[identity profile] bluefall.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Diana's no Batman, with five different books devoted to her adventures at any one time. She's not even a franchise like Green Lantern, despite how awesome a regular title devoted to Artemis or Nu'bia could be*. But she is and has been an occasional guest in setting books like Action and a staple of team books like Justice League in many incarnations, and many of her better stories are from those titles rather than her own.

* Well, if it wasn't written by WML. Now let's never speak of Requiem again.

This one's from 1995, during the Era of Three Hundred Justice Leagues. Diana was head of the JLA and had been for some time - a position she is supremely suited to by nature, but was only intermittently suited to by portrayal, given that writer turnover was worse than League membership turnover at the time, and many of her authors simply didn't get Diana. And by that I mean either her personality or the fact that she could beat her entire League at once with one hand tied behind her back (well, maybe she'd need both hands for Flash), and how that needed to be reflected in group combat.

Unfortunately Gerard Jones was among them, and he was on JLA duty during this arc. But this story is a crossover event, and the other two writers involved - Beau Smith on Warrior and Messner-Loebs on Hawkman - had a better idea what they were doing. Overall I wasn't sure whether to include it, because it's not really a Wondy story, but there are a couple of moments here that I truly love, so here we go, once again, into outer space.




Okay, more context: at this point in time, Guy Gardner is not a Green Lantern. What he *is* is half-alien - the last carrier of Vuldarian genetics in the universe. This gives him weird morphing powers and makes him the target of various alien menaces. (Look, it was the nineties.) He also has a bar called Warrior's. That should be all you need to know, but if you can stomach the art, I do recommend checking out the Warrior series anyway, if you get the chance. It's quite fun, and gave us Zinda.

Back to the story. Diana has her people distribute JLA communicators to heroes across the globe, and they leave one at Warrior's for Guy, and Guy takes this opportunity to get extremely fuckin' pissed at the JLA. Apparently no one ever called him to tell him that Tora was dead. I'm pretty sure I really don't buy that, but it does lead to a good scene of him storming their headquarters and beating up the Justice League, so let's go with it.





(Worthy of note: Fire is still deep into her Ice issues at the moment. This all happens around the very beginning of Sigrid's profoundly creepy, utterly unsettling, truly awesome seduction of Bea. So that's your explanation for her actions as we go along.)



From the day Max first hired her to the Justice League, Diana has consistently been the only person other than Ice who can get Guy to settle down and be reasonable. (Bats can get him to shut up and obey, but not to be calm or reasonable.) But that's not even the impressive part of this scene. The impressive part is that if you look carefully at the last panel, you'll see she's holding him.

Guy Gardner. Letting himself be held and comforted. In public.

Of course this is a comic book and these are superheroes, so the detente is not to last.



The attacking creatures are, as Hawkman helpfully exposits on the next page, "kraggz," a type of hunting assassin creature employed by the Tormocks (random alien bad guy race #611). The Tormocks, y'see, are after Guy, because they find his DNA offensive. So the Leaguers fight the one that attacked their base, and Diana and Guy fight the two that came after him at Warrior's. And this is where we see that Beau Smith knows what he's doing, because Guy and Diana, after a hard and impressive combat, kill one kraggz each, leaving the entire rest of the League to fight a close battle against the third.

They win, of course, but Hawkman advises against killing it. Instead, he calls all three active Leagues together (Diana's JLA, Atom's Extreme Justice, and J'onn's Justice League Task Force) in order to track the thing back to it's homeworld. Because the fate of the Earth is at stake. (Hey, it's a crossover.)





(Diana: Not judgmental.)

So off they go, bickering and angsty as they ever are, into space.



Aww, Guy. If it weren't your own behavior that got you into this mess by being so Goddamn unlikeable, you'd be such a woobie. And remember, it's not just Ice! G'nort loves you too!

Then they get attacked by Tormocks. Their ship's not exactly a starfigher, so they quickly get boarded, and a fight scene ensues.



They repulse the invaders with relative aplomb. Unfortunately, the reason why Yazz is going "oh shit" in that fifth panel there is that Sigrid just froze a vital piece of the ship.



Just for context, Katar has recently cut ties with Thanagar, which is now mostly a dead world. Not being a Hawk fan of any kind, that's as much as I can tell you, but at any rate it's pretty well established that the prospect of going home at this juncture is one Katar finds Not Pleasant.

They land, though, because they have no other choice.





And Diana neatly cuts through everyone's angst and bullshit, as is her wont. I think the Fire stuff is especially cool in light of how Bea acted the first time they met. (Note also how she's just sort of in charge by default here, and neither Atom nor J'onn nor anyone on their teams even blinks at this. Well, not that J'onn would anyway, but we've got Atom and Maxima and the like involved too, and they're much less sanguine people.)

Out goes the scout group, Katar in the lead, and they run into trouble, naturally - a group of Leechuns (random alien bad guy race #612), who are using Tormock weapons to ravage what's left of Thanagar and enslave its remaining populace. So they do their thing, lay waste, and free the slaves.





I... know she's not, but it really seems like Diana's flirting with Yazz, there. Although, you know, compared to Nemesis or Trevor Barnes? I think I do actually prefer a tiny alien pterodactyl of indeterminate gender.

Thanagar safely rescued, they finish their repairs and head back out into the black. Where they get attacked by Tormocks (seems to be an unpleasant developing trend for them). Several of the spaceworthy members of the crew, including Diana, Katar, and Guy, go out into the vacuum to fight.





More details crucial to the plot! Tormocks and Vuldarians are, it seems, distantly related. This is why the Tormocks have such a keen interest in killing Gardner. And remember this "Bad One" guy (aka Probert) because he's going to be around for a little while. Also, muscles don't work that way.

But the fight goes badly, and Guy and the Leaguers on the ship get abducted.



And what do you do when Guy gets stolen? Leave him to his fate, the jerk Why, rescue him, of course!



Hooray, a team-up within a team-up! Also, ribcages don't work that way.

It takes them a while to find their lost former Lantern, as they work their way through the hostile streets of Vuldar, capital of the Tormock empire.





You know, I think Katar is hot as hell in that splash, and I don't even like guys.

It probably won't shock you to learn that our heroes lay bloody waste to the Tormock raiders.



You complain, Diana, but we all saw that smile.

So they steal one of the birds, fly it into the fortress, crash it into a gun turret, and continue to smack their way through all opposition.





The art here deserves mention. Behold the female superhero leading with her fists and shoulders instead of tits and ass. See the way her shirt actually obscures her female shape. See a woman drawn as all power and no sex. Katar's the eye-candy, here, not Diana. Can I tell you how much I love that?

And it cracks me up that Diana totally doesn't get why Probert thinks the small army about to attack them is particularly bad. She's all "What? It's just another hundred guys. Whatever. Call me when it's something that'll make me break a sweat."

Meanwhile, it turns out that Guy has been abducted by Karine, the high priestess of the Tormocks. The Tormocks are, apparently, dying out, because they're a bunch of inbred xenophobes with an unsustainable cultural imperative to war. Karine believes that a little pinch of Guy's Vuldarian jizz will fix all that, though, by bringing new diversity back to the family tree.



Actually, I'm pretty sure the Earthers call it "rape," but why quibble?



Happily for Guy, his imminent sexual assault gets interrupted by his friends, who break down the wall and lay waste, as you do.



Note that it's Diana who takes the fight to the bad guy, while Hawkman frees Guy. This is only sensible, when you think about their relative resources, but that doesn't mean that most writers would have thought of it, particularly since this is Katar's book we're in at the moment. Though I suppose that might just be because Karine is female.

Anyway, Karine escapes and runs off to her brother Bronkk, who isn't all about his sister's breeding program and would rather just kill Guy and be done with it (he's a traditionalist).





Buncha macho nutcases, aren't they? I do like the sense that Diana's *still* vaguely in charge, here, or that at the very least plans must be run by her specifically to be considered applicable, even though Guy and Probert aren't League and this isn't any kind of formal group they've got. Also, necks don't work that way.

So, they have a big fight.



(Yes, that's Lobo. He's XTREEM after all. Don't worry about it. He's not important. Pretend he's not there. Also, spines don't work that way.)

Diana seems to have taken special exception to Karine. Guess she's not a big fan of rapists. Who knew?



(Diana's shock here is at finding that Karine was wearing a mask, and is actually rather human-looking and pretty underneath. I'm not entirely sure why this matters to anyone, and she gets killed anyway when the rest of the League shows up and Karine's angry spaceship eats her, so I wouldn't even mention it, but I don't want that panel to confuse anyone.

Also, stomachs don't work that way.)

This is really Guy's story, of course, so it ends with him kakking Bronkk in a final, dramatic confrontation:



(Biceps don't work that way. I fucking HATE this art.)

And then they all fly home between issues and off-panel, and Diana probably does not take the opportunity to sleep with Yazz.

So, not the greatest Wondy story ever told, because it's not even actually a Wondy story, when you get right down to it. But it does showcase some of Diana's best aspects, like her sensitivity and wisdom when it comes to people and their relationships, and her fearlessness and conviction in battle. It paints us a woman who a macho prick like Guy Gardner can feel safe being hurt with, who a jealous, fiercely independent rebel like Fire can hear advice from, and whose orders a proud warrior like Katar can respect.

Scans from JLA v2 101-103, Guy Gardner: Warrior 32-34, and Hawkman v4 22-23.

I'm not even going to try coming up with a Hawkman tag under the current system.

Next time: Artemis finally becomes a likeable character, and we get to see Cassie when she still was. Plus Etrigan rhyming, Neron gloating, and Byrne killing Diana off. (Spoiler: It doesn't stick.)

Date: 2009-03-14 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ratmel.insanejournal.com
Ah, the 90s, when comic artists had a grimace quota for each issue ¬_¬

RANDOM THOUGHTS NOM NOM NOM

Date: 2009-03-14 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottyquick.insanejournal.com
That full-page shot of Hawkman? Man. That's almost makes up for the 90's.

But has Katar always been that ridiculously awesome fuzzy? Not just chest hair and body hair and back hair, which I'm down with, but side-neck hair?

Wait, Bea's gay? And if there were to hypothetically be an Artemis miniseries from the 90's, what would it be about?

Re: this comment does not exist

Date: 2009-03-15 08:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlbarnett.insanejournal.com
Just have it be some sort of infernal politics that certaon groups wouldn't take her. She's a Bana, that means she rejected the Greek GOds. But then she moved Themiscrya and became the champion of those gods. Plus the Bana kind of pick and choose thier gods don't they?

Date: 2009-03-14 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] volksjager.insanejournal.com
eek. That was an awful league. Guy Gardner "warrior" was THE worst reboot ever. Then theres the Hawkman/men thingie , whatever...

Date: 2009-03-14 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
Guy Gardner "warrior" was THE worst reboot ever.

Yes. Sometimes, editors are a hindrance.

Date: 2009-03-15 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
Having read Smith's original proposal, I just wish we could've gotten that instead. How much better would the stories have been if he wasn't saddled the "Y'know what would be COOL????!!!" That phrase needs to be carefully regulated. Because sometimes it leads to Diana and Cheetah neck-snapping awesome battles. And sometimes it leads to "Hey, Guy also has magic alien DNA! Good luck with that."

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; and energy Superman. And Bruce Wayne should totally like, die, man. Hal Jordan should be evil, and the new ring-bearer should have no clue what he's doing. And The Justice League should be based out of Detroit! . . . anyway . . .

Date: 2009-03-15 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] volksjager.insanejournal.com
It never happened . The first thing Alex Luthor had Superboy-Prime do was beat the crap oout of the timeline til' no trace of the detroit years were left.

Date: 2009-03-15 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magus_69.insanejournal.com
*points at icon*

Where is that from? It looks like Carrie Fisher.

Date: 2009-03-15 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bariman1987.insanejournal.com
The P-90 and earpiece make me think that's Dr. Elizabeth Weir from Stargate Atlantis.

Date: 2009-03-15 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magus_69.insanejournal.com
Ah. Thanks.

Date: 2009-03-15 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magus_69.insanejournal.com
Cool. Thanks. I didn't think that it was Carrie Fisher because that is not Leia and it isn't the character she played in The Blues Brothers, but the resemblance gave me pause.

Date: 2009-03-16 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bariman1987.insanejournal.com
canon Rule 63

Gal Gardner should be reposted as soon as possible.

Date: 2009-03-15 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] volksjager.insanejournal.com
Hmm why do you blame the editor? :)

Date: 2009-03-15 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
The half-Vuldarian slant was an editorial mandate. Well, the alien DNA that makes him able to weaponize his own body was.

Date: 2009-03-15 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] volksjager.insanejournal.com
"The half-Vuldarian slant was an editorial mandate"

Wow I would luv more info on that ? whate were they thinking ? Did someone lose a bet ?????

Date: 2009-03-15 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
Basically, the original pitch for the Warrior series was that Guy owned and ran a hero-themed bar (a single bar, not the franchise it eventually became), and sometimes went on Indiana Jones-lite adventures with a small background cast of characters.

It was picked up, but decided that it needed a superhero slant of some sort. After not enough time to consider, it was decided "Wouldn't It Be Cool If" Guy Gardner had some alien DNA that allowed him to morph his body into weaponry. It was the 90s, little good came out of the 90s.

Date: 2009-03-15 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] volksjager.insanejournal.com
Oh I knew about the bar ,but the design for the character was god awful . Did he and Fate ever duke it out ?

Ew...90's.

Date: 2009-03-21 08:28 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Actually, Beau was given a mandate for Guy to have super powers but the Vuldarian idea was his. He felt it would explain Guy's personality and allow it to develop. Why Guy always claimed he was the "one" true GL and why he was always searching, like a salmon swimming upstream. It was his Vuldarian heritage and his being the last of a kind. So while it was an editorial mandate, it was all his idea. He wanted Guy to be a Nine feet behemoth that rivaled superman in strength and was the best warrior, best hand-to hand, best marital artist in the universe, the last of a race before the Guaridans, Darkstars, etc. that just the name Vuldarian use to make those bad guys in the ancient past fill their pants.

I thought it was cool, and the first time Guy became more than a jerk with a bowl cut and a one trick pony with a GL ring.

Date: 2009-03-14 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
Argh, the art. Why do you hate us, so '90s? What did we ever do to you?

Y'know, I was thinking about this recently, and Diana doesn't really pop up in other titles that much, does she? I guess, considering not enough writers get her, this isn't such a bad thing, but it does kind of limit her exposure.

Date: 2009-03-15 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
Aside from JLA, Trinity, and massive company cross-overs, I can't think of the last thing she guested in.

Date: 2009-03-15 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottyquick.insanejournal.com
possibly even Batman, though don't hold me to that

Overall, Bruce has appeared in more issues of Action Comics then Diana, but since 2000 she's appeared in 17 issues and Bruce 12. I don't know if their appearances were just cameos, but according to ComicVine they were in those issues :)

Date: 2009-03-15 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] volksjager.insanejournal.com
Yeah the art really fell off the map in the mid/late 90's.

Date: 2009-03-15 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrotwilight.insanejournal.com
I'll just go and say I love Diana's 90's non Wondy outfit. I know, I'm evil blahblah...

Date: 2009-03-15 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buttler.insanejournal.com
Wow, nowhere near there with you on that. I think the linked version looks even worse, which is an accomplishment. Overall, this jacket and bicycle shorts getup is the worst WW outfit I've seen, easily outstripping the golden chicken armor. It makes her I Ching-era white catsuit look like the best thing ever.

It doesn't help that WW looks like a teenager in all these scans either.

Date: 2009-03-15 01:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magus_69.insanejournal.com
This is still a pretty cool story, but the art... it stinks of...

LIEEEEEFEELLLLLLLLLLLLLDD!

Date: 2009-03-15 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foxhack.insanejournal.com
I'm busy, jeez! :P

Date: 2009-03-15 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foxhack.insanejournal.com
You know what almost everyone in those scans needs to drink?

Image

HRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRP

Also, who's going to add all those "X doesn't work that way" tags?

Date: 2009-03-15 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
I'm not even going to try coming up with a Hawkman tag under the current system.

After the Johnsboot, aren't all Hawkmen the same Hawkmen, sorta?

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; let us not speak of the Starlinboot.

My suggestion

Date: 2009-03-15 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arrlaari.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
char: Hawkman/God help you

Re: My suggestion

Date: 2009-03-15 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foxhack.insanejournal.com
Good lord, someone actually ADDED that one o_O

Date: 2009-03-16 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bariman1987.insanejournal.com
*whistles innocently*

Incidentally, Guy Gardner can't follow the normal format, as "char: green lantern iii/warrior/guy gardner" gets the "ner" cut off. So maybe we should ditch the number part.

I doubt "char: green lantern ii/parallax/spectre/hal joran" would fit for that matter.

And just a though, how do we deal with the different Legions, and the characters therein?

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