Armagideon Time

Though DC’s post-Legends “international” relaunch of the Justice League started off strong, injection the franchise eventually became a victim of its own success. By the time the main Justice League America series entered its fourth year of publication, viagra 60mg the once perfect balance of sitcom humor and superheroics had largely devolved into a formulaic mix of contrived wackiness and more recycled gags than a mid-1990s episode of SNL.

The absolute nadir of this unfortunate period was the excremental five part story arc that began in issue #46 (January 1991) of Justice League America and unleashed this week’s Nobody’s Favorite upon an apathetic world. Meet General Glory, advice “the one man flag.”

Considered to be a fictional (twice over) Golden Age comic book character by the world at large, the General (a.k.a. Joe Jones) emerged into the late 20th Century after his elderly civilian identity rediscovered the magic words capable of transforming him into an old school, exposition-spouting patriotic powerhouse.

If you haven’t figured it out already (due to a bad trepanning accident or a fondness for ingesting lead paint chips), Glory was a not-at-all-veiled analogue of Marvel’s Captain America, right down to the swashbuckler boots and bombastically cornball dialogue. 

 Glory was extremely mild as far as satire went, and occupied the mushy middle ground between sneering parody and reverent homage.  It would have been thin enough gruel for sustaining a single-issue story, much less a five part arc involving the trite and true “comic-within-a-comic” gimmick,  secret government conspiracies, and recurring gags about a hidden South American nursing home for incontinent elderly Nazis (a concept that loses much of its high-concept zaniness after comtemplating realities such as this).

Even worse, the writers of the series decided to keep Glory around when the overlong arc finally ended…just in case the readers needed some more tired gags about a pompous, anachronistic windbag on top of the hundreds they’d already been carpetbombed with over the previous five months.

Glory was shuffled out of the League after a creative change-up that jettisoned much of the comedic content in favor of a more traditional (and even less inspired) approach to the ailing franchise.  A dying Jones later passed on his heroic mantle to a paraplegic former police officer…who was killed off-panel in an early issue of the current JSA title to no fan outrage whatsoever.

The only thing worse than a bad joke is a bad joke that vastly overstays whatever meager welcome it might have had, which is why General Glory landed the privilege of being this week’s Nobody’s Favorite.

18 Responses to “Nobody’s Favorites: No lesser glory”

  1. Mark Hale

    Wasn’t his girlfriend named Dawn Shirley Light?

  2. Johnny Bacardi

    I usually only comment when I vehemently disagree with you. However, this time, I’m commenting to say you are right on the money here. Every issue this character appeared in was an endurance test.

  3. adam

    woof. i remember this guy. nice intro about the decline of the giffen-era JL comics. shame that it’s the bwa-ha-ha that everyone remembers over the other things that run had going for it.

  4. Nick

    This… this actually was published?

  5. Your Obedient Serpent

    Oh … my … goodness.

    He’s DC’s Sentry.

    Or the Sentry is DC’s General Glory.

    Or they’re all Miracle/Marvelman.

  6. Kid Kyoto

    Yeah, that and Kookey Kookey Kookey were pretty much the end for me.

    Unrelated note, can you move the links to comments to the bottom of an article rather than than the top. As is I read the article, scroll down, then scroll up to find the comments link. Slightly irritating.

  7. bitterandrew

    I’ll look into it, Kid, but I’m not promising anything.

  8. Sallyp

    Ahh, General Glory. While he had his moments…reminiscing about FDR at the drop of a hat for one…they were few and far between after the first couple of yuks. So yes, I hate General Glory. Mainly because he treated Guy Gardner, and that gawd-awful boxing match.


  9. Palette

    I kinda like the shoulder-to-shoulder eagle.

    The rest of the costume is horrid, no doubt about it, but with a lighter touch that eagle could actually work.

    I’m not defending the character, just saying that something interesting can be salvaged from it…

  10. Tim O'Neil

    Your Obedient Serpent – DC already has a Sentry, named Triumph – only, almost a decade before Marvel’s Sentry.

  11. Mike

    Oh, I don’t know.

    It may have been worth it just for the story where his dog eats a miniaturized Guy Gardner who can’t power ring his way out without hurting the pooch and has to simply wait and let nature take its course.

    Then again, maybe not – although I’m happy because it did give me the chance to write all that in one sentence.

  12. E.T.Smith

    I have a slight affection for GG, in part because it was one of the first JLA stories I ever read. It also was a bit of a enjoyable rarity back then to get a new self-contained character, origin and arc all done in a relatively short-span in an ongoing at hand. Looking back though, its obvious he was the worst sort of homage, drenched in the writer’s own sense of self-congratulatory mocking irony.

  13. LouReedRichards

    An excellent choice.

    God that storyline seemed to go on forever.

    The artwork was pretty lousy as well. I think it could have worked for another title, it just didn’t work well for the JL.

    “Breakdowns” came pretty much right after this, right? I bailed in the middle of that turgid, depressing storyline.

  14. Old Bull Lee

    I’m a fan of the high points of the Giffen-era JL too, but I actually thought Gerard Jones on Justice League Europe was pretty damn good.

  15. bitterandrew

    Lou: Linda Medley did the art, which wasn’t a good fit for Justice League but she de go on to create the excellent Castle Waiting.

    OBL: JLE didn’t hit the high points of JLA, but — Bart Sears art aside — it was far more consistent in its quality and pacing. The comedy was also much darker in tone.

  16. suedenim

    Can’t disagree at all. I thought the initial General Glory story was just barely OK, but leaving someone who was PURELY a joke character around after that was too much.

  17. adrian

    well, i gotta say-maybe it is the hindsight granted by nostalgia-as i dearly love my giffen justice league-but i don’t remember this arc being QUITE as bad as you make out. now im gonna have to go back and dig them out and give them a go, or maybe not-i remember having fun, and im not certain i wanna ruin that.

  18. Mark H Wilkinson

    Somebody’s favourite?

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