Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Henry Cavill as Superman WAY Up Close

And for good reason. With DC's decision to remove the "underwear" from pretty much all of their super suits, it's kind of the end of an era. Heroes OWNED that look for decades. Now suddenly, it's passe'?
But now we see that regardless, the trunks has been abandoned and the new Superman, portrayed by painfully handsome Henry Cavill is indeed undies-free. And belt and cape-free in these pics.
You know what though? Is it just me, or does the lack of shorts make this suit even MORE sexual than Brandon Routh's? There was all that hubbub about Routh's package and whether it had been enhanced or diminished by CGI. Looking at Cavill, it's like "boi-oi-oi-oing!" I'm lost. I don't even know what to think anymore.

Justice League #1 - Review

Well. That was... okaaaaaaay. I guess.

Actually, it's kinda funny that this issue had a special midnight release (a first for a comic book!) and still, there are like no reviews of it online anywhere. Hardly any message board talk. It's awful quiet out there. Is that a sign of things to come?

Alright, so Spoiler Alerts on high after this point. First of all, ignore the (multiple) covers, because this issue doesn't star the Justice League. Set five years ago, this opening storyline will tell of the formation of this team, so in the beginning they operate entirely on their own, to the point that they're not even sure if the others are real or urban legends. It's evident that the general populace is aware of Super Humans, but these beings haven't become icons yet, with the possible exception of Superman. So, no, you don't get to see the full assembled might of the Justice League this early on.

This is modern decompressed story-telling at it's most decompressed. In other words, it'll probably read a lot better in the trade, another sign of the times. I'm not complaining, but as much as I want to continue reading monthly comics, it sucks getting just a tiny snippet of story. You don't watch a movie in ten minute increments (one a month, no less!), why are you reading a similar type of story that way? I think we may eventually see the death of the "floppy" to be honest. Folks don't mind waiting two years between installments of a movie or book series. I think comics needs to embrace and adopt that. It would have been brilliant to get the ENTIRE first story arc of the Justice League, even knowing it would be six months to a year before I'd get to read the second.

I don't know if this is simply the way the story organically flowed from Geoff Johns or if it was a wink-wink, but the ONLY heroes featured in this first issue are Green Lantern (whom Johns is responsible for making a super star, which led to him getting his own movie this summer) and Batman (the character, illustrator Jim Lee is most identified with at DC). You get two cameos, a teenage Vic Stone, not yet a Cyborg and... maybe I shouldn't say, but another hero pops up at the end and it's not really a surprise.

Prior to this, they kept saying that even though the line was relaunching, this wasn't a hard reboot and a lot of the stories that have been published over the years would still remain intact. One story that obviously won't is the original origin of the Justice League as this story isn't it at all. (But let's be honest, the first origin wasn't exactly the best story anyway.) What we get is Batman and Green Lantern crossing paths as they both pursue a fire-breathing, shape-shifting extraterrestrial. Long-term DC fans should recognize the alien's basic design as one of Darkseid's Parademons, but the fire-breathing and shape-shifting are new... and not entirely uncool additions. Let's face it Parademons were just monster-y, flying soldiers with ray guns. Making them actually kinda demonic is a neat idea.

The Parademon plants a Mother Box (another element familiar to longtime readers) then self destructs, hoping to take the two heroes out with him. (Obviously that doesn't happen.) It's probably just me, but the thought of Parademons planting bombs at various locations recalls both the Super Friends story featuring the Global Guardians that I wrote about recently and the episode of Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians called "Seeds of Doom." Yup. Just me.

The take on Batman is pretty definitive and straightforward; somber, determined, precise, excellent at what he does. Oh and likes skulking in shadows. Then you go and throw big, glowing Green Lantern in the mix and the sparks fly. I must say though, I was very disappointed in GL here. He is supposed to be kind of cocky and all, but he kept saying over and over "My ring can do anything!" And it seemingly can, as he uses it to do far more than fire rays and make giant boxing gloves. I dunno though. The Power Ring fire department was a big much for me to swallow. But Lee's art is as hyper-detailed and energetic as was to be expected, so these are the most intricate ring constructs I've ever seen! Even so, hate to say it, GL comes off as an arrogant asshole. Batman's always kind of an asshole, but there should be something more affable about GL.

Fans of the other heroes will be disappointed. None of them makes an appearance, beyond like I said, one who pops up at the very end, to set up next issue. So far the story flows organically. I guess it's kind of neat that they didn't go the traditional route with this and delivered something new.

GL and Batman were two who got off easy on the costume do-overs, so they pretty much look how they are supposed to. We'll have to wait and see how well Wonder Woman and the rest look once they show up. There isn't enough for me to really say how well this story will end up being, but it's off to a decent enough start.

I suppose after all the build-up, there was no way this was going to come out and just melt fans' brains. It works. That's all I can really say about it. It didn't suck. I shall continue reading.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Reboot Eve!

So after all the hype, doom-decreeing, dread, scorn, speculation, confusion, misinterpretation and pants turning into shorts, tonight at the stroke of midnight, a giant DC logo --> will descend from the heavens and Clark Kent will go to kiss Lois Lane, who will then slap him (possibly breaking her hand in the process) because they aren't married (and may never have been) and she has a new fella. Yup, the dawn of the DCnU is nigh! Let's cut the bullshit. This is gonna be huge! We're going to see record numbers on these books. NO ONE, no matter how pissed off they are, is NOT going to buy the shit outta these books! I mean, we can't complain if we don't actually read the books, right? Yeah, a certain number of fans have already made up their minds... they're either all on board or leaving DC forever. Those that will be exiting Earth left, have already decided that these are abominations and that's exactly what they'll see when they look at Justice League and Lee's stylized, hyper-detailed art and they will decry that Geoff Johns is an overrated hack and just Dan DiDio's goon.

Where do I fall in the spectrum of DC has always been lame! It's about time they updated their characters! and Fuck this new shit!? I dunno... in the middle? I'm not thrilled with it, let's just get that out of the way. I'm not! But DiDio's been pretty frank that they were hemorrhaging readers as-is. People were leaving the hobby (and technically, it is just a hobby) in droves. A lot have transitioned from monthly "floppies" to "wait for the trades." I do that with certain titles, because it's nice to have the whole story there for the enjoyment. Then there's the recession. Let's face it, money doesn't stretch as far as it used to, and at $4 a pop for something it takes you fifteen minutes to read (at most), comics are kind of an indulgence.

So, I suppose SOMETHING had to be done. And let's face it, when was the last time DC has EVER generated this much buzz? Have they ever? The death of Superman, maybe? But EVERYONE is talking about this and reacting to it. Marvel attempted to drum up interest in its current crossover, Fear Itself, by offering comic retailers the option of tearing the covers off of their unsold DC Flashpoint (the lead-in to this relaunch) titles in exchange for an ultra-rare Fear Itself book, that they could sell at a considerable mark-up. Every comic message board and fansite... THIS has been the leading topic of conversation since its announcement, yea or nay.

I'm in a weirdly zen place with all of this. I love my classic DC Universe... including tons and tons of classic, silly Silver Age tales. I have a small collection of Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane comics, many of which consist of Lois turning into some monstrosity or traveling through time or gaining super powers... none of which "really happened" in the (until midnight) current DC Universe. See, I came of age during the Crisis on Infinite Earths era. I started ravenously reading comics, old and new around the age of eight, so I quickly discovered the long and rich history of DC Comics and how it was explained that any stories prior to the early 50s took place on Earth 2, so there were two Supermen, one old (Earth2) and one young (Earth 1). Only the young one had his own comics. The older one just popped up in guest appearances every so often. Ditto Wonder Woman. There had been two Batmen, but the older one died, and his daughter continued fighting crime on Earth 2 as The Huntress (-->). There were also older parallel Earth versions of The Flash, Green Lantern, The Atom and Hawkman, but those were different people altogether, with different alter egos, costumes and powers. Black Canary was originally from Earth 2, but came to live on Earth 1 (yet she remained remarkably youthful compared to her former allies). Ah! It was then revealed that Black Canary was actually NOT the original heroine from Earth 2, but rather her daughter! Thaaaaat's better!

And there were MORE! There was Earth 3, where instead of a Justice League of America, there existed a Crime Syndicate of America, featuring evil doppelgangers of Superman and friends! And the stars of that Shazam! cartoon I watched on Saturday morning? They lived on Earth S (later renamed Earth 5, which looks like an S in comic book font) and occasionally met up with the heroes from the mainstream DCU. In one of my earliest comic books, Wonder Woman teamed up with other female heroes from different Earths, including Phantom Lady, who it turned out, lived on Earth X, a world where the Nazis had won World War II!

And so forth and so on. Then came Crisis on Infinite Earths. DC streamlined its continuity, removing all parallel Earths... not only did they no longer exist, but they never existed to begin with. Extraneous characters like the older versions of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman were removed from all continuity. There never had been a Superman or Wonder Woman or Batman in the 1930s-40s. Period. All those wacky adventures the heroes had had during the 50s and 60s? Never happened. In fact, Wonder Woman's ENTIRE history was wiped out and she debuted as a brand new characters that no one had previously encountered! The Huntress (and Earth 2's Robin) were killed... then quickly vanished from everyone's memory... they never existed either.

It was a jumbled mess, but fans rolled with it and DC saw sales skyrocket with the reinvention of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. Both Superman and Batman had their pasts revised to make them more contemporary and realistic. Gone were some of Superman's goofier powers like Super Ventriloquism. Batman's history was darker, grittier and more urban. (His supporting cast was likewise grounded. The former "bored socialite," Catwoman, was now a former prostitute.)

It all made sense with time... okay, some of it never made sense, but they did what they could to explain away the loss of Superman's time as Superboy and its impact on the Legion of Super Heroes. If Wonder Woman was just debuting as a hero, then what's up with her sister Wonder Girl who still has a history with the Teen Titans? Power Girl was the Supergirl of Earth 2. Now there's not even a Supergirl of Earth 1! They cooked up their "Pocket Universe Superboy" who served with the Legion and revised Wonder Girl's origin, removing Wonder Woman and instead making her a disciple of the "Titans of Myth" and renaming her Troia. And Power Girl was the descendant of "an ancient Atlantian sorcerer."

But ya know what? All those silly old stories from the 50s and 60s? They still existed. They didn't magically vanish into the either like The Huntress and Earth 2's Robin. I kept buying and reading those quirky, charming old tales and enjoyed the hell out of them, just as much as I did the modern comics of the time. Okay, so the "real" Superman and Batman never had to deal with that time Bat-Mite gave Batwoman super powers and she made a mess out of things. But A Superman and Batman did. They were a more jovial and friendly pair. They smiled a lot and had barrel chests and told kids to drink their milk. What can I say, I'm a sucker for nostalgia (even for a time from before my parents were born) and Americana. Heck, I was a kid! I was still reading Archie comics and these wacky tales were certainly no more silly than those!

What's more, the Super Friends comic, the one that got me into comics to begin with, that was its own universe! The Dark Knight Returns, the blockbuster book of the late 80s that everyone was fawning over? That was also not part of DC's official continuity. So even though they'd eliminated parallel worlds, they kept popping up, to the point that in the 90s, DC established its own imprint called Elseworlds, which featured alternate takes on its heroes, such as a Batman in Victorian times, matching wits with Jack the Ripper. And several characters like Swamp Thing and the Sandman, that had existed in the mainstream DC Universe, were then established as living in a separate comic line, Vertigo and were no longer part of the DC Universe. What's more, suddenly they never had been!

But I'd read the story where the Justice League interacted with Swamp Thing. Suddenly, that no longer happened? It was still a great story. So were all those Justice League stories that included Wonder Woman... they weren't cannon, but that didn't make them not exist. The Super Friends wasn't "real?" I still loved them.

And thus in a few short hours, everything that has happened since Crisis on Infinite Earths until the present will suddenly "no longer have happened." Or "maybe happened, maybe didn't." Or "happened, but in a different way." Been there. Done that. Further more, got over it. I survived the first Crisis and DC's slightly bungled aftermath. I think I can handle this. Worse case? Shitty comics. I can just not read those. Best... hell even just okay... case? Good comics. Fun comics. Fresh comics! Maybe even... great comics? Could that happen? These heroes have endured one continuity Crisis after another and they always manage to come out okay in the end. Supergirl? Died in the first Crisis. She's back. Different, but back. Batgirl? Paralyzed after the first Crisis. Oh hey, look who's back in her own book! Huntress? Back times two, actually. It might take years, but these guys are tough. They can handle it. Can we?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Super Powers Print and Are You Ready?

Check out this AMAZING Super Powers print by Tom Whalen aka StrongStuff on Deviant Art. This print is limited to 250 copies and is actually available for $99, which is incredibly reasonable. Hmmmm... I love that even Clark Kent, who was a mail-in figure and The Riddler, who was only released in foreign markets (and was a repainted Green Lantern) are included. I especially like how Brainiac and The Penguin, two of the original bad guys (along with Lex and the Joker) are given special representation. Just WOW!
I've sat down to blog nearly every day this week and nothing has come out. Guess this is the calm before the storm. There really hasn't been much going on, other than DC wrapping up its comics line to set the stage for next week's relaunch. The relaunch is huge, too. The pre-order numbers are the biggest this year, so retailers are expecting pretty much everyone that reads comics to pick these up just out of curiosity and I think they're right.

Other than that, Mattel did not meet the numbers needed for the DC subscription to go forward, however it would appear they are crunching numbers now to see what can be done. No official statement is expected until next week. It would be nice if the people who committed to subscription actually got something, but we shall see.

Images from the set of Superman popped up, showing villain Faora.
As you can see, Superman is indeed trunks-free in this version. Hate. The main problem with that, is, to me, this makes him look more like Ultra Man, the "evil Superman" from the Crime Syndicate.
Ultra Man is a copy of Superman. He looks like Superman; Superman shouldn't look like him. Tsk. Let the dread begin.

And uh... yeah, that's all.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mattel Can Suck It

Well, Mattel keeps extending the sale on their 2012 Toy Subscriptions, because not enough fans have signed up for the DC Universe Classics Club Infinite Earths for them to go forward with it. Originally, I think they were only supposed to be available for two weeks, but they keep extending it. I think we're up to a month now. Not only that, but word has just bubbled up that the subscriptions for their flagship club, Club Eternia, the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe sub is at an all-time low and they are scaling back production on that line as well. I have no idea how their Ghostbusters and Voltron Clubs make the cut. Are you telling me that Ghostbusters, which is entirely based on two movies from 25 years ago, has a stronger fan base than DC Comics, which has consistently produced comics for like 75 years?! Not only that, but they're super heroes! Perfect for a toy line. The Ghostbusters are just regular guys in jump suits! How much fun can that possibly be?! And Voltron is in the same boat. It's a cartoon series from the 80s that, to my knowledge, hasn't been syndicated since. I know there's new Voltron stuff coming, which explains this toy line, but seriously?

One fan pointed out something, though-- why does DC have to have a certain amount of subscribers to even get a toy line, when these other properties don't? That doesn't seem fair, does it? I think it's because, for whatever reason, DC hasn't proven popular on They gave a big roll-out to their Justice League Unlimited four-packs only for sales of those to be sluggish and to be discontinued after the initial offerings. They also offered some exclusive two-packs for DCUC, but they were always of really obscure characters, so once again, they were discontinued. Their 12" movie-based dolls are just freakin' expensive. As nice as their Christopher Reeve Superman and Terrance Stamp General Zod looked, I wasn't buyin' 'em! No way! And their 8" Retro Action line just flopped all around, online and in stores. So, I suppose that's why they are being more cautious with the DC subscription.

Their handling of this was really botched, though. Basically, the news of this subscription was LEAKED, not even officially announced, just DAYS before it went on sale. Then they were very meager with the details of it. Fan speculation ran rampant. Mattel revealed the first three figures, the original Flash, Atrocitus and Starman. The reveal didn't exactly send fans into a tizzy. Most scoffed. Almost every collector only wants one of the three, Atrocitus OR The Flash, but nearly no one wants all three and NO ONE that I've seen online wants Starman at all. Because of this, collectors were saying, "If the sub doesn't happen, they'll just drop these figures into regular retail assortments." Mattel quickly announced that no, in fact, they would not. They would not make these figures at all, if the sub didn't happen.
Then word started spreading that the retail line was switching over strictly to DCnU, based on the upcoming relaunch which everyone is dreading. Fans were stating that the online subscription was going to be the ONLY way to get "classic" characters. Still a large number of collectors scoffed. Many expressed that they were "cherry pickers" and never bought full assortments and only wanted certain figures. "I only buy Batman-related characters." "I only buy the big name characters." I mean, I only buy certain figures, too! I prefer characters from the Silver Age through the 80s, roughly the Crisis on Infinite Earths period. That's not carved in stone or anything and I've certainly bought a number of characters I couldn't care less about because I wanted the Collect & Connect figure whose parts they came with. I don't want Atrocitus and am apathetic about Starman, but dammit, there are still characters I want that aren't part of this line, so I'm buying the sub on the off chance I get Vixen or Dr. Light thrown in the mix.

Still... sales aren't at 100%. Mattel then announced the highly-demanded Poison Ivy was being added as the fourth figure. Still not at 100%.

They've since explained that the retail line isn't switching over to DCnU, BUT that it was being retooled into more of an "all-star" line, meaning that "team builders" (the rest of the Metal Men, Doom Patrol, Legion of Super Heroes, Suicide Squad, etc.), females (read into that what you will) and more obscure choices like Killer Moth, would ONLY be available through the subscription.

Still not at 100%. Many fans are pointing out that Mattel's statement said "If this club doesn't happen, we will not be making this figures... in 2012." And someone from Mattel on Facebook mentioned something about 2015. How's that for not having your shit together? Basically, what a number of collectors have surmised is that if the club doesn't happen, Mattel will still make these figures, just not until after 2012. I personally don't buy that. They've all but flat out said so, yet cherry pickers are still clinging to that hope. I'm frustrated. I want more figures, but since it just doesn't seem like it's happening, I've resigned myself to that fact. Plus, I am happy with the figures I did get. This whole dramz has been going on for over a month now, I think. I'm kinda fed up with it.

Then there's Club Eternia. In a recent statement ToyGuru, Mattel's fan-liaison announced that their sales were at their lowest and as a result, Shadow Weaver, the club exclusive was likely to be the rarest figure ever in that line. Way to be, assholes, make a figure that fans have been clamoring for for 30 years and make her super insanely rare. They are also scaling back production on all of their figures. See what happens is, they release the figures to subscribers and they produce extra (I'm not sure how many, though) so people that don't subscribe can buy figures they want. The extras always sell out. In the beginning, they sold out in MINUTES. Then they upped production, but they still usually sold out the first day. (In relation, the DC product they were issuing online would still be available for weeks.) Sounds mighty damn successful if you ask me. But they're scaling back. Not just that, but for the past couple years, they have been regularly re-issuing earlier figures that some fans might have missed out on, not to mention they've made tweaks to certain aspects that fans complained about in the initial release. (For example, the first He-Man figure had reddish paint on his cheeks, making it look like he was wearing rouge, which is why I disliked that figure and stopped buying them the first time around.) They have officially announced that they would no longer re-issue figures, so if you miss out on them when they first go on sale, you're SOL.
My problem is, I definitely want anything related to She-Ra, Princess of Power. I'm DYING to get the Star Sisters three-pack coming out. As I discussed before, these were supposed to be part of a third (or was it fourth) wave of She-Ra toys in the 80s and the characters even popped up on the cartoon and as a poster in the She-Ra magazine, but retailers didn't order enough, so they were aborted and the entire line ended. I want Shadow Weaver and am really appalled that Mattel chose to make her such an exclusive figure, especially since I do hear that a lot of collectors of this line only want He-Man figures, not She-Ra. (My solution would be to make a She-Ra only subscription, which I would sign up for in a heartbeat! Or to even make She-Ra her own separate line, since some boys even as adults think girls have cooties.)

It isn't that I don't want ANY He-Man figures, it's just that I only wanted a handful and I have most of those, He-Man himself (the reissued one without the rouge on), Prince Adam and Orko, Teela, Evil-Lyn... I just added Skeletor, Battle Cat and Hordak. The only other ones I'll probably get are Man-At-Arms and the upcoming Sorceress. The problem with Club Eternia, then, is that those characters are already over and done with and now we're only like Sy-Klone and Snout Spout and Fisto. Um, pass. I don't even know who this fucking guy is!-->

Not just that, but they're including shit like characters from The New Adventures of He-Man, a late 80s attempt to revive the franchise in a sci fi setting... which FAILED and NO ONE LIKED! I don't want to be forced to spend $25 on some shitty figure from that collection! And they've done figures based on TV show characters I don't remember, unproduced toy concepts, concept art... and I think they've even started throwing in all-new original characters! NO THANKS!

This is the Fearless Photog. I BELIEVE (and correct me if I'm wrong), this character was designed for and won a contest in the 80s, where kids were invited to submit their own Masters characters. Okay, for die-hards, I can see where this is a cool inclusion, but SERIOUSLY?! Not just that, but Mattel is holding a NEW design-your-own-character contest, and that character will also be part of the toy line. So, they want me to spend like $255 roughly to get, like five characters I want.

Fearless Photog isn't part of the subscription. Oh yeah, did I mention that they also issue stuff that isn't included in the sub so even subscribers have to go online the day this stuff is released and try and fight for certain pieces that they want?! Ugh.

Then what do I do with the shit I don't want. No one is going to want that <--Flip-Shot figure (the New Adventures figure). I could see unloading some of the bigger names more easily, but dammit, I hate selling shit on eBay. It's so much more trouble than its worth!

So yeah, Mattel is getting kind of "strong arm" with these subscriptions, basically saying "If you want these lines, you have to subscribe." The problem is we're in like the worst recession in memory. Not everyone has $255 to throw at these collections and even if you did, why would you want to pay $25 for some figure you don't want at all?! Also, a lot of collectors collect multiple of these lines! How bad must that suck?! So, you know what Mattel... I think we should start seeing other people. We can stay friends, because I still want The Sorceress and the random She-Ra figures, but I think it's best if we spent some time apart. It's not me, it's you. XOXO

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Global Guardians

I wasn't paying much attention to the new Justice League International comic, featuring members of the old JLI from the late 80s and 90s, or in the case of Rocket Red, his replacement. No, not even Vixen's inclusion had me interested. Then they revealed that in addition to Fire & Ice, another former member of the Global Guardians, Godiva would be a member. (The Mystery Woman in black is still a mystery.)

Who were the Global Guardians? In actuality, some of them were among the earliest super heroes I encountered in comics... years before I learned of the existence of The Elongated Man or Zatanna, in Super Friends #25, I encountered Tasmanian Devil, The Seraph and the woman who would eventually be reinvented as Fire, then going by the moniker Green Fury. That's right, these characters actually originated in the out-of-continuity Super Friends comic book. And yet, while the Super Friends concept never actually existed in the mainstream DCU, the Global Guardians do!

The majority of the team first showed up in a thrilling two-part adventure, penned by E. Nelson Bridwell and illustrated by the amazing Ramona Fradon, which actually depicts The Wonder Twins' arrival on Earth and their replacing Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog as the Super Friends' teenage charges. The Twins arrive on Earth to warn its heroes that Silver Age Superman foe, Grax, has planted 12 bombs across the world. Even the combined power of the entire Justice League isn't enough to defuse each bomb before it detonates. Therefore, the JLA puts out a call to heroes around the globe to assist them on their mission.
In Israel, Superman teams up with the Biblical-powered Seraph, who has long hair that grants him super strength like Samson, his suit is made from the Mantle of the prophet Elijah and he wields the staff of Moses, which he uses to part a field of darkness and the ring of Solomon, which allows him to teleport. I personally find it pretty fascinating to see a hero with Christian-based powers, what with all the heroes based on other mythologies like Thor and Wonder Woman.
Near Stone Henge, Elongated Man encounters British (and apparently cockney) hero, Godiva, who can shape her long hair into any form and harden it, as she does in the above picture, creating wings.
In South Africa, The Flash teams up with Zulu hero Impala, who has the speed and leaping ability of the animal he after which he is named.
Back in the good ol' U.S. of A., Hawkman and Hawkwoman join forces with Native American Owlwoman, who, as her name suggests, can fly, see in the dark and wears sharp talons on her gloves.
The Atom teams up with the solar-powered Rising Sun from Japan, who is sadly rendered in an old-fashioned racist manner with big teeth and orange skin. He probably had a tiny penis inside that Elvis-y jumpsuit, too but at least he was great at math.
Green Lantern journeys to Ireland, where he encounters a fellow lantern-wielding hero, Jack O'Lantern, whose powers are derived from the local fairy folk. Jack O'Lantern and Seraph were both later given their own backup strips in the Super Friends comic and it is established that he also has a leprechaun sidekick! No seriously!
Red Tornado gets sucked through time and must battle dinosaurs alongside New Zealand's resident hero Tuatara, named after a three-eyed reptile indigenous to that area. With his third eye (why does that sound dirty?), Tuatara can see through time.
Venuzuela's you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me-ly named Bushmaster possesses no super powers, but has crafted a suit mimicking the abilities of various amphibians, like "flying dragon wings" after the Malaysian Lizard, long toe-like appendages on his feet that allow him to run across the surface of water like a basilisk and so forth. He is joined on his mission by Batman and Robin.
Black Canary adds her super sonic Canary Cry to the "booming" vocal powers of Taiwan's Thunderlord.
Green Arrow encounters Australia's monstrous hero, Tasmanian Devil (no relation to the Loony Tunes character). I really hate the giant T on his chest. Especially after artists started drawing him as a furry man-monster, not just some dude in a black bodysuit. It's like a really detailed skunk stripe!
Aquaman joins forces with Denmark's teenage hero, The Little Mermaid, who can either sport legs or a mermaid tail and can also fly!
In Greece, Wonder Woman teams with fellow mythologically-powered hero, The Olympian, who wears the legendary Golden Fleece, granting him the powers of all the legendary Argonauts, who sought it in The Iliad, including the ability to see through stone like Lynkeus, the super strength of Herakles, the speed of Euphemos and flying ability of Kalais and Zetes.
Finally, Norway's Icemaiden assists the entire Justice League in diffusing the final bomb.
The characters either proved popular or possibly, Bridwell just liked them, so he brought several of them back in subsequent Super Friends stories. As I said, Seraph and Jack O'Lantern starred in their own backup stories in the book. In Super Friends #25, Tasmanian Devil and Seraph both battle the Super Friends who have been brainwashed. In the same issue, a new International hero debuts.
Brazil's Green Fury has a variety of magical powers, most notably the ability to breath fire or ice and flight. Green Fury popped up several more times in the Super Friends book, including the final issue.
In another subsequent tale, the Super Friends are assisted by African immortal Doctor Mist, who joins forces with the team to battle a radioactive menace and later "the Mindless Immortal."
The Super Friends comic was set outside of the "real" DC Universe's continuity, therefore these original characters didn't exist in the real DCU... until Bridwell crafted an issue of DC Comics Presents, a book very much inside of DC's continuity, wherein Superman joins forces with a handful of these international heroes, referred to for the first time as the Global Guardians. It is also revealed that Doctor Mist is the team's leader and founder. So now, even though the Super Friends didn't exist in the mainstream comics, the Global Guardians did.
This was cemented when these heroes joined forces with the rest of DC's heroes in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Soon afterward, they teamed up with Infinity Inc. In this adventure, Green Fury suddenly became Green Flame, so as not to be confused with II's resident heroine Fury.
Green Flame and Icemaiden, who was suddenly no longer blue, joined Justice League International and have proven to be the Guardians' most famous alumni. Soon after joining, they switched their monikers to Fire & Ice. However, I'm not sure who to blame for this, but in the Super Friends comic, Icemaiden's real name is listed as Sigrid Nansen, and like I said, she was blue. Now, however, the JLI writers, J.M. DeMatteis and Kieth Giffen stated that her name was Tora Olafsdotter. More on that in a bit...

Considering the Global Guardians' innocent beginnings in the child-targeted Super Friends comic (hell, pretty much EVERY comic back then was child-targeted!), with their semi-educational bent, things got remarkably bleak for them in the 80s and beyond. What's really strange about this is that a lot of the dark story lines took place in the Justice League International title(and its spin-off book Justice League Europe) which are remembered for being funny and light! Sigh... but the years haven't been kind to these slightly stereotypical ethnic super heroes.

First, the United Nations, who had funded the Guardians, withdrew its support in favor of the JLI. This led to the Guardians allying themselves with Middle Eastern terrorists, notably the Queen Bee. After a battle with the JLE, Jack O'Lantern was left to die in a sewer. Queen Bee replaced him with a man named Marvin Nirosa. Owlwoman, who was dating Jack O'Lantern, then killed Nirosa. Owlwoman, Jack O'Lantern (the original), Seraph and Dr. Mist helped free the rest of the Global Guardians from the Queen Bee's control.

Jack O'Lantern later died of "natural causes." He has since been replaced by his cousin, Liam McHugh.
Little Mermaid was killed in battle with the Queen Bee. However, whoopsie, someone messed up and she popped up in a later story, thus it was explained that the Little Mermaid that was killed was actually an "evil clone."

In a subsequent story, Dr. Mist leads his team against his ancient enemy Fain Y'Onia. In battle, Fain Y'Onia kills Thunderlord and Bushmaster. Tuatara is left in a coma and Impala seemingly loses his powers. They returned at some point, as he is later seen battling for his life in Roulette's gladiator-style super hero death matches. He, um, lost. He has since been succeeded by Kid Impala.

Wild Huntsman body mysteriously appears in a prison cell in an issue of Suicide Squad.

Doctor Mist was killed by mystical forces, however, um... like with Little Mermaid, someone missed that and he later popped up alive with no explanation. He was killed AGAIN when Mordru the sorcerer threw him into a vat of acid.

Godiva was recently depicted as the victim of "organ-nappers"... the organ stolen from her? Her prehensile hair.

Ice was killed off during her time with the Justice League. At this point, the original Icemaiden, Sigrid Nansen returned and took her place in the Justice League. She was gravely injured escaping the exploding Justice League satellite during the invasion by White Martians. She recovered and joined a new, unsanctioned Justice League Europe, but was fooled into leaving by The Mist, who disguised herself as Icemaiden and killed three of her teammates, Crimson Fox, Blue Devil and Amazing Man. Icemaiden herself was later skinned alive by the villain Dolores Winters. She's still alive. Yuck. (Ice, Tora Olafsdotter, recently returned to life.)

In another mix-up, I suspect, at one point, Tasmanian Devil became the sole member of Justice League Australia. The JL's civilian liaison there was an openly gay man, however he only had one appearance that I know of. In subsequent appearances, it was established that Tasmanian Devil himself was openly gay. (Maybe the implication is that the two were a couple?) Anyway, TD went on to be one of the few openly gay heroes in the DCU and actually served as a member of the Justice League for a bit. He was recently killed and skinned to make a rug by the villain Prometheus, although he was later restored to life via Ra's Al Ghul's Lazarus Pit. He has begun dating the Justice League's Starman. He appears to still be active with the Global Guardians.

In addition, a member who joined later on, Gloss, was decapitated by Prometheus. Prometheus boasts about building up quite a head count among the Global Guardians, so it's unknown who else may have died at his hands.

There is a current Global Guadians, led by a new Crimson Fox (France) and including Jet (Jamaica), Manticore (Greece... although Olympian is still alive, as he recently appeared in Wonder Girl's miniseries), Sandstorm (Syria... possibly deceased) and Tasmanian Devil.
Like I said, kind of a bleak ending for characters from such a sunny, light origin! But Godiva's inclusion in Justice League International, I'm hoping for a renaissance for these characters. I'm hoping they pull a Mera with Godiva and she suddenly becomes super popular! And I always loved Fire & Ice, so I'll enjoy seeing them in a comic again. (Dr. Light would seem to be a great fit for this team, too. She should be on it!) I'll give it a shot at least!