Thursday, January 24, 2008

Justice League of America #72 - June 1969

sgOther than Green Arrow's way too big cap feather, this is one spiffy cover by Joe Kubert.

The Story: "13 Days to Doom!" by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin, and Sid Greene. The JLA is contemplating the new Martian Manhunter statue they just built--as a way to honor all he's done for the planet Earth--when suddenly it starts shaking and explodes, courtesy of the Red Tornado, looking to make a dramatic entrance.

The JLA is pretty rough on ol' Reddy, none more so than the Atom, who, as the JLA leaves to respond to an alarm, tells Reddy "Stay in this room and don't budge! I have a hunch we'll be up to our ears in trouble, and we don't have time to play nurse-maid!" Whew! Now we see maybe why Jean left him...

Anyway, it turns out they've been summoned by frequent guest-star Hawkgirl, who tells them a room full of people--including Hawkman--have been turned to...salt!

Turns out this is the work of your classic mad scientist guy, Marmaduke Mantick(!), who was approached by a demon telling him if he can apprehend the Philosopher's Stone now on display in Midway City he will be given unimaginable powers! He does this, but he can't control it and demons begin to appear, turning Hawkman and everyone else to stone.

The JLA tells Marmaduke to re-open the pit the demons came from that the stone opened, but he says it can only be done every thirteen days(and they should believe this guy why?). Meanwhile, a grieving Hawkgirl is kidnapped!

The JLA are told the kidnappers will trade Hawkgirl for Marmaduke, but the JLA doesn't give in to kidnappers, no sir! Superman poses as Marmaduke and makes quick work of the biker gang who did the kidnapping(their leader was also turned to salt, and they're looking to de-saltify him).

They then take on the demons, trying to undo the spell, but they are fought to a standstill. But luckily a mysterious stranger makes their way into the pit, uncorking it, reversing everyone who had been turned into salt and forcing the demons back. Of course, our hero is Red Tornado, who figured as a machine was invulnerable to the demons' attacks. They all apologize for being so hard on Reddy and Hawkgirl is moved to tears, as she thanks Reddy and lays a big one on lucky, lucky man Carter Hall.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman

Notable Moments:
Hawkgirl works so well with the JLA, its sort of amazing it would take another eight years for her to join, especially since with Wonder Woman gone, there were no women in the JLA at the time!

Another issue where Aquaman is the only active JLA member not participating in the story. What did Denny O'Neil have against the King of the Seven Seas?

The two-page JLA Mail Room features letters from two young readers named Mark Evanier and Martin Pasko!

Also, the Mail Room header is changed to reflect all the changes to the team:
The Atom is still the felt-tip pen version, but now Batman has replaced Manhunter in the big chair. I guess no one wanted to ask Dick Dillin to do a completely new version, so they stuck with (mostly)Sekowsky-drawn one.


Plaidstallions said...

i read this very recently and was surprised at how much they make the atom a jerk to RT. making him wait an entire issue before mentioning his universe is destroyed, jeeez.

Earth 2 Chris said...

I've never read this issue, but I like that cover a LOT.




TheincredibleshrinkingDamian said...

Ray needed to be that firm, Reddy was out of control! If it wasn't for heroes like Ray speaking up and controlling that droid, he'd have busted himself twice as much.

That's right, thanks to Ray, people like Ted Grant can still lead a productive life.

Anonymous said...

Denny seemed not to realize that Hawkgirl was not only a superheroine, but a trained Thanagarian police officer! She would never behave as she did here, no matter what state Hawkman was in! In fact, I thought he depicted her so poorly in order to squash requests that she replace Diana, a enny had pln mov Dinah over Earh 2, thu sting in motion the Crisis.

Earth-2 Rev. Nørb said...

First and last issue of Superman/Batman head vignettes!

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