Justice League Unlimited #22
DC Comics (August, 2006)
“Outside Looking In”
WRITER: Adam Beechen
ARTIST: Rick Burchett
COLORING: Heroic Age
COVER ART: Ty Templeton
LETTERER: Phil Balsman
EDITOR: Michael Wright
I hate adding this but with our current polarized culture I want to attempt to make this easier, dumb as I think SOME “trigger warnings” are. (There are times I totally agree with them.) I know that “gypsy” is considered a slur to Romanians, or at least the ones the term used to be applied to, but AT THE TIME (which I know means nothing today as people insist history match up with today and give no quarter) we all just figured the word meant someone who wanders a lot and doesn’t really call anyplace home. (In hindsight Cher’s song “Gypsies, Tramps, And Theives” makes more sense when all three words are insults.) This is the way this superhero uses it as it describes her personality, which is an important factor in the character arc of this story. Just think of it as her doing what Marvel thought “Safespace” and “Snowflake” were doing–trying to appropriate the name and make it something positive like how the gay rainbow was originally a badge of shame by the Nazis–but actually succeeding instead of being the very insult they’re trying to avoid. With that, on with the review.
Gypsy comes across some armed goons that have worked with villains in the past and calls in the League for backup. It turns out they have a legit holding on the warehouse and Captain Atom chews her out for her mistake. However, her investigation leads to find out that the group is taking over old villain hideouts and (though hard to prove in court) under control of Henry “The Bank” Deacon. You ever wonder where supervillains get the funds to make their evil machines? That’s him. Now he’s decided to do a little supervillainy of his own, and attack the Justice League. However, Gypsy is able to use her powers and talents to stop his plan, even if his latest dummy corporation will take the fall.
What they got right: I think that defensive paragraph earlier comes from the fact that I just really love this character. We learn why she took on the name, how the Justice League is her family and why she works hard to prove she deserves to be here in this story. I also like the idea of a villain who bankrolls other villains for a cut of the goods but has an out when the bad guy finally gets caught, and he’s only one such “investor”. No “it’s all one guy” thing. I just really like this story.
What they got wrong: The fact that I needed that defensive paragraph shows how badly the character aged but I’m not sure what other superhero name to give her, hence my “trying to appropriate the name and make it something positive” suggestion. I like seeing the Flash come to her defense but why didn’t he join her on the mission to investigate? He’s the kind of guy who would do that, even to back up Gypsy whether stealth was his thing or not.
Recommendation: If you can deal with her hero name, Gypsy’s story is really good, and definitely an issue you should consider reading.