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Justice League: I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League Paperback – December 1, 2005
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Played strictly for laughs, this refreshingly irreverent title features a goofier version of the straitlaced Justice League. In it, such second-string superheroes as the Blue Beetle, Mary Marvel, and the Elongated Man behave decidedly unheroically, squabble among themselves, and parody genre cliches. In this story arc, buffoonish Booster Gold inadvertently uses a mystic artifact to send the heroes to a hellish dimension full of comical demons. They escape, but to a parallel universe in which they encounter their evil doubles. Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis' droll script is the main attraction, and Kevin McGuire's low-key, unadorned art captures the tone perfectly. Hard-core comics fans, especially those who dislike the dark and gritty approach the genre has taken in recent years, may best appreciate this spoof of superheroes, the protagonists of which have long inhabited their own little corner of the DC universe. Given recent developments in the company's somber, no-fooling-around titles that saw several of these characters meet grim fates, this may be this team's final outing, at least as figures of fun. Gordon Flagg
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Power Girl is an interesting subject. Originally created as a typical angry grrrrrrrl, her creators gave her perhaps the largest breasts in the DC universe and a strategically placed oval to display them. No one has ever explored the psychology behind a strong female character wearing a costume designed to maximize the display of her breasts. Of course when you get down to it her attitude and attire were created by Gerry Conway which makes one wonder what fantasies Mr. Conway was expressing. Power Girl is a good addition to the team but not nearly as fun as Gardner.
If I had a complaint about this book it would be the endless bickering among the characters. Guy bickers with Power Girl, Sue bickers with Max, Booster Gold bickers with Blue Beetle and on and one. I know this is the main joke of the series, to see established characters fighting like children, but it grew old after awhile. About halfway though the book I was ready for the witty insults to end so we could move on to the next joke.
These semi-parody JLA books are a blast to read and so far both books have been stellar although a bit repetitive. Next on my list is Justice League International.
"Formerly Known as the Justice League" was a hoot and had a ton of great humor and character interaction.
Unfortunately, "I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League" can't quite match it's predecessor. The humor feels a little forced and there are a lot of non-funny moments in the book. The character interaction is just not quite as good the the previous book. The story was not particularly interesting and hard to follow.
One can only go to the well so many times and perhaps this was one of those times. It's a shame because several of the characters in the book met their demise recently in several of DC's lead in series leading up to the "Infinite Crisis" mini-series.
It's not likely this particular version of the "Justice League" will make an appearance again with many key characters having gone on to comic book heaven. It's a shame they didn't get a chance to exit with a better book than this.
This is the last time any of these characters will be able to be funny, and that is a little disappointing. I want there to be more to this series. Discovering this comic was like discovering an old television series that was canceled before its time, you watch the episodes, you like them and then your left wanting more.
My biggest problem here is with the characters. They don't have personalities. With the exception of Mary Marvel (naive) and Guy Gardner (arrogant), no one else seems to have any character whatsoever. Instead, they spend most their time delivering Grade B sitcom lines that are not only not funny, but sound hollow and uninspired. When characters become mouthpieces for the writer's "clever" dialogue, I get bored very quickly.
I guess I was disappointed because I actually like these heroes. They may not get the spotlight, but they deserve better treatment. Blue Beetle in particular gets underused, having absolutely no depth whatsoever.
The art was cool though.