JLA #101: Pressure Cooker


TGH: Welcome back to Part 2 of this gigantic Guy Gardner crossover! After the nightmare that was Guy Gardner: Warrior Annual #1, we left town for weeks in what seemed like a beautiful, Gardner-free dream. Alas, all dreams must come to an end, so here we are.

DN: Part 2 of 7. If we make it it’ll be a miracle.

QP: Fittingly, we’re now about to dive into a Hawkman-and-Yaz-infused nightmare.

TGH: If the cover is any indication, Hawkman is about to be jettisoned into space while everyone suffocates, so that’s cool at least.

DN: And this is ’90s Hawkman, so he has a mullet and that is all I know about his orgin story.

QP: Mullets are a valid origin story in the ’90s. That’s all you really need for a deep, well-rounded character.

TGH: The one green robot guy is trying to kill Wonder Woman, but the other one looks like he’s trying to save Flash from dying with Hawkman. “Don’t be a hero! We need you!”

QP: They’ve got a little hamster wheel they need him to run in and power their city. Oh whoops, that veered into Frank Miller territory, I’ll try not to do that again.

DN: Those are some generic-ass-looking robots, too. Doctor Doom must have had a yard sale.

BW: And now I’m flashing back to the Satellite Era or as I like to call it, “Why The Hell Did The Satellite Break/Someone Got Shot Into Space/It Got Taken Over By Aliens This Month?”


TGH: The story opens with the Yaz showing everyone a spaceship that they just happened to find right before they needed one, so now they can fly to somewhere in space to kill the Tormocks. I thought the JLA had spaceships. Don’t they do this a lot?

QP: They had one a few issues back when Guy needed to kick some Green Lantern ass. I guess they conveniently forgot about it this time.

DN: I mean, this looks like a pretty low-budget JLA.

TGH: They spent their whole space budget on the floor that has “Pressure Cooker” carved into it.

DN: If you have Maxima and Blue Devil on your roster you are clearly not a memorable JLA. Who’s you your comic relief? A blue talking pterodactyl? Oooooh, tough break.

QP: I also like that’s it’s a different lineup than the JLA that Guy was trying to murder last issue.

BW: True, but by far it’s a more realistic JLA than we saw last time. And by realistic, I mean Wally thinks going into space with Yaz is a horrible idea and Obsidian agrees (Spoiler: they’re right).


TGH: Hawkman gives everyone a pep talk about how they have no choice according to Guy, who is just standing there letting him speak for him. Seems in character.

QP: Every time Guy has had to do anything with the JLA since he got his own ongoing, he’s insisted on being the leader, so yeah, letting Hawkman take charge seems totally in character


TGH: Guy only speaks up to scream at Blue Devil and us about how serious this crossover is. Then Martian Manhunter asks him for more information and he tells him to fuck off. Okay then.


QP: I get that Earth is in danger and all, but if this is the shit they have to put up with to cut it off at the pass, I’d just send Guy on his merry way in this spaceship alone and deal with the aliens when they show up. It’s gotta be less of a pain in the ass than dealing with his surly mug.

TGH: I guess we’re still at a point where Blue Devil is a suit fused to a human body, but they spent a lot of time crafting those nipples.

DN: Schumacher spares no attention to detail.


TGH: After a lot of chest-puffing, the team finally just leaves for space already, while some unknown enemy prepares to fire up his generic robot army. I’m pretty sure this is the comics equivalent of a bottle episode, so I hope you guys enjoy some talking!

QP: We get treated to a group therapy session involving all of the JLA members, several of whom seem close to having some sort of breakdown.


QP: Nuklon’s going through a manic phase, Obsidian’s depressed, Icemaiden is dealing with some crippling imposter syndrome.


DN: Blue Devil has a gambling problem.

BW: And Captain Atom has succumbed to the Mullet Virus. Truly this IS a troubled group of heroes.

TGH: Hawkman needs to know if the Yaz is a girl so he can kiss the Yaz.

QP: Everyone wants to tap that sweet blue leathery ass.


TGH: Hawkman better get on that, because Atom and Flash are about to enter the love square. They’re just hiding over there, staring at the Yaz and wondering what’s going on with that. It’s so weird.

QP: Well the ship is about to overheat, so it won’t matter soon anyway.

DN: Their spaceship is a fucking lemon considering how quickly it overheats.


TGH: Hawkman can’t cool the ship down! He’s tried staring at every gauge, but nothing!

QP: Icemaiden shows up just in time, I guess, because no one thinks, hey, maybe call the person with ice powers over to cool down the ship.


DN: And Guy is super upset that ANYONE ELSE HAS ICE POWERS.

TGH: Guy for some reason hadn’t put it together yet that Icemaiden might have ice powers.

QP: Like, did you not see her before now? She’s been there the whole time.

DN: Like, on the splash page. Apparently being Vuldarian means losing your peripheral vision.

TGH: He fought her last issue even.

QP: You’d think the fact that she’s wearing the Rubie’s Halloween version of Tora’s costume would’ve tipped him off.

BW: And her name is “Ice Maiden”. Guy Gardner Colon Oblivious.


TGH: Guy and Fire get in a fight, so Fire just starts blasting flames all over the inside of the ship like a genius. Nuklon, who hasn’t talked to Fire ever up to this point, demands that she talk to him about Ice dying right away because he’s there for her. I guess Nuklon went on a date with her, so now he thinks they’re soulmates or something.


QP: I’m not going back and reading bad issues of JLA so I can know or care what’s going on.


TGH: Fire responds with the worst frowny face in the history of frowny faces. It’ll take not-yet-invented machines to turn that frown upside-down.

BW: It’s like an unholy inversion of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun video.


DN: Fire overreacts to Nuklon’s comforting, and she sets his face on FIRE.

BW: “You don’t know me! Nobody knows me!” Fire’s dialogue today has been replaced by an angsty 14 year old. Let’s see if anyone notices!


QP: Meanwhile, we learn that Icemaiden’s got the hots for Fire, which is probably not helped by Fire cornering her and screaming at her to not let her down, whatever that means.


TGH: Then I guess Obsidian’s got something weird going on with Nuklon too. This is just a hotbed of sexual frustration. And this doesn’t even include the Yaz!

BW: Wow! Bea messed Nuklon’s face up pretty bad! No — wait, just regrettable art.

QP: Look, the entire team wants to get with the Yaz. It’s a seething tidal wave of pent up reptilian lust on that ship right now.

DN: Words I did not think I would ever read in a sentence together.


TGH: Nuklon tells Obsidian to fuck off because he’s still mad about having his eyes set on fire, so Obsidian goes outside and waxes dramatic until he sees…something.

QP: He legit considers suicide by osmosis.

TGH: That would teach Nuklon not to love him.

QP: Blue Devil decides to taunt Guy, because Guy has always seemed the type to take a good-natured ribbing before now.


TGH: “There was a jerk on the JLA once. His name was Guy Gardner! And now he’s not on the JLA but he’s still a jerk. Think about that.”

QP: Guy lays the verbal smackdown, while Flash is in the background playing hype man. “Oh daaaaamn! He just said that!” *snaps*


QP: Also I do not believe for a second that Guy is that introspective about his past douchebaggery, or that his present douchebaggery is that much improved. The JLA creative team does at least write him slightly more mature than the Colon Warrior creative team, I guess. He hasn’t punched anyone all issue!


TGH: Obsidian jumps back in to tell everyone that they’re being attacked, and everyone switches to default shock face.

QP: The Yaz looks the same though.

BW: That’s because the Yaz is perpetually shocked he’s managed to sneak into the Justice League. Much like the rest of us.


TGH: Hawkman switches to evasive maneuvers and just plows right into the enemy ship like a champ.

QP: While making a Popeye face.


TGH: He says they’re not hit badly thanks to Obsidian, but look at the path it was taking before. They would not have hit the enemy ship at all if Hawkman hadn’t lost his shit and yanked on the stick for no reason.

QP: It’d have been two ships passing in the night, as it were.

TGH: “There’s a ship out there!”
“In that case, better turn!”
“Wait, wh-“*crash*

QP: If he’d turned right they’d have been long gone by now.

DN: I think Hawkman even owns a spaceship. Good job, bro.

TGH: I can’t imagine it lasting too long considering how he flies.

BW: Why do you think he always wears the wings?

QP: Maybe his mullet got in his eyes.


TGH: Thanks to Hawkman, a bunch of robots come into the hole that Hawkman put in the ship.


QP: And a few minutes later, the air remembers it’s supposed to void out into space.

DN: Icemaiden tries to kill all of the robots so that Fire will like her.


QP: She tries so hard, you guys. But they turn red, which apparently means they’re resistant to ice. Obviously, the colorist of this comic has never played a JRPG.

TGH: The robots turn out to be shapeshifters, which means they could’ve not looked stupid this whole time.


QP: Not stupid? In a ’90s comic? Highly doubtful. I do like that one of them turns into Oogie Boogie.

TGH: One of them turns into a Yaz-bot to more evenly match the Yaz in combat. Quick, check its genitals, Hawkman!

QP: Alas, its cold robot heart can never know love.


TGH: Meanwhile, some generic X-Men villains are monologuing about the robots they sent into the ship. Scott’s dad is going to swoop in and save everyone any minute now.

QP: A dark elf and a pyromancer? They’re even dressed like they got lost on the way to space ren faire.


QP: Hawkman has a great idea to make another effing hole in the ship.

DN: Why are we letting this guy lead?

TGH: Rule #1 of spaceships: don’t put fucking holes in them.


QP: Flash conveniently decides to start using his powers to round up the robots now, and not ten minutes ago when they boarded the ship.

BW: It’s not that Wally couldn’t have stopped the robots ten minutes ago, he just wanted to give everyone else a chance to be competent. No such luck!

DN: Icemaiden tries really really hard to get senpai to notice her, again.


QP: Too bad she sucks and freezes some power cables that I’m assuming will be important later.


DN: Wonder woman’s half-jacket apparently gets sucked into the void of space.

QP: Don’t worry, her cleavage garters will keep her warm.


TGH: Hawkman gets sucked out of the hole, but then Obsidian fucks everything up by grabbing him at the last minute. Nuklon wants to make out with Obsidian again but the block is on the other cock this time.


QP: I am legitimately wondering if the creative team didn’t plan for this arc to end in a massive space orgy. And, oh yeah, Icemaiden totally froze the ship to death.


DN: Icemaiden basically gives Fire the go-ahead to got to town on her, which Fire does NOT expect.


QP: Well Senpai sure is noticing the fuck out of that.

TGH: There has got to be some fan fiction about this arc that goes in an entirely different direction. Probably Yaz-centric, even.


TGH: Of course, because Hawkman is here, and he hasn’t ruined enough, the ship craps out right over goddamn Thanagar.

QP: Oh. Yay. Thanagar.

TGH: This is literally the only thing you can do with Hawkman.

QP: I hope they’re at war with Rann or something.

DN: Aren’t they always?

QP: That doesn’t mean I want to read about it.

DN: Point.

TGH: Now that Icemaiden destroyed their ship, what kind of bullshit awaits our heroes on Thanagar? Will Hawkman manage to blow a hole in the planet? Find out next time in frigging Hawkman, which we are now forced to read. Thanks, DC.

’90s Ad Showcase:


TGH: The bad thing about having a bunch of crossover issues across the same month is that all of the ads are exactly the same from issue to issue. Seriously, if I see that damn French Toast ad one more time I might lose my mind.

Next Time:

QP: Hawkman brings the gang home for Thanagar Christmas. Ma Hawkman is pissed because she only baked enough pies for the family.
“I’m not saying your friends aren’t welcome, I’d just like a little more notice next time!”

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