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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 50

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today, for our 50th Cool Comic Book Moment, in lieu of a foil enhanced cover, we’re instead just going to be looking at perhaps the most famous scene from Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’ Justice League run!

Enjoy!

This moment is quite simple to set up.

A new Justice League has formed. The Green Lantern Guy Gardner felt that he should be the leader of the new team, while the rest of the heroes all gravitated towards Batman as the leader. Gardner and Batman had come into conflict frequently in the first four issues of the book, with their arguments finally coming to a head in the fifth issue of the series…

(Click to enlarge the pages – the first two panels on page three are, I suppose, what I would term “the moment” if pressed to pick one moment out of the pages).

Awesome.

53 Comments

Wait, does Batman know of Captain Marvel’s powers at this point? ‘Cuz it seems to me that he just told a guy who specifically has “wisdom” as one of his above-normal attributes that he’s an idiot. Either Batman is Biblically talented (he IS Batman, but pwning Solomon is impressive) or his arrogance is monumentally self-absorbed to the point where he’s dangerous. “Oh, you’re the smartest guy ever? Well, _I_ outsmarted the Riddler, so shut up and save the world the way I tell you to!”

And other than Guy, everyone on that third page is currently dead in some fashion (including that giant crow that’s trying to swallow Dinah). One punch, ha ha, but who’s laughing now, chuckelheads? Guy Gardner, that’s who.

The new Brave and the Bold cartoon recently did a cool take on this scene (in an episode written by DeMatteis.) G’nort got Blue Beetle’s line, but the set up was mostly the same.

Cove West, it’s not Batman who doesn’t know who he’s talking to, it’s Giffen and DeMatteis who don’t understand who they’re writing. Giffen and DeMatteis’s total cluelessness about Captain Marvel really ruined this scene for me. He doesn’t actually have a childlike intelligence and he wasn’t transported to the present straight from the 1950s. Part of his very origin and power set is that he has the seasoned wisdom and intelligence of Solomon. I remember reading Giffen talking about how the League was chosen, and I think I read him saying that he chose personality types and characters first, then asked editorial which characters were available to use and assigned them to those personality. For example, he wanted “wisecracking screw-up” as one of the characters, then asked who was available. Blue Beetle was. So he assigned Blue Beetle to be the wisecracking screw-up, even though that wasn’t his actual characterization (although thanks to this series’ success, that became his permanent personality). I guess he must have done that with Captain Marvel too. Maybe he had “retarded lummox” as a character, and just shoehorned Capt. MArvel to fill the slot based on availability.

Gee, always seems someone comes along and drains the fun out of any situation.

I think the whole thing with Captain Marvel wasn’t that Batman didn’t know his powers or that Giffen shoe-horned him into the “retarded lummox” role. What it was (IMO), was Captain Marvel basically being a rookie hero in the wake of the original Crisis and the Legends crossover that followed, despite his real-world history. A few issues later, when it goes from “Justice League” to “Justice League International”, he quits because he feels he needs to get more experience before he is ready for membership in the JL.

Gee, always seems someone comes along and drains the fun out of any situation.

Hehe…I’ll cop to the fact that that was my first thought, as well. :)

And other than Guy, everyone on that third page is currently dead in some fashion (including that giant crow that’s trying to swallow Dinah).

I am missing something, what is the status of dinah, i thought she was still leader of the JLA and running her own ongoing with GA. is one of the deaths that may or may not has happened in final crisis that will not be resolved untill the ongoings catch up?

It was an okay moment, but I admit as well to wondering why Bats would call such a longtime superhero inexperienced.

I am missing something, what is the status of dinah

He’s joking that the “crow” on her costume is dead, not Dinah, as she stopped wearing that costume years ago.

And other than Guy, everyone on that third page is currently dead in some fashion (including that giant crow that’s trying to swallow Dinah). One punch, ha ha, but who’s laughing now, chuckelheads? Guy Gardner, that’s who.

That right there is why I stopped reading DC Comics after “All-Star Superman” wrapped up. The Giffen-DeMatties Justice League was awesome in its own way. Each character was distinct and had their own voice. They interacted with each other in interesting and surprising ways.

That is about 40% of what I would want out of a perfect Justice League run. Another 40% would be the big screen scope of the Morrison run. The last 20% would be the flat out weirdness that Gardner Fox brought to the table.

Gee, always seems someone comes along and drains the fun out of any situation.

Amen, Jax.

Bernard the Poet

February 20, 2009 at 4:24 am

“Gee, always seems someone comes along and drains the fun out of any situation.”

Don’t listen to them T. Learning that Griffen & DeMathis first came up with personality types they wanted in their team and then matched them to a list of superheroes given to them by DC was genuinely interesting.

Why has everything got to be fun anyway?

“Why has everything got to be fun anyway?”

Not everything. Just Giffen’s Justice League

What’s weird is, I just watched Mr. Mom the other week for the first time in awhile, and there is a scene at the end that I felt was very similar to this one. Michael Keaton’s character decks Jeffery Tambor’s character with a straight-on punch and floors him. The kid playing Keaton’s son says, “Wow, one punch!”, then marches into the kitchen proclaiming, “One punch! One punch!”
If the movie hadn’t come out a few years before the comic, I’d almost think John Hughes (the film’s writer) was a JLI fan.

My favorite part of the scene was always Dinah’s reaction to missing the punch.

As far as Captain Marvel’s characterization goes, now, 20 years later, I can see why some people think they gave Cap the short shrift. But as I recall (and someone correct me if I’m wrong), Captain Marvel joining the League was only his third “official” appearance on “New Earth” after Legends and the Power of Shazam mini. And even in the mini and following ongoing, Captain Marvel was portrayed as an inexperienced hero.

Like I said, I could be wrong. I need to go back and read Legends and JLI.

i loved that moment. for always kept wishing some one working on jl would try and get the okay for guy to get what he has had coming to him. and the look on Dinah s face when she finds she missed Batman taking out guy is priceless

This is undoubtedly the best moment in my whole collection. I loved this run and reread the originals whenever I want to remember why I love comics.

The (post- Crisis) Legends mini-series that this JL came out of reboot Captain Marvel as having the power of Shazam, but Billy’s sensabilities and rookie status. I actually loved the character in this run. Young kid embued with superhuman power set, hilarity ensues. Classic archetype. So don’t blame Giffen. Blame DC. They tried going down that same route with Firestorm many times and IMO never nailed it like Giffen did with CM in those 7 issues.

The other thing I loved about Batman in this series – he’s a dick! Cove West, his arrogance IS monumentally self-absorbed, that’s the whole point. The pay-off comes when in #7, he tells Jonn that he has to step down BECUSE he’s a dick. He knows it!

Then after this you get the Gray Man arc….*sob* Sorry, I am getting a little teary just thinking of the awesomeness of it all.

Thanks Brian, I KNEW this was on the list. Now I am gonig to reread the whole run this weekend.

Batman is acting this way because he doesn’t approve of a Justice League made up of second-stringers, disapproves of Max, and doesn’t want to see the “Detroit thing” happen again, leading to more deaths from inexperience…

There’s also the wonderful dialogue between him and Blue Beetle later, “Don’t call me ‘Bats’, Beetle!”/”Don’t call me ‘Beetle’, Bats!”

I too loved Dinah’s reaction, and how she continued to regret missing the moment…

Classic.
While this holds up as a classic, Johns goes and makes his lame attempt when Hal counters with Rebirth to Bruce.

Good choice, Bee Cee

“Gee, always seems someone comes along and drains the fun out of any situation.”

The last one of these I commented on was the Suicide Squad one, and that was just to say that it was indeed a very cool moment.

I never understood what was wrong with the art in this sequence. Guy’s ring when he hands it to Beetle looks like it’s floating in front of his hand somehow (not being placed in Ted’s palm), and what’s up with Ted’s head in panel 2 of the final page, where he’s saying “One punch! One punch!” It’s as if he pulled the collar up over his face and somehow became bald. Does this bother anyone else? It’s bothered me for almost 20 years. Well, okay, it hasn’t, but whenever I read the trade, it bothers me.

Oh and thanks Bernard.

Greg,

Gardner is dropping the ring into Beetle’s hand. And really would a floating Green lantern ring be THAT out of character for the cosmically powered item? I love the next panel where Ted tosses it over his shoulder, like he just touched garbage.

Beetle has thrown his head all the way back, and laughing to the ceiling, as further supported by his hand over his gut.

Hope that helps you sleep at night.

ONE PUNCH!!!! ONE PUNCH!!!

My favorite part of all this is Guy Gardner screaming “I BITE!” at the top of his lungs. Out of context it’s hilarious.

Guy was dropping his ring into Beetle’s hand. (Who then tosses it over his shoulder …)
Note also that he grabbed Beetle’s wrist to do that.

in the other panel, Beetle’s got his head thrown back, you’re looking at his neck.

Man, Guy really has the worst hair of anyone I’ve ever seen, fictional or not.

Kids these days, cain’t recognize motion in the funny books no more. Cause they’re all photoshopped glamour shots nowadays. Young whippersnappers.

And, git off mah lawn!

;-)

Theno

I love J’onn’s smirk in the final panel.

The idea that Captain Marvel retains at least some of Billy’s youth works for me– I think it’s one of the things that lets Cap work in an integrated-with-Superman world. If he’s really a separate adult personality with the wisdom of Solomon , he’s less interesting and less distinctive. And it provides in-story reason for the meta-story fact that (pre-Winick, pre-Countdown) DC allowed the Marvels to retain their sunny disposition from the Golden Age, and to stand in for a certain happy kind of heroism that otherwise fit strangely into the post-Crisis DCU.

We could say: wisdom isn’t the same as experience; it needs evidence to draw on to allow judgments to be reached. Cap has enough wisdom that, if he understands what’s going on, he’ll understand the right thing to do. But understanding what’s going on is tough for a twelve-year-old.

Twenty-plus years on, I still laugh every time I read this, especially at Beetle. Love that last panel with him wiping his eye under his goggles.

wisdom isn’t the same as experience; it needs evidence to draw on to allow judgments to be reached. Cap has enough wisdom that, if he understands what’s going on, he’ll understand the right thing to do. But understanding what’s going on is tough for a twelve-year-old.

Wisdom, I’d say, is knowledge coupled with experience. I don’t think it’s likely for a child to have much wisdom, no matter how smart he is. That’s why people often call kids smart but rarely wise. If a kid IS called wise, they usually say the kid is “wise beyond his years,” which is more proof that wisdom is something that is expected to be found in those with experience. So no, I don’t buy the idea of him being wise yet having the naivete of a child at the same time. I think they’re mutually exclusive. If he doesn’t understand what’s going on because he views it from the perspective and comprehension level of a 12 year old, then he does not have the wisdom of Solomon, plain and simple. If he does have the wisdom of Solomon, he shouldn’t be limited by the level of understanding of a 12 year old, he should be able to understand it the way the biblical Solomon would be able to.

By the way, before i get accused of having no sense of humor, I do think everyrhing in this sequence not related to Captain marvel’s depiction is hilarious and fun.

OMG in all the times I’ve seen this scene, I never once noticed that Beetle tosses the ring away. That is hysterical!!

OK, then how’s this: Captain Marvel’s wisdom has taken him way past all bitterness, cynicism, and supposed-realism, and into the happy playfulness that the Dalai Lama sometimes seems to show. What we take to be childlike naivete is really his much, much greater wisdom than some scarred and scared eight-year old like Batman. :-)

If he doesn’t understand what’s going on because he views it from the perspective and comprehension level of a 12 year old, then he does not have the wisdom of Solomon, plain and simple. If he does have the wisdom of Solomon, he shouldn’t be limited by the level of understanding of a 12 year old, he should be able to understand it the way the biblical Solomon would be able to.

Actually, that is wrong. Wisdom is defined as:
– A person who can discern the core of important problems.
– A person who has self-knowledge.
– A person who seems sincere and direct with others.
– A person’s whose actions are consistent with his/her ethical beliefs.
– Others ask wise people for advice.

Aside from that last point, Giffen-DeMatties do a great job of showing Captain Marvel to be the most wise person in that room. He gets to the core of the problem, which is that Batman is baiting Guy. He has enough self-knowledge to not react to Batman’s insults. He is sincere and direct when speaking. He holds his tongue in exactly the manner he proposed to Batman when directly confronted.

The Giffen-DeMatties version of Captain Marvgel might have been child-like, but he was never childish. It was a perfect way of showing what real wisdom is when contrasted with mere “experience”.

I’m with T that it’s either wisdom or child perspective…not both. However, I like the childlike Captain Marvel.

What modern fans seem to forget is that most of DC’s characters where created to entertain children, not the 40-something fanboys who make up the core audience of modern comics. They’re now trying to write very simple, childish creations into complex, mature storylines and are not always able to keep them true to the original concept. I say instead of holding every panel to standards set over fifty years ago, just enjoy the story you’re reading based on it’s own merits.

“One punch!” I knew this one was coming!

“including that giant crow that’s trying to swallow Dinah”

Heh. One of the best running gags of Simone’s BoP run was Dinah attempting to disavow all knowledge of that costume.

(Although Dinah’s not dead! At least, that I know of….)

OMG in all the times I’ve seen this scene, I never once noticed that Beetle tosses the ring away. That is hysterical!!

I never noticed that either. That IS pretty funny.

Yeah–the best part was Dinah going on about how she missed it.

Still a classic moment.

Yeah, and Beetle throwing the ring away led to more developments for Guy, of course.

First funny thing is that Guy stayed down, for at least three issues, IIRC.

Second funny thing was when he woke up, went looking for his ring under the computer, and knocked himself out again when he stood up under the desk.

And then when he finally got up for good, it got REALLY funny…

On Captain Marvel, I thought JLU had a perfect portrayal of him, and retained that child-like innocence, with the same clear vision that Deab pointed out.

Also, do I remember right that this version of the Big Red Cheese had to choose his wisdom, like a super-power? I think it wasn’t “on” all the time, but I could be wrong…

Man, Guy really has the worst hair of anyone I’ve ever seen, fictional or not.

No. Black Canary’s is worse. And she she gets the Oscar for worse dressed Superhero of the decade.

Thank god that crow ate her up. And long live the classic Canary, long one of my bestest and favourites of DC’s pantheon.

(I can’t believe I’m going to write this….)

While I certainly love Black Canary’s T&A fishnet costume, it is one of the most ridiculous crime-fighting outfits out there. OK, Zatanna’s is equally bad, taste-wise, but at least she’s not doing MARTIAL ARTS. The idea of Black Canary beating up criminals only makes sense if one of her powers is distracting bad guys with flashes of her breasts, ass, and crotch as they slip out of her costume.

Yes, the boot cuffs and 3-D canary top on this outfit are silly, but at least they were trying to give her a more appropriate outfit. Maybe this is a good challenge for Project: Rooftop…

Good points. But then again most superhero costumes are kind of inappropriate for villain bashing. The female superheroes in particular, often dressed like they are going to the beach, risk having a lot of that exposed, depilated flesh turned to pulp, or least oft readied for the plastic surgeon.

Even a classic like Batman’s, with that oversize and cumbersome cape would not get too far in close quarters.

Iron Man. Iron Man might have it right. Or Hulk, who while light on the threads, just smashes his way to the top regardless.

Oh, and it will come as no surprise that I have a thing for Zatanna of the fishnets. She still looks like a 40’s female stage magician, replete with tophat and gams to kill. And clearly that is a look that never dies ;-)

Manhunter’s costume seems to make some sense (as does her wondering “how does Black Canary do this in fishnets and heels?”

universaladdress

February 22, 2009 at 7:03 pm

It’s honestly great how the folks on this series reimagined the characters into the ones we love today. It just goes to show that writing an interesting character from a template is more important that “keeping faithful” to parts of the character that would detract from a good story.

Citizen Scribbler

March 3, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Actually T., The Blue Beetle is perfectly characterized as a wise-cracking screw-up.

Did you ever read his DC or his Charlton series?

A. He’s always making wise-cracks CHECK

B. He loses almost half the fights he gets into CHECK

The claims that the JLI turned BB into a loser are complete bunk. It’s all a matter of perception.

-Citizen Scribbler

I thought it was funny when J’onn asks “Is that Guy on the floor?”

All I can say is…BWAHAHAHAHA!

I liked this book early on, but it was really a one-note joke that stopped being funny pretty quickly. Never much cared for Maguire’s art. All of the mugging, contorted faces just seemed like props to misdirect attention from his weak figure drawing and rather dull action scenes.

Citizen Scribbler

August 26, 2009 at 11:41 am

I’m sorry, Kalorama, but you’re really talking out of your ass on this one.

What was the “one-note joke” of which you speak? Can’t name it? Exactly- It was a symphony.

And there are many great action sequences in the run- Booster vs. The Royal Flush Gang, the JL vs. the Suicide Squad, the JL vs. the Rocket Reds, the JL vs. the entire planet of Apokalypse. I could go on…

And the figure drawing is terrific. It has often been noted how Mr. Maguire is as equally adept at drawing tushes as he is at faces.

-Citizen Scribbler

@ Citizen Scribbler:

I could not agree more about the figure drawing. Every member has an their own identifiable body type. That is exceedingly rare in your average team book.

I haven’t read that comic in 20 years, and seeing this column immediately brought back a great feeling…the Blue Beetle line. Perfection.

If I recall correctly, Blue Beetle had just launched his own series, and joining the JL was very exciting.

The thing thus far unmentioned here is that, while Batman may have indeed thought these were second-stringers, the previous volume of the JL were total D-list. That series ended with a monumental whimper.

As I haven’t regularly read DC since the ’80s, I’m incredibly saddened to learn (via this web site) the fate of Blue Beetle…especially how it happened. Sounds like I quit while I was ahead (even moreso with ’90s Marvel).

Nice site, really enjoying it. Thanks Brian.

I remember reading that as a kid. Very cool stuff back when and not bad now :)

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