Justice League, Justice League, holy heck they have been promoting that film hard. What ever happened to letting films speak for themselves. I am excited to see the epic superhero team on the big screen. I do wish they took their time and released more movies leading up to this event. A Flash movie is something I could get behind. Or showing the studios that Bat-fleck just isn’t going to work before this kind of investment. Oh well.
What I did, for my JL preparation was dig through my long boxes and searched out the most original piece in my collection. I was rewarded with a cover of colourful characters dating back to 1968. This particular issue lacks a couple of the bigger names; Superman and Wonder Woman, but, features a team of detectives and investigators. The story features mystery and gang war, not the typical supervillain plot. Anyways, let’s get going-
I can hardly explain why I like this simple cover as much as I do. It features our team of heroes peering into a box with a look of shock. We don’t see what’s in the box,- Pulp Fiction style- or perhaps, we are the contents? The colourfully classic superheroes stand out on this cover. It is a brilliant mix of red Flash, Green Lantern, yellow Hawkman, blue Bats, and of course the Atom, y’know being small. In 1968 these were the bright covers you wanted with a group of amazing heroes.
They kept their promise! Whoever they are, or the promise was? It happened. I suppose people were desperately asking for an Anthro book. Look at that cover a second- it says “could it be you?” What? What exactly could I be? What is with all the vagueness of this ad? This is only the beginning, beginning of something that did not last long I guess. The New Inferior 5 does look promising, I would totally read that.
Justice League of America
“Panic from a Blackmail Box!”
Cover Price: $0.12
Todays Worth: $10 to $150
Written by Gardner Fox
Pencils by Mike Sekowsky
Inks by George Roussos
Edited by Julius Schwartz
In 1945 a man drowns in the ocean holding a mysterious black box. The box was lost for over twenty years before being discovered again.
Present day- or present day in 1968- a reporter is interviewing Harold Loomis, son of the late Josephus Loomis, founder of Loomis Electronics. The reporter surprises Harold with some surprise findings-
Days after the article comes out revealing Harold’s true origins he receives a package-
Elsewhere, the same reporter has informed a famed archeologist that he has information on his dark past; also from the black box. The archeologist follows the reporter and attempts to shoot at him to scare him out of publishing the article. However-
The reporter happened to be Marley Thorne, brother-in-law of none other than Barry Allen. Who he quickly goes crying to. Despite Allen being a police officer, and this clearly being a problem for them, he takes the case to frigging Batman and the Justice League.
Then, League members spot a tornado-
But, as they listen to the radio report they hear that a gang known as Pyrotekniks have robbed a bank. Obviously this team of superheroes says “forget the tornado happening in front of us” and go to the bank where the crime is already over- hold on, seriously, why even bring the tornado into the story? And, with a tornado happening right now Green Lantern says this-
Come on! One of these five heroes couldn’t stay behind to check on the aftermath of the tornado- or y’ know, make sure everyone is alright?
Anyways, as the rest of the team investigates the robbery, Flash goes to Thorne to check out the mysterious black box. But, and but-
Quickly, the team acts. But, the Pyrotekniks are not scared of the Justice League, they have firework guns!
Firework guns worked way better than I thought it would. Hopefully they never meet Jubilee of the X-Men.
First off, these boats are cracking, and I totally want one. More importantly, they promise a remote control radar lighthouse. But, the kid in the picture is using a string? Is this what they thought radar was? Does this count as a remote control? Too many questions…
The Justice League continues to get their butts kicked by fireworks-
Thankfully, Hawkman turns the tide. Could you imagine if there was no Batman today cause he got killed by a firework gun in 1968?
Then Green Lantern hands out some excuses. You hate yellow, we get it.
The Pyrotekniks are all arrested, which means it is time for the bad guy to reveal his secrets.
It was Leo Locke who sent the contents of the box to the Tribune! In an attempt to weed out Bullet Jameson and the Bulleteers (sweet name for a dangerous gang). But, now he pleads with the Justice League to stop the Bulleteers from murdering his son! I know, I know, this plot lacks much sense, but oh well.
Alright, while this is a sweet tip for keeping screws from getting stripped, I wonder, how nice is your model car when there is pieces of cardboard sticking out of every screw? And yes, they do offer a line for you to cut this comic up, and I wonder how many classics we lost to this. Alternately, today you can print this image for your scrapbooks. Specifically your Green Onion scrapbook I am sure most of you keep.
Back to our story, and this adorable panel of the Justice League finishing each others sentences. They are all smiling,- Flash looks especially bashful- which says to me, they too must think it is cute that they are finishing each others sentences. It’s like an adorable boy band.
They suspect that Harold Loomis, and the old architect, Homer Gridley, have teamed up, stole the black box, all in an attempt to find who sent the black box in the first place. Which with Hawkmans Thanagarian tech, they are able to follow them to Lakeside Mountain. Which apparently they used an airplane to get to. These are amazing detectives-
They quickly locate the two men, who ask forgiveness of their crimes. I guess the league is cool with you shooting guns at people?
The Justice League finds a secret Bulleteers hideout, and are easily thwarted by a booby trap.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. They get out and avoid a few other obstacles.
They locate the baddies and its all *bops* *knocks* and other onomatopoeias. Especially this double slobber knocker-
The heroes are victorious, however when they find the Bulleteers loot-
And the bad guys have the upper hand-
Thankfully Green Lantern can melt guns…?
And that wraps things up. Hopefully that tornado didn’t destroy too many homes!
Wait! The police probably want to talk to this dude- he kind of shot a gun at somebody! Flash’s friend, he shot a gun, not a firework gun but real gun at Flash’s brother-in-law! Why are you laughing with him?
A whole page for name labels! Sick!
One fan sends in his distaste for the cover of JLA #59 and calls them out for doing a shotty job on Superman. They reply with an honest answer.
Here is the cover in question. And, I agree that most the colour and life of these heroes has been sucked out with the shadow. That fan had a brilliant eye for artists though.
This is an awesome UFO model from the TV show the Invaders. Invaders was a classic show about a man who witnessed a UFO landing and he tries to convince everyone it was true. Check out the opening credits-
Thanks booknerds, remember if a tornado is coming, the Justice League won’t help you.