Monday, April 14, 2008

Justice League of America #143 - June 1977

sgIt's the grudge match of the year!

The Story: "A Tale of Two Satellites!" by Steve Englehart, Dick Dillin, and Frank McLaughlin. We open with Superman and Wonder Woman having argument about her recent, er, abrasive behavior.

It doesn't go well, and Wonder Woman storms out, quitting the JLA as she leaves!

As she arrives on Earth, she runs into Poison Ivy and Scarecrow and as she tries to stop them, she is interrupted by another would-be superhero, former Manhunter Mark Shaw now known as The Privateer!

Meanwhile WW's outburst has caused ripples of dissension in the JLA, with Green Arrow, Black Canary, Flash, and GL storming out, with Aquaman, Atom, and Elongated Man leaving to spend time with their wives. This leaves Superman and Batman to ponder...what's happening with the Justice League?

The Privateer and Wonder Woman go to dinner(!), and when he makes a gentle comment about Diana seeming a little out of it, her response is a tad disproportionate:
sg can't take her anywhere!

As Wonder Woman takes off, she is zapped by some sort of mental blast, and then someone else takes control of her, taking her to...the Injustice Gang satellite!

Poison Ivy and Scarecrow are shocked to see her, naturally, and then the real fiend behind all this reveals himself. Its...The Construct!

While members of the IG attack various JLAers, Wonder Woman shows up at the JLA satellite and that's when the big beat down begins. She manages to subdue Supes by use of her Magic Lasso, but Superman can see that the mental stress she's under is slowly killing her.

WW calls them all to the satellite, but Green Arrow smells a trap, so instead they go to the IG's satellite, and kick some more butt, destroying the satellite in the process. But when they're asked who put them up to all this, none of them can remember!

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman, no longer under The Construct's control, hugs her dear friend Superman.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, Elongated Man

Notable Moments: Hawkgirl guest-stars in this issue, a preview of things to come!

Once again, when given a cover to draw that pits hero against hero, your average comic book artist (Dick Dillin, in this case) simply cannot resist drawing other heroes cheering one side or the other, even though, again, nothing like that happens in the story.



russell said...

One of my favorite stories, but Gee, I really hate the art. Double the page count meant double the assignment for Dick Dillin meant a lot of the work was rushed by him and McLaughlin, and it shows. Compared to the Injustice Gang's original appearance only 30 issues ago, this art is atrocious.
It's fun to re-read these now knowing what will eventually happen to some of these characters, though (Hawkgirl, Manhunter, etc)

Earth 2 Chris said...

If you look at the artwork in a lot of the DC books at the time, Dillin's work was superb. Barring new great talent like Marshall Rogers and Don Newton, I felt like late 70s DC was a really low-point for the company artwise. A LOT of DC's art looked REALLY rushed. I don't feel Dillin's work slipped much, esp. in comparison.

Not to beat this dead horse, but wasn't Vince Colleta art director of DC at this point? The quantity vs. quality look may have been forced from up above the series artists.

Just my opinion.


Butch R said...

I remember picking this one up and after reading it wonder why Superman didn't date Wonder Woman. Guess I wasn't the only one to think that. :)

Can't wait for your writeup of the next issue!!!

russell said...

Dillin continued to be a master of composition and action, but the details started getting bad around this time, IMHO. Pick up an issue with Hawkgirl in it and she looks like she is atleast a head shorter than all the other (male) JLAers. Ditto Black Canary. It just wasn't very good. I remember when Juan Ortiz or somebody guest-artisted for the issue where the Atom got married, that art was so much nicer to look at. Again, in my opinion. There were worse artists out there, no question, but I think that Dillin's best days were behind him.

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