Reading the Justice League of America – Pt. II

This is part two of Reading the Justice League.

Crisis On Infinite Earths: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Kindle & comiXology

A little over a year ago, I started on a project in which I was going to read (and in some cases reread) every issue of Justice League of America from the first issue in November 1960 and to the last of appearance of the original Justice League of America before the Crisis. Although the series ran for 261 issues plus three annuals and ended in 1987, I consider the end to be with issue #232 (November 1984). This is the issue before the group broke-up and the remaining members changed the name to Justice League Detroit. Also, before the series ended, there was this thing that occurred in 1985 called Crisis on Infinite Earths.

To get started I was able to read the first 44 issues by way of the current four volumes that collect the series from its beginning with three issues of Brave and the Bold to issue #41 of JLA in December of 1965. Also, all the annual crisis issues are collected in six volumes entitled Crisis of Multiple Earths. Then I ran out of legit means of reading unless I purchased individual issues from Comitology. That is something I do enjoy doing, but if can read JLA on Hoopla by way of my library card or read the issues at DC Universe by way of an annual subscription, then that is my first choice. I am well aware that there are places where comic books can be read without paying and to me that is not a choice I will consider.

The good news is that with a subscription to DC Universe I can complete my goal of reading the original run of Justice League of America. All 261 issues of Justice League of America are available for reading. {UPDATE: this is not entirely true as there is a gap between #161 and #170.}

I am currently somewhere in 1979.

DC Universe has almost all issues of the Silver-age JLA

Up until 1977, Hawkgirl appeared occasionally in JLA stories. Usually, she was cast as one of the spouses or significant other of the Leaguers. Other times as a damsel-in-distress or a victim of some sort. It was in Justice League of America #143 (June 1977) that she started to appear as a potential candidate for membership in the JLA.

Dick Dillin

Bringing the reader up to date on her story-arc, in that issue, Hawkgirl mentions the Equalizing plague on her homeworld of Thanagar.

One of the reasons behind the increase in Hawkgirl’s appearances in the late Seventies was something known by DC Comics as the DC Explosion. This was a marketing campaign by DC Comics to try and overtake Marvel’s expansion. The campaign “actually began in earnest in 1975, when the company debuted 12 titles in the spring and summer, followed by four more titles by the end of the year. DC added 14 titles in 1976 and four more in 1977.

This gave Hawkgirl more places to appear. During this time there were two Hawkgirls, one from Earth-1 and the other lived on Earth-2

The Explosion lead up to the infamous “DC Implosion” of 1978. As a result of the implosion, seventeen series were canceled abruptly. Fourteen other titles were canceled in 1978.

One of the canceled titles was “All Star Comics” and the golden age (Earth-2) version of Hawkgirl was an occasional guest-star in that short-lived revival series.

As for Justice League of America, for the first eight years, the series was written by Gardner Fox. He was the storytelling genius whose threads bind the DC multiverse. This was followed by several different writers each with their own style. I was quite impressed by Steve Englehart’s run from issue #140 to #150 (March 1977 to January 1978).

Dick Dillin

Between August 1975 and June 1977, Hawkgirl made zero appearances in JLA. Before that she made a few cameos and she had a couple of guest star roles. But then starting with Justice League of America #143 (June 1977), Hawkgirl began to make more frequent appearances.

In issue #145 – ‘The Carnival of Souls!’ – August 1977: – Hawkgirl is abducted by Count Crystal. This time she is not a damsel in distress. The Count tries to seduce her. He figured that he had her in his clutches, but he failed to realize Hawkgirl’s most powerful feature.

Dick Dillin

She smacks the Count in the head with her sturdy wings and escapes to rescue her friends.

Dick Dillin

In #146 – ‘Inner Mission!’ – September 1977 – Hawkgirl finally joins the Justice League of America. (Hawkman joined in 1964)

Between December 1977 and March 1978 appeared in a four-issue story-arc. Between August 1978 and April 1979, she was in almost every issue.

At any rate, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I will pick this up again after I have finished reading the series. I have roughly four more years to go – that’s about 50 issues.