Friday, May 9, 2008

Justice League of America #166 - May 1979

sgThe JLA takes on a team of super-foes!

The Story: "The Long Way Home" by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin, and Frank McLaughlin. Continued from last issue, a funeral celebration is taking place for Zatanna's mother Sindella.

This features a nice moment, where Batman relates to Wonder Woman that he feels any sort of "celebration" of death is wrong. Diana tries to reassure him, but its left unresolved. The JLA members then prepare to come home.

Meanwhile, Red Tornado, on Monitor Duty, is surprised by some unwanted visitors--members of the Secret Society of Super-Villains! He is quickly knocked out by Professor Zoom, followed by Blockbuster, the Wizard, Star Sapphire, and the Floronic Man.

The Wizard shows the other baddies their goal--to find and possess a mysterious artifact, a Griffin Statue, which has magical powers. They use the JLA's computer to find where it is.

The JLA members then arrive, see what has happened, and follow the SSOSV's trail, which was exactly what the bad guys intended! The JLA encounters them, and are defeated!

Then The Wizard uses the statue to switch souls with the JLA:
Oh boy, this is trouble! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Red Tornado, Zatanna

Notable Moments: As a kid, I always like the Secret Society concept--villains seemed so much more formidable and scary to me when they teamed-up.

This storyline has become retroactively famous and sought-out, after the Villains United storyline that ran across the DCU a few years ago.


Butch R said...

You know, I don't have all of these issues but I never realized the whole "Zatanna/Sindell" storyline went on as long as it did. I liked it, thought it added something the DCU with the Homo Magi and I always like the "secret history" stuff.

And I agree with Rob, the whole villain team up thing does make them seem scarier. Plus, this is a pretty powerful group of villains to begin with.

Can somebody/anybody tell me why Batman is down on one knee in the last panel? Never understood that.
While we are at it, does anyone know if the griffin statue previously appeared anywhere? It just always seemed vaguely familiar.

And just to show you how much I appreciate your blog Rob, quick story. I was trying to find some pictures of Jonah Hex to explain the most recent JLA/JSA team up. Found one that I was looking for on another blog that was about Hex. Now mind you, I don't mean to badmouth this person but when I read the statement "suffered though Dick Dillin's artwork" I knew I had to be back where I belonged. :) Keep up the good work man, reading your site starts my day off right. Thanks!

rob! said...

why, thanks Butch!

Batman is kneeling because he just finished fighting Blockbuster. i imagine he's a little exhausted. :)

Earth 2 Chris said...

For some reason, I really noticed Wonder Woman's feminine attributes on this cover, even at age 4! Dick Giordano always could draw beautiful gals.

Boy, Zatanna really did get a lot of the spotlight for a newbie, didn't she?


russell said...

Man, I hated this storyline. The Zatanna family story was interesting, but then right on top of that here comes a story with the exact same members, Superman and Batman all over the place, geez, I was annoyed. And of course in an issue or two Zatanna gets the spotlight again, whereas it would have been cool to have Hawkgirl or even Elongated Man have that spotlight. And I won't say I "suffered through" Dick Dillin's art, but I do think that the art wasn't as exciting as, say, Rich Buckler, Dave Cockrum, or Jim Starlin would have been.

By the way, Rob, wasn't this the first issue edited by Ross Andru, which means Julie Schwartz retired last issue????

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