Monday, 18 March 2013

Monday Memories #11 - Extreme Justice #13

Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.

The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!

EXTREME JUSTICE #13 - February 1996

I'm sure we all have them - comics or series that we keep just because they round out our collection; comics that we'd probably never buy these days but which we picked up at the time because they were part of the franchise, part of the bigger picture.

You do have them as well, don't you? It's not just me is it?

Extreme Justice was probably the low point in the League's history - I know Justice League Detroit gets all the flack but seriously, trust me here. It stumbled from one bad plot to another, hampered by numerous writers and artists, none of whom had long enough to settle things down, including the late Robert Washington III who wrote this issue and the remaining five in the series.

Booster Gold was injured during the Overmaster/Judgement Day event in the other League titles and here is healed by Monarch, resulting in Gold wandering around for the rest of the issue in his underwear:

Seriously - he doesn't put on another stitch of clothing for the rest of the book.

Monarch, by the way, is not the original Hank Hall/Hawk/future despot and killer of heroes, but a time lost Captain Atom. And yes, that is Captain Atom you see talking with him. It turns out (and this was revealed in issue #8 - Washington has to make the best of the hand he's dealt by Dan Vado and Charlie Bracey who wrote that issue) that when Atom had that quantum bomb exploded beneath him, he was tossed into the time stream. There Nathaniel Adam remained while a copy of him, made from the remnants of the somehow sentient metal of the bomb, returned to Earth and became Captain Atom, convinced that it was Nathaniel Adam. The real Adam was later found in the timestream by the Hank Hall Monarch who befriended him and ended up giving him his armour. The new Monarch has since come to Earth to heal the sick and bring eyesight to the blind.

This is all explained by Monarch when Maxima and Cap - as psionic manifestations - enter Monarch's brain:

Monarch, of course, is later revealed as not being the benign healer he sets himself out to be and Booster's new body transforms leading to a show down in the following issues.

One thing that made me chuckle, though, was the repeated footnotes from editor Ruben Diaz referring readers to issue #8. He'd obviously had enough towards the end of the issue as yet another footnote is a little out of the ordinary:

A nice little touch in an otherwise quite poor issue.


  1. I loved the early issues of Extreme Justice. It continued my favorite post-Jurgens Justice League era (and was only missing Bloodwynd). The whole Monarch deal was a riff on what was originally supposed to be revealed about Monarch in the first place, and I liked Captain Atom, and the spotlight on him in the series to me was a good thing.

    1. I'm halfway there with you, Tony - Monarch has always been a villain with a good look, particularly when drawn by Jurgens, and I've long been a fan of Captain Atom, but Extreme Justice... the rapid turn around of writers and artists didn't do it any favours in my opinion, and the art (such as this issue) was horrible.

      I think I preferred the Task Force and that's saying something!


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