Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Justice League

On Wednesday, Ancker and I walked over Eric's house and watched some of the Justice League series. Eric actually prepared a mini-arc for us, by playing certain episodes that advanced the overarching plot for the season and skipping most of the standalone character episodes and monster-of-the-week things. When viewed together, they were pretty awesome and made for nice storytelling. I'm not sure if I'm a bigger comic nerd or Eric is. I think he's read more comics, but I've read more about comics. Poor Dave was the odd man out.

Sample exchange:

Eric: I was reading a comic where John Constantine pees on the Phantom Stranger's shoes.
Josh: I remember that! That was his birthday issue!
Dave: (Sighs, covers eye with hand)

Every time he went outside for a cigarette, I thought he was just going to keep walking until he got home.

But the Justice League series is really cool! The animation is a bit clunky in parts and the stylized look for some of the chracters was distracting. The exaggerated character design works for Superman, but not so much for mere mortals. Green Arrow, in particular, was about as wide as he was tall. Seriously, he looked like Gorilla Grodd. However, the dialogue was top notch and the character interactions were believable. They retold some cool, classic comics stories and showcased some nice ongoing stuff. One episode was about twenty minutes of super-powered brawling and you'd think it would get boring after a while, but it didn't!

And it was nice to see some of the B-listers. (A C-listers. And you too, Vibe. I'm not sure which list you're on, but I'm pretty sure we'll need a letter from Grant Morrison's 64-Letter alphabet to describe it. Hey-o! Invisibles Shout Out!)

Me: (Squinting at dude on screen for half a second) Was that Aztek?
Eric: No, I think was the Ray. But there's Aztek

And it was! Fucking Aztek, man!!! Huzzah!

I really like Aztek. Grant Morrison wrote most of his appearances, and he thus had some great stories. Corey sometimes accuses me of stealing shamelessly from published materials to populate my games, but he's just seeing patterns where there are none.

Consider this line from Aztek.
Now consider this threat from a Mazeworks character.

"You're gonna love this! Arcanowave devices are powered by a Fourth-dimensional energy field. The only thing preventing it from erupting into third dimensional space with an explosion more powerful than any weapon on earth is this little fader switch on my belt. And guess what I just pressed! So unless you want Avalon to look like Tunguska, I'd back the fuck off!"

Corey's probably going to claim that I "stole" this too, but he's just got an overactive imagination. Now that we've put that delusion to rest, let us press on and leave Crazy Corey to his conspiracy theories..

Anyways, part of the story arc was the US government assembling their own team of superbeings to take down the Justice League in case they went rogue. I commented, "Bah. They can't even handle a bunch of zombies" in reference to the ongoing World War Z debate and got a couple of chuckles for that.

Dave brought up a criticism that I've never seen adequately explained. If you've got Superman on the team, why do you want Hawkgirl? Eric said that they try to explain this in the series by saying that Superman can't be everywhere. While I'm glad that they made the effort, I'm not buying it. "Oh noes! Amazo is tearing up Coast City! Quickly, this looks like a job for the Star-Spangled Kid, Liberty Belle, and possibly...Mister Terrific ("Fair Play!")

Fortunately membership seems to have ballooned to roughly five thousand members, so they can afford to use human wave tactics.

I've always loved superheroes. (Except for Batman, of course. He just sucks) I think I always will. I think they're like the heroes of ancient myth, updated for the modern world. (I know, not an original observation, but an apt one.) Grant Morrison explicitly modeled his version of the Justice League on the twelve gods of Olympus. I just reread, "Soon I will be Invincible", which rocks on toast and when Eric and Gavin were over the other day and Lily couldn't name her favorite superhero, I felt like I had failed her as a father.

Now I must take her on my invisible jet to the fortress of solitude where we will sit atop the giant penny, and I will teach her the manifold ways of geekdom. We'll start with Wonder Woman. She liked Adam Hughes' Wonder Woman piece,

and I think she could do worse for a super hero role model than Wonder Woman. (Though Wonder Woman's new costume is crap. Even Gloria Steinem says so. Wonder Woman needs a Sassy Gay Friend to prevent these kind of fashion missteps in the future.)

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