Monday, June 27, 2005

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breakfast with the JLA: issue 123

JLA #123, October 1975: "Where on Earth am I?"
Breakfast: Half a grapefruit, toast and jam

Cover, JLA issue 123

In this issue, actual JLA writer Cary Bates accidentally steps on the Cosmic Treadmill, gets transported to the the homeworld of the Justice Society of America, develops superpowers, puts on an attractively bikini-cut costume, and becomes a villain. Meanwhile, other writer Elliot S! Maggin tries to follow by taking the Treadmill and ends up on the JLA homeworld, where he can't do jack.

Sweet Jesus, it's a Mary Sue fiesta. I don't know whether to hate it outright or to appreciate it for its balls-out approach to writer insertion. I have to admit, it's refreshingly honest compared to the usual Mary Sue stories I come across ("Jayne Darkflower, American transfer student at Hogwarts and Draco's secret lover, by Jane Smith").

At least now I know whom to blame for all of the cheesy slang. Damn you Maggin!

Magginslang at work in JLA

The characters actually toss around some fairly risqué chatter here. I counted one "Bulldinky" and two "Freakings," plus this crack on Aquaman:

"Wonder why old Flipper's late -- maybe found himself a lady porpoise with a pair of dynamite fins?"

Yes, because I really needed the mental image of heroes gettin' all Smoove B with undersea creatures. It wouldn't be the first time, though.

The inevitable "please demonstrate the heroes' powers" fight scene turned up, showing a typical combo of boldfaced catch-up exposition and superhero ass-kissing (thank you, Howling Commandos, for sensitizing me to this. YAY).

"There you go, Wildcat. Wish I had that karate prowess of yours!"
"Your utility belt mini-torch ain't a tinker toy either, Robin!

Suddenly, we find out that poor Cary Bates is actually being manipulated by the Injustice Society of the World (though the sign in their lair says "Injustice Society of America"). DA-DA-DAAAAHN! They look like they mean business: the Wizard, the Gambler, the Huntress (the villain one, not the midriffy one), the Icicle, the Shade, ... and the Sportsmaster? Ah ha ha ha! He looks like the kind of guy they let on the team because his dad bought them a superhideout and all the Bugles they could eat.

And the Shade! Oh, Shade, hide your goofy shame! James Robinson has ruined him for me by giving him spooky dignity in Starman. The black bodysuit he's sporting in this issue is mortifying! I want to swap it for a smoking jacket and brandy snifter, and then I want to write him an excuse note. "The Shade can't fight heroes today because he's at the opera being dignified. Love, Kitty."

After a goodies-vs.-baddies fight that turns out to be a sneaky goodies-vs.-goodies fight, the issue ends on a cliffhanger. How can anyone stop superpowerful Cary Bates? This isn't the question that concerns me, though. I just want to know if the next issue will be as wanktacular as this one.

Best quote: "Last one at 'em had an insecure childhood!"

Demo of Cary Bates' utter evil

1 comment!     click to join in

1 BeaucoupKevin   (8:26am - Jun 28, 2005)

Genius. You know you can't say otherwise.

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