Sunday, January 27, 2008

Justice League of America #75 - Nov. 1969

sgHistory is made, with a new member joining! Oh, and awesome, iconic cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson.

The Story: "In Each Man There Is A Demon!" by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. Green Arrow opens the story as narrator, telling us that he recently has been framed by a business named, and in doing so losing his vast fortune!

Meanwhile, back at the Secret Sanctuary, the JLA is debating whether to admit Black Canary into the team. Canary grows frustrated at the all-male team's patronizing attitude towards her, and suddenly lets loose with a sonic scream, a power she never possessed before!

We return to Oliver Queen, who is subjecting himself to experiments with a Dr.Oyal, which allows a subject to peer into their subconcious! A malevolent Green Arrow springs from Ollie, knocking Oyal out and heading for JLA HQ!

When the JLAers(who figure that exposure to Aquarius' radiation caused Canary's new power) get attacked by the evil GA, evil duplicates are created of them, as well, all from the mystic residue left in each of them by Aquarius! Only Superman remains unaffected, because, as he assumes, he didn't absorb any of Aquarius' radiation. The JLAers feel despondent, not believing they can defeat themselves.

Superman gives them a super pep-talk by fighting a Superman robot, and defeating it, telling them it was an evil inner duplicate of him, too. This inspires them and they head off to fight their duplicates.

Green Arrow faces down his inner bad self by admitting that evil resides in all people, and it is the best part of them that keeps the evil side under control. This drains the evil dupes' energy, and they return to their hosts.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, and new member Black Canary!

Notable Moments:
There's no official approval of Black Canary into the team--by the end of the story, she's simply a member, recording the tale into the JLA archives with Green Arrow.

The letters page only runs three letters, one by Alan Brennert and one by Martin Pasko--a pretty damn good eventual-writers-to-fan

While the addition of Black Canary makes total sense, dramatically and otherwise, I do feel like it was a small step down, Iconic Hero-wise. Black Canary never had her own book, only her own strip in Flash Comics, and even that had ended over fifteen years earlier.

Starting with Canary, the JLA would accept heroes whose only home was the JLA, and one could make the argument it weakened the initial Knights of the Round Table concept that the team started out with.


BentonGrey said...

I'm all for the inclusion of minor characters in the League, in fact, I prefer the "Unlimited" League of the JLU. I do, however, also like the idea of the "League within the League" shown in that same show, which was composed of the founders. It's sort of a having your cake and eating it too scenario.

As far as that story, there is actually tons of potential there, but it sounds like it was sort of corny. A story about the League confronting their inner demons is a pretty cool one though. I guess that JLU did that in the Dr. Destiny episode.

russell said...

I just recently read (in Michael Eury's Justice League Companion) that this issue was supposed to be a type of JLA/Avengers "crossover." Hence Superman comparing himself to Thor, evil Batman using a trash can lid as a shield ala Cap, Hawkman fighting a "man of iron." TOTALLY didn't get the references the first time I read this.

Earth 2 Chris said...

I had a reprint copy of this storyfor years in that "Best of DC" Digest with the JLA initiation theme. I never got the Avengers references either, except I did think it was odd to see Batman using a trashcan lid as a projectile, just like us kids did when we played Captain America!

I can see your point Rob, and I had never thought of it that way, but Canary is the first member to be totally without any regular feature to join. I think it was a natural extension of the JLA/JSA and the popularity of those crossovers, plus the need for a strong female that wasn't a "girl version" of one of the male JLAers. Of course Canary's JLA ties would be played down more and more until that right-before-Crisis retcon that would soon be...retconned.

That cover is tops. Infantino knew cover design like few others.


rob! said...

i may be being a little too harsh on Diana--and the JLA did indeed need a woman member, the sanctuary was starting to smell like a locker room!

i guess i look at dinah as the first step to including elongated man and red tornado, who weren't exactly top-tier characters(as a kid, i always wondered why Plastic Man wasn't a member!).

russell said...

It just occurred to me that this was the first appearance of Joe Giella, the JLA inker whose work I like the least. I started my run with Dillin-Giordano, and kept going back to pick up back issues. I'll never forget getting my first pre-100 issue (99 or 94 or whatever it was) and opening it up to find that it was Giella, not Giordano. I distinctly remember saying, "eww!" when I saw it. (sigh)

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