Half the Heroes They Want to Be, or Poor Aquaman, or Green Arrow is a Jerk

In my years of surfing the web, I’ve learned a lot about super hero comics that I never would have otherwise.  Specifically DC comics.

See, I was (and technically still am) a Marvel Zombie.  When I wanted super hero action it inevitably involved Spider-man, the Hulk, and their friends.  While I liked Batman and Superman, I never liked them enough to follow their exploits.  Thus I missed out on a lot of… well… oddities.

Such as Justice League America #112, which I found out about over at Comics Should Be Good.

Technically this opening is misleading, as JLA #112 came into the world a year after I did.  I wasn’t into Spider-man back then, much less anything else.  However, my point is that DC had some very weird concepts drifting about its pages, as did Marvel, and when I come across one… well, it revives my interest in comics.  If only the old school variety.

In any case, JLA #112 continues a storyline in which the JLAers (?) find themselves only half the heroes they want to be.  Specifically, they’ve lost half their super powers due to the actions of a super villain.

Now we’ll pause here to consider that most of DC’s heroes are one trick ponies to start with.  The Flash has super speed.  Green Lantern has his magic ring.  Black Canary screams very loudly.  While Superman could lose half his powers and still be able to take on most adversaries, wouldn’t most of his comrades be, I dunno, powerless?

But wait, it gets better.  Batman also lost half his super powers.

Batman.

The guy with the toys.

The guy without any super powers at all.

Now later on the writer, Len Wein, explains that Batman’s deductive reasoning is the super power the Caped Crusader lost.  And the way the villain stole the powers involved removing of molecules.  Which means that tiny bits of Batman’s brain are missing.

Holy lobotomies, Batman!

But I haven’t come before you today to beat that particular dead horse joke.  Though it would have been totally worth it if I had.

Instead, let me show you two panels from that issue.

Behold the first:

Just to prove my super hero street cred, the heroes in this picture are, from the left, Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Batman, Black Canary, the Elongated Man, Aquaman, and Douchebag. I mean Green Arrow.

Now in the Comics Should Be Good article, Aquaman appears several times.  Even has a speaking part.  Yet it was only when I reached this panel that I realized that he had a fish bowl on his head.

A fish bowl.

Now that’s taking teasing a bit far, don’t you think?  I can’t believe the JLAers (?) would do such a cruel heartless thing to Aquaman.  Sticking a fish bowl on his head.  Really.  Especially with Green Arrow standing there completely without being belittled.  With that goatee.

That goatee.

Seperated at birth?
Separated at birth?

Actually, there’s a very good reason Aquaman dressed like that.  He planned to be Mysterio for Halloween and, while trying on the costume, got his head stuck.  Could have happened to anyone.

God that was a long way to go for a joke only I laughed at.

Before moving on, I would be remiss in not pointing out that Black Carney is seen above bring in snacks she no doubt made herself in the kitchen.  According to the Comics Should Be Good article, she also designed not only the costume that the villain in JLA #112 wears, but she also sewed it herself.  All because she thought the original one was an eyesore.

A super power involving shrieking.  Making snacks for the boys.  An overpowering interest in new clothes.  Totally not sexist characterization of what appears to be the only female character currently in the title.  Totally.

On to panel #2:

"I mean, Batman got quasi-lobotomized! It's a great day, I tell 'ya!"

If any proof was needed that Green Arrow was a jackass, here it is.  I mean, here’s the guy with no powers to lose whatsoever telling the others that did to cheer up.  Hey, Superman, don’t worry that you’re no longer invulnerable and super strong!  You still have flight and x-ray vision!  You can still contribute!

Yikes, dude.  Show a little compassion, will ya?

But things aren’t all beer and skittles for Green Arrow.  Just as Batman’s deductive skills were frittered away molecule by molecule, so too went the Emerald Archer’s one and only talent.

That’s right.  He’s no longer a Liberal.  His lack of left leaning powers has already inspired him to give away a quarter of a million dollars to Republican causes and publicly defended Nixon on Watergate and other issues of the day.

WHAAAA?!

And that’s about as political as this site has ever gotten.  Or will ever get, come to that.

I’m sure there’s plenty of other little things to make fun of JLA #112 with.  For instance, Batman does a lot of deductive reasoning in the issue for a man supposedly without the ability.  And then there’s the little matter of how he bests the villain, all without informing his fellow JLAers members of the Justice League.

But all that is beside the point.  This is a goofy comic from back when it was okay to be a goofy comic.  As much as I like good, quality story telling, I miss stories like this.

Stories that really don’t make a lot of sense when you think about it.

I love super hero comics.  And JLA #112 only reinforces that love.

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