This issue--the origin of the JLA--was one of the last I found in my attempt to complete the run. Origin issues are usually a little more sought after, so finding an affordable copy on a teenaged Roy Rogers employee's salary wasn't easy, but I finally sent away for one from a dealer who ran an ad in the newspaper version of The Comic Buyer's Guide(wow, remember that?).
Anyway, the dealer was selling this as a "very good" copy, and I when I got it was pleasantly surprised--this copy is actually in much better condition than that--nearly off-white pages, solid, no real signs of wear except the little "7" someone(probably a newsvendor) has markered on the cover. Back when I cared more about how much books were worth, I was delighted I got a book that was really worth more than what I paid, and how many times does that happen?
The story: "The Origin of The Justice League!" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs. The JLA celebrates its third anniversary, and in honor of the occasion they regale Snapper Carr and Green Arrow with the story of how they came to be!
Aliens from the planet Appellax come to Earth to battle each other and Earth's champions as a contest to see who will rule their home planet. But they didn't take into account the World's Greatest Superheroes!
Features the classic sequence of the wood alien having turned Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter into wood creatures, and they use an amazing beat of teamwork to defeat him. And the whole process is started by Aquaman! Yay!
Roll Call: Superman, Batman Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow(sort of)
Notable Moments: Obviously, the origin story was--is--a bona-fide classic, so much so that its never really been changed or altered in any signifcant way, even after forty + years. It's such a great idea--aliens come to battle on Earth, and are stopped by individual heroes who stay together for a common cause--that it seems almost mythic.
The inside cover features a full-page letter from DC, apologizing for the price of their comics going up a whopping two cents. Imagine if comic companies still ran those nowadays; they'd be running them every six months or so.
The letters page header changes for the first of many times with this issue. The original featured just WW, Aquaman, Flash, GL, and Manhunter sitting at a table. But it was changed to this:
...I think to perhaps reflect the growing participation of Superman and Batman, plus of course to now include Green Arrow and Snapper Carr. That is one funky looking Superman, by the way.
The letters page also features a missive from someone named Joe Staton. Hmmm....