has hazel eyes. Have they changed to green as well?

Perhaps it IS a part of using the ring...which is something I hadn't really considered.

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, on second thought, I think you're right about Hal. His eyes were brown in every image I could find where they weren't covered.

I looked at an old Green Lantern from the 90's, and Kyle had dark brown eyes. But he's been consistently green lately. Weird.



This little argument isn't nearly geeky enough for my taste. Uh, let's see...

Who could win in a fight between the Green Lantern Corps and Galactus? I'm going to go with the Lanterns on this one. They took down the Anti-Monitor, who, when you think about it, is sort of DC's answer to Galactus (except he destroys universes instead of planets). There, that's better...


At 9:41 AM, Blogger notintheface said...

As far as possible JLA artists, how about Peter Vale, the artist on the most recent Superman issue? It looks like he's not going to be the regular artist on that book, but he more than deserves his own regular title. Why not JLA?

Also, they should have shown the Roy/Atom fight. Tangent's Atom is kind of a cross between Captain Atom and Firestorm, with some Superman thrown in, so Roy (as good as he is) winning was NOT necessarily a given. However, it did underscore one of Meltzer's biggest errors on JLA, namely saddling Roy with the "Red Arrow" name and motif. Here were told (not shown) his other Bullseye-like skills. "Red Arrow", my butt. He's ARSENAL, dammit!

At 7:01 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Phil, I'd have to go with the Green Lanterns over Galactus any day. Heck, if Dazzler and Aunt May and Hercules can beat Galactus, then I'm betting on G'nort.

Notinthface, I miss Roy as Arsenal as well. And getting more than a little tired of all the good stuff being shown "off-panel".


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