Hawkman #13 (Apr.-May, 1966)

Hawkman was the fourth member of the Justice League of America on whose solo adventures I eventually decided to gamble 12 cents, his having been preceded by Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and the Flash.  (Wonder Woman, the Atom, and Aquaman would eventually follow, though unfortunately Green Arrow had already lost his supporting slot in World’s Finest by this time, and I wouldn’t get around to checking out House of Mystery until well after its doors had shut on the Martian Manhunter.)  Most of what I knew about the Winged Wonder came from Justice League of America #41, where I’d learned that both Hawkman and his wife, the similarly attired and identically powered (but perhaps slightly smarter) Hawkgirl, were alien police officers from the planet Thanagar, operating undercover on Earth for reasons I didn’t quite understand yet. Read More

Green Lantern #43 (March, 1966)

Guest appearances and crossovers are par for the course in the superhero comics of today, but it wasn’t always that way, at least not at DC Comics.  In 1966 you had DC’s big guns teaming up every month (more or less) in Justice League of America, and Superman and Batman appearing together regularly in World’s Finest.  And The Brave and the Bold had by now evolved into a book featuring a constantly revolving lineup of (usually) two headliners (although Batman would soon lock down one of the co-starring slots as an ongoing gig).  But to have, say, Aquaman turn up in an issue of Wonder Woman?  That sort of thing didn’t happen very often. Read More

The Brave and the Bold #64 (Feb.-March, 1966)

I’ve mentioned DC’s The Brave and the Bold  in a couple of earlier posts.  This comic got its start in 1955 as the home for a variety of historical adventure series, starring swashbuckling heroes like the Viking Prince, the Golden Gladiator, Robin Hood, and the Silent Knight.  Later, it became a tryout book, showcasing new characters and concepts that could be spun off into their own series if their “pilot” issue sold well enough.  In this iteration, the book saw the first appearances of the Suicide Squad, the “Silver Age” Hawkman, Metamorpho, and (most successfully) the Justice League of America.  With its 50th issue, however, the book began a transition towards becoming a one-off team-up comic, with a rotating roster of (normally) two characters sharing cover-billing.  My own first issue of The Brave and the Bold, #64, was the second to feature one of DC’s two most popular heroes, Batman, as one of the two headliners; over the next eighteen years, however, it would be succeeded by 132 more such team-ups starring the Caped Crusader.  It was thus a typical issue of the series in terms of what was to come, if not what had gone before.  Read More

Justice League of America #42 (February, 1966)

By December, 1965, I had been buying and reading comics for almost half a year, and in that time Justice League of America had definitely become my favorite comic book — the one series I would buy whenever I saw a new issue.  That’s not surprising, I guess, considering its all-star cast of heroes.  Concurrently, I had also sampled individual issues of a number of the Justice League members’ own series (and most of those that I hadn’t gotten around to yet, I’d be checking out before long).  But there were other DC heroes I only glanced at when perusing the spinner racks at the Tote-Sum.  These particular heroes — characters like the Doom Patrol, the Metal Men, and Ultra the Multi-Alien — were a little more bizarre, and a little less-human seeming, than Superman, Batman, and the rest of the JLA gang.  Nevertheless, there was a way for such characters to get my attention, and that was to appear in the JLA’s own book — as Metamorpho, the Element Man, did in Justice League of America #42’s “Metamorpho Says — No!” (produced, per the Grand Comics Database, by the series’ regular team of writer Gardner Fox, penciller Mike Sekowsky, and inker Bernard Sachs).  Read More