Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Justice League of America #44 - May 1966

sgOne of the strangest JLA covers ever, courtesy Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson.

The Story: "The Plague That Struck the Justice League!" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Frank Giacoia. Some of the JLA start growing in size, and they just happen to be the same ones who fought the Unimaginable two issues back. When the mysterious Bendorion shows up to cure them, Batman smells a rat!

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

Notable Moments: For the first time ever, Bernard Sachs doesn't ink Sekowksy's pencils; instead we get Frank Giacoia, who adds(to my eye) a pleasant smoothness to Sekowsky's rougher-style pencils.

This is right about the time the Batman TV show debuted, so for the next dozen or so issues, this comic would start to look like Batman and His Justice League(it's not that obvious here, but just wait a few issues). If Batman was so dang popular, why not just give him another solo book? Damn those expensive first-class mailing permits!

Also, story credits start appearing for the first time. Did DC finally have to give in after Marvel made such a big deal about its writers and artists?

This story features one of the more unintentionally funny splash pages, the kind of thing that probably got Frederic Wertham aroused with anger:
sgWhen the bad guy mentions the people the JLAers have touched are now in danger, all of them worry about their wives, except for Batman, who worries: "Robin--what have I done to you?"

...Now, of course, that makes total sense and Fox was not trying to be funny. Of course he's come into physical contact with Robin. But after all the other heroes immediately think of their wives or girlfriends, it just reads really funny.


TheincredibleshrinkingDamian said...


that's so good


TheincredibleshrinkingDamian said...

I almost felt ashamed for laughing as hard as I did at that last bit.


Luke said...

That panel must be the most referenced panel in the comic "blogosphere," bar none. The fact that the classic Batman family was one big sausage party has never been that unusual to me. I always compared it to wrestling -- you've got all these dudes hanging out with each other, wearing things you really shouldn't be wearing, doing all sorts of physical activity, but it's not homosexual -- or sexualized at all. It's just dudes being dudes, testosterone being testosterone. In that sense Batman has a lot in common with American Gladiators.

rob! said...

>>the classic Batman family was one big sausage party<<

ohmigod, did that make me laugh out loud...

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