Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Justice League of America #5 - July 1961

sgMost of the time, when collecting all the issues of JLA as a teenager, the only way I was ever going to get the first dozen or so issues was to settle for really beat-up copies. Looking back over this one, I'm amazed I was able to afford a copy in this good shape--the pages are still pretty white and there's really very little sign of wear. Cool.

The story: "When Gravity Went Wild!" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs. Green Arrow is accused the JLA for betraying them, by helping some super-villains get away! "I knew we should've picked Adam Strange!", said The Flash at the time.

This is the first issue of the book featuring the individual heroes' established bad guys, instead of some intergalactic menace. In this issue we have appearances by Captain Cold, King Clock, Electric Man, Puppet Master(on loan from Marvel?) and the diabolical Monty Moran!

It turns out to be a plot from the new bad guy Doctor Destiny, who had managed to impersonate Green Lantern and the villains were robot duplicates! Green Arrow learned of the plot and tried to get to the bottom of it without tipping his hand.

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

Notable Moments: A fun sequence where Aquaman rescues an unconcious Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter, where he swims upstream in a waterfall. He exhausts himself before he gets all the way, but let me type that again--
he swims upstream in a waterfall.

This is also the debut of Doctor Destiny, who looks like an ordinary guy but would soon be revamped into one of the more creepy, powerful villains of the JLA.

In addition to letters from readers, the JLA Mail Room prints an article that ran in the Jackson, Missouri High School newspaper entitled "What's Wrong with Comics?", a pro and con article. The conclusion? "[i]t only takes ten or fifteen minutes to read a comic. So why not take a breather and read one? I find them mentally refreshing and you might find them the same."

9 comments:

russell said...

Another awesome issue, and another one of my favorites. Trivia for you: this is the first cover that features Batman and Superman on it. Those specks right about Green Arrow's head and Jonn's foot are them. This is the beginning of their ascendency....(sigh)

megomuseum said...

I miss the "Al Bundy" look for Doctor Destiny.

rob! said...

russell-

gah! you're right, i should've mentioned that!

russell said...

and speaking of Aquaman swimming upstream, he managed to swim UP Niagara Falls to catch Black Manta in that 1977 Calendar picture, remember?

Luke said...

I love the way Wonder Woman looks there. You could cut and paste that into a discotech background and she would look right at home. Strike a pose!

I sometimes try to think what it must have been like in '61 to be reading these stories fresh. Was it all just unbridled glee? Careful, critical reading? Or like it is today, with non-stop complaining and kvetching about how it's all "just a rehash of the Justice Society?" Makes you think.

Frank Lee Delano said...

This may seem like an odd question, but what color was Monty Moran's hair?

rob! said...

frank-

his hair is white, along with a big white beard. kinda looks like Moses.

Frank Lee Delano said...

Very much obliged! You know, I couldn't find a single picture of Moran anywhere on the 'net...

Earth-2 Rev. Nørb said...

This was always one of my favorite covers of the early years of the title.

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