Sunday, March 23, 2008

Justice League of America #124 - Nov. 1975

sgCan the JLA and the JSA defeat...Cary Bates?!?

The Story: "Avenging Ghosts of the Justice Society!" by Cary Bates, Elliot S! Maggin, Dick Dillin, and Frank McLaughlin. The bad guys, revealed to have actually been the JSA, appear to be dead!

Meanwhile, Cary Bates goes on a reign of terror, robbing banks and whatnot, all under the control of the Wizard. Unnoticed, a strange green wisp watches what is transpiring...

The Wizard discovers that Elliott S! Maggin is on Earth-2 as well, and tells Bates to kidnap him and use him as bait to trap the JLA. He does so, and the JLA and the Injustice Society square off.

The JLA start to see the ghosts of the dead JSAers, and get defeated the the bad guys, until the mysterious mist reveals itself to be...The Spectre!

The Spectre resurrects the JSAers, who help rescue the JLA, who then turn on the Injustice Society, easily beating them. The spell on Bates wears off, and Johnny Thunder's T-Bolt sends them home.

We end the issue where we started this whole story--Bates and Maggin trying--and failling--to pitch story ideas to Julie Schwartz. As he tells them of their newest tale "Nobody's gonna believe a story like that!"

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

Notable Moments: The Spectre, thought dead since JLA #83, does not reveal himself to his friends, none of the heroes ever know how they died and came back to life. I guess you learn not to question stuff like that when you're a superhero.

12 comments:

Greg van Eekhout said...

This was the very first comic book I ever bought. With all that crazy Earth-2, Earth-1, Earth-Prime stuff, I have no idea how my 7-year-old self understood any of it, but I was hooked.

Thanks for taking me back to my first comic book rack!

wich2 said...

"none of the heroes ever know how they died and came back to life"

...and on that note, Happiest of Easters, to those who observe same!
-Craig Wichman

CaptainJersey said...

This was my first JLA crossover! Since I had read Flash 228, where Cary Bates visits the Flash, I was pretty much on top of things here... This was the first time that this 7-8 year old felt like a comic expert! I loved Earth Prime stories. As a kid I used to think that maybe, just maybe, there was a dimension where I could get to meet Supergirl some day!

George

Plaidstallions said...

I got sucked in by the cover of this as a teen and was horrified to find Cary Bates flying around in it. Some find it fun I'm sure, I saw it as lazy egotism.

Anonymous said...

I also saw it as lazy egotism!

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

I sorta enjoyed this when I was 10, but I do remember being disappointed that the JSAers were such a weak group and that they had such small roles--after all, they were dead most of the time. And where were the rest of the JSAers? I'm thinking "Cary Bates--the arch-fiend who's been terrorizing the Earth" would have been somewhat less effective against, say, Doctor Fate or Green Lantern.

All of you who thought Bates and Maggin were really slacking may enjoy this:

http://www.geocities.com/cheeksilver/jlashame4.htm

Unca Cheeks' old website used to have lots of scans, but unfortunately the newer version is lacking the scans. Still, his commentary is quite hilarious.

Earth 2 Chris said...

Put me in the camp that really dislikes this one. Other than my boy Earth 2 Robin getting the prime cover spot, its sloppy stuff. Bates and Maggin did some great comic stories, but his ain't one of them. Maggin admitted in All-Star Companion Vol.3 (just released) that he and Bates banged the script for part 2 out in a record-setting minimal amount of time. It shows.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Maggin also wrote some lousy issues of "Shazam!" around this time. I don't know much of his work; did he write anything that was good or just schlock like this?

russell said...

Rob, Marty Pasko wrote JLA #122, not Elliot Maggin.

russell said...

I really think this story would have worked better if 1. more of the JSAers had appeared (What? You mean six of our number have died??) and 2. Black Canary and Red Tornado had been given bigger (or any) roles. It's funny how you can compare JLA 75 with real drama and death, and this, which is basically kiddie drama. Not the JLA or the JSA's finest moments. PLUS, it got me all psyched for the brand new ALL STAR COMICS "coming soon" that ended up not being ANYTHING like this cast of characters. Boo, hiss.

rob! said...

i knew that, don't know why i wrote it. comment deleted, post-Crisis style.

Earth-2 Rev. Nørb said...

This *was* a dopey story, but i did like the group of JSAers they assembled. "Shuddup and let me slurp my bean soup in peace!"

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