Monday, April 30, 2018

Silver Age: Justice League of America #1 (July, 2000)

Agamemno's body-swapped villainous JLA get up to some especially nasty business. This includes vomiting on one another, causing schools of sea life to devour each other as a laugh, massacring an entire miniaturized Daxamite city under foot, stealing the Oan central power battery, and rendering dozens of Green Lantern Corpsmen corpses, man. At one point, Dr. Light as Martian Manhunter is sexually propositioned by Catwoman as Black Canary after he flew her back to her apartment to feed her cats. "You're wasting your time, my amorous companion. Physics ace Arthur Light has always been more interested in test tubes and Bunsen burners than the fairer sex!" Clearly Brad Meltzer never read this story, or maybe consent is just a turn-off for Dr. Light? Technically, Catwoman is suggesting the sexual assault of both their borrowed bodies, so maybe she just phrased her request ineffectively?

Martian/Light's other major contribution to the issue was using his ability to turn himself yellow to choke the decorated Green Lantern Ares Bandet of Xarda to death (while partially assuming an anachronistic Natural Martian form.) Also, Martian Vision is apparently capable of destroying a whole mound of GL power rings (stolen at super-speed by the Flash/Mr. Element.)

Given the viciousness reflected in this synopsis, you probably shouldn't be surprised that "The League Without Justice!" is credited to Mark Millar, Scot Kolins and Dan Panosian, although this was before Millar built his career on that sort of cynical sadism. Personally, I can't take it seriously enough to be offended, since this story is a retcon that was only barely in continuity before being forgotten by a universe later rebooted anyway. It's a broadly satirical trifle, so you might as well roll with it, although the cutesy Ty Templeton cover smuggles a (literal) gut punch (of an old lady) underneath its deceptive retro presentation.

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