Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Justice League of America Index #1 - April 1986

sgBefore we move on to seeing the new, all-new, all-badass Despero kick the JLA's butt, we need to take a moment to talk about another JLA series that started around this time.

Eclipse Comics, via their Independent Comics Group imprint, started producing a whole series of indexes for long-running DC titles, like All-Star Comics, Doom Patrol, Hawkman, and Justice League of America.

As a kid obsessed with every bit of JLA minutiae I could get my hands on, seeing this first issue on the stands was like manna from heaven--as a kid (heck, even now) I think enjoying talking about a comic, a TV show, or a movie almost as much as the thing itself. And as if to ratchet up the excitement even more, its got a George Perez cover! Yes!

While it confused me why DC was outsourcing these books out to another company (and Eclipse, no less), I didn't care. I grabbed this first issue, putting back some other books so I could afford it on my 15-year-old budget.

Unfortunately, the cover turned out to be the most exciting thing about these books--no offense to those who worked on these things, but the text is so dry in that it basically just recites the events of the first 19 issues, nothing more. I bought one or two more of these, then gave up.

In addition to cataloging the first bunch of issues of the book, this first volume gives us a rundown of all of the JLA members, including this:

...so the Phantom Stranger is an official member? At 15, this kind of inconsistency drove me nuts!

There are also some mistakes in the text (Aquaman is still listed as a current member, even though, by this point, Batman had already taken over in #250, which is mentioned here), and many of the covers used are beat-up; couldn't DC even provide some nice clean scans?

Like I said, it was the covers Eclipse put together that remain for me the nicest part of the series, starting with George Perez (though this is piece is credited as 1983, maybe it was intended for something else?), and then moving onto Stan Woch, Joe Staton, Jerry Ordway, and Luke McDonnell:

...I didn't want to catalog each issue of this series, because then I'm indexing an index; and that seemed kinda insane to me. So I thought this was enough before we move onto JLA #251...


russell said...

I've seen a few of these around, but never picked them up. Why? Well, it just didn't seem right that Wonder Woman is on the cover for the Denny O'Neil run when she was totally absent, and what's with Red Tornado taking The Flash's place against Libra? That kind of stuff made me think that the inside was probably wrong, too, so I steered clear.

Butch R said...

I picked up a few of these also, and like Rob, I agree that these are a bit dry. Informative and pre-internet a good source of JLA info. I didn't see them until the later 80's (maybe 87, after I graduated from high school) and looked through it before I bought it. Though, again like Rob, I wondered why DC outsourced it.

Earth 2 Chris said...

I have the first issue, and as you others said, pre-internet, it was pretty cool to have them. I also have a few of the Titans Index issues.

I don't know if it's own the back of this one, but several have an eclipse ad that says "Declare Your Independence!". Declare it by publishing comics about the super heroes of a big, huge comic company that is part of a MASSIVE multi-media conglomerate!


Anonymous said...

The format and layout of these indexes came from the ones Marvel had published during 1985(Eclipse credits Marvel's researcher-author George Olshevsky). The difference is that the Eclipse plot synopses are much shorter(but every bit as dry).

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