Friday, July 23, 2010

2008 Hallmark Expressions Justice League Unlimited Grandson Birthday Card

Sometime last last or early this year, I found this largely inclusive JLU greeting card at my local Krogers. Instead of the "book" format, it's a vertical card folded into three parts, perfect for a narrow blog like this one. I tried connecting the individual pieces into a whole image, but the headache that caused is the reason this took so long to post, broken up over three blogs.

The first fold features Superman and Batman, with Kal-El's high sunken cheekbones being rather specific to his design early into the Justice League animated series. The pair look to be manipulated stock art, and the skyscrapers in the background are reproduced on the card's reverse in monochromatic pale blue.

The second fold sees two of my favorites, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern John Stewart, dodging Batman's dangling lower half. After a determined Man of Steel, a scowling Dark Knight, and an Emerald Gladiator with a twisted attitudinal expression, the gentle smile of the Amazing Amazon is a relief. I should point out that all of the figures here are embossed and treated to a spot varnish against the flat printed backdrop.

The reverse middle offers a challenge: "Match the Justice League members to their super power!" Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter were in play, with the Sleuth from Outer Space being linked to "Shape-Shifting." I guess the Alien Atlas was a spoiler, since he could lay claim to as much "Super Strength" as most anyone else.

The final fold stars our own Manhunter from Mars in a sweet full body shot. Thanks to the angle, J'Onn's brow is nice and blocky, and his build is solid. This counters the dandy leanings of the high collared cape to bring the butchy back. Being his usual sour self among mostly like company, I doubt the sentiments expressed on the card could be attributed to the Martian Marvel. While the text residing with the World's Finest pair at the top reads, "The Justice League knows your true identity, Grandson..." the bottom continues, " amazing, fantastic, super-great kid!" The one character on the card given short shrift was the Flash, whose body is allowed less that one-half visibility. Still, grin firmly in place, he's a lot more plausible than J'Onn to offer "Have the Best Birthday Ever!"

On the opposite side were the answers to the puzzle, all the copyright/branding/UPC necessities, and prices the U.S.A. (1.99) and Canada (two bits more.) If there was a decorative envelope, I couldn't find it. There are actually a number of Justice League cards in wide circulation, but most choose to drop Martian Manhunter, so his presence here was a treat for me.

Finally, I'd like to apologize for my habitual lateness at this blog. I've been dealing with a lot of personal and professional upheaval related to my finally getting back to continuing my education in nursing. My grandmother worked at a hospital before her early retirement and untimely death, so this grandson congratulatory card means a bit more to me this week than most. I'm working on getting a whole buncha trains back on tracks, so please bare with.


Anonymous said...

Frank, as i commented yesterday about JLA Classified, in the short story line Ghost of Mars, they have Malefic dead. I have read Ostranders series where Malefic gets engulfed in flames but it never says he is dead it might be implied but never says it. Then in the DC Encyclopedia and JLA Ultimate Guide they have a little part about Malefic saying how he is STILL ALIVE. Iam confused and I dont know anyone else who knows that much about Martian Manhunter. Can you help

LissBirds said...

What is this magical, mystical place called "Krogers" and how can I get there?! I've never heard of it. That card is just pure win. I'd like to think ol' green sourpuss would make an exception and wish potential comic-book-fan-children a happy birthday. Kind of like that Justice League Adventures issue where J'onn winds up at an was quite adorable.

I'm very sorry to hear that your personal life has been a little rocky and my deepest condolences. :( Best of luck with nursing Mom's a nurse, and I've had my share of chronic health problems throughout the years and having a good nurse around to reassure you is always a comfort. I'm sure you'll be an asset to the nursing community.

Diabolu Frank said...

Anonymous, it is as you say. Malefic's continued existence as a corporeal being has been left ambiguous. Is "he" just an articulate memory? A psychic specter? The serial killing Martian running around in Brightest Day? Commander Blanx had a much less convincing unconfirmed "death," and he hasn't been seen in over forty years, although I suspect he might also be the BL killer.

The thing about Martian Manhunter villains is that creators prefer to create new ones whole rather than expand on those of others. There are only three Martian Manhunter villains that have shown any signs of bucking that trend, and Malefic is clearly one of them. It remains to be seen.

Liss, you're probably being facetious, but Kroger "is the country's largest grocery store chain and its second-largest grocery retailer by volume," after Wall-Mart. They're big in the South and West. It continues to be weird to me that in our modern age of globalization, that there are so many popular chains with blackout regions in the States. I wouldn't trade Whattaburger for Hardees/Carl's Jr., but I don't get why I can't have both in Texas.

LissBirds said...

Actually, somewhat-serious. The only place I've ever heard of Kroger's is here. My best guess was that it was a drug store, so I guess I was off a bit.