I found this DC "greatest hits" on markdown for $3, so even though I knew I wouldn't agree with its choices, I bought it.
Robert Greenberger's text is pretty much what I expected: it's a list of touchstones for hardcore fans, discussing things like the different headquarters that the group used over time. My personal preference would've been for the "greatest moments" in terms of the stories that were best in terms of action, drama, mythical insight, or whatever.
So here's my first nominee; 1967's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #51. This was the culmination of the months-long "Zatanna plotline," in which the daughter of the magician Zatara went looking for her lost father in various DC stories, all scripted by Gardner Fox. After Zatanna crossed paths with Hawkman, the Atom, Green Lantern, the Elongated Man and Batman (sort of), Zatanna united all of these heroes (again, sort of) to aid her in rescuing Zatara from a mystic land. Fox's scripts could sometimes be too dry, but there's a lot of good humor and human interest here.
Feel free to add your own nominees.
I don't know how hardcore a JLA fan I am, but I do remember it was in issue 5, two issues before the JL went international. After Batman put Gardner in his place, I'm pretty sure they went off to fight the Grey Man.
Hmmm, maybe I am a hardcore JLA fan. :)
Gene Phillips said:
You are correct, sir; "one punch" made it in. I wonder how many people, even among hardcore JLA fans, even remember what the story proper was about,,,
Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:
Greenberger's written a number of these books, and I know he's asked certain facebook groups to suggest moments for him to consider for inclusion, so it wasn't all down to his own experience and nostalgia. But lists like this are made to be debated and second-guessed.
Which is weird to do when I actually don't know what's IN there.
But since this is "moments" and not "stories," I'd definitely include the "One Punch" moment from early JLI. I've no idea what the larger story of that issue was, but that moment is indelible. I'm sure it's in there.
...I remember a story that occupied a full issue of - JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED? JUSTICE LEAGUE QUARTERLY? - this supplemental JL title from the 90s. a Giant quarterly.
It followed General Glory through the years, from the Golde. or Silver to " modern " times - the " modern version " story was an Image spoof/pastiche, oh well, the time it was written. The SA chapter was drawn by Curt Swan!
This was probably a belated cut-down publication of a scrapped miniseries - I recalled a squib for it in AMAZING HEROES a couple years before, and, frankly, it appeared after Curt Swan had been deceased for a while! So I suppose it was his last DC story to appear.
Anyone else remember this one?
Among the important JLA stories that built on O'Neil's "White Martian-Green Martian" mythology was the 1977 Steve Englehart-Dick Dillin tale "The Origin of the Justice League--Minus One."
While the official origin-story of the Justice League had been re-told several times, Englehart decided to tell a "prequel-to-the-origin," which posits that a few dozen heroes rallied to prevent a Martian invasion but kept their activities quiet in order to prevent an eruption of mass hysteria. The invasion concerns the attempt of several White Martians to capture and slay J'onn J'onzz, who has not yet become publicly known as an alien, non-human hero. But because no League yet existed, nearly every hero who had a feature in 1959 ends up volunteering to suss out the source of the alien problem, including the Blackhawks, the Challengers of the Unknown, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Congorilla, and Rex the Wonder Dog. (Possibly for sentiment's sake, the script also includes Plastic Man, who was technically owned by DC at the time but who hadn't appeared on any comics-pages since his Quality title ceased publication.) Several other featured characters don't join the crusade but still end up making cameos, such as Rip Hunter and Adam Strange.
Englehart is clearly not claiming that he thinks this motley crew could've made a good Justice League. Rather, he's simply celebrating the curious history of DC Comics at that time, when the Flash was the only retooled version of a Golden Age character on newsstands. Hal Jordan, not yet in the role of Green Lantern, also gets a cameo, and also foreshadows the near-total dominance of superheroes over most though not all of DC's universe. Most of the non-superhero characters who appear in "Minus One" don't keep their features for the remnant of the Silver Age, and the few that survive a little longer are certainly not in the forefront of DC's publishing schedule. It's a story that celebrates the oddball era that gave birth to a lot of minor characters, but also to J'onn J'onzz, who probably would have died out along with Rex the Dog and Roy Raymond-- had it not been for the Justice League.