Wednesday, April 20, 2005

EXTREME JUSTICE #1 DC Comics, 1995

In 1995 DC Comics introduced Extreme Justice, a Justice League spin-off that was totally extreme and radically awesome! As a comic book fan, I was always a little disappointed that comics weren’t totally extreme. You can imagine my relief when Rob Liefield’s Awesome Comics came out – that took care of the dearth of awesomeness in modern comics, but what about totally extreme comics? Imagine my delight when Extreme Justice hit the scene! Imagine my chagrin when I realized that there was no bungee jumping or glacier skiing or anything like that – it was all about Captain Atom and shit! I fucking hate Captain Atom!

Sorry. This short-lived (19 issues) series took place sometime after the “Judgment Day” epic wherein the League faced the world threatening Overmaster, the poor man’s Galactus. The Justice League disbands and Captain Atom decides to form his own renegade freelance superhero team so that he can get TOTALLY EXTREME! (wailing guitar) And you know, if you’re going to get extreme, if you want to really get wild, who better to have on your crew than Blue Beetle and Booster Gold!!! (wailing, howling banshee guitar)

Seriously. Extreme Justice? That is so ’95. Everything was extreme back then; you could get extreme tacos and extreme children’s safety floatation devices. The nineties were a totally extreme and radical time, and Extreme Justice was just an embodiment of the zeitgeist.

But Booster Gold and Blue Beetle? That’s about as extreme as a kid’s cereal mascot. Rounding out the Extreme Justice posse were Maxima and Amazing Man, fan favorites both. They’re all hanging out in what will become their new extreme radical base. They bitch at each other for a while, then get attacked by radical robot monsters! (wailing guitar) At the end, Captain Atom gets totally wasted, as in radically blown awaaay!!!

Extreme Justice was written by Dan Vado, publisher of Slave Labor Graphics (who print my beloved Milk & Cheese) with art by Marc Campos. I’ve seen work by Campos that I liked – this is not it. Vado wrote a bunch of Justice League comics for a few years, then stopped, which is probably for the best. I wasn’t a fan of his DC stuff, though to be fair to him I think his stories weren’t helped by the artists he was paired with, and Extreme Justice is no exception.

The art is overly rendered to the point of being unreadable in some places. For instance, during the fight scene with the radical extreme robots, Amazing Man, wearing green and yellow, jumps on one of the awesome robotic warrior. Actually, I’m just guessing that’s what happened, because you can’t tell from the art.


What is that blob on the left? That’s Amazing Man – see him? There’s a foot, and I think those are legs. I’m not sure where his hands are. Or his head. You know, I’m not even sure that’s Amazing Man.

Captain Atom looks strangely feminine in this issue, like a big silver female bodybuilder or something. He’s got this poofy Farrah Fawcett haircut going on, and seems sort of, I don’t know, naked. Hey, Captain Atom, at least have the decency to get some lines drawn on you to simulate trunks, you know? To make people more comfortable?

Check out the picture below. He looks like a Chippendales dancer. And look at the ass on that guy! Somebody's been working out...

That is hot.

This comic book is so radical and tubular that I feel spent, like I need a nap or something. I can see why this only ran 19 issues; it’s so hardcore and extreme that the creative team must have just burnt out from all the radicalness. I know I am.


Anonymous said...

This is actually the book that turned me off of comics for nearly a decade. Seriously. I had stopped reading comics for a couple of years, a phase most of us go through. One of my favorites before I stopped buying them was the great "booster gold" era JL. Funny stuff. Naturally, when I decided to get back to reading comics I gravitated to this book. After taking it home, reading it (and others in the same "extreme" vein) I threw it out and decided I really didn't need comics in my life.

How terrible was that time for comics? I mean, every title out there was bad. Bad art, every character a psycho, and a complete lack of story telling. Instead of story teling taking place in one or two issues, plot lines dragged on for years in insane crossovers. I'm sure glad that's over.

It's not? Damn.

One thing, however. You're pretty rough on Captain Atom. I mean, his body is encased in metal. He hasn't been able to take a dump in decades. That would make anyone cranky.

David Campbell said...

G Bob, represent!

RTO Trainer said...

You did me in with the first paragraph, dude.

Let me get this straight: You LIKE Liefield, and HATE Captain Atom? What Bizzaro world are you from?

Are you one of those guys who keeps John Byrne in the industry (bleah)?

David Campbell said...

Perhaps I should have put {irony} brackets around my comments about Liefield so that it was clear that I was being facetious.

And yes, I hate Captain Atom as much as one can hate a fictional character. He's in my Top 3 Most Hated Non-Existent People:

1. Wesley Crusher
2. Captain Atom
3. Roger Rabbit

Woody! said...

You also forgot to mention that this was the series that brought Xan and Jana, the Wonder Twins, to the current DC Universe.

Felicity Walker said...

Ah, the extreme nineties. Who could have known back then that looking back from today, it would seem like a simpler, more innocent time?

The thing is, I could have learned to like all the extreme and radical and everything if the actual production values had been better. But I cannot abide bad art.

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