Friday, November 20, 2009

Just WRONG: Justice League of America #147

To be honest, the story contained in Justice League of America issues #147 and #148 is one of my favorite of the annual pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths teamings of the League and their Earth-2 counterparts, the Justice Society of America.  It features the JLA and the JSA teamed with the 30th century heroes the Legion of Super-Heroes facing off against old Legion foe Mordru and veteran League enemies the Demons Three in a quest for a trio of mystical objects that spans time, space and dimension.  This type of wild, far-fetched epic is everything I love about super-hero comics.

There is a sequence early on in the story that just makes me cringe.  The best word to describe it is "icky."
As the 147th issue of Justice League of America begins, the JSA are guests aboard the League's satellite headquarters after having captured the Psycho Pirate, who fled to Earth-1 in an attempt to elude the Society, a story related in the JSA's own feature in the recently revived All-Star Comics.  Just as the Earth-2 heroes are about to head back to their own dimension with their prisoner, Green Arrow, not wanting this reunion of the super-teams to end too soon, shoots the infamous boxing glove arrow at the controls of the dimensional transporter, shutting it down. As the machine needs an hour to warm up again, the Society members are forced to hang out for a while longer.
Now comes the creepy part.
One member of the JSA, Power Girl, seems delighted with the delay.  She's hanging all over Earth-1's Man of Steel as she purrs, "I'm beginning to really like this place!  It has a much nicer brand of Superman, y'know?"  Kal-El is, understandably, a little uncomfortable with this, but offers to show her the JLA's trophy room anyway.  As they head off, Black Canary snipes, "Incredible! And I used to call you a fast worker, Oliver!"  Ollie's response is "*CHUCKLE* I guess they've got Women's Lib on Earth-Two, too, Pretty Bird!"
Thankfully, a giant disembodied mystical hand invades the satellite right at that moment and spirits members of both teams away through time to the 30th century..
Power Girl was essentially the Earth-2 analog of Supergirl.  Like Supergirl, she was the cousin of that world's Superman, who was essentially the same person on Earth-2 as he was on Earth-1, unlike, say, the Flashes or Green Lanterns, who shared only their heroic name and super powers in common.   In essence, she's coming on to her cousin.
Like I said: "icky"
The sexist language notwithstanding, Ollie's reaction is taking the whole "liberal" schtick a bit far. He might be OK with it, but even when I first read this as a kid, I found that whole sequence disturbing.  Fortunately, it's only three panels long in a story spanning two double sized issues, and is thankfully not revisited.

1 comment:

  1. With Power Girl hitting on superman didn't you felt like in Star Wars when Princess Leia kisses Luke, and then you figure out they are brother and sister... ICKY is just not good enough to describe it. When I first realized it I was very disturbed for quite a while, believe me.