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!

SPOILERS ..................SPOILERS...................SPOILERS.....................SPOILERS....................

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!

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@Figs

Don't know what the problem was with Zatanna, but the way I remember it, the Elongated Man wasn't eligible for membership until he had "amassed his fortune" and stopped doing superheroic performances for money.

Figserello said:

Go on then - what qualifications did they lack?  Their own comic?  A secret identity?

 

 

Certainly. But bear in mind, I am speaking within the fictional conceit of the DC mythos at the time, and not to the real-life reasons Julius Schwartz had for selecting heroes to be in the Justice League.

 

And just to get this out of the way, the "not eligible for JLA membership until he stopped performing for money" notion for the Elongated Man doesn't apply.  That might have been some post-Crisis fol-de-rol, but it wouldn't have meant anything during the Silver Age.  The Flash # 115 (Sep., 1960) specifically established that Ralph Dibny had made his fortune and that he had retired from show business.  So any dissention on that point was out the window even before the League inducted its first non-charter full-fledged member, the Green Arrow, in JLA # 4 (Apr.-May, 1961).

 

As I've talked about before, the Silver-Age Justice League, under Gardner Fox's handling, had an elite admissions procedure.  A hero couldn't apply to join.  And he didn't get in under the "Hey, this hero helped us out on a case---let's make him a member" nonsense.  A current JLA member couldn't even sponsor a hero for membership.

 

The League conducted an annual membership meeting, at which, according to its by-laws, only one hero could be selected for membership (JLA # 4 and # 31).  During this meeting, the various members entered names into nomination; these nominees would be considered; and a vote was taken.  Whomever got the most votes got the nod.

 

By extension, the super-heroes elected to the JLA were those who had already demonstrated an excellent track-record fighting super-villains on his own.  (That's why there were no initiations or provisionary statuses; the Leaguers knew you could do the job already, when they signed you on.)  The heroes elected in the four membership meetings shown during the Fox years---the Green Arrow, the Atom, Hawkman, and Metamorpho---had demonstrated such records.  They had triumphed over a significant number of super-villains during the course of their pre-League membership.

 

Neither the Elongated Man, nor Zatanna, can state the same thing.

 

Before the E-Man Booster Club gets surly, yes, I know Dibny faced a number of super-villains on the occasions of his guest appearances in The Flash.  But in each of these situations, he was always teamed up with the Scarlet Speedster (and one time, with Kid Flash).  He never faced any of these villains alone.

 

Furthermore, he was not a regular crime-fighter in the sense that he routinely suited up and went out on patrol.  Nor, during his time in The Flash, did he routinely investigate crimes on his own initiative.  Instead, he was out living the good life with wifey, Sue.  It was only when something came his way that he took action.

 

Now, when the E-Man got his own series, in Detective Comics, to be sure, there were times when he looked into something on his initiative.  But look at the level of crime he dealt with:  ordinary, non-super-powered crooks.  Granted, some of them were a bit cleverer than your average thug.  But they were your average, run-of-the-mill criminals.  Frankly, Jimmy Olsen faced greater threats.

 

The only costumed villain that Dibny handled on his own was the Riddler, in Detective Comics # 373 (Mar., 1968).  Scarcely a stirring testimonial to a performance as a super-crime-fighter.

 

The Elongated Man was a light-weight.

 

But Zatanna had even fewer credentials.

 

She didn't investigate crime at any level.  She wasn't a crime-fighter; she was a stage-performer.  Sure, she came up against some heavy-duty menaces during the search for her father, but she didn't go against them alone.  She had Hawkman and Hawkgirl or the Atom or the Green Lantern--and, one time, nearly half the JLA (or, rather, their simulacra) helping her and, frankly, doing most of the heavy lifting.

 

No history of fighting crime on her own.  No record of defeating super-villains on her own.

 

Now, there are those who will argue that the Justice League needed a magician, for the occasions when it came across mystical threats.  That's poppycock.  I would point out that the JLA did just fine against such sorcerous threats such as Abnegazar, Rath, and Ghast or Felix Faust or the three rulers of Magicland without having a magician on the team.

 

Would having someone skilled in sorcery as a JLA member be handy?  Darn tootin'.  But not if he lacks the basic credentials for membership in the first place.  It's not a case of any magician being better than no magician at all.

 

The Elongated Man and Zatanna just don't measure up.  If had been a JLA member, I would have voted against them.

A couple of other reasons could be used against the Elongated Man: he travelled a lot with no solid base of operations to gain the experience of repeat foes and could not be considered a guardian of any specific location that would allow him to sustain a heroic reputation. His identity was public which may have made him a security risk (their foes could find him!) and it would put Sue in jeopardy. On top of that, Batman was a better detective and the Martian Manhunter could match his stretching, thus there was no compelling need to have him become a member.

As for Zatanna, I agree with the Commander but then wouldn't it been more likely to nominate Zatara for membership? Which I think would have been a neat idea!

...Again , a point about DC's numbering of their Giants ( Used in the general sense , even if " Giants " was one particular part of it...So , " large-sized comics , specials " might be better ????????? )...........IIRC , in the 80-Page Giant era , the 64-pager period that followed when the 15c price came in , then the Super DC Giants and then the adless 100-PSSs , DC would put a " greater " number on them , as part of the giant-sized series...BUT , when it was a giant-sized issue of a presently ongoing title...For instance , the Super DC Giant LOIS LANE issue , or the SUPERBOY issues of 100-PSS during the adless year...it would be counted , and numbered , as one in the title's regular numbering , as well .

  And BTW , I don't like the revisionist wave of calling DC and Marvel giant-sized issues of the mid-60s through mid-70s " Annuals " when they were not using the phrase during that period !!!!!!!!!

  Gal dum it , we late-end Silver Agers/Weird Agers get so dumped on...........Just you wait , you fandom 1%...

80 Page Giant was a seperate title for a while, ED, in 1964-1965.

#1, 6, 11 featured Superman

#2, 13--Jimmy Olsen

#3, 14--Lois Lane

#4, 9--The Flash

#5, 12--Batman

#7--Sgt. Rock

#8--Secret Origins

#10--Superboy

#15--Superman & Batman

With # G-16, it was merged with the regular title starting Justice League of America #39 (N'65) and continued one a month in various titles.

Thanks to Wikipedia and man, the things they have entries for! :-)

...I think the " seperate " numbering continued past that , Philip , if " unofficially "/just on the cover , in a secondary manner thru the end of the 80-/12c era .

I guess the " giant " number was nearly/always a smaller number , in fact , than the title's number itself .

Philip Portelli said:

80 Page Giant was a seperate title for a while, ED, in 1964-1965.

#1, 6, 11 featured Superman

#2, 13--Jimmy Olsen

#3, 14--Lois Lane

#4, 9--The Flash

#5, 12--Batman

#7--Sgt. Rock

#8--Secret Origins

#10--Superboy

#15--Superman & Batman

With # G-16, it was merged with the regular title starting Justice League of America #39 (N'65) and continued one a month in various titles.

Thanks to Wikipedia and man, the things they have entries for! :-)

Commander Benson said:



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-Spectacularsso 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 agree, but even when the art fell short by modern lights, the stories were pretty solid.

This was demonstrated by a story of the Golden Age Flash (unfortunately, I can't remember which issue I saw it in) that was redrawn. The splash page had an editor's note that stated the early art just wasn't up to modern standards, so they had Rico Rival -- one of The Legion of Comics Artists in the Phillipines that DC called on rather frequently in the '70s -- redraw it. 

All Rival did was redraw the story; they didn't have someone rewrite it, which DC has done at least three times with the first Batman story, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate." I saw such a rewrite in Detective Comics #387 -- Batman's 30th anniversary appearance in the title -- and two versions in Detective Comics #627, his 600th appearance in the book. For Detective Comics #387, the story was written by Mike Friedrich and drawn by Bob Brown and Joe Giella. For Detective Comics #627, the first story was written by Marv Wolfman, with art by Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo; the second was written by Alan Grant, with art by Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchell.

Those redrawn Golden Age Flash stories appeared in Four Star Spectacular #1 (Ap'76) which I got as an Xmas stocking stuffer and DC Super Stars #5 (Jl'76). The FSS tale was from All-Flash #22 (My'46) but the new version was drawn by Edgar Bercasio. The story, "The City of Shifting Sand!", introduced a very weird element into the "Golden Age" world!

Sadly I have no access to DCSS #5 right now.

...I believe sometimes DC's corporate feelings ( And remember , in the mid-70s loads of people who'd been in editorial/management positions during the Golden Age - Julius Schwartz most obviously ! :-) - were still there . ) were that , especially , the MIDDLE Golden Age - also known as " later during World War II " , when a large percentage of artists ( who might've delayed being called up for a while , or might've been , initially , able to do some work while in training camp/stationed Stateside ) were in the military , and available artists , especially  the ( More likely , I suppose . ) younger cartoonists who were perhaps a bit more simpatico with this " super-hero/mystery man " stuff , were pretty thin on the ground.........That the middlish-40s tended toward , seen in later years' eyes , dodgier art than the earlier 40s , to summarize !

Thought that I would bring this thread back up again. Batman became a 100 Page Super-Spectacular with #254 all the way to #161 but this is the earliest one I remember:

Batman #258 (O'74) had the theme of "Numbers". I wasn't even nine when this came out but the stories contained, old and new, have great sentimental value.

The "new" story was "Threat of the Two-Headed Coin!" by Denny O'Neil, the under-rated Irv Novick and Dick Giordano, edited by Julius Schwartz (Man, what DC hero didn't he edit!). Of course, the number featured is "2" so the villain has to be the Bi-Beast Two-Face!

Odd for its time, it's an honest-to-goodness "Batman and Robin" adventure when DC prefered to keep the Dark Knight a loner, except for Brave & Bold, World's Finest and Justice League of America! But the Dynamic Duo together was just reminding readers of the TV show yet they were still paired up on Super Friends.

It opens with the Gotham Guardians descending on four known criminals and quickly trouncing them. Robin is still punny but the Batman has a dry wit though very chatty and very upper class. They find out that the foursome tried to join some organization and were left out but that it definitely involved Arkham Asylum. And that's never a good thing! In the text, Arkham is described as a "New England institution". A small army led by a radical ex-military man, General John Harris, invade Arkham to free one man: Harvey Dent, Two-Face. On his way out, the Joker asks to be released but the Double Dealer flips his two-headed coin but luck is against the Grinning Ghoul and Two-Face, at least the disrict attorney side of him, agrees with its decision. The Joker is not a happy clown, setting up their rivalry that would be shown in The Joker #1!

Batman and Robin arrive just in time to recapture Two-Face, only to find out it's a double in a mask. Meanwhile General Harris pitches his scheme to Two-Face and introduces him to his science man, Samuel Smith-Smythe which appeals to his double obsession. Harris wants the Flipping Felon to finetune his plan. Dent agrees but immediately takes over, throwing the general out of his own plot!

Soon Harris is telling all to the Caped Crusaders and Commissioner Gordon, revealing the plan to hijack a shipment of uranium ore in Maryland. He let his hatred for a changing America blind him to the evil of his actions and immediately jumps out the window to his death! These things never happen to Superman! Batman figures out that Two-Face wants to use the uranium to build an atomic bomb and extort money.

The next night in Maryland (apparently Harris was so intent on committing suicide that he never told the heroes where Two-Face was!), the Masked Manhunters find the hijacked truck which has, naturally a double rig. As soon as they approach, they are attacked by Two-Face's gang. Robin is quickly knocked out and Batman hit by a sleep-dart. He collapses just as he reaches him.

The next night (this is a long adventure), Two-Face infiltrates a joint session of the two Houses, the Senate and the House of Mystery Representatives where he has placed a "crude atomic bomb" capable of destroying Washington, DC! He wants two billion dollars and safe passage out of the United States and he's giving the President (Nixon? Ford?) twelve hours to make it happen! If he can't, they all die! Harvey does not fear death but he wants the money "to buy people who will pretend not to notice (his) hideousness...Then (he) can bury (himself) in a dream of beauty!" That's far different from the usual revenge or power-grab.

During this time the Captive Crime-fighters are freed by Batman putting a thermal flare in his left Bat-ear, which he breaks off. I've never seen one snapped off before or since! But as he leaves for Washington, Robin the Student Wonder says he has to return to college! With the real threat of a nuclear disaster! Because he doesn't want to miss his Economics and Western Art classes! It's almost Johnny Storm-ish!!

Batman arrives and goads the Coin-Operated Criminal into hand-to-hand combat only for Dent to notice that Batman switched coins with him in Maryland! Two-Face, in a rage, tries to set off the bomb but Batman knocks him out with one punch (again---see Detective #404 "Half-An-Evil!"), saving the day and the government!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

O'Neil tries to write a tense thriller but there are a lot of plotholes, particularly about why Harris needed Two-Face to begin with, why his men follow Harvey and why he doesn't tell them where Dent is! Or how Two-Face rigs the dias of Congress! From inside the Capitol Building! His Batman is very talkative and a bit condescending. Robin is definitely the junior partner here but there's no way he just leaves before the end which could have literally been The End!

Two-Face was ignored in the Silver Age but revived in the Bronze because he was not "tainted" by the Adam West TV show. Still for someone who appears in good shape, he seems to have a glass jaw! His scene with the Joker was well done and very telling, showing the readers the good still in Harvey!

Next: the Reprints (and they're great!)

Did that site ever start offering the scans in anything other than the .cbz format?

FOR THOSE INTERESTED:

I tried going to that DC 100pg blog again (http://dc100pagesuperspectacular.blogspot.com/) and while all the comics are still listed/index, NONE of the download options seem to be working.

I was hoping the site finally put the files in a format other than .cbz so I could finally read them, but oh well...

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