TGH: Welcome, everyone, to a new era of comics, and by that I mean literally the exact same era of comics as last time!
BW: It’s exciting! It’s new! It’s EXTREME!
QP: For some value of Extreme.
DN: That’s right, because YOU demanded it, we’re reading EXTREME JUSTICE.
QP: This is your fault.
DN: The blame is on YOU.
QP: Don’t forget that.
TGH: On the plus side, it is much, much shorter than Guy Gardner: Warrior.
QP: That’s a small blessing.
TGH: I covered the team a bit already in my introductory post, so let’s go ahead and smash right into this thing, like these guys are smashing through some sort of concrete wall or glass window on the cover!
DN: I feel like they’re attacking the reader on the first few covers. I feel so attacked right now.
QP: It was nice of them to invite Peter Parker to join up. It’s too bad he lost his costume and had to wear one of Beetle’s.
TGH: I like that Blue Beetle appears to be slightly in front, so we can assume he did the smashing. He has the proportional strength of a Beetle.
QP: Now are we talking rhinoceros beetle or ladybug?
BW: The proportionate speed of a beetle would be a pretty terrible super power.
DN: Also Maxima’s spine is broken on this cover.
TGH: Everyone from Almerac has ball joints for a spine.
DN: Limbo champions of the galaxy.
TGH: Their physiology helped invent ragdoll physics.
DN: “Alright Maxima, crash this convertible and see how far you can get thrown.”
TGH: Our story begins in Colorado, where some military guy is planning to launch a nuke and has a bunch of Metal Gears.
QP: Every good comic needs to start with a little Strangelove. Not quite enough purity of essence, though.
BW: In media res is a great way to start a story, but the art is really throwing me as to what the heck is going on.
QP: For the record, we’re starting this series off with the same artist from the end run of Gardner, so gird your loins for artistic greatness.
TGH: At least it didn’t start with Captain Atom talking about his Atomian heritage.
QP: And then our fearless heroes arrive. Captain Atom only has one face, and it’s his pooping face.
DN: To be fair, Cap and Booster are in a race to see who can get to the pooper first.
TGH: Booster can just poop in his suit. That’s what fuels it.
BW: It’s too late for Ted.
QP: Maxima has a pretty good clench going.
DN: Amazing-Man just reeeeeally has to pee.
TGH: Beetle and Amazing-Man are one second away from burning their own feet and/or pulling a groin muscle.
DN: Captain Atom, professional, also just calls Beetle by his last name.
TGH: It’s a good sign that his very first interaction with his team is telling one of them to shut the fuck up.
QP: That’s a leader for you.
BW: That’s because he’s used to everyone gritting their teeth. EXTREME!
TGH: On the next page, the team arrives at the scene and just sets everything on fire. I’m pretty sure at least some of that belonged to the good guys from the first page.
BW: Possibly because they saw the Escher-like quality of this stronghold.
QP: That’s definitely the best way to get rid of a nuke, as we all know.
TGH: Beetle brags about how smart he is in getting the Metal Gears to shoot each other, even though he didn’t think for a second to just push them over, what with their chopstick legs.
QP: Right now he only has the proportionate strength of a stinkbug, so that would be a no go.
TGH: The fire just keeps getting worse on the next page. They’re fighting robots! Why is everything flammable?!
DN: Apparently the sanitation droids on Almerac are superior to these weak sauce AT-STs.
TGH: Maxima insults the robots for being shitty, though in fairness, the one she’s looking at the just firing at the left for no damn reason, so yeah, I guess they do kind of suck.
TGH: Captain Atom bores a hole into the ground right next to the existing hole where the missile is. I bet there’s even a door nearby.
QP: Captain Atom even has fire coming out of his eyeballs.
QP: So we’ve got Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Cable. When do Venom and Deadpool show up?
DN: Thats a fun game, who can we sub in? Deathstroke is too good for this.
QP: Keep in mind this is happening about the same time as when bargain bin Venom knock-off Dementor shows up over in Gardner.
DN: Well that just made me sad.
QP: So I guess DC had completely run out of ideas for their C-list books.
DN: And the Sterling Hayden of this coup turns green for some…reason?
QP: That’s just how Cable Eye reflects off people’s faces.
TGH: He needed two keys to launch the nuke, but now he doesn’t because that makes more sense than having to draw an accomplice!
BW: On the upside, that’s some good monologuing. “HAHAHA HOW HEROICALLY STUPID YOU ARE.” Which is to say that will probably become a social media avatar for me at some point.
TGH: West tries to call the president, but he’s not home! Welp, that’s that in the event of a nuclear holocaust then!
QP: What the hell is the President supposed to do in this situation anyway?
DN: Be in a bunker somewhere.
TGH: Captain Atom…atomically ties the guy up? (or maybe just shoots atomic rays at him and gives him revenge cancer)…and then flies off to stop the nuke.
TGH: I guess blowing the nuke up is technically changing its course.
QP: Couldn’t have dragged that thing out to space I guess. That’d be too easy.
BW: And too Superman.
QP: Superman probably had better things to do.
BW: “Sucks to be you Kansas City!” Was Captain Atom’s paper tiger routine a thing at this point? I can’t remember.
TGH: Beetle is way too upset about Captain Atom being blown up. I don’t think Captain Atom’s wife would’ve screamed like that.
QP: Nor would her teeth have melted like that.
BW: Guess his Beetle Sense isn’t tingling.
TGH: “Relax, Beetle, I’m fine,” Captain Atom says, lowering himself into the middle of everyone while on fire and highly radioactive.
QP: The radiation even gives Beetle Cable Eye.
TGH: Captain Atom makes a point to yell at everyone about how he’s not on anyone’s side because it’s the ’90s.
QP: If it weren’t for anti-heroes we wouldn’t have any heroes at all.
DN: Beetle tells military officer they’re JUSTICE LEAGUE, PAL! Beetle, stop.
TGH: This is the worst the Justice League has ever looked.
BW: Justice League Detroit? Your days of being the most derided team in the JL’s history are on NOTICE.
QP: Captain Atom is all like “God, Beetle, why can’t you just be cool for five minutes while I’m brooding.”
QP: Elsewhere, in a room full of green, some hulking person makes vague threats in Captain Atom’s general direction.
TGH: I bet this mystery person is a real threat, and not at all some insane comic book fuckery!
QP: I’m sure it’s a villain who will be an important piece of comics lore for years to come.
TGH: Having randomly appeared from nowhere to stop a nuclear attack, Captain Atom then just decides to bring everyone to an abandoned mine that he wants to turn into their base. It used to be a military bunker, but he thinks it isn’t anymore, so it guess it’s okay for them to break in and steal it!
QP: He explains at length that no one officially even knows it exists anymore, because I guess someone just used Neuralyzers on the entire government to make them forget.
TGH: I like that Captain Atom stormed out of the military in a huff and yet still claims to know everything about what everyone knows about everything. Maybe, just maybe, there were things the top brass of the military didn’t tell you, an experimental whiny asshole.
QP: If no one has used that base since the Johnson Administration, I sure as hell wouldn’t ride in that elevator. Also his entire plan hinges on claiming squatters rights on a military base, because that’s a thing you can just do.
BW: Dibs works for abandoned military structures, right?
TGH: Basically, Extreme Justice is pulling a Bundy Ranch situation here.
QP: This is somewhat more extreme than a bird sanctuary I guess.
BW: Meanwhile, Booster just wants to go to Vegas.
TGH: Of course, Captain Atom was wrong, and they run into an army of robots while standing on their tippy toes.
BW: How a roomful of giant metal robots snuck up on them, I have no idea.
QP: Standing on your tippy toes is the most extreme way to stand.
YOU WON’T NEED YOUR WHOLE SEAT YOU’LL JUST NEED THE EDGE
BW: Because you’ll be standing. On your tiptoes.
QP: Like a dainty ballerina.
DN: Beetle managed to hide both his feet.
TGH: The artist had no idea how to make him stand like than and also be on his toes so they just said screw it.
QP: They could’ve just drawn him swinging from a rope from the ceiling…
TGH: Incomprehensible fight time!
QP: I literally have no idea what’s happening on this page.
BW: Amazing-Man points out that these things look familiar. Maybe because they look identical to the robots they JUST fought?
TGH: That was HOURS ago. Like, two.
QP: No, those ones were Metal Gears, these are more Powerloaders.
TGH: I like that the chain guns on the robots have to fire lasers because of the Comics Code.
DN: Beetle gives Amazing-Man enough warning to absorb a robo-laser, which he uses to go to town on some ED-209S.
TGH: Maxima suggests that they find what’s controlling the robots and disable it, but Captain Atom is having none of that college puzzle-solving shit.
BW: “If a train leaves Poughkeepie at 9 AM.”
“I BLOW IT UP.”
DN: AAAAAAAAAA DOUBLE CABLE EYE.
TGH: With the robots dead, Beetle uses his spider powers to leap several stories to a balcony in what is, I swear this time, the worst perspective in a panel yet.
QP: I’m pretty sure I had perspective down better than this when we learned it in 4th grade art class.
TGH: Also the very next panel looks like Ted was caught fucking the crime computer.
DN: ITS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE I SWEAR!
QP: DON’T JUDGE ME!
TGH: WE’RE IN LOVE! I GAVE IT CINDY CRAWFORD’S VOICE!
QP: So at this point, you’d think Atom would take a step back and say, oh, shit, clearly this base is still in use. I guess we better find some other abandoned shithole to call home. But no.
TGH: Yeah, he decides he’d better find out exactly what the government is doing with this base it owns.
QP: I’m sure that’ll work out well for everyone.
BW: Sounds like a mystery, gang!
TGH: I hope this series just ends with a really boring trial and jail time.
TGH: Meanwhile, at the White House…wait, the President WAS home? Does he just hate West? What was even the point of that last plot point?
BW: I think no one really just wants to talk to Captain Atom.
TGH: Anyway, we meet General Synge, who can’t possibly be evil with a name like that!
QP: General John Waters? Evil? Nooooo.
TGH: The President’s office apparently has a huge castle door. I’m assuming we just can’t see the moat in front of it.
BW: As big as his secretaries office is? Makes sense to me!
TGH: The rest of the White House is just the foyer/secretary’s lair.
QP: I knew The West Wing was bullshit.
TGH: Synge gets a message from his “wife” and runs away down the checkerboard hallways. The fuck is wrong with the art team?
QP: Where do we start?
DN: The Escher fights, the weird feet choices, the perspective issues?
QP: The poop faces?
BW: Extremely big doors.
DN: Or we can just power through to the end.
TGH: I like the reveal is that Synge has a cordless phone. Clearly he is a badass if he’s packing that kind of tech in this era.
DN: White Amanda Waller’s name is Martha too, so she’s Batman/Superman proof. (See pile of shit BVS:DOJYMCA to get that joke. Or…Fucking don’t.)
TGH: Does her desk just consist of monitors stacked on top of monitors? Are they just sitting on all of the others’ keyboards, rendering them useless? Was there another way to draw monitors (without built-in keyboards) that would make this way less stupid?
QP: I think there are a few fax machines thrown in there.
BW: Laptops maybe?
TGH: It just becomes a grey, blocky mess after a while.
QP: Dear Martha is calling to let General Synge know that the military base is infested with superheroes again, could he please call the damned exterminators when he can take a moment from his busy schedule?
TGH: I’m disappointed at the implication that these guys are evil, since now stealing this bunker will be totally (extreme) justified.
YOU WON’T NEED YOUR WHOLE SEAT YOU’LL JUST NEED THE EDGE
QP: That guy’s a general. Generals cant be evil. It’s a known fact. Captains can totally be evil, though.
BW: And Majors!
QP: That was just a nickname.
DN: Oh like Colonel Tom Parker.
QP: Yes, or Doctor Teeth. I mean, he could have a medical degree, but I wouldn’t trust him.
BW: Speaking of doctors …
DN: Was…that our first logical segue?
BW: There’s a first time for everything!
TGH: Apropos of nothing, Ronnie Raymond has leukemia! Is this the first time they introduce a hero to a story AND give him cancer on the same page?
BW: I’m still not sure we should trust this “doctor”. Not only is he wearing a beige-ish lab coat, he looks insanely buff in one panel and somewhat pudgy in the next.
QP: Also his right eye is drifting somewhat up his face.
BW: Plus I think he’s looking at Playboy centerfolds in the office. Not very professional Dr. Pudgy Buff!
QP: It’s an experimental treatment.
TGH: Also the doctor has a pretty sinister skull on his desk.
QP: It’s rather small, like a child’s.
TGH: I think the artist played a game where he drew the doctor and took a shot between each attempt.
QP: “What’d that guy look like last panel? Shit, no one will notice.”
TGH: Grey coat or white coat? Sitting or standing? 6 feet tall or 13 feet tall? Buttoned or unbuttoned? Round glasses or oval?
BW: Hairline? Eh!
DN: Weak chin/strong chin? The list goes on.
TGH: Ronnie’s mostly sad on the second page because he’s not sure if he’s already losing his damn mind. He accidentally shaved the left side of his mustache, so yes, he is losing it.
QP: Anyway, Ronnie’s dying, so good luck, dude! Hit up Boca while you still can!
TGH: Meanwhile, back at Mount Thunder, Captain Atom has spent the entire day reiterating that he thought this place would be empty, but it’s not. He’s having almost as bad a day as Ronnie Raymond.
BW: “Can I go to Reno?” asks the guy doing whatever he can to get out of this book.
DN: Hell, the doctor told Firestorm to dip the fuck out of the book.
QP: I think at this point Cap is doing that dad thing where you totally fucked up the directions but you aren’t gonna admit you’re wrong and instead drive the whole family into a village full of cannibal mutants.
BW: “Its fine, it’s fine, it’s fine …. oh crap, Peacekeepers.” Uh. What are Peacekeepers?
DN: I have no idea
QP: Oh, armed paramilitary guys. Sign number 2 that Cap done fucked up and should maybe leave.
TGH: It’s fine, all he has to do is explain that he thought this place was empty, so he’ll be staying here from now on, as is the law of the land, thank you very much. Will Captain Atom come up with some kind of wacky excuse to get these guys out of here? Will he forced to murder everyone with Extreme Prejudice? Who will be the next person to get cancer? Tune in next time!
YOU WON’T NEED YOUR WHOLE SEAT YOU’LL JUST NEED THE EDGE