Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Justice League America #37 (April, 1990)

Ted and Booster were still on KP duty, and Gold blamed everyone but himself for it as he whined endlessly. The Martian Manhunter took exception to his bellyaching. "I don't understand your resentment, Booster. You and Beetle stole League funds--"
"Who stole? We borrowed it! We were gonna pay it back with interest!"
"Until your little paradise fell apart around you-- and the League had to come rescue you."

Booster seemed to think two weeks of "scrubbing, buffing, scraping and washing" had made up for the crime of embezzling untold millions of dollars from Maxwell Lord, something I as a reader never quite forgave him for, although maybe later tragedies could be used to excuse elements of the offense.

"As I see it, you humiliated the League with your ridiculous scheme."
"Y'know, you are the most arrogant Martian I've ever met!"
"I'm also the only Martian you've ever met... Just do your job, Booster. And, when you're done-- perhaps you can grow up."

Despite his unquestionable culpability, Booster continued his tantrum in J'Onn's absence, then stormed off in search of respect, money, and other options.

"Neptune... where a satellite-probe begins behaving somewhat... erratically. Where a spark become a fire... and the fire takes form:" A being long disintegrated and dispersed developed from a fetal state to a horrid caricature of fanged and clawed infancy. "At last... I am free: free to hate. Free to murder." NASA couldn't figure out what had happened to a camera on their satellite, but an image of the red/pink-skinned alien flickered on just long enough to warn, "Tell them-- I am coming."

It would have been easy for the creature to simply allow itself to continue to discorporate into cosmic nothingness, and so very difficult to claw its way back to physical existence, but its hate was too strong to do otherwise. It melded with the satellite and impatiently waited for a flicker to reignite the flame of his old existence. "How long? Long enough to be broken and humiliated. Long enough for a hate as wide as creation, as deep as god, to grow still wider. Still deeper. Hate is the life-force that fuels me. Hate is what gives me purpose, meaning. So I ride my hate across space, toward earth; toward hate's expression... toward the Justice League."

A paparazzi disguised as a derelict skulked in the alley behind the New York JLI embassy so that he could steal the trash of the heroic team. Guy Gardner had previously warned the bum to stay away, but the creep made off with a refuse can before being detected. However, a mangy yellow alley cat managed to access the embassy when Guy peeked outside.

Booster Gold met with Claire Montgomery at a posh restaurant, to discuss an offer she had made previously off-panel, as this was her debut appearance.

Guy Gardner was pleased that Beetle and Booster were the ones getting dumped on instead of him, wished the League would "boot that Martian moron" and make him "top dog," thought Ice had a great bod but the wrong attitude and considered playing a prank on Max. The embassy sprinkler system was set off when Fire was startled by the mangy cat, and a damp Martian Manhunter was annoyed Beatriz hadn't yet developed better control over her enhanced powers since Invasion! Guy ended up in a wrestling match with the tenacious feline, and when Ted protested missing the spectacle on orders to shut off the water, J'Onn deadpanned, "My heart bleeds."

Fire wondered if they shouldn't help the Green Lantern in his cat fight. "Guy is constantly reminding us that he's America's greatest super-hero. I'm sure he can handle something as simple as a cat."
"He doesn't seem to be handling it very well."
"No, he doesn't-- does he? ...I assure you, Fire-- if I think that cat is in even the slightest danger-- I'll intervene immediately."

Things only got worse from there, as J'Onn griped about Beetle's initial inability to perform simple task of shutting off the water, a defective robot duplicate of Mr. Miracle kept trying to introduce itself to people, Bea started another fire when Guy hit on her, and in the end the debacle afforded Max Lord a big laugh. J'Onn accidentally stole one of Ted's jokes, apologizing by explaining, "sometimes when I'm weary... and a day like this makes a Martian very weary... I'm telepathically wide open..."

Max had decided to take Beetle and Booster off K.P., but teased Gold when he arrived that he would have to clean up the mess made that day. It was all the excuse Booster Gold needed to angrily resign from the League.

"Furballs!" by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Adam Hughes and Art Nichols.


LissBirds said...

This is one of my all-time favorite JLI issues, in part because of the way Hughes draws that hideous cat and the sound effects that come out of it. I wish it hadn't ended with Booster leaving the League, though.

And in my weird little twisted-logic world, embezzling money from a person who is already crooked makes it okay. I was always one for "two wrongs make a right." Especially if it results in comedy gold like opening a casino on a living island.

Diabolu Frank said...

To me, it was a sideways appropriation of Bill the Cat, which wasn't as funny without the coke habit. It was a fun issue though, and a big relief to have Adam Hughes on board.