Thursday, January 31, 2008

Justice League of America #78 - Feb. 1970

sgFantastic cover by Gil Kane, who you didn't see drawing the JLA much! And what's that satellite they're beaming up to?

The Story: "The Coming of the Doomsters!" by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. Superman and Green Lantern help Green Arrow put out a fire in Star City after he calls them for help. After doing so, take off. But there's a man desperately trying to get their attention who thinks to himself "The entire human race may depend" on doing so!

Supes and GL take Arrow to a rooftop, where he is placed in a tube, and suddenly finds himself whisked straight up, into the sky, and then(the details are fuzzy at this moment) finds himself in a mysterious place--the new JLA headquarters! As Batman, Hawkman, and the Atom explains, the new HQ is a floating orbital satellite in space:
While Arrow gets a tour of the new place, we go back to Earth and find our mysterious doom-sayer looking for anyway to connect to the JLA. He sees that they will be attending a charity ball, where they formally announce the addition of a new member, Black Canary.

As the mystery man tries to talk to the JLA, two other men pull out weird ray-guns and fire at Canary, but Green Lantern blocks their fire. They are then knocked out, and the JLA take the other man to their sattelite to ask him what's going on.

Turns out this guy was working as a night watchman at a factory, where he discovered the factory's owners were dumping huge amounts of pollution into the skies and the water. He took some evidence to show the authorities, when he was attacked by the cloaked men who then attacked the JLA at the charity ball.

All this heroism seems a lot for a night watchman, and he reveals that he is, in fact, Greg Sanders, formerly known as the Prairie Troubadour, The Vigilante! The JLA talks Greg into donning his superhero duds
and going with them to check into this company doing all the polluting. And what's with the ray guns?

Batman, Black Canary, the Atom, and the Vigilante arrive inside the factory, only to get knocked out by gas, dragged away, then put in a net about to be dumped into a pool of acid! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: Obviously the big news is the debut of the JLA Satellite(hey, that'd be a great name for a blog!), which would soon become of the most remembered icons of this era of the JLA.

Once again, Aquaman does not appear. You'd think the debut of the new HQ would command the Sea King's appearance. I guess you could say that since Aquaman was deep in the middle of the quest for Mera storyline in his solo book, that's where he's been during all these JLA issues. Maybe.

This story runs four pages short, so there's a back-up feature, "The Man Who Hated Science!" by Jack Miller and Joh Giunta, from Mystery in Space #6.

This must be some sort of Earth-1 version of the Vigilante, because A)he's here on Earth-1, and he's not exactly some sort of dimension-hopping hero, and B)a big deal is made when the Vigilante, and the rest of the Seven Soliders of Victory, return from obscurity in JLA #100.

Also, this is the final appearance of this version of the logo.


BentonGrey said...

Man, that sounds like a pretty good JLA story.

russell said...

My question always is: what happens to Hawkman??? He appears, explains the satellite, then simply disappears. Does he re-appear next issue? I don't remember. It's quite odd.

Earth 2 Chris said...

I think DC's stance on Vigilante was he did indeed have an Earth 1 counterpart, since his stories did carry over into the very early Silver Age in Action. Steve Englehart used him in that late 70s JLA issue that told the "unknown origin" of the Pre-JLA. And Batman met his crime-fighting nephew(!) in a one-off issue of Detective drawn by Don Newton!


Damian said...

Ah, 2 consecutive issues where Batman and Atom get knocked out by gas. Awesome.

I really do like the past 2 issues you've featured here.

The mini-storyline going on in JLA classified, which I'm thinking about getting into on the Titan, reminds me of these days.

Of course that may just be because at the end of the first book, Batman and Atom are by themselves, up to their eyes in the bad stuff.

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