Monday, July 9, 2012

Know your Super Buddy

Continuing with the profiling here are the members of the Justice League International. Giffen and DeMatteis did an excellent job demonstrating the uniqueness of their personalities, still, it's always fun to review them. Tell me what you think about them.

Maxwell Lord: The true Maxwell is an opportunistic sleazeball with a great heart. He would manipulate and push so that his will is done; fortunately, he always has the greater good and the best interest of his friends in mind.  He sounds like a used car salesman, the difference is that he always delivers what he promises. He's the incarnation of the "Like a boss" meme; he works hard and he lives hard, always surounded by luxury. He's all charm, and yet, unlike the stereotypical sanguinean type, he gets the job done without disappointments. He has a thing for power and control, but his main reasons are his egocentrism and certain paternalist feelings he has towards the JLI. As the boss, he's always has his eyes on the ball and knows how to take charge without engaging (at least when it matters).

The Martian Manhunter: The leader of the oddest incarnation of the JLI also serves as its father figure; while he seems to have a peer relationship with Batman and Maxwell, he thinks of the rest as "the children".  He knows human nature better than humans so he’s very accepting and avoids engaging in nonsense and even most of the social situations of the team. His attitude and personality often places him as the straight man among the shenanigans of his team. As a leader he's calm, insightful and patient and knows exactly what to say to lead this weird wild crowd, always with his eyes on the ball.  

Blue Beetle: Ted is creative, optimistic, enthusiastic, adventurous, witty and a bit juvenile. He has a great, easy going temper, which is why he's normally in great mood. His friends would say that he's hyperactive and often too smart for his own good. He took the Blue Beetle mantle from his teacher, but the truth is that he's a superhero out of his optimism and sense of adventure. Like Ralph, he's a true example of emotional intelligence.

Fire: Bea is loud, fiery, flirty, fun loving and very hot tempered (a lot like Sofia Vergara or Eva Longoria). She's very street wise, has a quick wit, which helps her charm her way to get what she wants; however, she has no trouble calling things by their name.
In some stories, she has a Bart-Simpsonesque, devil-may-care attitude. She's a nudist who has worked in showbiz for men, yet she showed a smart taste in men (liking Oberon, hating Guy) and was quite protective of Ice's love life. Her deal in that sense seems to be that she uses her sensuality and charisma to get stuff but is very careful when it comes to feelings. Despite her hedonistic exterior she shows good, caring values when it comes to people. This is more evident with good kind people, like Ted, Ice, Mary or the Dibnys. By contrast she's tough on jerks (even if they are still her friends) and really tough on villains.

Booster Gold: He's basically a phony superhero that is perpetually redeeming himself. For some reason, his goals as a superhero are fame and fortune. He's shallow, shameless and often desperate; however, he always pulls through. He's not much of a thinker, which makes him the perfect bottom of the jokes (making him the perfect odd couple for Blue Beetle); however he has his heart in the right place and has an amazing deal of determination, which are the reasons that qualify him as a member.

Ice: She's sweet and caring; her borderline naive innocence contrasts with Bea's sharp eye. She's utterly honest, transparent and, despite certain shyness, she always shows her true emotions. However, she's not a bad judge of character as much as she prefers not to judge, often seeing the goodness behind rough exteriors like Guy's or even Bea's. Her sense of fun is very child-like and playful, which makes her able to enjoy the simple things in life.

Ralph: In JLI he became less of a Nick Charles superhero and more of a funny, paternalistic uncle; going to extremes he never went to get people to laugh. His behavior is more sanguine than ever, as if he decided to take the back seat and relax in this team. His usual wit is still there, but he starts relying on slapstick for humor. At the end of the day people always listen to him and Wally even seeks his approbation. And it figures, hiding behind a class clown surface he's indirectly mentoring and encouraging the new Flash, Power Girl, Mary Marvel and even his wife, who became a member of the team as well. Despite being acknowledged as the most experienced member of the European branch, he prefers being a good team member to being the leader, so he always respected Captain Atom's position as the leader.

Sue: She's the proof that sometimes spoiling works. Despite having everything and being able to get whatever she whims, she cares a lot about people. That's called vision of abundance. Her mood is usually great, she is very plucky, extroverted, chatty, witty and easy going; however, at times she can be high maintenance or show quite a temper, if the situation justifies it. Like Ralph, she is only able to see opportunities and she makes things happen with even less effort. She's a natural problem solver and her main weapons are charisma, charm a quick wit and tons of confidence. As much as she trusts and admires her husband as a superhero, she usually fears for him and the rest of the team when they are on the field, which is the reason she likes to get involved. Before JLI she used to me mostly a carefree, spoiled wife on an eternal honeymoon adventure, but then, a permanent duty as monitor led her to become a technology wiz dedicated to her new team and family, which she eventually lead as bureau chief.

Guy: Arrogant, overly confident, chauvinistic, short tempered, annoying, obtuse and immature: the embodiment of the American spirit gone wrong. He is only a hero because he believes in saving the day, and he's too stubborn not to get things done. He's too much of an action man to think things through. His m. o. seems to be all about bullying the bullies; the problem is that he normally a dick to the good guys, even if he's ultimately harmless and always gets losing. Ice is the only person that gets him to rethink his ways.

L-Ron: Despite being more intelligent than his bosses, he was created to be a servant, so he uses tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top flattery (and often just sarcasm) as a form release. L-Ron seems to be doomed to be an eternal witness to really bad ideas that he can’t prevent from being executed, in fact he normally has to help making them happen. However, little by little, he has moved to a position in which he can contribute to better causes. He will always be a servant, but he'll at least try to serve where it counts.  

Power Girl: Kara’s super strength is not only physical but emotional. She’s confident, emotionally independent and very outspoken; however, her temper is short and might lose sight of what’s important in order to make a stand. Even though his views are always fair, she engages easily  and she can be quite opinionated, which put her at odds with the likes of Guy. She has little tolerance for shenanigans as well, especially when it comes to men objectifying her because of her notorious sex appeal  –she doesn’t flirt or dress for men, but she also refuses to hide her beauty. She’s normally cranky, but she can be quite generous and kind. When it comes to her work, PG has a great determination that makes her diligent, quick and effective.

Rocket Red: Dmitri is a big jolly man, optimistic and enthusiastic about everything. The type of person that rarely has anything negative to say. Always with a smile on his face, he enjoys about everything, and is loudly outspoken about it. He sees enough of everything for everyone, which is why he has a very generous philosophy and nature. When it comes to serious matters he’s very insightful and truly helpful to his friends. He has a very balanced life and has a loving family waiting for him after work.

Crimson Fox: We’re talking about two women, but in general, their behavior seems the same. They like to remain a mystery to their teammates, so they are barely socialize and come across as “a” cold peer. They inform themselves about any situation and become all business right away; pretty much like Batman, only without barking orders. This is how they manage to hide the fact that they are two people sharing the same superhero identity. Like Batman, they seem too self-aware and even melancholic, but their determination and dedication to an agenda against injustice makes them overachieving perfectionist forces.

Catherine Cobert: A diligent and independent career woman capable of great achievements. She’s such a straight man, she doesn’t even engage with the nonsense of her team. Even though she is really dedicated and hardworking, with her calm attitude and big picture sight she makes it seem as if her great achievements came with little effort. Her great perception and sensibility allows her to be as persuasive as Maxwell (which is probably why she e eventually wet from being his great discovery to his boss). It’s also clear that she’s very confident, and it also shows when she flits. While it’s clear that she liked Captain Atom from day one (and that it was mutual), she rather worked on him with friendship and teases without spoiling the tension.

Batman: A consumed pro with no time for nonsense. His perfectionism feels sharper than ever and he has a heaver reliance on fear as a weapon. He's playing on a really advanced level that few in the JLI can follow and only J'Onn does. It would appear as if his respect only went to his equals (J'Onn, Ralph, Fate, Canary) but he actually believes in all of them, so he serves as an outsider who  always knows what to do and what to say (his mind seems to go at light speed), so he arrives late, barks instructions and out he goes. He barely takes a few seconds to correct Guy's attitude problem. Tough love. His field instructions have a surgeon’s precision; however, after renouncing the leadership he decided to respect the authority of the new field commanders. And yet, the team can't help but feel as if he was the one pulling the strings (and he might be).

Other notorious members

Some members didn't really stayed that long but sitll became characteristic members of the Bwahaha era anyway.

Beefeater: Is a conceited, arrogant, phony, obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate, stubborn, pretentious and absolutely sarcastic jerk. He can’t help but show a neurotic behavior whenever he interacts; normally characterized by his excessive complaining and attention to unimportant details. His constant engaging prevents him from inspiring any real authority despite his confidence; people rather please him in hopes to get him to shot up or go away. I know, I’m basically describing Basil, but it’s the same, anyway.

Coming soon within this post: Captain Atom, Oberon, Mr. Miracle, Flash, Metamorpho, G'Nort,  and Animal Man.

For more character profiles, check out the following articles:

Know your Justice Leaguer!
Understand the personality of the early
members of the World's mightiest team.

Know your Bat-Villain! Part I - 
Probably the craziest supervillains in 
American comics, so it is a longer read.

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