Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Limited Collectors' Edition #C46 - August 1976

Let's pause for a moment between JLA issues to talk about the JLA's first(and, sadly, only) treasury-sized edition, published in between issues 132 and 133.

First off, hard to beat this cover, by Dick Giordano. As classically heroic as the JLA gets!

This book reprints two classic JLA tales, plus some fun extras. The first story is "Decoy Missions of the Justice League" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs from JLA #24. The JLA takes on Kanjar Ro, so you know what that means...Adam Strange!

Next is "The JLA on TV" featuring some of Alex Toth's masterful character sheets for the Super Friends cartoon. We've got Superman, Batman, Robin, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, plus Jor-El and Lara, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, The Flash, and even the Golden Age Flash, who was written into the script by accident. Toth designed a guide for animators for the Jay Garrick version, but the mistake was caught before the animators began their work. Too bad, that woulda been cool!

Before the next story is a great JLA pin-up, also by Giordano, where we see the JLAers about to have a party. As you can see, they were kind enough to invite Adam Strange, the Phantom Stranger, Metamorpho, Zatanna, the Martian Manhunter, and even Snapper Carr
The last story is "The Deadly Dreams of Doctor Destiny" by Fox, Sekowsky, and Sachs, from JLA #34. Another fine story, a good choice as a reprint.

DC and Giordano finished off the book with a spiffy back cover, following the front's motif but swapping out the JLA for the JSA:
So Drs. Fate and Mid-Nite are the swap-outs for Aquaman and Green Arrow? Interesting...

This was one of my most beloved treasury comics growing up, because it featured my favorite teams in advetures that, at that point, I had never read. Plus those Alex Toth model-sheets are awesome.

Clearly, you had to be a big seller to warrant a DC treasury edition--Superman, Batman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer got the lion's share of the honor(Marvel was a tad more democratic for their treasuries), so it was cool that the JLA got their own, at least for once (though since it was all JLA stories in the Super Friends treasury comic, maybe you could say they got two).


Vincent Paul Bartilucci said...

I too owned this Treasury and absolutely adored it. I can't count how many times I traced that cover, swapping heroes in and out. I even "drew" an all-female version retaining only WW from the original. It made for some really ugly ladies.

And Dr. Fate actually makes a perfect swap for Aquaman. At the start of almost every tale that featured the JSA, DC would include their patented Earth-2 explanation. They'd explain how some heroes were nearly identical on both Earths (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) while some were similiar but different (Flash, GL, Atom, Hawkman). 9 times 10, the examples given for heroes who were unique to their Earths were Dr. Fate and Aquaman. Until Roy Thomas confirmed his existence in All-Star Squadron, the Earth 2 Aquaman was mere fan conjecture.

Dr. Mid-Nite for Green Arrow - that one I don't get.

Adama said...

Wow, that does look awesome. Adama want!

You know, one thing I notcied here and in other places: The Atom is never full sized on covers or in group shots, EVER. I know the guy has the power to shrink, but I doubt he would do it ALL THE TIME. Just imagine the logistics of it! No one would be able to hear him, people would constantly be stepping on him.

I guess they're trying to show the reader what his power is, but come on, Superman isn't heat visioning things in every group shot, now is he?

Sorry for the rant...

Plaidstallions said...

Besides the Superfriends, this is reason number 2 as to why I love the Justice League.

Earth 2 Chris said...

You guys ever notice that on the Challenge of the Super Friends, when it shows the SF flying from the Hall of Justice (and the narrator says "The Justice League of America...) it shows the characters in this exact formation, with these exact poses, except for Robin swapping out for GA?

This image was also used on that Neal Adams/Giordano Calendar (which muddies who did what first) and was the basis for artwork on a Super Jrs. pillow!!!


Butch R said...

Oh My God!! I remember this so well and I wanted it so bad. I got lucky earlier this year tracking down two of the Batman treasury editions. I need to find this one also.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci said...

Ah, but Adama, when The Atom grows to full size his costume disappears. Actually, according to the comics, it stretches out so thinly as to become invisible. I'm not kidding ...

Regardless, it'd just look like some brown-haired dude in civvies was hanging out with the JLA.

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