Sunday, March 2, 2008

Justice League of America #104 - Feb. 1973

sgThe return of the Shaggy Man!

The Story: "The Shaggy Man Will Get You If You Don't Watch Out! by Len Wein, Dick Dillin, and Dick Giordano. We open with the villanous, giant-domed Hector Hammond, using his vast mental powers to travel the earth, and landing upon the JLA as they have a meeting in their satellite.

Hammond is trying to devise a way to defeat the JLA, and he gets an idea from reviewing their cases in the JLA library, considering all the various baddies they have fought in the past...Amos Fortune, The Key, Amazon, Kanjar Ro, Despero...but settles on another. He heads(no pun intended) to Northern Chile, and revives the long dormant Shaggy Man!

He transports the Shaggy Man to the satellite, but sneakily. The Shaggy Man is discovered during a sequence with Aquaman giving the Black Canary a tour of the JLA Trophy Room. Aquaman shows Canary the Shaggy Man statue until he realizes "Waitaminnit...we never had a statue of the Shaggy Man!"

Aquaman and Canary fight the beast to a standstill, until Hammond gets involved and rings the Gamma Gong(as bad as it sounds!), knocking them out. Shaggy, with the help of Hammond, proceeds to make short work of the JLA, as he individually defeats Hawkman and Green Arrow, Batman and Atom, and the Flash.

Unfortunately, the Shaggy Man isn't the mintiest comic in the box, and he bursts through the hull of the satellite to get to Superman, causing the JLA HQ to lose orbit and it begins to hurtle towards Earth!

As the satellite is about too crash, Green Lantern shows up, catches it, and he then revives the unconscious JLAers to team up to fight the Shaggy Man, in one of those great full-page shots of the whole JLA
The Shaggy Man makes like King Kong by grabbing Canary and heading for the top of a skyscraper. As Lantern fights him, Hammond finds his mental powers exhausted, leaving GL to reduce the Shaggy Man to action figure-size proportions, encasing him in a small tube.

We end with Hammond, still in prison, vowing revenge once again. Whatever, Mike Farrell!

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

Notable Moments: In just a few issues, writer Len Wein brought back the Seven Soldiers of Victory, plus classic JLA villains Felix Faust and the Shaggy Man. A fun issue all around, one of my favorites.


russell said...

One of my all-time favorites as well, Rob. It features ALL of the JLAers in action, and it features them well (although I think, given more time, the Atom would have defeated Shaggy Man...right, Damian?)Plus you gotta love the scenes with Aquaman and Black Canary. :-) But Rob..."Whatever, Mike Farrell"??? WTF?

rob! said...

sorry, i was being ridiculously obtuse.

growing up watching MASH, actor Mike Farrell's VERY large forehead was always something i noticed. Hector Hammond has a similarly giant dome.

i didn't say it was funny.

Adama said...

Rob, you've got to stop his. At this rate, I'll start collecting the Justice League too, and that will mean I won't be able to pay the rent and then I'm out on the streets! And its all your fault!

JK, I love that panel with the whole team and the Shaggy Man, plus major props to Aquaman and Black Canary for putting up a serious fight!

rob! said...

>>At this rate, I'll start collecting the Justice League too<<

BWA-HA-HA-HA! that ebay stock i bought it gonna make me a millionaire!

its probably only going to get worse, since we're rapidly heading towards my personal favorite era of the book, the ones I grew up on, so my enthusiasm will go up exponentially.

russell said...

Adama, THESE are the greatest issues of classic JLA there are. If you are going to collect anything, collect these. I totally agree with Rob: this is the era you need to know. :-) And Rob: now that you point it out to me, I guess Hector Hammond DOES look oddly like Mike Farrell. Hmmm....never noticed that before, though. Ooh! Next issue: a new member, and a Specter In the Shadows!!!

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

rob! said:
>>Notable Moments: In just a few issues, writer Len Wein brought back the Seven Soldiers of Victory, plus classic JLA villains Felix Faust and the Shaggy Man.<<

Glad you pointed this out! I realize now one of the things that was missing from the O'Neil and Freidrich issues was the super-villains. Other than the Joker in #77 and Solomon Grundy in #91-92, were there any "established" super-villains?

rob! said...

not really; it was mostly aliens and misunderstandings.

not to diminish O'Neil and Friedrich's work at all, but in my mind the JLA--as a concept and book--is not the place for think pieces (Star Trek TMP) but for slam-bang action, hopefully told with high style and sharp characterization (Star Trek II, III, IV)

Wein set the tone which continued for the most part right up until JLA Detroit.

Earth-2 Rev. Nørb said...

I disagree. I think the bloom was off the rose around issue #100. These storiesn -- and the stories to come -- all have that icky Bronze Age taint to them. I miss Joe Giella. Only he can save us!

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