Sunday, February 3, 2008

Justice League of America #81 - June 1970

sgDC did a lot of these "locked up in a psycho ward" covers around this time. Maybe this was on the list of things that always sold comics--gorillas, the color purple, then straight-jackets. Especially when drawn by Neal Adams!

The Story: "Plague of the Galactic Jest-Master" by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella(listed as "wordmaster" and "picturemasters", respectively). We open on the giddly Jest-Master, and his plan to topple Thanagar!

Also on the way to Thanagar is Hawkman and the Atom, along with Jean Loring(tied up!), who has become mad. On the way they are stopped by some Thangarian police offers and attacked!

Turns out the Jest-Master has been infecting various people near Thanagar, and this eventually happens to Hawkman, and then Batman and Flash when the JLA come to help! It's the Atom that finally defeats the Jest-Master by confusing him with this size-changing abilities(there's a lot more to it than that, trust me).

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Flash, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments:
Nothing like this scene actually happens in the book. Still, makes for a really good cover, doesn't it?

Green Lantern and Green Arrow are on official leave as of this issue, as they start off on their "Hard-Travelin' Heroes" bit from Green Lantern/Green Arrow.

I bought this issue--and many from around this time--at a new comics store I found a few towns away. I was just this side of too young to have a driver's license, but once I got one I made many a trip to it, and gobbled up every affordable back issue of the book I could find. I ended up almost completing the run of the book thanks to this store--yay!
Update! A request was made to show the aforementioned "Jest-Master", so here you go!

...He doesn't quite live up to the name.


russell said...

I always loved the covers with the "heads" on the side (or the top in later years). Superman and Batman always had the top spots, of course, usually followed by The Flash. Even though Barry wasn't in issues 78 and 79, his head is still there on the covers. However, with this issue Black Canary got as high as she ever would: third spot!!! I wonder why...?
On a side note, I love that little straight jacket on The Atom.

Damian said...

I always thought this was a fun one, although I remember really wanting that cover scene to be in the book.

I guess once people found out about the Atom they started making stuff for him, such as a minuscule straight jacket and scuba gear.

BentonGrey said...

Haha, well, I guess the whole "crazy heroes" bit is just an idea that has tons of potential. I can't imagine how many times it has been done in Batman. Hey Rob, any chance we can see a pic of the Jest-Master? You've got me sort of curious!

rob! said...


there you go!

BentonGrey said...

Thanks Rob! Hmm...not the most visually dynamic character, but he's sort of interesting. He's kind of like an intergalactic Joker.

Damian said...

Or Green Goblin wearing one of the pumpkins on his head.

BentonGrey said...

Haha, yeah, I noticed that.....I meant he's like Joker in his gimmick, but he does look like Gobby.

Damian said...

Whoever he's ripping off, his disciples think he's the bees knees, cat's pajama's AND the greatest invention since sliced bread.

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