Sunday, November 11, 2007

Justice League of America #9 - Jan. 1962

sgThis 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:
sg...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....


Plaidstallions said...

My son keeps asking me for an original copy of this every time he's at a comic show, he loves that story.

I really liked Grant Morrison's retelling in the late eighties.

Scurvy said...

I too enjoyed the Morrison version. This is a classic cover, and the story is great. I mean, turning into trees of all things! Funniest part tho, why is J'onn's cape so short on the cover? Looks like he's part of the Marvel family there. LOL

Earth 2 Chris said...

Not to be a nit-picker, but I believe Peter David and Keith Giffen did the honors on the Secret Origins retelling. Morrison did the Secret Origin of the Secret Sanctuary a few issues later.

My son dug this one as well. It's a great origin tale. There's a reason JLA #200 is a direct sequel to this.


Frank Lee Delano said...

What e2 chris said.

Also, show, don't tell. Why not scan that original letterhead?

Luke said...

I must say, but Aquaman looks very devious on the letters page header. "Oh yes, Superman. Keep bragging about the volume of fan mail you receiving. Keep bragging indeed!"

Earth-2 Rev. Nørb said...

As origin stories go, i've always found this one disappointing and lame. "Let's's January 1962 and i've got 12 cents to my name...i can either read about the JLA being turned into...uh...TREES...or i can go buy Fantastic Four #2 and read the first appearance of the Skrulls. Skrulls, Trees. Skrulls, Trees. Hmmm..." Hard to see trees winning that one.

Then again, the Skrulls got turned into cows by the end of FF#2, which is almost, but not quite, as dopey. And FF was still only 10 cents then! Spend the two cents you save on Tootsie Roll Fudge, as your DC Comics command!

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