Extreme Justice #7: The Once and Future Monarch


TGH: Welcome back to a very special* issue of Extreme Justice! Last time, Booster and Beetle violently overthrew a video game company, Maxima embarrassed Captain Atom, Captain Atom disappointed both Maxima and Plastique, Firestorm burned Beetle’s clothes off, Oberon learned how to use a phone, and Amazing-Man apparently locked himself in a broom closet. Unfortunately, Captain Atom’s arch-nemesis Monarch, once thought dead, has arrived in New York. Can everyone put their issues aside to face this new menace?

*Specialness not guaranteed

QP: Looks like Monarch invited the team to his S&M dungeon.

BW: Does his dungeon have weird lighting or is his leather daddy gear generated by Green Lantern? Inquiring minds and all that.

TGH: This is NOT how I remember Tolkien’s saga ending.

QP: This is the Scouring of the Shire, they left it out of the movies.

TGH: Captain Atom is definitely the Boromir of the team. Oberon is of course Tom Bombadil.

QP: Is Atom played by Sean Bean in this issue? Maybe we can finally be rid of him.

TGH: You can choke Blue Beetle all you want, Monarch, but he is not letting go of that ring. The real tragedy here is that Leonard Nimoy never got around to writing a song about Extreme Justice.

QP: Maybe that’s what finally killed him.

BW: “Greatest little superteam of them all” is not how I’d describe this team.

TGH: He ran out of swears 3 minutes in.

BW: Onward!

QP: Must we?

BW: We must! If only because I’m terrible at Lord of the Rings references!


TGH: The issue opens with CNN narrating the storyboards for this page, like most news networks would. There sure are a lot of cameramen at the right place and the right time as this UFO appeared out of nowhere and a guy walked out of it.

QP: I’m pretty impressed they managed to get a camera inside the ship.

BW: Which is confusing because didn’t Monarch get pre-approval from Guiliani to land here?

TGH: He called ahead from his cell phone in space.

BW: Did he phone him up and say, “Hey, I can cure leprosy and male pattern baldness if I set up shop here.”


TGH: Monarch announces himself, and for some reason is wearing a giant chastity belt. Who has the key to his burning passion?

QP: Guiliani was pretty desperate to clean up Times Square if he was calling in aliens for it.

TGH: He should’ve stuck to Guy Gardner and his out-of-control assault rifles.


QP: Monarch comes in talking shit about the Justice League because they don’t solve hopelessness. I mean, unless you hope a giant alien doesn’t show up and destroy your home, but whatever.

TGH: Monarch immediately calls out the Justice League and heroes in general for contributing to everyone’s misery, which, as this comic has shown us, is 100% true.

QP: Well, to be fair, he didn’t call out Extreme Justice.

TGH: They didn’t warrant mention. They were solely at the back end of “so-called heroes.”

QP: See also: Justice League Detroit.

BW: EXTREME JUSTICE! When you need home invasion, car jacking, and hostile corporate takeovers!

TGH: Extreme Justice! When you want someone to watch Pittsburgh burn with you.

QP: Extreme Justice! Because you need someone else to join your acute technophilia support group.


TGH: Maxima forgets what happened in Zero Hour, so Captain Atom helpfully explains it to her and tells her to pick up the newly-released trade.


QP: Then he remembers he left Plastique on speakerphone. Whoops.

BW: It’s less that he forgot, more that he lost it in the sea of beige and earth tones. I more appreciate Captain Atom and Maxima’s costumes for their color than anything else.

QP: He gets back on the phone with her, and she looks very bored by it.

TGH: Nowadays Captain Atom wanna talk like he got something to say / But nothing comes out when he moves his lips / Just a bunch of gibberish / And motherfucker acts like he forgot about Bette

QP: Boo.


BW: Having now had two issues back to back where people talk on phones in super suits, I have to wonder if anyone has put together a compilation of these shots. They’re SO AMAZINGLY AWKWARD.

TGH:  I love the high school senior photo shot of him standing on his own zoomed-in head on the phone.


QP: Atom sounds the alarm, and everyone rushes in, having just freed Will from the locker he got himself stuck in for the entire last issue.

BW: Wait, doesn’t Booster have a new company to run? What the hell is he doing here?

TGH: Firestorm flies into the room while everyone else does a synchronized ice skating routine.

QP: They never change out of their costumes. I bet they all smell like a high school locker room in August.


TGH: Beetle wonders if maybe they should call someone competent, but Atom’s having none of that.

BW: Which is to say that this time Captain Atom stole the battery out of the Justice League’s Javelin.

QP: Isn’t Monarch’s whole thing that he tried to destroy the multiverse or make the multiverse or some other hugely cosmic thing? Because if so, yes, I think they need help fighting that guy. I mean, they had trouble with a pensioner in a pneumatic wheelchair.

TGH: Captain Atom can sometimes explode and go away for a long time, which is the upper hand they need in this battle.

QP: I wish he’d use that power every issue.

BW: Ehh, just set everything on fire. It’ll be fine.

TGH: I forgot, this is the second consecutive issue in which every panel has not been on fire.

QP: I don’t think there was any fire last issue. That’s nuts.


TGH: Meanwhile, Monarch is trying to help a sick little girl who can’t walk.

QP: What an asshole.

TGH: I mean, it does kind of look like he picks her up by the throat in the silhouetted panel, but other than that he’s actually trying to help someone.

BW: That being said, I’ve seen those wavy voice balloons before and good guys don’t use ’em. Wake up DC Sheeple!


QP: Fortunately, our “heroes” are here to harass a duly licensed public servant, adding some more marks to their rap sheet.

TGH: Extreme Justice shows up behind the police line, and I don’t even think the police noticed. Probably because they don’t even register to anyone as important.

QP: It looks like at some point, Maxima turned her pimp goblet collection into some bracers and boots. Maxima is the only person on this team who thought to pack a change of clothes. Dudes are gross.

TGH: Amazing-Man is absorbing the powers of his own funk.

BW: Which makes it sound like he can play bass guitar or something. But I’m pretty sure that kazoos make him nervous.


TGH: Monarch is forced to not heal a sick girl for a minute to entertain their bullshit.

QP: I wouldn’t be surprised if Captain Atom accused her of not really even being crippled and shoved her down the stairs.


BW: Monarch then reveals Catherine (who?), who is the most under-dressed UN rep I’ve ever seen.

TGH: Catherine was I think Captain Atom’s UN rep in Justice League Europe, the team that he also led and I think he was also terrible at it.

BW: Ahhh! Continuity!

QP: Monarch says healing people isn’t as exciting as blowing craters into the ground, which means he probably hasn’t read the prior 7 issues of this comic.


TGH: Nobody has. Monarch tries to heal the girl again but Atom keeps making a scene in front of her while she continues to live in perpetual agony.

QP: Nobody is getting saved on his watch!

TGH: And yet, he actually doesn’t do anything to stop him. He just stands there fuming.

QP: He’s the most ineffectual hero ever. Outmaneuvered by not being a shitheel. Beetle was right, they’re totally out of their league.

BW: I see a VHS tape of this getting pulled out at the inevitable Captain Atom roast in a few years. Thanks CNN!

TGH: Due to a manufacturing error, all copies of Booster’s VCR board game contained this tape instead.


QP: Monarch heals the girl like the real supervillain he is, and Captain Atom gets suuuper pissy about it.


TGH: The crowd immediately realizes that people who actually help people are better heroes than people who take over government facilities and video game companies.

QP: It’s like we’re back at the beginning with Thunder Mountain, where Captain Atom just *knows* there’s evil afoot but can’t actually prove it, so someone has to pay.


TGH: Catherine says that all anyone has is Atom’s shitty word that Monarch is evil. I think they dated for a while and she doesn’t even believe anything he says. Atom must be a pretty cool dude. Then Monarch tries to shake Atom’s hand and he makes a huge, embarrassing scene. Really, all you have to do to defeat Captain Atom is be nice to him.

BW: If the last 7 issues have shown anything, that really is a challenge.

QP: Atom really is a middle school bully.

TGH: I’m sure it’ll never go this way, but wouldn’t it be hilarious if Monarch really was good and Atom spends the next few issues actually being a giant asshole in public?

QP: I’m choosing to assume this book is written from the perspective of Captain Atom, paranoid schizophrenic.


TGH: Monarch gets one last dig in, asking Atom’s team to join him.


BW: Which Booster actually considers. I mean, it’s not like anyone on his team is helping him here.

QP: Hey, Beetle’s feeding prunes to the suit. And aiding and abetting corporate espionage. Don’t say no one never did nothing for him.

BW: Point! Heck, it’s a sub plot I actually am interested in.

QP: Well yeah, prunes are nature’s candy.


BW: Ted and Firestorm have an actual plan to find out what the hell is going on, proving that everyone is a better team leader than Captain Atom.

QP: Atom’s entire plan was just to wreck Monarch’s shit in front of an adoring crowd, so yeah, go with Plan B here.

TGH: The team comes up with the brilliant plan to pretend to be sick people so they can cut the line in front of actual sick people and shut Monarch down before he can cure any more sick people.

BW: It’s foolproof. And they’re just the fools to do it! Wait.


QP: Booster’s pretty pissed that they pick a not-sick person to go get healed and not him, actual sick person.

BW: “But he’ll own your soul!”
“I’m an atheist, Ted.”

TGH: Being cured is the easy way out, Booster.

BW: …of an iron lung. Still, those prunes ARE pretty tasty.


TGH: The next day, or five minutes later, who the hell knows, the team arrives incognito. Ronnie’s insane doctor has gotten him in right away. For plot purposes, Atom asks if he’s sure they got clearance. You’re just asking this now? Really?

QP: That said, there’s apparently no entry requirements, since a perfectly healthy Plastique shows up immediately to blow their cover.

TGH: The artist was not in the mood to draw Atom’s face for two panels so he awkwardly covers it.

BW: He was in the mood to draw almost everyone with a mullet though. Whee!


TGH: Plastique wants to join them and Atom just about bites her face right off.

QP: Somewhere, Booster is weeping. Atom straight up tells Plastique he’s not covering for her in there. Such a good boyfriend.

TGH: Everyone doubts that bringing her is a good idea. Atom asks if they trust him. Nobody answers.


QP: The girl that Monarch healed earlier is working the door, and brings them into the spaceship, which looks like a televangelist church.


TGH: She explains Monarch’s evil plan of curing the sick and making the world a better place. Meanwhile, a bunch of Monarch goons begin to descend upon our “heroes.”

BW: Though their cultist gowns leave a lot to be desired. By which I mean they look like they stole them from a medical supply place.

QP: Hospital Scrubs Green doesn’t look good on anyone.

TGH: He’s got a damn spaceship. Why are they using twine for belts?

QP: Maybe it’s space twine.

BW: Because he’s cheap? That televangelist mansion/space ship ain’t gonna pay for itself!


TGH: Captain Atom tells her to shut up and heal his friend, which is funny because he was the one not shutting up before when she was for real sick. I have to give Ronnie some credit here for keeping up with the ruse. They are so clearly busted at this point, but he’s still down on the ground, moaning like anyone still cares.

QP: Beetle assumes that Plastique double crossed them, but Atom points out that she couldn’t have, because she didn’t know their plan. Not that their plan wasn’t entirely obvious.


TGH: Monarch appears and gives him shit for thinking such a stupid plan was going to work. I mean, they know each other, so I don’t see how not wearing your costume was even going to help.

QP: Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.


TGH: Captain Atom threatens him, and he laughs, because Captain Atom is so lame.


QP: Then Monarch starts telling the world’s most Dad Joke. It’s so bad, Atom starts freaking out.

BW: Clearly he shouldn’t follow Kieron Gillen on Twitter.


TGH: The point of the dad joke was that Atom also knows the dad joke, because it’s a dad joke everyone’s heard before!!! Wait, I mean he knew it because MONARCH IS CAPTAIN ATOM!!! Except with nicer hair!

BW: Proving the theorem that if you wait long enough, everyone in the DCU will be revealed as Monarch.

QP: Man, he loses his shit so hard, I can’t imagine what would happen if some random person tried to tell that joke. Or if he went to a bad standup club.

TGH: I guess the signs were all there: Monarch telling Captain Atom that he…changed, Monarch dating his ex, that perfectly toned ass in earlier panels.

BW: The fact is that on the cover Captain Atom didn’t have to use the safeword. Monarch just KNEW.

TGH: It means this comic has doubled the amount of Captain Atoms in it.

QP: Wait, so does this mean Monarch is good or evil? Because if he’s Atom, that seems to point towards him almost certainly being evil. This is the worst comic ever.

BW: Two many Atoms?

QP: Boo.

TGH: Boo many Atoms.

QP: Sigh.

BW: ::high fives::

QP: Captain Atom would’ve flipped out and punched you both for those.

BW: Captain Atom – Hating Fun Since At Least 1995

QP: “Fun.”

TGH: How will Captain Atom react to there being another Captain Atom? How will WE react to there being another Captain Atom? Is everyone secretly Captain Atom? Find out next time on Extreme Justice: Atom-Verse!

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