Tuesday, July 6, 2010

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #4

“The Rocket’s Red Glare”


Script: Judd Winick

Breakdowns: Keith Giffen

Penciller: Joe Bennett

Inker: Jack Jadson

Editor: Michael Siglain


Synopsis


Maxwell Lord attempts top use his mind control powers on a scientist to gain access to nanobyte genetic research, but he inadvertently kills the man instead. In Russia, the group formerly known as the JLI is caught in the middle of a battle between the Rocket Red Brigade and a communist revolutionary who thinks of himself as the one, true Rocket Red. At first Booster Gold and company refuse to get involved – this isn’t their fight – but they soon realize that the Russians’ battle threatens innocent lives. The JLI, joined by Fire, dispatches the Rocket Red Brigade. Rocket Red joins the heroes, but Booster Gold soon realizes that they have been played. Maxwell Lord has manipulated them to this point, where they have come together as a team. Booster calls Max out; Max, over a fallen Rocket Red’s communicator, answers, saying that he’ll tell the JLI anything they want to know. Max, however, sits amidst the corpses of those killed through the use of his power; he’s not having a good day…


Notes


Page 1: Maxwell Lord last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #1. While he did appear in Justice League: Generation Lost #2 & 3, it was as illusions to Captain Atom and Fire.


So, what does Max want with nanobyte genetic enhancement research anyway?


Page 2: So, it seems that, when Max uses his powers now, his “subject” dies and is transformed into a Black Lantern-esque corpse. Gross.


Now then, here are my current thoughts on what is going on with those who returned in Blackest Night #8. They’re not exactly coherent or totally logical, so bear with me…


It seems that those who were revived by the White Lantern power rings were brought back for a purpose. Whatever that purpose is has yet to be revealed. But, in my mind, for them to have been brought back, they need to do things differently in life the second time around.


Thus far, most of the “White Lantern Twelve” (kind of like the Oceanic Six from Lost, only different) are picking up their lives right where they left off. They haven’t changed. They haven’t learned anything. Hawkman is still obsessed with Hath-Set and the curse that binds them. Ronnie Raymond is wasting his life. And Maxwell Lord thinks he can just control others and get away with it.


The Black Lanterns” that are haunting the Twelve are reminders that they need to change their lives...or else. They were brought back for a bigger reason than to just continue as if nothing happened to them. They are warnings, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is heeding them yet.


Or…maybe not. I dunno. It’s not like I’m writing this series…


Moving on…


Page 3: The Rocket Red Brigade, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Ice and Captain Atom last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost: #3.


“The team FORMERLY known as the JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL.” Funny enough, Formerly Known as the Justice League was a six-part mini-series by Keith Gifen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire from 2003. Brilliant stuff, actually, go out and find it.


Pages 4-5: Skeets last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #3.


This is the first appearance of Gavril Ivanovich, the “true” Rocket Red. Note that his armor is a variation of Dmitri Pushkin’s Apokoliptian armor, which was introduced in Justice League International #20.


Interestingly enough, he is wearing a number “7” on his armor. The first Rocket Red #7, Vladimir Mikoyan, revealed to the JLI that he was a Manhunter in Justice League International #9. He was destroyed shortly thereafter.


Page 6: “Y’ever fight the Ultra-Humanite? Always over the stupidest crap.” The Ultra-Humanite is a scientific genius who transfers his brain to various bodies, including that of an albino ape. He’s got some serious issues.


Page 7: “It’s a brave new world.” No, Brave New World came out in 2006, Booster. This is Brightest Day. Keep your DC events straight, would you?


“Stalin” refers to, of course, Joseph Stalin, the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee and, later, the head of the Soviet Union.


“A giant steaming pile of ‘international incident.’” The JLI has had its fair share of “international incidents” in its own time. I don’t think they need to relive any of those…


Page 9: “And here we go.” Poor Ice. She really doesn’t want to have anything to do with any of this, but the more she tries to get out, the more they pull her back in…


Page 10: The first panel on this page is weird. It doesn’t really flow from Page 9. Just an observation.


“I haven’t fought Russians in a while, but I’m going to guess that it’s just like riding a bike.” This is when I start to feel old. Way back when there actually was a JLI to read about on a monthly basis, there was also still a Soviet Union. In the late 1980s, a great many DC books – Justice League International, Batman, Captain Atom, Firestorm, Suicide Squad – dealt heavily with political storylines and Soviet adversaries. We haven’t seen too much of that since the Cold War ended.


And if you don’t know what the “Cold War” is, then head on over to Wikipedia and learn something, you good-fer-nuthin kids…


Page 13: “The fight vill be at won!!!” Ah, yes, grammatically-incorrect English as spoken by a Russian. It’s been along time since I’ve seen you, my friend…


Page 14: Fire last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #3.


“Vell done, small floating plane!!” I love the fact that Rocket Red calls Skeets a “small floating plane.” I dunno why, I just do.


Page 15: Okay, I have to admit, I like this page. It’s pretty darn cool.


And, honestly, I can accept this group as the “Justice League” more easily than I can the team that’s currently appearing in Justice League of America, sorry as I am to say that. Add Power Girl and Batman to the group and I am in…


Page 16: “What happened at Checkmate?” Fire went to the Castle, Checkmate’s headquarters in the Alps, in Justice League: Generation Lost #3. Once there, she learned that she was dismissed from the organization because she failed her psych exam. Things got worse from there…


Page 17: Col. Taleb Beni Khalid-Isr last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #3. Batman last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #2.


Obviously, Batman has appeared elsewhere, but for the purposes of this story, I’m just referencing when he last appeared in this series. Trying to keep Batman’s continuity straight is tantamount to insanity…


Batman is beginning to realize that something is amiss here. Will he eventually join up with this rag-tag team of heroes as well?


Page 18: “Ve defeat these whores of decadence!” I’m really digging this new Rocket Red. Not often someone can use the phrase “whores of decadence” and get away with it…


“Chairman Mao” refers to Mao Zedong, the first communist leader of the People’s Republic of China.


Page 19: “All ve need is Green Lantern to fall from sky and ve vill complete!” That would be Guy Gardner, the Green Lantern who was a part of the JLI, but I’m pretty sure he has some other stuff going on right now.


“This is taking an odd turn.” It’s okay, Jaime, a few issues from now and this will be just a normal day for you.


Page 20: “Someone’ put the band back together again!! And who’s done that before?! Maxwell Lord!!”


Maxwell Lord outfitted and funded a terrorist group that attacked the United Nations in Justice League #1, giving the new Justice League a chance to introduce itself to the world.


He then hired the Royal Flush Gang to attack the new Justice League in Justice League #4; Booster Gold took the gang out and got himself added to the team.


Later, Lord manipulated events so that the United Nations would grant the Justice League international status in Justice League International #7.


And still later, after the JLI disbanded following the events of “Breakdowns,” Lord again hired the Royal Flush Gang, prompting a new JLI to form in Justice League Spectacular #1.


And, long after all that, Max got the whole gang back together in Formerly Known as the Justice League #1, this time as the “Super-Buddies.”


Max has a bad habit with this; here’s hoping that the Royal Flush Gang doesn’t show up anytime soon…


Page 21: “Yes. You’re embarrassing us in front of the new people.” Oh, I’m pretty sure it’s too late to be worrying about that, Fire.


Page 22: Wow. Looks like Max better lay off trying to control people for a little while…