Saturday, August 23, 2008

Justice League of America #261 - April 1987

sgIt all ends here--the final issue of the Justice League of America.

The Story: "Last Stand" by J.M. DeMatteis, Luke McDonnell, and Bob Lewis. We open on Professor Ivo, laying on his side in an insane asylum.

Even here, in a straightjacket, he has dealt a blow to the JLA that all its other foes could only dream of--killing two of its members.

He ruminates on his history with the League, and is conflicted by the impulses in his mind. He wants revenge, but murder is wrong. But Martian Manhunter killed one of his "sons." But...

Ivo blows up his last therapist, still unable to deal with the conflicting thoughts on his mind.

Meanwhile, Vixen--to hell with the Presidential order--is on the hunt
:
sg
In Detroit, Manhunter is having a drink with Hank Heywood and Dale Gunn, but he is so racked with anger that he swears Steel will be avenged.

Dale warns him that that's revenge, not justice:
sg
Vixen uses her animal powers to sniff out Ivo, and she finds him waiting for her, with dinner, no less! But Ivo is also in a mental institution, so...

Vixen goes along with this fake civility for a few moments, and then attacks Ivo. Ivo in turn calls out a mob of his androids, who attack Vixen. She's able to fight most of them off, but there are too many of them!

Then Martian Manhunter bursts in, and starts busting more android head. He then grabs Ivo, ready to kill him, but finds he can't.

Vixen is not so squeamish, but:
sg
They find the real Ivo, locked up. Turns out Ivo escaped Arkham Asylum, built the androids, who in turn committed Ivo, realizing their creator was insane. But since they were built from his mind, he could still control them from afar, and his madness led to all this.

Manhunter and Vixen talk at the Secret Sanctuary. Manhunter says that for their deaths to have any meaning, the League must continue in some form, Presidential orders be damned.

Vixen agrees, but says she can't continue with him. This road is too violent, too bloody, and she just doesn't want to keep going. They say goodbye:
sg
...and that is the end of the Justice League of America.

Roll Call: Martian Manhunter, Vixen

Notable Moments: Well, this is it--the last issue of Justice League of America.

While I understand the business end of this--that this book had to be cleared out to make room for the all-new (and immediately big-selling) Justice League book, I wish that Justice League of America--one of DC's flagship books--had been given more of a royal send off.

The cover is fine, except as the last JLA cover ever, and I still--all these years later--hate the fact that the book ends 27 years of JLA adventures with essentially a plug for another book. Jeez, DC, the corpse isn't even cold yet! Would it have killed you to coral George Perez to do a "classic JLA" pin-up or something?

But I got to give them credit--this was a ballsy, gripping way to end the series. Ivo's revenge plan is sinister to the nth degree, and I bet to this day he still brags to other villains that he killed not one, but two members of the JLA. Luthor's been trying to kill one hero for like 20 years.

Goodbye, Justice League of America.


So now what? Is this blog over?

Well, not quite--as I've mentioned a few times before, I've got about a week's worth of fun posts to come. A few sort of "greatest hits" style ones, an interview or two, another special JLA comic that falls outside my timeline but I felt had to be included, all concluding with a final post that I guarantee none of you will expect.

But before we get to all that, be here tomorrow for a chat with the fine writer who brought the original JLA to a close--J.M. DeMatteis!

34 comments:

John Trumbull said...

I can't believe it's over...

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

Whew! Congrats on reaching the end of the JLA series, rob! Thanks for letting us follow along.

In my opinion, you've accomplished a feat of Olympian proportions. I wish we had 8 or 9 gold medals for you. ;)

I, for one, have enjoyed reading your comments about the JLA. And it has also been fun reading the comments left by your visitors. I can't wait to see what goodies you have in store for the next few days.

John Trumbull said...

I second everything Tick-Tock Tyler just said. This blog has been a favorite of mine since I discovered it months ago, and I'll miss it when it's gone. Cheers to a job well done, Rob!

PS - Sent you my favorite issue list for next week, as well as a note about the scans I made for ya.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci said...

Great job, Rob! I can't wait to see what you've got planned for the next week!

Randy said...

This was a lot of fun! Looking forward to the special stuff this upcoming week!

Wich2 said...

Congrats again, Rob, on establishing the JLA record Of Record.

As far as killing a Flagship title? It's stupid. Even in a business sense. Remember "New Coke?"

Even just-plain-Suits used to understand that a name established over a period of years - or even, decades! - was essentially a priceless thing. (Brand "Goodwill, " and all that.)

The murder of the JLA title, and even moreso, Foundational books like ACTION, was just dumb - as well as a sign that the folks handling them had simply dropped the ball.

Great weekend,
-Craig W.

Andy Luckett said...

Well done, Rob! A hearty round of congratulations for all your hard work on this blog, it's been a daily pleasure. Looking forward to next week! Great job, sir!

John Trumbull said...

Just noticed that Todd Klein has completed a JLA logo study over on his blog, just in time for your final week. Good stuff:

http://kleinletters.com/Blog/

Scurvy said...

Great blog sir! Verily I have enjoyed reading it, and it has brought back many fine memories of my youth reading this title. (and the subsequent one as well)

michael chang sue said...

Merry Christmas!
I want to add my appreciation for this blog. It is only one that I can find about my favorite team. I grew up with them. I have seen all their incarnations.
I was eleven when I saw the house ad about Brave & Bold #28. I did not read it until it was reprinted. I got #29 and #30 after the series had started.
I was twelve when the series started. I purchased the first issue and every issue after that.
Thanks again.

michael chang sue said...

Of the 3 Brave & Bold, 261 issues and 3 Annuals, my all time favorite issue is #200. My all time favorite cover is #217. My all time favorite panel is the last panel of #161 where Zatanna has been elected.
It has the four female Justice Leaguers.

michael chang sue said...

2008 is coming to an end. The New Year is approaching. All the best for 2009.
Another of my favorite issue is the first Justice League of America Annual.
Chapter One: The JLAers meet and split up.
Chapter Two: Hawkman, HAWKGIRL, The Atom and Firestorm
Chapter Three: Aquaman, Green Arrow and BLACK CANARY
Chapter Four: Green Lantern, The Flash and WONDER WOMAN
Chapter Five: ZATANNA, Red Tornado and The Elongated Man
Chapter Six: The JLAers regroup and attack.
It has the four female Justice Leaguers.

michael chang sue said...

Happy New Year!
I am obsessed with DC's female dynamos, beginning with the four female Justice Leaguers, Supergirl, Batgirl and Wonder Girl... Jose Luis Garcia Lopez's Super Seven. I coined the name to include Catwoman, Talia, Star Sapphire and Black Cat.

michael chang sue said...

The four female Justice Leaguers, the World's Finest female duo and a female Titan!
Supergirl, Zatanna, Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Batgirl, Wonder Girl and Hawkwoman!
There are two versions of the Super Seven by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez.
The 1982 version can be found in Aquaman Shrine on Tuesday January 15 2008 under Super Amigos Sticker Album Part 2 1985.
Because of the Supergirl movie, there is 1984 version across at Batgirl/Hawkwoman/Mera site under Hawkwoman and Batgirl in your wall calendar from the Super Powers 1988 calendar.
The 1984 version is on DC Comics t-shirts by Junk Food entitled Ladies Night. Guess who is missing on the t-shirt? Hawkwoman!

michael chang sue said...

Supergirl, Zatanna, Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Batgirl, Wonder Girl and Hawkwoman by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez appeared in the month of December in the Super Powers 1988 calendar.
Black Canary, Mary Marvel, Supergirl, Lois Lane and Hawkgirl by Dick Giordano appeared in the month of September in Super DC 1976 calendar.
This image is on DC Comics t-shirts by Junk Food entitled It's a Girl's World. Instead of Lois Lane, Wonder Woman by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez has been inserted.

michael chang sue said...

The four female Justice Leaguers of the satellite era...
Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Hawkgirl and Zatanna.
The four female Justice Leaguers and their Marvel counterparts... Wonder Woman and She-Hulk, Black Canary and Mockingbird, Hawkgirl and Wasp, Zatanna and Scarlet Witch and for good measure, Catwoman and Black Cat.
2009 will be the 50th anniversary of Supergirl's appearance in Action Comics #252. It will be great to see a JLA classified featuring the four female Justice Leaguers and Supergirl, who has made several guest appearances during the satellite era.
It will be great to see more trades with the Silver Age Justice League of America. So far the following issues have been reprinted: 4, 19, 21, 22, 29, 30, 37, 38, 46, 47, 51, 55, 56, 64, 65, 73, 74, 75, 77, 82, 83, 91, 92, 100, 101, 102, 105, 106, 107, 108, 113, 122, 123, 124, 135, 136, 137, 146, 147, 148, 161, 166, 167, 168, 173 and 174 under Justice League of America Hereby Elects, The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Crisis on Multiple Earths and Zatanna's Search. The printing in the trades are much better than the originals.

michael chang sue said...

The three Brave & Bold and issues 1-80 minus reprint issues have been reprinted in the nine volumes of the Archive Editions.
The three Brave & Bold and issues 1-84 minus reprint issues have been reprinted in black and white in the four volumes of the Showcase Presents.
The trades are in-between, cheaper than the Archive Editions and in color.

michael chang sue said...

Mystery in Space 75 has also been reprinted in Showcase Presents Vol. 1.
Supergirl has appeared in issues 132, 133, 134, 157, 231, 232, 98 (her first appearance is a cameo) and 170 (another cameo).
She has appeared with the team in Action Comics 350, 365, 366, 429, 489, Adventure Comics 423, DC Comics Presents 43, DC Comics Presents Annual 2, Phantom Zone 2, Supergirl Vol. 1 8, Supergirl Vol. 2 20, Superman Family 171 and World's Finest Comics 189.
That is why I will like to see her with the four female Justice Leaguers in a 50th anniversary celebration since her 1st appearance in Action Comics 252.

michael chang sue said...

Supergirl did not meet the team in her cameo appearances in issues 98 and 170 nor in Action Comics 489.
Superman Family 171 has been reprinted in Showcase Presents Batgirl, one of the four meetings between the World's Finest female duo that were reprinted there.
I omitted to mention that Supergirl and the team appeared in Superman Vol. 1 199 which has been reprinted in the trade Superman versus the Flash.

michael chang sue said...

Apart from appearing on the covers of Superman Family 171 and Superman Vol. 199, the Justice League of America has appeared on the following covers: Aquaman Vol. 1 18, 30, Doom Patrol 104, Blackhawk 228, World's Finest Comics 184, Teen Titans Vol. 1 25, The Flash Vol. 1 204, Action Comics 437, New Teen Titans Vol. 1 4, Fury of Firestorm 4 and Saga of the Swamp Thing 24.

michael chang sue said...

The Justice League of America and the New Teen Titans have appeared on the covers of Action Comics 546 and Supergirl Vol. 2 20.
Batman and Robin and Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Black Canary have appeared in Brave and the Bold Vol. 1 100.

michael chang sue said...

I am using this blog to express myself. Between this blog and the Justice League Companion by Michael Eury, my interest in the Justice League of America has been renewed.
Your run through the 3 Brave & Bold, the 261 issues, 3 Annuals, Action Comics 443, Batman & the Outsiders Vol. 1 1, Flash Vol. 1 327 and World's Finest Comics 300 had me going to the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe, the Grand Comic Book Database and Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics to cross-reference all the team and team members appearances.
I pulled out my collections but did not like the prints. I turned to the trades for better prints.

michael chang sue said...

I was eleven when I saw the house ad introducing the Justice League of America. I was twelve when I picked up the first issue. I subsequently acquired B&B 29 and 30. I eventually read B&B 28 when it was reprinted.
At that time, there were not any competition or comparisons. The mere idea of several super-heroes from different magazines coming together in one magazine over-shadowed everything including the storytelling and art.
I was among those against Mike Sekowsky's art. I would have preferred Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Curt Swan or any other artist.
Then along came Stan Lee and the Marvel explosion. Like many others, I got swept away. I never abandoned DC.
I considered the Fantastic Four and the Avengers to be counterpart of the Challengers of the Unknown and the Justice League of America. DC was fond of long titles like the Legion of Super-Heroes and Batman and the Outsiders compare to Marvel's X-Men and Defenders.

michael chang sue said...

The Silver Age and the Bronze Age.
The cave era was considered great at the time because of the all-star cast. Without competition and comparisons, storytelling, art and lack of characterization would have been overlooked.
The satellite era was my favorite because of the Marvel-ous stories. Green Arrow was no longer a Batman clone.
The Detroit era started good but faltered somewhere along the way. Steve Englehart has since added an arc in the JLA Classified pertaining to that era.

michael chang sue said...

When Dennis O'Neil took over from Gardner Fox, he moved the team out of the cave to the satellite. He revamped Green Arrow's character. At first, I was against the change. After awhile, I accepted the change. It was all part of the Marvel influence. There were changes in the storytelling. Green Arrow's character interacted with the other members. That is why I love the satellite era.

michael chang sue said...

The Marvel influence is my perception of the changes that were taking place in the Justice League of America.

michael chang sue said...

Dennis O'Neil began his storytelling from issue 66 and his characterization of Green Arrow. During his two years, we saw the departure of Wonder Woman, J'onn J'onzz and Snapper Carr, the recruitment of Black Canary and relocation of the headquarters from a cave to an orbiting satellite.

michael chang sue said...

I mentioned that this blog and the Justice League Campanion have renewed my interest in the Justice League of America. I have been expressing the changes that had taken place since Dennis O'Neil took over the storytelling from Gardner Fox. I have be rehashing what have been noted by others.
I also mentioned that I have been buying up trades with reprints of the Justice League of America. I have been rereading them and admiring the printing.
I notice Justice League of America Hereby Elects... (JLoAHE) and JLA: The Greatest Stories Ever Told (JLATGSET) complement one another.
JLoAHE #4 Doom of the Star Diamond
JLATGSET #19 The Super-Exiles of Earth
JLoAHE #75 In Each Man There Is A Demon
JLATGSET #77 Snapper Carr---Super Traitor
JLoAHE #161 The Reverse-Spells of Zatanna's Magic-Cigam
JLATGSET #166-168 The League That Defeated Itself

michael chang sue said...

The Justice League of America Hereby Elects...
The Atom #14 The Menace of the 'Atom' Bomb
Hawkman #31 Riddle of the Runaway Room
Metamorpho #42 Metamorpho Says No
Phantom Stranger #103 A Stranger Walks Among Us
Firestorm #179-180 The Siren Song of the Satin Satan
Sandman Annual #1 If I Should Die Before I Wake...
There is enough material for a volume two. This is another one of my wishes for 2009.

michael chang sue said...

All of the issues from the cave era have been reprinted in color in the nine volumes of the archive editions or in black and white in Showcase Presents.
Some from the satellite era have been reprinted in trades. DC Comics Classic Library: Justice League of America by George Perez is coming in 2009.
None from the Detroit era has been reprinted. JLA: Incarnations 5 November 2001 and JLA: Classified 22-25 Early July-September 2006 featured the Justice League Detroit.

michael chang sue said...

Back to a subject I never get tired about. Female dynamos! Supergirl and my favorite four female Justice Leaguers! Wonder Woman! Black Canary! Hawkgirl! Zatanna!
2009 is the 50th anniversary of Supergirl since her appearance in Action Comics 252 May 1959.
I will like to see a revived JLA: Classified or Adventure Comics featuring the five female dynamos from the satellite era.
I will like to see a conclusion to the last panel in issue 180 of "A Beautiful Evil", Part 2 of "Siren Song of the Satin Satan".

michael chang sue said...

Justice League of America by George Perez Vol. 1 has finally arrived (08/26/2009) reprinting:
#184 Apokolips Now
#185 Darkseid Rising
#186 Who Can Stop the Shaggy Man?
#192 Quest for Genesis
#193 Secret of Genesis
#194 Destiny is a Stacked Deck

michael chang sue said...

http://www.thecomicforums.com/forum2/lofiversion/index.php?t152976.html
Kotus surmises that Justice League of America by George Perez Vol. 2, which will be released on April 13, 2010, should be reprinting:
#195 Targets on Two Worlds
#196 Countdown to Crisis
#197 Crisis in Limbo
#200 A League Divided
Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 5, which will be released on April 13, 2010, should be reprinting:
#159 Crisis from Yesterday
#160 Crisis from Tomorrow
#171 The Murderer Among Us: Crisis Above Earth
#172 I Accuse...
#183 Crisis on New Genesis, or Where Have All the New Gods Gone?
#184 Crisis Between Two Earths, or Apokolips Now
#185 Crisis on Apokolips, or Darkseid Rising

michael chang sue said...

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/77/182333-153631-justice-league-of am_super.jpg
An image of the Justice League of America by George Perez being used on the jackets of the two volumes of Justice League of America by George Perez.

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