Justice League Unlimited #41
DC Comics (March, 2008)
“The Anniversary Party”
WRITER: Grace Randolph
ARTIST: Dario Brizuela
COLORING: Heroic Age
LETTERER: Randy Gentile
EDITOR: Rachel Gluckstern
It’s the anniversary of the first time the Joker fought Batman, but the clown prince of crime is feeling underappreciated because Batman spends so much time with the Justice League. After hearing about a mission in space that will take most of the League he swipes a shuttle and heads to the Watchtower to surprise him on his return. However Zatanna, Hawkgirl, Elongated Man, and the Crimson Avenger are still there on duty and after a lot of shenanigans the quartet manages to get the drop on the despicable duo in time to give Batman an anniversary present…two crooks.
What they got right: While I do have a couple of nitpicks there’s only one reason this story exists…fun! It’s not really meant to be taken seriously. (The discussion topic prior to Joker’s crash landing is a knockoff of When Harry Met Sally.) No matter what else the story gets wrong it succeeds at its goal gloriously.
What they got wrong: I’m not sure even Joker could steal a NASA shuttle but the DCAU does play by slightly different rules. It does seem to be a bad idea to announce to the world (especially the bad guys) most of the League is going off on a space mission (or another universe according to Hawkgirl). And Supergirl shouldn’t be here, nor should she have some fusion of her two DCAU outfits. She’s supposed to be in the future with the Legion by this point and she’s only here for a cameo. And here’s something bugging me the whole series: where’s all the support staff this place is supposed to have in this version of the show?
Recommendation: If you’re looking for a serious action story this isn’t the place to go. If you’re looking for a silly action story this book will deliver.