Now I realize that I have several irons in the fire, so to speak with my Fan of Bronze and Silver Sightings threads, but I'm either 1) nostalgic or 2) depressed so I'll be commenting on these DC 100 Pagers that I loved as a youth and still love today! I'm sure that I have at least 90% of them and hopefully these will appeal to Golden, Silver and Bronze Age fans. I know that I'm talking about Justice League of America AGAIN but you must start at the beginning and this was my first one. Also, I have the real issue in front of me so it's very visceral to me.
Justice League of America #110 (Ap'74) was the Christmas 1973 issue and it was in my stocking! About the cover, it's a bit generic and Nick Cardy can't do much with it but I got a kick seeing all the heroes lined up around the stories. The inclusion of Doctor Mid-Nite in the lower left corner began my fascination with him and my belief that he was a major character.
Also of note is the "Here Comes TV's Super-Friends!" banner. The debut of Super-Friends on Saturday mornings was the most exciting thing in my young life at the time. It seemed to validate my admiration of these heroes. This was four years before Superman: The Movie so this was super-hero action to me!
Despite the popularity of Super-Friends, Wonder Woman still did not rejoin the League until #128. But Aquaman would get more appearances. Of course, Superman and Batman were always there!
The new story "The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus!" was by Len Wein, Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano and edited by, naturally, Julius Schwartz. Credit was given to "Green Lantern fan" Duffy Vohland. It starts, logically, with the murder of a Santa Claus volunteer and the gauntlet is thrown!
Since it began with the Man of Steel and the Darknight Detective, it was fortunate the challenge was addressed to the team or we would have had a World's Finest story instead! They summon the JLA but since it's Christmas time, many of them are away (Flash is in the future, the Atom is sub-atomic, the Elongated man is, uh, on vacation, etc!) but responding are the Red Tornado "smoothly" ditching Kathy Sutton, interrupting Green Arrow as he prepares to "notch an arrow" with Black Canary and in comics' most famous "slipping on a bar of soap" scene, Green Lantern incapacitates himself so his power ring zaps him with a healing aura and shanghies substitute GL John Stewart to the JLA Satellite (of Love)!
Despite Stewart's urban setting and attire, he is accurately portrayed as an architect. Hal Jordan apparently never told the team that he had a back-up but Green Arrow vouches for him. But Ollie gets into an argument with the Red Tornado about what Christmas is and since he is no Linus Van Pelt, it got heated. But since there are lives at stake, Batman takes charge as usual and leads them to St. Louis!
Since they have to find a specific lock in the city, Reddy uses his super-speed to find it using the GL-zapped key! This is because the Flash was not there but Superman and Green Lantern could have easily done the same thing! Luckily they find the correct building after meeting some poor children. Ironically it's GREEN ARROW who enforces the Guardians' rules with the tyro John Stewart. You would think that there would be a manual or something!
End Part 1---More to follow!
In addition to Super DC Giant and 100-Page Super-Spectacular, there was also a thing called DC Super-Stars and another called DC Special. The treasuries had their own numbering, too.
George Poague said:
This one was my favorite, because it reprinted the two-part "Batman vs. the Monk" story from 1939. You know, the one with vampires. At that time (1973), I never thought I'd see it. It was crude, primitive but utterly fascinating.
That's the stuff that made the 100-Page Super-Spectaculars so worthwhile to me, also. I already had the Silver-Age stories reprinted in them. It was the Golden-Age material that got my attention, particularly the early vintage stuff like that "Batman Meets the Monk" tale. In those pre-Archives, pre-Showcase days, you never thought you'd ever get to see those tales.
You're right, the very early Batman work, and the Superman work of the same vintage, as well, was crude and primitive. But I think what made it fascinating was the sheer enthusiasm the writers and artists put into their work. It conveyed to the readers.
I bought as many of the "100-Page Super-Spectaculars" as I could get my hands on, with JLA #110 being perhaps the first. It was certainly my first exposure the Justice League, and the story took place in St. Louis, Mo. (about 20 miles from where I lived) high atop the Gateway Arch! I remember being intrigued by the concept that Green Lantern had a back-up.
The one I remember reading first (but which actually came out a few months later according to the numbering) was the Batman one. I also bought the Tarzan one which came out between the two, and only recently reaquired it. I could go on and on but I'll stop here.
Another great thing about those original 100 pagers is that they truly were 100 pages, counting the covers. The later ones, especially when the cover price went to 60 cents, lost content because they included the ads from that month's regular titles.
But like I said, the 100 pagers seemed scarce during their original news stand release. The only ones I managed to get that way were some of the 60 centers. I have managed to get a few of the 50 centers with ads, but most of the solid 100 pagers, like the Batman issue cited above, still elude me.
Marvel’s 100-page “Monster” issues, as well as the “Megazine” reprints from the mid-90s, were both the ideas of editor Tom Breevort. I supported them both, but neither one caught on in the current market. The “Monsters” were analogous to DC’s “Super-Spectaculars” and allowed new readers of the day to catch up on related past continuity the same way DC’s allowed readers such as myself to catch up on stories such as Zatanna’s quest fr her father and Batman’s conflicts with the Outsider. The Megazines fulfilled the role that Collector’s Item Classics and Fantasy Masterpieces did for me.
I'm very glad that this topic has hit a (good) nerve. It is always gratifying to share warm memories.
To Cap: I loved Justice League of America #111 with its introduction of the Injustice Gang of the World, some great character bits, the menace of Libra and an absolutely gut-wrenching cliffhanger, combined with a Seven Soldiers of Victory reprint. Actually I could keep this thread going with just the JLA 100 Pagers alone. They are that memorable to me. But I won't! Variety IS the spice of life! :-)
DC Special andDC Super-Stars began as reprints but had new material as well. I highly recommend them.
To George and the Commander: It's because of the 100 Pagers that I have such a fondness for the Golden Age. #14 had not only the Batman Vs the Monk, written by Gardner Fox but a theme of sorts; first appearances. The Batman stories had the first batarang, spelled baterang and the Bat-Gyro. The Atom tale was his first in costume, Wonder Woman her magic lasso from Sensation #6, Wildcat his comic sidekick, the too tall Stretch Skinner, Doll Man his enhanced dog Elmo and the Batmobile of 1950! There was a Blackhawk story, too but I can't recall any first in it!
To Lee, Jeff and Chris: I was thrilled to read the Two-Face saga. Believe it or not, I got most of the DC 100 Page Super-Spectactulars from the quarter-bin during the 80s.
I enjoyed Marvel's Monster issues and was sad when they stopped. Marvel Milestones was another great book!
Philip Portelli said:
#14 had not only the Batman Vs the Monk, written by Gardner Fox but a theme of sorts; first appearances. The Batman stories had the first batarang, spelled baterang and the Bat-Gyro. The Atom tale was his first in costume, Wonder Woman her magic lasso from Sensation #6, Wildcat his comic sidekick, the too tall Stretch Skinner, Doll Man his enhanced dog Elmo and the Batmobile of 1950! There was a Blackhawk story, too but I can't recall any first in it!
There was a theme to that 100-Page Super-Spectacular, Philip, but it wasn't that of "first appearances". Rather, the theme was "modes of travel".
■ The "Batman Versus the Monk" two-parter marked the debut of the short-lived "Bat-Gyro".
■ "The Battle of the Tiny Titans" showed the first time the Silver-Age Atom used his trick of travelling through telephone lines.
■ The Doll Man adventure, "Guardians Against Crime", introduced Elmo, "the Wonder Dog", a Great Dane which Doll Man rode for quick transportation.
■ The Wildcat story was the first appearance of his Cat-o-cycle.
■ The title of the other Batman story---"The Batmobile of 1950"---speaks for itself.
■ The Wonder Woman tale, "Summons to Paradise", got a little sneaky. This story marked the first appearance of the kanga, a kangaroo-like species native to Paradise Island that the Amazons used frequently as steeds. The animal is highlighted, though; the cover of Sensation Comics # 6, in which this tale originally appeared, showcases the Amazing Amazon riding a kanga while lassoing a thug.
■ Admittedly, the boys at DC played it kind of fast and loose with the Blackhawk tale. "The Treasure of Ghanpat" included a couple of air scenes depicting the Black Knights piloting their Gruman F5F-1 Skyrockets. But such scenes were common in Blackhawk stories of the day. Nor was it the first time they used that particular ship; the Blackhawks had been flying the F5F-1 since 1941.
...Thank you , Luke , I'll say more later (sigh).........
I'll go with the "Modes of Travel" theme, Commander, but you got to admit, there's still a lot of first appearances!
2. My favorite 100-Page Super-Spectacular, bar none, was an all-reprint issue of the actual Super-Spectacular series that had a Neal Adams wraparound cover of the JLA and JSA rosters. Boy howdy, that was gorgeous. And useful for seeing the differences between the two teams. I loved it so much, I bought two so I could tear the cover off to frame -- and then couldn't bear to defile a comic book in such a way!
I really like that one too, Cap. Admittedly, I got mine quite a few years later out of a 20¢ box in the mid-'80s.