Extreme Justice #1: Mad Dogs and Superheroes


TGH: Welcome back to issue #1 of Extreme Justice, which is the second issue because comics. Last time, Captain Atom and his Amazing Friends broke into a government facility illegally with the intent of taking it for their own. Unfortunately, some guys called The Peacekeepers have been dispatched to keep the peace. Will Captain Atom murder them on the spot? (Firestorm also has deadly cancer and will be forced to come to EXTREME terms with his mortality!)


QP: For whatever reason, the cover features our heroes floating on a rock in a pool of lava.

DN: Once again, the cover is attacking the reader.

BW: Nobody has any feet.

QP: Feet are the first things to go when the lava is melting you alive.

DN: Captain Atom: still poopin’.

TGH: The cover has the words “Strike Back,” clearly an homage to the second (and arguably best) Star Wars film, since this is the second issue of Extreme Justice. Can we expect this issue to carry the same emotional resonance of Empire? As we can already see, both Beetle and Maxima have their mouths agape, as if the utter the classic line “No…that’s not true…that’s impossible!” Captain Atom also has a blue beam coming from his hand, almost mimicking a lightsaber. Booster Gold is gold, just like C3PO. Amazing-Man is in pieces, kind of like Luke’s hand? THIS IS ART.


QP: Maxima’s pose is pretty reminiscent of the pulp sci-fi covers of yore, which everyone knows, Star Wars was a loving rip-off…I mean, tribute to.

TGH: Marvel thought they had the advantage by owning the rights to the Star Wars comics, but DC can just make metaphorical Star Wars all they want!


BW: But DC’s will be better! Because they can put Spider-Beetle in it. Yeah!

TGH: Also, it is clearly no coincidence that Vado is so close to Vader.

QP: Captain Atom does have some pretty Han Solo hair. Very fluffy.

DN: How do you condition alien space metal hair? Like, does Vidal Sassoon have a really advanced R&D department?

TGH: It’s encased in carbonite.

DN: …

TGH: This has been “we spent more time than anyone on the planet analyzing this cover.”

BW: On to the interior! So technically the first issue was actually an issue zero, but if you pick up this first instead you’ll be completely lost.


TGH: The issue starts with The Peacekeepers, headed by Gun Blade, entering the Atom compound.

QP: Let’s not forget that Captain Atom is basically trying to steal this military base from the government.

TGH: His name is actually Lieutenant Crater. Unrelated: has anyone on this book ever met another human?

QP: Yes, hu-mon, I understand your Earth names.

TGH: My name is Colonel Explosion.

BW: Corporal Cool Sunglasses.

QP: Blackagar Boltagon. Oh wait.

TGH: Maybe the writer just went to a really awesome high school.


TGH: Welp, Captain Atom just comes strolling in and passive-aggressively threatens to kill them right away, so we’re off to a good start!

DN: But his hair looks just amazing.

TGH: How does a flaming radioactive man sneak up on anyone?

QP: This is turning into some Sovereign Citizens bullshit.

TGH: Wait, something looks familiar:


DN: Oh God, Captain Atom’s ass cheeks have declared a civil war on one another. The battle for supremacy begins.


QP: Looks like he shoved a D-Cup cutlet in on the left and only a B-Cup cutlet on the right.

TGH: #teamleftcheek

DN: Well, there has to be a second place.

QP: I know everyone says Nightwing is the only male character drawn for the female gaze, but I think this panel proves that that is absolutely true.

TGH: At no point in their conversation does Captain Atom even try to imply that they’re there for a good reason.

QP: “Don’t you find it odd they sent you after some trespassers? I mean, it’s not like we spent the whole last issue blowing everything up.”

TGH: Yeah, I’m sure it makes sense to them now that they know a bunch of rogue super-powered assholes took the place over.

BW: That said, I know we give super hero comics crap because there’s so much punching, but dear Lord, this has been the most boring couple of pages of comics that I think I’ve ever read.

QP: Fortunately, Maxima’s here to set everything on fire.


TGH: Some dude tries to snipe Captain Atom’s perfect hair, so Maxima wrecks his brain. I’m pretty sure they’re the bad guys at this point.

QP: Yeah, nothing about this screams “misunderstanding.” These guys are waging siege war on a military base.


DN: I like how Atom is like, “A flanking maneuver? AGAINST ME?” Like people automatically go to Captain Atom for tactical advice.


TGH: Captain Atom threatens them once again, saying that they have no idea how many more murderous superheroes are waiting below. Our heroes! I do like that he knows he has to name-drop Superman to make them give a shit.

QP: Superman still has better things to do that hang out in a cave.



TGH: Crater gives in and leaves, probably because he knows he’ll be murdered unceremoniously any minute now for whatever crimes Captain Atom is committing here.

QP: They come up with a very convincing argument that, eh, there was a cave-in?


TGH: Meanwhile, on a plane, Synge totally knows they’re lying about the cave-in so they’re just going to be murdered off-screen anyway. Thanks, Atom! Also, maybe your flight would go faster if your plane wasn’t upside down!


QP: He also confirms that there are still a bunch of people in the base in the hot house. Sounds a bit like a safe room. Almost as if their home was being invaded.

TGH: This book spends a lot of time explaining to us that the people in the base are evil, but haven’t once let the actual heroes know this.


DN: Meanwhile, Captain Atom is sitting in his civvies with his perfect hair, a bottle of pills and a beverage.

TGH: Another Saturday night for Captain Atom.

QP: Not in too much of a hurry to figure out what’s actually going on in this base, huh?


TGH: Beetle comes in to check on him, and is apparently being played by John de Lancie this issue.


TGH: Beetle has some serious Liefeld chest in some of those panels.

QP: Today Beetle has the proportionate strength of a beetle with a really large thorax.


BW: Atom gets really testy when Beetle questions his aspirin habit.

DN: Look, man, we’re just worried about you…You’ve been hitting those Advil pretty hard…

QP: I’m just scared you might not be following the recommended dosage, that’s all.

DN: That can cause stomach bleeding!

TGH: It clearly says do not take more than 4 in a 24 hour period, but I can’t help but notice you’re on #5.

QP: Atom is really letting the Bayer-rage get out of control.

BW: This makes that intervention episode of Saved by the Bell seem edgy.


TGH: Ted ends up trying to goad Captain Atom into telling the readers what they stand for, but quite frankly, I have no damn idea what they’re trying to say here.

BW: They stand for obligatory shots of Captain Atom’s metal ass.

DN: His cheeks have signed a treaty since the last time we saw them.

TGH: Captain Atom had to write 200 words on what the Justice League meant to him and he had no real idea so he just started rambling.

QP: He started with a dictionary definition. Poor form.


TGH: “We need a team that knows right from wrong.”
“Who will decide that?”
“We’ll let history decide.”
2016 Wikipedia article: “The Mount Thunder Massacre”


TGH: Ted is unconvinced, so Captain Atom shakes his hand. The End.

QP: Beetle straight up asks him how they know if they’re right. Maybe take a look around real quick.

BW: Speaking of home invasions, let’s check in on Ronnie Raymond, who’s looking at the results of what happened to the JLA headquarters.

DN: 1-0 on the organic segue, bro.


BW: Wait…what DID happen to the JLA headquarters?

TGH: I’m not Googling to find out!

QP: Spontaneous Vitiligo Cop explains to Ronnie that the JLA headquarters got blown up.

TGH: Everyone left, except for Oberon, who apparently just lives there digging up shit like a homeless leprechaun.

QP: Well he did live in the sewers at one point.

TGH: “I found these clothes I’m wearing! They’re great and don’t even smell much like shit since I washed them in the river!”

QP: I’m trying to figure out if those blue lines on Ronnie’s face are supposed to be shadows or CANCER.

TGH: The UN cleared the rubble of the entire JLA except for Oberon’s personal effects and a talking robot from the future. Pretty thorough, guys!

QP: I’m sure the decontamination was just as thorough.

TGH: Someone from the UN tried to grab Skeets, but Oberon climbed out of a pipe and hissed at him.

BW: So…cancer everyone!


QP: Ronnie, Oberon, and Skeets decide it’s time for a magical journey across America to find their owners.

DN: I would watch that road trip movie.

QP: Pretty sure Oberon is the old golden retriever in this Homeward Bound scenario. Ronnie is the sassy cat.

BW: “I’m sure the League can help cure you Ronnie!” I’m not seeing that from THIS particular League, Skeets.

TGH: If only Booster Gold has joined up with Dr. Midnight, and not Guy Who Probably Causes Cancer.

QP: Atom will just blast him and take his wallet.


TGH: Meanwhile, back at Mount Thunder, Blue Beetle tried to get the NSA-esque spy equipment up and running. So they can find (and punish) anyone, anywhere.

QP: They’re totally acting like half an hour ago they didn’t activate the fully operational security system for this place. Make yourselves at home, guys, I’m sure ADP isn’t on its way.


DN: There’s a lot of panels with the map from Super Metroid in this issue.

QP: Beetle has a feeling they’re not alone. I can’t imagine why.

BW: But there doesn’t seem to be anyone around.

TGH: Beetle acknowledges that people are still in this base, and that they need to be found if their home invasion is to be successful. “The people who live here have the advantage. They know we’ve broken in through the front door, but we don’t know where they are, or what means they have to protect themselves.”

DN: Oh, the reverse Taken speech. “They will find us, and they will kill us.”

QP: I mean, no court would convict them at this point.


TGH: Amazing-Man and Maxima find an underground ’50s neighborhood, and Maxima makes sure we know that she hasn’t bothered to even find out what a TV is since she crashed this planet.

BW: Freaking hipster.

QP: Who has time for TV when you’ve got procreation on the brain?


TGH: They’re suddenly attacked by some impossible-looking robots, which is good, because nobody has to draw backgrounds when the entire world is FIRE.

DN: These are the character designs Michael Bay handed to his CG guys for the Transformers flicks.

QP: I’m getting the impression fire backgrounds are to this book as dirty purple sludge backgrounds were to Gardner.


TGH: One of the robots is psychic, because yeah, why the hell not?

DN: And is better at it than the Queen of a race of psychics…sure.

QP: Hey, when you need a cheap plot device, better make it a dumb one.


TGH: Also Amazing-Man can’t absorb anything because whoever built these guys knew some 12th-tier hero was going to come waltzing in here one day.

QP: Why plan for Superman when you could make an Ambush Bug contingency instead?


TGH: The rest of the team finally shows up, and they don’t even bother drawing those flight discs on Beetle anymore since he’s Spider-Man.




QP: I appreciate that everyone just calls Amazing-Man Will, because that shit is a mouthful.

BW: No kidding.

TGH: It’s not like anyone’s going to hunt his family down or anything. He’d have to be effective enough to piss someone off. Beetle tries to make him feel better about being a shitty hero by telling him about his comas.

QP: This entire fight is just unintelligible. Nothing but fire and robots. I’m actually wondering if Michael Bay was a fan now.

TGH: I know I’m supposed to root for Extreme Justice here, but they started it.


QP: So it’s basically just 8 pages of dumb punching. And some robots. And some fire.


BW: And a dead pink flamingo. Damn it Booster!

TGH: This is just like Gardner in that there’s nothing much to say after a while, but now it’s lasers instead of fists.

QP: Fire instead of flesh bullets.

DN: Why? Why did you have to say it again?

QP: Because it’s extreme.



TGH: So Captain Atom goes one-on-one against one of the robots and gets his ass kicked for several pages. I’m not sure why it has to be for so long, but if I had to guess they ran out of plot. I guess they home-invaded themselves into a corner.


TGH: So long story short, he gets blown up and killed? I know that because the last page specifically tells us this, and not because this is the story told by the art.

DN: No, it just looks like an energy fart.

QP: Beetle grows spider fangs again.

TGH: Amazing-Man turns white. I’m going to say this is all radiation-based.

QP: Maxima is pooping.

TGH: Also, while I respect Ted’s decision to get into interpretive dance, is Captain Atom’s death really the best time for it?

QP: Editor’s note lets us know that they’ve killed our favorite character. They did? Where?

TGH: Ronnie died of cancer off screen.

BW: Booster Gold is still there, but his character is pretty dead so far. Does that count?

QP: He’s literally done nothing but joke about going to Vegas. He should’ve gone to Vegas.

TGH: Now’s his chance.

BW: Run, Booster, run!

QP: They’ve probably blasted a hole halfway there by now.

TGH: Now that Captain Atom’s dead, will the team make better decisions about whether or not to break into government living facilities and try to claim squatter’s rights? Will Beetle’s dance troupe ever gain the recognition it deserves? And will Ronnie and Skeets make it to Booster before being bitten by a rabid Oberon? Find out next time on Extreme Justice!


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