Friday, November 2, 2007

Brave and the Bold #s 28, 29, 30 - 1960

sgF.O.A.M. member Russell Burbage pointed out yesterday that this blog should really start with the JLA's debut in The Brave and the Bold.

I initially didn't think to, because even as a kid with a driving desire to complete my run of the JLA, these first three appearances were way beyond my means, and then as I got older I never really got around to picking them up, especially since all the stories had been reprinted anyway. Plus part of the blog's mission was to chronicle my experiences getting each individual issue, complete with cover scans of the one I bought(not pulled off the GCBD or some place), and I simply didn't have those experiences with these three issues.

Yet, not including them just feels wrong, since they are seminal comics in the team's history. And any blog professing to be a (mostly)complete history of the JLA as a comic can hardly skip them, so here they are, all at once!

Brave and the Bold #28:
The story: "Starro The Conqueror!" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs. Proving Gardner Fox wanted to hit the ground running, this story opens with Aquaman's finny friend Peter the PufferFish(no, I'm not kidding) telling him about a mysterious, alien starfish that has landed in the ocean!

Aquaman calls the Justice League(who?), and let's them know multiple Starros are appearing all over the world, so Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter each try to fight them(Superman and Batman are both "too busy" starring in other books at the moment).

They eventually band together to fight the original Starro in the town of Happy Harbor, where local jerk Snapper Carr assists them. For his trouble they make him an Honorary Member. Dig it, man!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter

Notable Moments: Aquaman in this story is wearing yellow gloves, retroactively the hallmark of the Earth-2 Aquaman. Luckily, this has been ignored by continuity mavens and it's always been the Earth-1 Aquaman that's been a member of the JLA.

Superman and Batman were no doubt horrified that the JLA allowed some kid who snaps his fingers to become an honorary JLAer, but that's what you get when you miss a meeting.

Brave and the Bold #29:
The story: "Challenge of the Weapons-Master!" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, Bernard Sachs, and Joe Giella. Some weird guy named Xotar(from the year 11,960!) who has all kinds of futuristic weapons at his command, goes back in time to fight the JLA and see which of his wondrous doo-dads works against them, which he then will use to defeat the Intersolar Police, who are trying to apprehend him in his own time. Um, what?

By the way, how is Xotar so certain any of his weapons will defeat the JLA? From an old JLA diary--which is incomplete due to age and wear-and-tear--which uses the worlds "Xotar", "defeat", and "Justice League." Really--he bases his whole plan on this. Obviously, Xotar is not the sharpest gerflonk in the ponfahr.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter

Notable Moments: Superman and Batman play a bigger role in this story, but the individual chapters still feature the other members more prominently.

Brave and the Bold #30:
The story: "Case of the Stolen Super-Powers!" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs. The brilliant-but-insane Professor Ivo creates Amazo, an android who has the powers of all the Justice League! Holy crap!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter

Notable Moments: Superman and Batman are in the beginning of this story, and while they are technically involved in the case, we don't see them again after page four.

This is the first appearance of both Professor Ivo and Amazon, two characters that would return many times to take on the JLA and the rest of the DCU. Ivo drinks a formula that helps him live five hundred years in this story, which ties in at the end, and is also picked up as a story thread twenty-three years later in JLA #218, written by Cary Burkett. Nice job, Mr. B!

Since I don't have a personal story relating to the purchase of these issues(even as back issues), I thought the next best thing was to run this super-cool description of what it was like from no less a JLA authority than Gerry Conway, from his awesome text piece in JLA #200:
...and so it did.

Tomorrow: the very first issue of the Justice League of America!


megomuseum said...

"local Jerk" made me laugh out loud. Snapper is a regrettable character and seems to be there just to have things explained to him.

russell said...

As an adult I understood that in th earliest stories, Snapper was there to represent the reader, ie, "Snapper, THIS is why we did what we did." But he did get used well a few that Microcosm story where the JLAers used him to defeat the three robot champions, and the last Gardner Fox story where he helps Aquaman, the Atom, and Hawkman kick some serious TO Morrow gang ass.

russell said...

What I wanted to mention was Aquaman's stupid yellow gloves. Remember that "First Appearance JLA Action Figure Set" from a few years ago? I was ALL set to buy it until I noticed that Artie's gloves were yellow. HUH? Totally stupid representation of a frickin' coloring mistake. I didn't buy the set. :-(

rob! said...

i never liked Snapper, at any age--i found him annoying and pointless, and everytime he entered the story I was like "WHEN ARE THEY GETTING TO THE FIREWORKS FACTORY?!?"

so there will be a lot anti-Snapper stuff on this blog. if youre a fan, you might want to come back around issue #40 or so when Snapper stopped being around as much.

rob! said...

btw, re: Aquaman's yellow gloves. was it a mistake? Aquaman's glovesd were yellow on and off during the 40s and 50s, so the colorist may have just had the wrong color ref.

i did find it being reproduced on the DC Direct figure a tad anal, tho.

Luke said...

"Local jerk Snapper Carr" should be his official name from now on. Hahaha!

Earth 2 Chris said...

Snapper was the original "add-on" that plagued most Hanna Barbera cartoons. Comics avoided the trend for the most part, but the JLA's HB counterpart, the Super Friends, know the sting of the added "identifiable" kid element.


Earth-2 Rev. Nørb said...

Does anyone know what the functional benefits of spreading lime on one's lawn are?

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