Tuesday, September 7, 2010


“‘Would it be okay with the management if we checked out early?’”

Writer: Judd Winick

Penciller: Aaron Lopresti

Inker: Matt Ryan

Editor: Rex Ogle & Brian Cunningham


The team of heroes formerly known as the Justice League International is trapped in Checkmate Castle and, even worse, Maxwell Lord isn’t there. The team makes a break for it in a vain attempt to escape with injuring any Checkmate agents. A last-second assist by Captain Atom ensures that they escape, but their cover has been blown. They regroup at a decommissioned J.L.I. embassy in Germany, where they discuss their next move. Alone in the computer lab, Fire is shocked to see that Maxwell Lord is waiting for her…


Page 1: Booster Gold, Skeets, Rocket Red, Fire, Ice, Blue Beetle and Col. Taleb Beni Khalid-Isr last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #7.

In case you missed it, the team formerly known as the J.L.I. has infiltrated Checkmate castle by disguising themselves as Rocket Reds. Skeets too.

Page 3: I’m digging Gavril, the new Rocket Red, especially his nonsensical rant about Communism. It makes me laugh.

Page 4: “So we just stand here while he goes on about Mao’s Little Red Book?” The Little Red Book is the more commonly recognized name of Quotations from Chairman Mao, a collection of quotes excerpted from Mao Zedong’s speeches and publications. During the Cultural Revolution in China, studying the book was not only required in schools but standard practice in the workplace as well.

The fact that Jaime Reyes can casually joke about the book warms my heart, but I’m pretty sure that most teens in the “real world” wouldn’t be able to do the same. However, most teens in the “real world” don’t have an artificially-intelligent scarab bonded to their spine, so he’s got some advantages there.

Page 7: “For free people everywhere!!” Ah, Gavril, you make me laugh.

Gavril is a hell of a lot more “Communist” than Dmitri Pushkin ever was. It could be that the writers back in the late 1980s didn’t want to seem like they were endorsing a Communist agenda, even though they were writing about a Russian soldier. Or, perhaps Judd Winick is just a little more in tune with the Communist sensibilities than Keith Giffen ever was.

Or Winick’s just playing it up because it’s pretty freaking funny. Who knows?

Page 12: Ooops. Good job, Fire. You really blew your cover now.

Page 13: “DaCosta.” Fire’s full name is Beatriz Bonilla DaCosta. She was a Checkmate agent until Justice League: Generation Lost #2.

“Screw it! The cat’s out of the bag and ripping up the furniture!!” That’s a very…interesting way of putting things.

“Hey Rube!” This is a slang phrase commonly used by traveling circus and carnival workers, also known as “carnies.” It’s a rallying cry used by carnies when they are in a fight with outsiders.

“Fat Man” was the codename for the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan by the United States on August 9, 1945. It’s an appropriate nickname for Captain Atom, to whom Skeets is speaking.

Page 15: Captain Atom last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #7.

Page 16: “How could things get any worse?” Do you really want anyone to answer that, Fire?”

This is Alton Janus’ first appearance. Judging by his last name, I assume that he isn’t all that he appears to be. Not sure if he’s working with Maxwell Lord or not, but I don’t think that he’s up to any good, that’s all.

The other former members of Checkmate that Janus mentions are:

Sasha Bordeaux, former Black Queen. Was infected with Anti-Life in Final Crisis: Resist and fell into a coma. She was brought out of her coma in JSA Vs. Kobra #6, and has not been seen since.

Mr. Terrific, former White King, current member of the Justice Society of America. Not sure when he resigned, although it was presumably after the events of Final Crisis.

Valentina Vostok, former White Queen, also known as Negative Woman of the Doom Patrol. Apparently killed while attacking Blüdhaven in Final Crisis #4.

Page 17: “Questions about our efficiency. Questions about our methods. Questions about our future.” Hmm, are we looking at a new status quo for Checkmate? And, if so, what role will the heroes formerly known as the J.L.I. play in this future?

I’d like to say that the decommissioned J.L.I. embassy in Potsdam, Germany has seen better days…but look at it! It’s a warehouse! It was a warehouse that they converted into an embassy! It never looked nice!

Page 18: Great. Ice is whining again. Big surprise.

I think we need to set up a meet between Ice and Dr. Phil so that he can help her work through her issues. It might be just what she needs.

Page 19: Damn. Gavril’s all messed up. Hope the big lug gets better soon. Pleas send all your warm thoughts and well-wishes to Rocket Red #7, c/o Justice League International, Warehouse 5, Potsdam, Germany 14401.

“Right as rain.” This simile apparently first appeared in Yet Again by Max Beerbohm in 1909. It seems to be just a play on words, and rain is used because, like Fire says, it’s alliterative, but there is the notion that rain is “right” because it comes straight down, in a right line.

Page 20: “Yes? An asset to team?” Aw, that’s sweet. All Gavril wants is to be accepted by the others.

Page 22: Maxwell Lord last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #7. Unfortunately, every time he meets up with his former friends, he threatens them with bodily harm. Almost makes you not want to trust the guy…