Justice League of America #51 (February, 1967)

Throughout the 1960’s, as their upstart rival Marvel Comics distinguished itself with the development of a complex and more-or-less consistent fictional universe that linked all of the company’s heroes, villains, and other characters into one ongoing meta-story, DC Comics resolutely continued to operate as a collection of mostly independent fiefdoms, each under the dominion of its own editor.  Sure, all the A-list heroes showed up for Julius Schwartz’s Justice League of America, regardless of who was editing the heroes’ solo series, and they could also pair off in George Kashdan’s (later, Murray Boltinoff’s) The Brave and the Bold — but, by and large, DC’s editors didn’t pay much attention to continuity across the line.

Within an individual editor’s purview, however, there were occasional stabs at crossovers and other signifiers of a shared universe — especially within the books guided by Schwartz.  As we’ve discussed in a previous post, one way Schwartz accomplished this was be establishing close friendships between pairs of his heroes (Flash and Green Lantern, Atom and Hawkman) which provided frequent opportunities for guest-shots in one another’s books.  Another way was to set up a plotline in one book that would carry over into another book — as was done in the classic “Zatanna‘s Search” story arc that ran through multiple Schwartz-edited books from 1964 through 1966, culminating in Justice League of America #51’s “Z — as in Zatanna — and Zero Hour!”.     Read More

The Fox and the Crow #97 (Apr.-May, 1966)

My early comic book buying and reading didn’t include a lot of “funny” comics.  (There was Mad, but I don’t consider it a comic book so much as a magazine with a lot of comics in it.)  No, not for me were the kid humor titles from Harvey (Casper, Richie Rich, Hot Stuff, etc.), the teen humor of Archie and his brethren, or even the “celebrity” books (Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis) from my favored publisher, DC Comics.  And while I eventually came to have an appreciation for the work of such great creators as Carl Barks, there wouldn’t be any Disney comics in my collection until after I became an adult.  It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy funny cartoon characters — I routinely watched them on TV on Saturday mornings (and occasionally on weekday afternoons).  I suspect that at my advanced age of eight years, I’d decided that such characters were simply too “babyish” to spend my money on, if not necessarily my time.

But for whatever reason, in February, 1966, I made an exception — and it was for The Fox and the CrowRead More