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Fire: “Don’t ‘thank’ the psychopathic madman.”
Maxwell Lord: “I’ve got to tell you, kid, to most people, this would sound like eighty-five tons of of steaming b.s. But, me, I’m different. Ol’ Max Lord smells b.s., he grabs some hip waders and a shovel sees how to get get to work.”
Synopsis "The Gang's All Here"
The former members of the Justice League International – Captain Atom, Booster Gold, Fire and Ice – are the only people alive who remember that Maxwell Lord (the League’s old director) ever existed. Their friends believe they are going insane and their employers have dismissed them. The only people who believe with them are Jamie Reyes (the new Blue Beetle) and Gavril Ivanovich (a renegade from the Rocket Red Brigade). Both of the new comers appears to have been brought to them by chance, but Booster is suspicious and believes that Max is behind his as well. Max is eavesdropping on Boosters accusation and radios him to ask “Okay, Booster… what would you like to know?”
Booster remembers his origin in the 25th century. He was, will be, a college football superstar called Michael Jon Carter and nicknamed “Booster” on account of his throwing arm. He was a star, but he wasn’t a pro yet, he wasn’t rich. So he couldn’t afford the medical bills after his mother became sick. A bookie by the name of Anton Montrose offered him money to throw a game and Michael accepted. The police finally rumbled him when the bookie was busted on another matter. They pressured Michael to come clean and told him they were only interested in Montrose’s boss. He believe the police, but they were lying to him and had him excluded from college football.
Back in the present day, Max admits to Booster and the other heroes that he was indeed behind their assembly. Max’s hologram tells them “I thought you should be a team again. The world needs you.” Much to their incredulity, Max then tells them that he’s trying to save the world and that he brought them together because he thought that his “friends” could still do some good. However, he warns them to stay out of his way.
Max wants them to do good in the world, but he will not tolerate them trying to fight him. He prevents them tracing him any further by starting a countdown on the Rocket Red armour that he had used to relay his hologram. Captain Atom flies the armour to a safe distance away from his friends and other unconscious Russian soldiers, but he is unable to save the poor soldier that is trapped inside it.
Back at the JLI’s New York Embassy, Jamie tells Booster that his own armour took a lot of measurements of Max’s hologram during their conversation and he believes it should be possible to trace the signal’s source. Booster tells him that he doesn’t have to stick with them if he doesn’t want to, but Jamie tell’s him he’s cool. Captain Atom is quiet after watching the Russian soldier die. Ice asks him if he’s okay, but he turns the questioning back on her and asks her why she’s so keen to run from this fight. She tells him that after she died she “moved on”, but now afraid of dying again. Meanwhile, Gavril explains to Fire that he doesn’t mind working with American heroes as it’s “too damn cool to be on Justice League.” Jamie and Booster then interrupt to tell them that they’ve traced Max’s location back to Checkmate.
Booster remembers the day that he first met Maxwell Lord and told him about origin in the 25th century and how he’d come back in time to become a superhero. Max laughed at the convoluted story and described it as “b.s.”, but he promised the younger Michael that he’d make him famous. Booster reflects that “Sometimes I have no clue when I’m getting screwed over. But times have changed. ” He is now more determined that ever to find Max and believes that Max has made a critical mistake in bringing them together.
- The current version of the Rocket Red armour does not have a self-destruct ability.
- The place and date of Booster’s arrest for match fixing is given as Gotham City in September 5th, 2462.
This is developing into quite an odd book. We’re five issues in, but the plot – in terms of finding Max – hasn’t really advanced all that much. All that extra-space is taken up by exploration of the characters and how the main plot is effecting them. Zack reviewing for Comic Vine hits it with:
Every action, every transition, every surprise stems from these heroes’ personalities.
I must admit I’m normally more attracted to plot drive stories, but this series is really turning into a satisfying read. However, reviewers are beginning to wonder if this pace can really be sustained for 26 issues. It’s not obvious what the shape of this story is. As Dan at IGN observes.
I’m not entirely sure where Winick and co-writer Keith Giffen are going with this story, but that’s part of the fun.
Dan also ranks this series as more consistent that Brightest Day, which is something that is echoed by DemonBoy on iFanboy who says,
JL:GL has now replaced Brightest Day as my DC bi-weekly of choice. The story is tight, it’s tying in with the right books, and it’s fast-paced and interesting. Brightest Day had promise but it’s not really delivering, in my opinion.
Its been interesting to watch the iFanboy average rating inch upwards with each issue. Even X-Man who appears to absolutely loathes the inclusion of…
I just can’t stand the direction it’s gone since the arrival of our Lord and Savior, Super-Fake Beetle. I mean come on! He’s pretty much now used as a skeleton key to get the writers out of any sort of jam.
…gives the issue a rating of 6/10. And, he’s got a good point with the Swiss-Army knife armour – the Scarab is in danger of turning into Adam West’s Utility Belt.
This character heavily issue – there is only really one moment of action – made me reflect on how they are presenting Max’s character. While writing my recent five-part profile of Max I must have reread almost all his former appearances and if there is one consistency it’s that each writer has their own particular take on Max – the Giffen/DeMatteis Max is a charming manipulator, who is devastatingly effective, but he had layers to his personality that humanised him enough to be interesting and even sympathetic. Dan Jurgen’s Max is less sympathetic, but he’s also less effective (it’s a necessary change to make the League more independent). The Gerard Jones Max is almost unrecognisable as a villain. The Geoff Johns/Greg Rucka Max returns to being devastatingly effective, but the charm and the humanity is gone. The Winick/Giffen Max reintroduced the layers to his personality, but doesn’t sacrifice his effectiveness.
How much do you actually remember about Maxwell Lord from the old JLI days? The heroes all bantered around, but Max was the authority figure. I would have argued that even back then he wasn’t really one of the gang. He was a manipulative s.o.b., but that didn’t seem to matter because his goals were parallel to the League’s goals (most of the time). In character the Generation Lost Max is very much like the JLI Max, except maybe that his goals are no longer coincident with the League’s goals. His sacrifice of that poor Russian soldier shows that he’s still firmly on the other side of the line. The death of the scientist last issue was arguably accidental, but the Rocket Red’s death is proof that we’re dealing with the Max who is willing to kill to achieve what he wants.
|Reviews Portal||IGN||Dan Philips||8/10|
|Community Reviews||Comics Vine User Reviews||Av. of 5 reviews||4/5|
|Community Reviews||iFanboy||411 Pulls||4.3/5|
|Reviews Blog||Comics Per Day Reviews||Timbotron||Excellent|
|Character Site||Captain's Justice League Homepage||Jason Kirk||3.5/5|
- 1.1 Booster Gold is a time traveller. As he relates to Max later in this issue he was a college football star from the 25th Century called Michael Jon Carter. He was forced to start throwing games because his mother became sick and he needed the money to cover her medical bills. Booster Gold v2 #0 (April 2008) revealed that even after those bills were paid Booster continued to take the money because his absent, no-good-for-nothing father was being threatened by the mob behind the betting racket. That issue was set at the same time as Booster’s last game (Ohio versus Gotham) before he was arrested. It’s his interrogation after that game arrest that we’re reading now. The name “Booster” that the cop keeps using was his old football nickname.
- 3.2 A minor point, but Lopresti has chosen to show Blue Beetle squatting. The 1960s Blue Beetle artist at Charlton Comics was Steve Ditko. He was the co-creator of the Spider-Man and defined the character’s visual style. One of his signature poses was to show Spidey crouched or squatting as if he’s poised to spring into action. The style carried over into the 1960s Blue Beetle and is sometimes referenced by modern artists – Dan Jurgens uses it quite a bit when drawing Ted Kord.
- 4.1 The fight with the OMACs was in issue #2.
- 4.3 Max’s aversion to Lanterns comes from the events of the Blackest Night. His corpse was reanimated as a Black Lantern by Nekron and he was then returned to life by the White Lantern.
- 5.2 Their predecessors were Ted Kord (the previous Blue Beetle) and Dimitri Pushkin (a Rocket Red who served with the original League).
- 5.4 Max and Booster had their little “chat” in issue #1.
- 7.3 Standard Rocket Red armour is powered by a nuclear reactor. Gavril says it doesn’t have an explicit self-destruct function, but there have been accidents and sabotage in the past. In DC One Million Vandal Savage used a couple of sets of stolen armour as makeshift nuclear missiles to destroy Montevideo.
- 8.6 Rocket Red 00′s name is given as Vadim. The Russian name written on his armour is the Russified version of Bennett, as in Joe Bennett – last issue’s artist. That’s right. Winick and Giffen have just killed off one of their collaborators.
- 9.5 Booster called Captain Atom “Nate” and Ice does the same thing later on. His full name is Nathaniel Adam, but it’s not every often he gets called that. The strange thing is that even in the old days he was never “Nate”. It was always “Atom” or “Cap”.
- 12.1 Ivanovich: “Da svidanye, tovarisch.” .. “Goodbye, Comrade”
- 16.2 When the Captain first joined the JLI he was operating under an assumed identity given to him by the US government. Ice alludes it here, but he’s actually a time traveller. Captain Nathaniel Adam of the USAF was wrapped in an alien metal and had a nuclear bomb detonated beneath him. The explosion merged him with the metal to create Captain Atom, but it also threw him several decades into the future (our present).
- 16.3 Where Ice went after she died isn’t entirely clear. She is technically an ice goddess and such things are always… “mythological.” Her spirit appeared several times as a ghost while she was dead and her former JLI team-mates even found her in Hell (a clerical error according to Etrigan in “I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League”). She was almost catatonic when they found her and they almost managed to free her, but Fire looked back breaking the terms of Ice’s release and causing her to vanish to her correct afterlife. So Ice was certainly unsettled during death and never seems to have reached her proper heaven or Valhalla.
- 19.2 This scene appears to be the first time that Max interviewed Booster about joining the Justice League. It matches a scene in Justice League #2 (June 1987) where Max is informed by his secretary that a “Mr Gold” has just arrived. The visitors full identity is not revealed as Booster until the following issue.