Friday, February 29, 2008

Justice League of America #102 - Oct. 1972

sgThe thrilling conclusion the JLA/JSA/Seven Soliders of Victory team-up!

The Story: "And One of Us Must Die!" by Len Wein, Dick Dillin, Joe Giella, and Dick Giordano. Continuing from last issue, the JLAers, JSAers, and assorted guest-stars continue traveling to different time periods to rescue the amnesiac Seven Soldiers of Victory.

Green Arrow, Black Canary, and "The Incomparable Johnny Thunder"(really, that's what it says!) arrive in the old west, where they rescue The Vigilante(the Earth-2 one, not the Earth-1 one who appeared in JLA #78), but not before Arrow and Thunder argue who Black Canary has to go with. Men!

Aquaman, Wildcat, and Green Lantern head to prehistoric time and bust some hominid head as they find the Star-Spangled Kid. Finally, The Flash, Zatanna, and Red Tornado arrive on the isle of Aeaea, and find Speedy, who has been turned into a centaur!

Aeaea was, according to legend, the island of Circe, who of course had magical powers. Luckily Zatanna is there to fight her to a standstill, fix Speedy, and head out.

The heroes--all of 'em--regroup at the JSA's sanctuary, and its panels like this that probably had Dick Dillin staying up late
All the Soldiers have been rescued--but, then, who is the one that died?

Latecomers Green Lantern(of Earth-2), Robin, and Mr.Terrific can answer that, since it was they who traveled to the top of the Himalayas to check out the grave marker shown them all by the Oracle. The dead Solider was...Wing, the Crimson Avenger's sidekick!

As the mass group of heroes start rebuilding the weapon that helped defeat the Nebula Man, they find the Iron Hand is there, attempting to kill Diana Prince. Unluckily for him, this seeming easy prey is of course Wonder Woman, who makes quick work of him.

The heroes demand to know how to stop the giant iron hand that is surrounding the earth("...or I'll take you apart a bone at a time!" Diana threatens), but IH tells them it can't be stopped.

But with the help of the Soldiers, they rebuild the Nebula Rod that will do the trick. Unfortunately, the resulting explosion from using it would kill whoever set it off. As the heroes argue who will do the job, Red Tornado sneaks off with the rod into space(I ask again--how does Red Tornado's powers work in airless space?), sets it off, destroys the hand, but dies in the process.

The issue ends with the ghostly images of Red Tornado and Wing, smiling down upon our mourning heroes.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: Red Tornado's "death" is fairly abrupt, but I assume that writer Wein had always planned to bring him back in just a few issues so he didn't have to worry about giving him a huge send-off.

I love the look on Batman and Wonder Woman's faces on the cover(again by Nick Cardy), as Superman makes his pronouncement. "Red Tornado?" Diana asks. Batman, thinking back to an earlier sub-plot, quietly suggests "Green Arrow."

Wing remains one of the rarest of superheroes--one that, as far as I know, has never come back from the dead.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Justice League of America #101 - Sept. 1972

sgPart 2 of the JLA/JSA/Seven Soliders of Victory team-up!

The Story: "The Hand That Shook the World!" by Len Wein, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. Continuing from last issue, the JLAers, JSAers, and assorted guest-stars continue traveling to different time periods to rescue the amnesiac Seven Soldiers of Victory.

Superman, Sandman, and Metamorpho take on Genghis Khan, where they meet up with The Shining Knight. Hawkman, Wonder Woman, and Dr.Mid-Nite arrive in Ye Olde England, where they meet Robin Hood(!)--or actually the man everyone thinks is Robin Hood, though we know him as Green Arrow!

There's a great moment during this sequence where the heroes have to make their way into Nottingham Castle. As the drawbridge is lowered and the King's minions attack, Hawkman grabs a staff and saves everybody a lot of time
"Two hits--me hitting you, you hitting the floor."--Carter Hall.

Batman, Starman, and Hourman head to Ancient Egypt to rescue Stripsey, where none of the Egyptians seem to be unnerved by a giant redheaded white guy wearing a red-and-white-striped shirt.

Meanwhile, back at the Secret Sanctuary, Diana Prince is holding down the fort. Unbeknownst to her,the Iron Hand is there as well! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: This is the first three-part JLA/JSA team-up, and as if this story didn't feature enough characters, Wein starts working in historical figures, as well. I wonder what Dick Dillin thought when he started getting scripts from this new JLA writer?

Even though it's a relative tiny mistake, Starman having all-red arms on the cover(again by Nick Cardy) to me looks really, really odd, like he has jammies on or something.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Justice League of America #100 - Aug. 1972

sgWelcome to the 100th issue anniversary of the Justice League!

The Story: "The Unknown Soldier of Victory!" by Len Wein, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. This issue opens with members of the Justice League--Aquaman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Hawkman--rummaging though their old Secret Sanctuary headquarters in preparation for their 100th meeting!

(Since some of the stories in the previous 99 issues were two or three-parters, this isn't the 100th case exactly; so there must be other JLA adventures we haven't seen. I guess that's what JLA: Classified is for)

Anyway, various stars of the DCU are also attentding the celebration, like Metamorpho, Zatanna, Diana Prince, and the Elongated Man
Nice of Len Wein to remember to include the Martian Manhunter, even if he couldn't attend(by the way--just what is Ralph doing to those crooks?). Another non-attendee is Snapper "Loser" Carr, who can't bring himself to show up, even though the JLA graciously invited him.

Anyway, just as the JLA is about to cut the cake, they are suddenly transported to Earth-2! Here the JSA--Starman, Dr.Fate, Wonder Woman, Hourman, Wildcat, Sandman, Red Tornado, Dr.Mid-Nite, and Johnny Thunder--tell them of a menace called The Iron Hand is threatening Earth-2. He has told the JSA they have 28 hours to turn over control of the planet to him--or he will destroy it!

Dr.Fate, looking for help from his mystic crystal, is shown a mysterious grave, inscribed with "Here in Honored Glory Rests an Unknown Soldier of Victory Who Died That His World Might Live." Unfortunately, no one knows what that means, so he asks for help from Zatanna and the Thunderbolt to consult a magical entity called The Oracle, who Fate believes will help them defeat the Iron Hand.

The consult the Oracle(who looks a bit like Mordru), and he tells them the story of how a similar foe, called the Nebula-Man, was fought a team of heroes called The Seven Soldiers of Victory, one of whom died in the battle while using a new weapon that defeated the Nebula Man.

Unfortunately, no one in the JLA or JSA remembers the SSOV, and that's because, as the Oracle explains...they no longer least in this time. The two teams split into smaller teams, to find the SSOV, dispersed throughout the mists of time.

Dr.Fate, The Atom, and Elongated Man arrive in Mexico during the reign of the Aztecs, where they find one of the Soliders, the Crimson Avenger, who is King of the Aztecs! There's a short battle, since the Avenger now suddenly has mystical powers, and he thinks our heroes are a threat. Fate figures out his powers are coming from a glowing rock, which he destroys.

That wakes the Avengers up, and he returns home with the heroes. Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of the Iron Hand, who predicts he will hold dominion over all! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: As you can see from my endless description, new writer Len Wein crams a lot of plot into a normal-sized issue, to say nothing of working with the JLA, the JSA, and guest-stars!

As much as I admired Mike Friedrich's run on the book, I thought this was the beginning of a really good era for the JLA. Wein's stories were fun, full of adventure, and steeped in the history of the DCU. Classic, solid super-hero comics.

This issue features the second of many covers by Nick Cardy, Aquaman artist extraordinaire and DC's go-to guy for covers at the time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"The Case of the Marvelous Membership Mash-Up"

Wow--you guys are awesome!

I've had a lot of fun with this blog, and seeing the enthusiasm the original JLA still generates in people is a real joy to see. I had no idea what kind of response I'd get to the New Frontier contest, but I'm happy to say I got nothing but well thought-out suggestions, so let's get right to 'em!:

sgAdama, he of the Green Arrow blog
Dispatches From The Arrowcave, suggested Captain Comet: "Yes, I would love to have seen Captain Comet in the Justice League. I think he would have brought a space adventure/cosmic fun aspect to the League. I mean sure, the League went out into space, but were any of them actually an authority on galactic politics? I think not!"

My friend Richard, aka RAB of the Estoreal blog, sent me a long piece, first considering some other characters, like Ultra, Sargon, Supergirl, and Robotman, before stating why they should be eliminated. (He cleverly points out that Steve Englehart's "secret origin" issue of JLA, #144, is, in many ways, a thematic ancestor to New Frontier) He, too, settles on the good captain, saying "Clearly the best choice is...Captain Comet.

Gerry Conway retconned the Captain as having been away in space for twenty years in Secret Society of Super-Villains, of course, and he went on to interact with the JLA in other books but never actually joined forces with the entire team in the pages of their own comic. He's been revived a couple of times since then, but he was never better than when he briefly skirted greatness with the JLA."

My pal and frequent contributor to the Rob Kelly Family of Blogs, Vince Bartilucci, sent in an exhaustively detailed piece--almost an essay--that takes in every conceivable angle in an attempt to answer this question. He considers characters' histories, how they would fit within the JLA framework, and even how they would look as rendered by Dick Dillin!

He, too, considers Captain Comet, as well as members of the Teen Titans, Captain Marvel, Mera(trying to bribe the judge will not work, Vince!), the Human Target, Batgirl, the Creeper, before blowing my mind with his ultimate pick...Shade, the Changing Man!

Shade, the Changing Man?? Yes, says Vince: "Shade's feature distorting force field (courtesy of his M-Vest) is a great power not exhibited by any other Justice Leaguer. And he doesn't require any special environment or conditions to shine. When the story focuses on another Leaguer he can still contribute.

Shade’s 'fugitive from another dimension' origin can supply the raw material for both little character bits and full-blown adventures. He might even keep his fugitive status a secret from his fellow Leaguers. What happens when his people come for him? How do his JLA comrades react to the news that he's a wanted man in some other dimension? Conflict, anyone?

Visually, Shade's powers are dynamite. I'm sure Dillin would have done a great job of depicting the Changing Man’s fearsome visage--there would be no mistaking Rac for any other Leaguer in a crowded fight scene. You think Batman is scary, huh? Check out this freak! And his standard 'unchanged' costume is both super-heroey and distinct at the same time.

Finally, Shade, The Changing Man was created by Steve Ditko. Pedigree must count for something!"

Wow, Vince--now that's thinking outside the box.

sgNew commenter Butch had an equally unique suggestion: Vartox! Says Butch: "Imagine facing a group with Superman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and Vartox.

Vartox would also allow for any existing members of the League to be phased out or de-emphasized as the writer would want (so if Superman is busy in his monthly book, here's Vartox to pick up the slack). I think Vartox would be great friends with J'onn and I could see Vartox and the other members with the JLA who have experience with aliens/alien culture (Hawkman, Hal Jordan) getting along well. And while I don't know where exactly he would fit in the argument, imagine him taking Green Arrow's side in his arguments with Hawkman.

sgFrequent Hey Kids! contributor George Rears makes a case for Plastic Man, even alongside The Elongated Man: First of all, it would have generated exposure to the character, and established him as an Earth-1 fixture (which the company wavered on throughout the 70s). It would also have helped lighten the load during the thematically heavy Denny O'Neil run.

Later on, the creative team turned Elongated Man into Plastic Man when he joined the League anyway: using him for laughs--and only using him as a detective when Batman was on another mission. Having Plastic Man in the League would have allowed the Elongated Man to stay true to himself--an excellent supporting character who was capable of carrying his own feature due to his own unique quirkiness as a married, publicly known adventurer.

sgLuke, of the comic blog
El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker, had a more recent and unusual suggestion: "A hero who should have been inducted into the hallowed halls of the Justice League but hasn't is none other than the legendary hero Skyrocket!


Skyrocket's real name is Celia Forrestal, and she was a Navy pilot who's skills were unmatched. When it became clear that she was never going to gain advancement in the service, she (with the help of a battlesuit-harness developed by her parents) became a superhero, using the Argo Harness's ability to absorb and redirect any form of energy to battle evil.

Now, why does Skyrocket deserve to be in the Justice League? First off, her background in the Armed Forces means that she knows how to work in a team environment, but he skills as a pilot means that she excels as an individual as well.

Her powers make her a formidable foe as well. The Argo Harness, in addition to granting her the power of flight, also can absorb just about any type of energy thrown at it--a useful defensive power. Once absorbed, Skyrocket can redirect the energy as an attack, or absorb it to restore the Harness's power cells.

But that is not the only reason why I think she would make a great addition to the team. The Justice League started out primarily as a Boy's Club--you had Wonder Woman, true, but that was it. Later, there were a smattering of other female members, or members of color, such as Black Canary, or Doctor Light, but as a whole, diversity has not historically been one of the League's strong suits. Skyrocket, besides representing a powerful ally for her fellow Leaguers, also would represent the notions of inclusion and diversity for the greatest collection of heroes the universe has ever known. And at the same time, she's not a character who was created to be representative of the race--she's not a token character in any sense."

All of these are great suggestions, and all of them are great examples of how much the DC Universe means to people, even as we go from young enthusiastic readers to aging, crabby fanboys. All the entries were well thought out, and in a lot of ways all of them are justifiable.

After weighing the options, I'm going to go with the choice that, at first read, seemed the most ridiculous: Shade the Changing Man.

At the time, Shade was an irredeemably weird character, but his later addition to the DCU proper showed that, under other writers, he fit in with other heroes just fine. His uniform and powers would've been a great contrast to the rest of the JLA, and at the time of his creation--1977--the JLA was starting to evolve, and would soon start to add younger(either in chronological age or in publishing debut) members like Zatanna and Firestorm.

It was a tough call, since all the submissions make sense in their own way. But the more I thought about Vince's suggestion of Shade, the more I couldn't get it out of my head, and the more I wanted to actually have seen it happen in the book. So congratulations, Vince! Send me your address and the WB will be shipping you a copy of Justice League: The New Frontier.

I hope everybody had fun coming up with their ideas, and enjoyed the contest--thanks for all your effort and being a reader of the blog! (And for my money, I would've loved to have seen a Justice League with Captain Comet and Plastic Man!)

Before we go, I think now is the best time to let the inimitable Fred Hembeck weigh in on the issue, which he did in his own unique way back in 1979 in the first issue of his series Fantaco series Hembeck:
sg one did suggest Brother Power!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Justice League of America #99 - June 1972

sgA nifty Day of the Triffids-esque cover by Nick Cardy!

The Story: "Seeds of Destruction!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. An alien named Ker Sed arrives on Earth and tells them that he and his father are here to help restore the ecological balance that earthlings have so carelessly destroyed.

Problem is, the two aliens planets they have brought with them seem pretty malevolent, as they attack both Green Lantern and Black Canary for just getting near them. The Flash and the Atom arrive to help, but they are helpless against these powerful alien lifeforms!

Meanwhile, Aquaman is facing a strange ecological phenomenon under the sea, and contacts the JLA to help investigate. They all arrive there together, to share individual stories of what's been happening around the globe. Batman figures out a plan, and they use their super-powers to go on a mass seed planting operation.

Everyone figures out this has all been a big misunderstanding--the aliens are trying to help, but didn't bother to check with the citizens of the Earth first, and the JLA came in swinging first, asking questions on page nineteen. The aliens decide to return home, with the JLA saying Earth will take care of itself...or will it?

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: It is mentioned that, between issues 98 and 99, Sargon was granted honorary membership in the JLA for his help against Starbreaker. I could make a joke about how much a step up the list of JLA Honorary Members took, going from Snapper Carr to Sargon the Sorcerer, but why kick a man when he's down?

This issue also comes with a Sandman reprint from Adventure Comics #51, and a solo Golden Age Atom tale from Flash Comics #98.

This was Mike Friedrich's last issue as JLA writer; for the most part I'd say his run was pretty successful--and I'm of course personally glad he brought Aquaman back into the book so forcefully, after his total absence from Denny O'Neil's run on the book.

This was also the last of the giant-sized DC issues. After this DC's books would go back to being 20 cents, long after Marvel had done so. During this time the relative upstart Marvel took the lead in sales from the legendary DC, a position they would hold for approximately the next decade and a half.

Tomorrow @ midnight is the deadline for our JLA Membership/New Frontier Contest. But if you have a candidate in mind and just need more time, please just let me know! Thanks!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Justice League of America #98 - May 1972

sgOne of my favorite Neal Adams' covers--spooky and weird.

The Story: "No More Tomorrows!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. Sargon the Sorcerer shows up in the JLA Satellite, and informs them(after he holds off an attack by them, classic Marvel misunderstanding style) that the Starbreaker can defeat any physical attack by them, they need the assistance of magic!

He says they need two other magical talismans to go along with his Ruby of Life, and dispatches the JLA to retrieve them. Aquaman and Black Canary are sent to Sierra Verde, where they obtain the mystic ruby--but only due to the use of their very specific powers. Almost as if Sargon knew...

The same thing happens with Batman and Hawkman, and they all reconnoiter at the satellite, where Sargon enlists them all in a seance. He tells them "Within these mystic gems surgers the only force mankind can use to overcome its death-fears--love-power!"
And this guy's a master sorcerer?

Anyway, he links up the power from GL's ring, the Hawks' futuristic weaponry, and the "myriad of alien power-banks " in Superman's Fortress of Solitude, featuring cameos by Hawkgirl and Supergirl. Hawkgirl is ok, but who the heck drew that Supergirl panel?:

Anyway, the JLA, with the addition of these magical energies, defeat Starbreaker(with the specific help of the Atom) and bring him back to the satellite. It's here that Sargon strips the cosmic vampire of all his destructive power, and the Guardians of Oa take possession of the unconscious Starbreaker.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: This was a real Sargon-centric(and when has that phrase ever been used before?) issue--not only does he guest-star and basically save the JLA's bacon, but this issue reprints a solo Sargon story from Sensation Comics #70. There's also a Starman story from Adventure Comics.

I'm not sure how Thanagarian futuristic weaponry helps with magic, but I supposed Sargon knows his business.

sgShameless Plug Department: Frequent commenter and regular contributor to the Rob Kelly Family of Blogs Vincent Bartilucci has a great story about this very issue of JLA over at
Hey Kids! Comics!, go check it out!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Justice League of America #97 - March 1972

sgHey, who's that on the bottom right of the cover?

The Story: "The Day The Earth Screams!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. Starbreaker arrives on Earth, and Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern go after him, to no avail.

Starbreaker then uses his powers to start dragging the entire Earth towards the sun, to steal its energy for himself. Meanwhile, t
he JLA licks its wounds back at the satellite, despairing that they can't beat the Starbreaker("We led with our aces..and were trumped!" Batman mutters, uncharacteristically).

Hawkman is disgusted at all this negative talk, and attempts to rally the troops by telling them they need to "examine our origin, the spirit that first united the Justice League." The JLA then decides to go their library to watch a tape telling the story of how the JLA came together
Sure, I could see why that would...wait--what?!?

We then enter a weird section of the book, where new origin story material drawn by Dillin and Giella is mixed with a reprint from JLA #9, with art by Sekowsky and Sachs, of course.

It does the trick, and the JLA is reinspired not to give up, with Batman saying he's come up with a possible solution to defeat Starbreaker. But just then someone unexpected arrives--Sargon the Sorcerer! To be continued!

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

Notable Moments: The cover is supposedly by Neal Adams and Murphy Anderson, though I don't see much Adams there.

I can only assume that Dick Dillin needed a small break from the massive amount of pages DC was demanding from him every month, so they had to shoehorn this reprint in the book. Friedrich tries his best to make it as unobtrusive as possible, but it reads really odd, to have a bad guy dragging all of Earth towards the sun, and the JLA decides to take in a movie--about themselves.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Justice League of America #96 - Feb. 1972

sgThe JLA versus the Cosmic Vampire!

The Story: "The Coming of Starbreaker!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. Superman arrives at alien planet, as missing JLAers Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman are getting attacked by giant insects. It's always something...

Turns out these insects are robots, which frees Superman to use lethal force on them, wrapping up the fight by page six. GL then explains that the beam transporting them to JLA HQ was intercepted by the Zeta Beam, where they found the planet Rann under attack by a a baddie named Starbreaker!

Turns out Starbreaker uses these robot insects to move these planets into the sun(!) releasing their energy, which he collects and uses to make him more powerful, hence the "cosmic vampire" moniker.

The Starbreaker has split himself into multiple beings, and the JLAers split up. Green Lantern and Flash defeat their Starbreaker, and Superman and Hawkman do the same for theirs. They all meet up on Rann, where Adam Strange is their to meet them.

Then the Zeta Beam wears off, transporting Flash, GL, and Hawkman home. Strangely, though, the Starbreakers disappear too! We follow them "home", as well, where the original Starbreaker dissolves his duplicates, and swears revenge on the Justice League...and on Earth!

Roll Call: Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman

Notable Moments: This issue also features two Golden Age tales, an Hourman one from Adventure Comics #48, and a Wildcat one from Sensation Comics #84, drawn by Bernie Krigstein! Wow!

I like Starbreaker as a villian--he's a classic, mustache-twirling bad guy, and after so many issues of the JLA facing more social, earth-bound threats, it's nice to see them doing what they do best--beating up bad guys bent on world domination.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Justice League of America #95 - Dec. 1971

sgGuest-starring...Jimi Hendrix, apparently.

The Story: "The Private War of Johnny Dune!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. On the JLA Satellite, Black Canary explains that as Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman teleported in, they were suddenly whisked away without a trace!

We then cut to the story of Johnny Dune, a Vietnam vet who has just returned home, but found it frustrating to readjust into civilian life. He finds solace in music, but that quickly turns to anger when he learns that his bid to become mayor--to help people--is being trashed in the proverbial smoke-filled room.

Green Arrow and the Atom, attending the concert(in costume yet), find themselves the focus of all that anger, and the concert crowd turns into a mob and attacks them. While the JLA gets a distress signal from Green Lantern, they also get one from Arrow and Atom. Aquaman takes charge(!) and splits them up into two teams.

Batman and Black Canary arrive the concert, only to have Green Arrow and the Atom attack them, under the mysterious influence of Johnny Dune. He then ties them all up and leads a victory march through the streets.

The heroes find a way to fight off Dune's influence, and the mob grows even more unruly, so much so that even Dune realizes its gotten out of hand(he's just realizing that now?). He orders the mob to attack him, to quell their anger, and they d,o, nearly killing him.

The JLAers take him to the hospital, where he recovers. Turns out Johnny Dune was a bona-fide mutant, who had the ability to control people through his words. He realizes the error of his ways, and resolves to work harder for change, but realizing isn't going to happen overnight.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: This issue ends with picking up the other story thread, as we follow Superman chasing after Green Lantern's distress signal.

This issue also features two Golden Age tales, a Dr.Mid-Nite one from All-American Comics #25, and a Dr.Fate one from More Fun Comics #67.

The letters page features missives from a Bob Rozakis and a Mark Gruenwald!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Justice League: The New Frontier DVD - 2008

sg*We interrupt our regularly scheduled JLA blog to bring you this commercial announcement*

Ok, as anyone who bothers to read this blog knows, the animated adaptation of Darwyn Cooke's superb DC: The New Frontier mini-series hits DVD shelves on Tuesday the 26th.

Even though the series is one long tribute to the classic Silver Age-era of DC Comics, I didn't think to talk about it here since it fell outside of what I set out this blog to be about.

But! Just the other day, I was contacted by a marketing arm of Warner Bros., maker of the DVD, asking me if I was interested in talking about the DVD on the blog, in exchange for two free copies of the movie--one for myself, and one for a JLA Satellite reader that I could give away in some sort of contest. How long do you think it took me to answer?

So that's what we're gonna do! Cooke's series was such a love letter to the DCU--and the original JLA specifically(notice how the DVD has been rechristened Justice League: The New Frontier)--that this contest will give all you JLA fans a chance to win the New Frontier DVD, courtesy of Warner Bros. and the JLA Satellite!

I think if there's one thing all JLA fans have opinions on, it's who exactly should have been in the JLA. The book's letter pages--from the beginning until practically the final issue--always had at least one or two letters from some irate fan demanding to know "How could you not have fill-in name of favorite hero in the JLA?"
So to win a copy of the DVD, all you have to do is send in your choice as to what hero should have walked the hallowed halls of the Secret Sanctuary and/or the JLA Satellite, but never did. But you must show your work!

That means you have to explain why your choice is clearly, without a shadow-thief of a doubt, the best choice. For those of you who are writers, doing so in text is of course the way to go. Those of you out there who are more artistically inclined, feel free to whip up a "JLA Hereby Enrolls ______________" pin-up of said character if you get so inspired. Email me your entries
here, or leave a comment.

The contest ends in one week, on Tuesday the 26th--though I may extend that if I get a lot of submissions. Requests for more time will be considered, unless your choice is something stupid, like "Snapper Carr, but with super powers." The judges decision is final, and the best(or maybe all) suggestions will get posted here so everyone can get a chance to see what everybody else thought.

Have fun everybody, thanks for reading and loving the JLA like I do, and be sure to buy the DVD next Tuesday!

*End commercial announcement*

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Justice League of America #94 - Nov. 1971

sgGuest-starring Deadman!

The Story: "Where Strikes Demonfang?" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. As we left them at the end of issue #92, we see Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Batman in the crosshairs of an assassin's rifle!

Luckily for them, the sun reflects off the rifle, alerting the three JLAers to his presence, and they are able to get out of the way in time and apprehend theri would-be assassin. They try to find out who sent him and why, but he won't answer.

We cut to the mysterious League of Assassins, where we see the master archer Merlyn being given to succeed where the previous attempt failed. While Merlyn is tracking Green Arrow--the seeming target--he comes across Superman and the Atom, and manages to subdue them(!) with his his trick arrows(!!).

Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Batman then discover the first assassin has been murdered--by this Merlyn character. The three of them start to track Merlyn, and find their way to a creepy haunted house-type place. They spring some sort of alarm, and various death-traps are sprung, trapping Green Arrow!

Meanwhile, Batman wants to know who Aquaman "really" is--because earlier he off-handedly mentioned Nanda Parbat, a location only two people in the outside world know about! Turns out that Aquaman has been taken over by Deadman, who needed to contact the Justice League when he discovered the League of Assassin's plan to bump off Green Arrow.

Superman and the Atom show up, help free Green Arrow, and fight Merlyn, who manages to escape. Deadman informs Bats that Ra's Al Ghul is gunning for Batman, as well, where it is suggested this story will continue in Batman and Detective Comics.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Atom, Black Canary

Notable Moments: This issue features four pages of art by Neal Adams--which makes sense, given Deadman's guest-spot, but they fall on pages 1, 5, 20, and 22--huh? Did someone at the DC offices spill coffee on Dillin's originals and they called Neal in at the last minute?

In any case, Neal wanted to knock the reader's socks off right off the bat, so we're treated to this superb portrait splash page:
And this page, also by Neal, features two of the three DC characters I'd argue Neal is most known for, Batman and Deadman, with his superb Aquaman thrown in:
This is also features two Golden Age reprints, the first appearances of The Sandman(from Adventure Comics #40) and Starman (Adventure Comics #61).

This issue is cover-dated November 1971, which means it was on sale in August, 1971--the month I was born. Hmm...I just happened to be born the month my eventual all-time favorite comic features an uber-rare Aquaman-centric cover? Coincidence...or destiny?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Justice League of America #93 - Nov. 1971

sgThe return of the (sort of) 80 Page Giant!

The Stories: "Riddle of the Robot Justice League" (JLA #13) and "Journey Into The Micro-World" (JLA #18) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs, with an all-new cover by Dick Giordano.

Roll Call
: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Atom

Notable Moments: The last time DC would issue an all-reprint issue of JLA, released the same month as a regular one. The cover format this time is a little ungainly, and what's with that ancient Wonder Woman head-shot?

The letter page features a missive from a young man named Bob Rozakis.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Justice League of America #92 - Sept. 1971

sgIt looks pretty bad for the JLA and the JSA here!

The Story: "Solomon Grundy--The One and Only" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. When last we left the, Solmon Grundy was about to break Green Lantern' back, and using Superman's invulnerable body to do it!

Luckily Supes wakes up, boxes Grundy's ears, which of course makes everyone's favorite Cajun Zombie even madder. A-Rym--absolutely terrified over the continuing separation from his pet, Teppy--somehow feels that "the Green one" can unite them, so he attacks Grundy!

The two teams try to subdue Grundy, but he fights them off(wow, when did Grundy get this powerful?), and A-Rym runs off.

Meanwhile, the two Robins are comparing notes back at the Earth-2 Batcave, and the elder Robin gives the younger a new costume, since his was torn up fighting A-Rym:
So Neal Adams is in the DCU? Shouldn't he have gotten a listing in Who's Who?

Meanwhile, Black Canary is back at the JLA satellite, tending to the wounded and still unconscious Flash. Some of the other heroes reconnect there, as well.

Also meanwhile, the heroes find a way to trap Teppy, harmlessly, until they can figure out what to do. They receive a signal from the Robins who have found A-Rym, and the two Hawkmen head there, with the Lanterns off to stop a now loose, rambling, and very angry Solomon Grundy.

The Earth-1 Robin, after a brief fight, sees that A-Rym is near death, and not a real threat. They round up Teppy and put them together, and they see that instantly both of them revive and are no longer any problem! The spaceship featuring the other two joyriding aliens come by, pick up their friends, and take off. Just another day for the Justice League of America!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: The issue ends with a teaser for the next, where we see Batman, Aquaman, and Green Arrow in the crosshairs of an armed assassin!

This issue also features a solo Flash story, the appropriate "The One-Man Justice League" by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino, and Joe Giella, and "Space-Enemy Number One", by John Broome and Infantino, from Mystery in Space #29.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Justice League of America #92 Ad - Sept. 1971

Not one of DC's best ads, I'd say. All that empty space and you tuck the killer Neal Adams cover way in that tiny little spot?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Justice League of America #91 - Aug. 1971

sgI'm going to go out on a limb here, and say I don't think Batman is telling the truth.

The Story: "Earth--The Monster-Maker!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. As was shown at the end of last issue, Batman shows up in the JLA satellite with a, near-dead Flash in his arms!

We then cut to a spaceship hurtling through space. Inside it are some gentle-looking beings, panicking because a third of their party, A-Rym, and his pet, Teppy, have been sucked through the hold out into airless space. Before they can be rescued, they disappear into separate dimensions!

We follow each of them to where they landed, and they experience severe mental and emotional distress at being separated. So much so they cause destruction wherever they go!

A-Rym has appeared on Earth-2, and the JSA attempts to apprehend him, and Hawkman dispenses in a little condescension towards former teen hero Robin:
Maybe it's the costume?

Anyway, meanwhile on Earth-1, the JLA is investigating an emergency call, and on the way they spot their Robin doing the same thing! Once again, it's Hawkman that belittles the Teen Wonder: "Well, as long as Batman isn't here, you might help out a little.."

Green Lantern's power ring receives a distress call from Earth-2, and the two teams compare notes, breaking into smaller teams to investigate. One team--consisting of both Robins, both Hawkman, and the E-1 Green Lantern, find A-Rym, sitting on a log sobbing. They try to communicate, but the E-1 Robin gets too close and A-Rym, feeling threatened, attacks!

Meanwhile, the same thing happens with Teppy, but with different results--they find a way to trap Teppy, harmlessly, until they can figure out what to do.

We go back to A-Rym, who is met in the swamp by a new friend...Solomon Grundy! A-Rym immediately accepts Gruny as his new "pet"--of course, this pet goes nuts when the JLA and JSA show up, and the issue ends just as it looks as though Green Lantern is about to be smashed by Grundy, using an unconscious Superman as the weapon! To be continued!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Atom, Hawkman

Notable Moments:
I love Dick Dillin's work; always have, but during the sequence with Grundy, he can't quite seem to get a grip on just how big Grundy is. Sometime's he's Hulk-sized, other times he's as big as King Kong.

This is the first issue of JLA representing DC and Marvel's escalating price wars, where each company increased the page counts and cover price to match. This issue also features a Knights of the Galaxy story, "The Day The World Melted", by Robert Kanigher, Carmine Infantino, and Joe Giella, plus an Hourman tale, "The Hour Hourman Died" by Gardner Fox, Dillin, and Sid Greene.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Justice League of America #90 - June 1971

sgOh, if it's an undersea story, you can bet Aquaman's gonna shop up! This cover is by Infantino and Anderson, giving Neal Adams the month off(I guess he only had to draw thirty-seven DC covers this month).

The Story: "Plague of the Pale People!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. A woman, almost unconcious muttering in Atlantean, is found on the beach by Batman(looking a bit out of place). He calls in the JLA.

We cut to a city beneath the sea, called Sareme, the domain of the Pale People, who are mighty sick of the all the poison and trash dumped into their water by the Surface World. Once their way of life is threatened, they resolve to attack Atlantis. They actually kill a few Atlanteans in a sneak attack!

Their leader confronts Aquaman, who demands he surrender. Aquaman does, to stall for time while he figures out how to defeat the Pale People and the gas weapons(!) they have built from all the pollution dumped by humans.

The JLA gets involved, and the Pale People attack, but of course the JLA defeats them. They congratulate themselves on a Job Well Done, but Aquaman disabuses them of that notion
Aquaman performs the grim service of burying the lost Atlanteans, and the JLA help the Pale People restore the life-giving "Proof Rock" that helps feed them that was seemingly destroyed by all the pollution.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Atom, Hawkman

Notable Moments: The Pale People, it is noted, first appeared way back in The Flash #109.

Even though Aquaman is a little harsh to his fellow JLAers, I like that his particular POV is highlighted here.

The issue ends with an epilogue, which is a teaser for the next issue, where Batman beams aboard the satellite carrying...a seemingly-dead Flash! To be continued!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Justice League of America #89 - May 1971

sgBut what if I wanna be Aquaman?

The Story: "The Most Dangerous Dreams of All!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. Aquaman is chairman of the monthly JLA meeting, where he suggests there should be more water-based adventures.

No, I'm kidding--actually, after the meeting, where they note the absence of Arrow and Canary, the JLA transports down to Earth. It's here that writer Mike Friedrich appears(!) telling us of the story we're about to read...

Black Canary is hit on by the smooth talking Hollywood writer Harlequin Ellis, and as they have a cup of coffee, Green Arrow shows up and threatens to put a boxing glove arrow where the sun don't shine. Ellis laughs this off and splits, telling Canary where she can meet him if she "wants to dump this crude bozo."

We follow Ellis back to his office(though it looks like a house, it has his secretary and some other guy, so I'm not sure), and we find that Ellis' feelings for Dinah are so deep, that the very barrier between the real and the unreal begins to break down!

Here we start bopping around the time stream, with the various JLAers appearing all over the place, fighting a giant cyclops, Aquaman dying(!), and Superman blaming himself. What the holy heck is going on here??

Superman then turns into Ellis, and Arrow and Canary find themselves transported back to the coffee shop where they were last. Ellis heads back out, Batman fights a Minotaur, then Batman turns out to be Ellis as well, Black Canary then finds Ellis, they go to a concert together, and Canary lets him down easy.

Mike Friedrich reappears at the end of the book to explain what we just read:
Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: This issue can be read along with Pink Floyd's The Wall.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Justice League of America #88 - March 1971

sgOne of my favorite JLA covers by Neal Adams--I especially like the color contrast between the heroes and the regular people. Plus we have Mera!

The Story: "The Last Survivors of Earth!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. A spaceship heads towards Earth filled with people who call guessed it, the last survivors of earth!

We cut to Carter and Shayera Hall, and Hal Jordan on some sort of expedition. Shayera discovers a mysterious stone tablet, and she tries to decipher it, a bolt of energy comes from the sky and knocks her out!

Hal signals the JLA, and, for once, all of the members(plus Mera) show up. Aquaman explains weird things like this have been reported all over the world, all of them having to do with the legends of a pacific continent that sank beneath the waves. The JLA splits up to investigate, but soon after GL is felled by the same mysterious energy that knocked out Shierra!

Meanwhile, Green Arrow is noticing that Batman and Black Canary seem oddly distracted, and he doesn't like it! He tries to pull Dinah off with him, but she blows him off and has a talk with Batman. This where they discuss "the kiss" (JLA #84), and Black Canary says Bats is...ugh..."like a brother" to her. Batman sucks it up, and walks off, but the caption informs us "The seed of bitterness is planted in the Batman this day!" So we have Dinah to thank for all the grim n' gritty Batman stories to date.

It turns out in the three spots around the world, it is "ordinary" citizens that inadvertantly eliminate the problem by destroying the three tokens left there by the beings in the spaceship--a medallion, a stone tablet, and...well, I'm not exactly sure what happens at the end here. The ship tries to grab an ordinary beach bum, he somehow throws a wrench into the ship's controls...I dunno, I read it like three times and I couldn't quite figure out what happened!

All I know is, each of the JLA thinks the others eliminated the threat, until they compare notes and admit they don't know what happened, either! Aquaman says they'll write this case up as...unexplained!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments: Mera doesn't really play any part in this story...she shows up at the beginning and at the very end. Still nice to see her.

This story feels like a companion piece to JLA #57's "Man...Thy Name is Brother!" in that it contrasts the superheroic goings-on with the just-as-important action taken by regular humans, and ones of diverse ethnicities at that.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Justice League of America #87 - Feb. 1971

sgAnother knockout cover by Neal Adams---he was on a real roll here. How could you not plunk down the fifteen cents it took to get this? (I love how evil Batman took the time out to paint a bat on the back of his chair)

The Story: "Batman--King of the World!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. We open with an unconcious Batman and a wounded Hawkman saying to an unseen enemy that he will never give up! He gets blasted by someone, but not before he hits his JLA transmitter.

We then see the bad guy is some giant robot, who awaits the other JLA members to destroy them! Uh-oh!

We cut to Superman en route to the JLA satellite, where the fishnet-bedeckd Zatanna is surprisingly waiting for him! As Superman talks with her, he finds himself strangely...calm: "Just by being near her, I feel so ease..." And Lois is always worried about Lana!

Anyway, this is when Superman receives Hawkman's signal, and the JLA(plus Zatanna) arrive at the source, only to find this robot, alongside a seemingly-fine Batman and Hawkman! Batman tells some story about Carter Hall finding the robot underground(I always just found bottlecaps) but Superman senses that Batman's heart rate is way above normal. Hmm...

Bats tells the JLA they can split, but the refuse, and then Batman wigs out and orders the robot to kill the JLA!

The robot has many powers and defenses, and manages to take out Superman, Flash, Atom, Green Lantern, and Zatanna! He then offers them up to King Batman, who has gone completely bonkers, wearing a crown and carrying a scepter. While Batman cackles madly, the robot walks off taking about transmitting information to..."The Corporation"!

Turns out, though, Green Lantern and Atom were playing possum, deciding to try and find out who built this thing. He transports the Atom across the galaxy(!) to the world where it came from. He then sends for the the rest of the JLA(Superman and Hawkman taking Batman off to come down off his high), and they find a ravaged world, filled by three strangely familiar superhero-types: Jack B.Quick, Blue Jay, Silver Sorceress, and Wandjina.

We learn that the Corporation on another planet was in dire competition with another evil-type group, so much so that it led to atomic war! The robots were built to help collect raw materials from other worlds, and it was left to these four heroes to fight it off! When they come across the JLA, they of course assume they are bad guys, just like they would in a Marvel comic. Hmm, again...

When they do, we're met with a little fanciful note from the editors, explaining how we can understand these guys' language:

The battle is standstill, until a stray piece of debris hits Blue Jay, nearly killing him. This prompts Zatanna to stop fighting and save him, which makes the other three realize these strangely-dressed people maybe aren't so bad. They stop fighting, and take off to continue the war with the Corporation.

But the JLA stays behind, and thanks Zatanna for saving them.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Atom, Hawkman

Notable Moments:
Why Zatanna wasn't inducted to the JLA after this issue is a total mystery to me--the story almost revolves around her, and even Green Lantern asks(after showing up midway through, having been away on the Hard Traveling Heroes thing) if the reason Zatanna is there is because she is now a member.

Obviously, this was part of that unofficial JLA/Avengers crossover going on in both books at the time, with the Avengers meeting the Squadron Supreme and he were have versions of Thor, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Yellowjacket.

These heroes had a lot less longevity than the Squad did, and I think never appeared again, at least before they were brought back in the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire Justice League book.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Justice League of America #86 - Dec. 1970

sgAn absolutely superb cover by Neal Adams, one of his best, and that's saying something. And...wait--who's that guy in the orange shirt next to Batman? Could it be...?

The Story: "Earth's Final Hour!" by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. The story opens with...yes, Aquaman!--Aquaman discovering that all the plankton on the ocean floor is being stripped away.

As he tries to discover why this is happening, a mysterious figure hits a button on a machine causing a rock slide, crushing Aquaman, but note before hitting his JLA transmitter.

We then flash back to the story of our bad guy, named Theo Zappa(!), whose inventions made him a billionaire industrialist(I wonder if Bruce knows him). His ultimate goal, though, is to run the world, of course! He is met an by an alien named Panja Darr who asks him for help, since his world has destroyed all of its plankton due to pollution, and asks Zappa to build an invention to take it from Earth and give it to them. Zappa agrees, but secretly decides to play both ends against the middle.

Anyway, we go back to the JLA, who are responding to Aquaman's signal. He explains to them that without plankton for sustenance, all the fish in the world will go mad, then beach themselves and die, leading to a chain of events that could destroy the world! Arthur is a real glass half-empty kind of guy.

The teams of Superman and Aquaman, and Hawkman and Flash, are stymied by Zappa's machines, but when Batman and Atom investigate Zappa's lab, they run into the alien who started all this in the first place. He has discovered Zappa's true plan(to "hold" the plankton hostage, blackmailing both worlds) and asks our two heroes for help.

The Atom decides its his skills as a scientist that are needed, and reverts back to being Ray Palmer to examine the machine that Zappa is going to use for his plan. They need a power source for it, and Darr tells them they have some on their planet, so they teleport to it, where Zappa has already declared himself the boss! Luckily, even with some cockamamie ray gun, he's no match for them, and Atom knocks him out.

It's now up to the JLA--Superman specifically--to talk to the people of this world and tell them what has happened, and that they have to save their own planet from their own short-sightedness, not simply poach from another world. Superman offers them temporary help, but also they must come up with their own plan to save their world...just like Earth does!

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Atom, Hawkman

Notable Moments:
Of course, it's great to have Aquaman back. In Michael Eury's super-fun JLA Companion book(Volume One), he asks Friedrich why Aquaman was back, after being out entirely during O'Neil's run. No big mystery, Friedrich just figured, hey, he's a member, why not use him? This AquaFan thanks you, Mike!

This issue has an unusual ending, what with with Superman's sober speech about pollution rather than having him whip up some Super-Solution. Denny O'Neil is listed as "Script Consultant" and at the end Neal Adams is thanked for his special help with this story.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Justice League of America #85 - Dec. 1970

sgThe JLA versus Sorcery, in another, 64-Page Giant.

The stories: "The Fantastic Fingers of Felix Faust!" (JLA #10), and "One Hour to Doomsday!"(JLA #11) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs.

Roll Call
: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow

Notable Moments:
Cover by Curt Swan (who you didn't see draw the JLA much) and Murphy Anderson--I especially think the cobwebs are a nice touch.

DC had a couple extra pages, so this book also features a Knights of the Galaxy story, "Lives of a Rocket Lancer!" by Robert Kanigher, Carmine Infantino, and Bernard Sachs, from Mystery in Space #8.

If you look at the ad for the book below, either the cover was originally going to have a black background or it's just a mistake. I think I like the black better...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Justice League of America #85 Ad - Dec. 1970

Now that's an ad!

You know, ever since I was a kid, I was totally grabbed by that Joe Kubert Strange Adventures cover, but have never hunted down the book.

I gotta do that one of these days.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Justice League of America #84 - Nov. 1970

sgYou gotta love a weapon that's spear driven through a skull...seems like something you'd see in The Phantom Stranger, not JLA!

The Story: "The Devil in Paradise!" by Robert Kanigher, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. The JLA rescues a professor from a gang of kidnappers. The professor is about to receive a Nobel Prize for creating a serum that turns a tribe of "war-like savages into peaceful doves." Umm..

Unfortunately, Superman sees something unsettling--the professor's face is half-skull, like the face of death itself!

After the ceremony, the JLA split up to go their separate ways, but something unusual occurs when Batman shows up to relieve Black Canary from her turn at Monitor Duty. They get to talking, and Batman shares that he has a great lost love, which leads to:

...and they call Green Arrow a player!

Anyway, an alarm goes off, telling the JLA to get to a remote section of Australia. Seems that a peaceful tribe has just been slaughtered by a war-like one, who then set their sights on the JLA! The skull-tipped spears land, filling the air with gas. Superman blows it away, and after they fight their way out, the tribe disappears!

Turns out this professor's serum is actually going to cause nations to fight each other, creating a new world, where he will be the Adam and his fiancee will be the Eve! She is horrified at this and escapes on a raft, when she is found by the Flash.

She takes the JLA to the island, but it ends up being the professor's Frankenstein-esque creation called Nether Man that delivers the final blow to the madman, stopping his plan.

Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Flash, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary

Notable Moments:
Denny O'Neil's run as regular JLA writer ended last issue, and Mike Friedrich's begins next issue, so we've got Robert Kanigher to fill in. It's sort of funny, Kanigher dropping this massive sub-plot bomb in the book(Batman mashing with Canary!), leaving it for some other writer to handle. Have fun, Friedrich!

DC finally got around to commissioning a new JLA Mail Room header, from Murphy Anderson, reflecting the current line-up:
...pretty nifty, and I'm glad DC remembered that Aquaman was, in fact, still in the Justice League.

The Black Canary/Batman sub-plot is unusual, one of the first genuine "sub-plots" the book ever had, in that it would continue for a few issues apart from the main story.

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