Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Justice League of America #61 - March 1968

sgA very fun issue, one of my all-time favorites. I first discovered via the Super Friends treasury comic, that probably had a lot to do with it!

The Story: "Operation: Jail the Justice League" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Sid Greene. Green Arrow arrives at a JLA meeting to tell them he is quitting the JLA! (While Wonder Woman protests "No one's ever resigned from the JLA!", Flash quietly thinks to himself "Now's the time to call Adam Strange.")

He warns them that some disastrous fate awaits them, and they should all quit superheroing. Surprisingly, the JLA doesn't listen and they all decide to pose as the Emerald Archer to find out just what's going on. While they each fight their respective villains as Green Arrow, they are all defeated and mysteriously change bodies with their foes! Then the "bad guys" are jailed while the real bad guys get to go out and commit crimes.

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

Notable Moments: This is an extraordinairily fun story--goofy but without the (at times) lugubrious plotting that Fox stories sometimes had.
sgAs the JLAers dress up as Green Arrow, Fox decided to have little ironic distance and just be up front with the readers that Wonder Woman couldn't quite pull it off.

...this is probably the very first time any sort of irony appared in the JLA, after sixty plus issues. Kind of remarkable, really, since comics now are almost all irony.

At the end, all the JLAers and all the bad guys end up in the same place, so of course they decide to beat the crap out of each other. Sekowksky gives us a classic two-page donnybrook:
sg...Superman really took the easy way out, didn't he? And how humiliating was it for The Tattooed Man that he's taken out by Snapper Carr?


russell said...

Two-page fight scenes have been done before and since, but I don't know if they have ever been done better. But as a kid, I didn't quite *get* this story. Why did they all dress up as Green Arrow? Why did they all switch places with their foes? What's going on? It was too confusing for me. On a side note...once we hit issue 60 the end is in sight, so these issues to me are very bittersweet: Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman are all on their way out. :-(

rob! said...

well, Aquaman wasnt out the way the rest were, and he did make a comeback under Mike Freidrich!

russell said...

True, but he missed a significant bunch of stories. I sometimes imagine to myself the first meeting between Aquaman and Black Canary as a JLAer..."Oh, they voted you in? Congratulations!"
And I forgot to mention Snapper Carr is on his way out, too, but I guess that isn't really a bad thing. :-)

rob! said...

yep, Snapper's on his way out, and it will be sweet.

BentonGrey said...

Yeah.....gosh, Snapper makes my hair stand on end! Good fight scene though, I think it's pretty funny that Aquaman is clocking Captain Boomerang. The Aussie had better hope he's pulling his punches!

Plaidstallions said...

This is one of my desert island comics, it doesn't make a lick of sense really but it's so much fun.

Too bad they had to cut the scene for Snapper Carr gets a savage beating for that love tap.

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