The Justice League At 60, Part Four: Conway’s Corner

Tom Bondurant continues his look back at 60 years of the Justice League.

Check out part one, part two and part three of this series!

Ask a Marvel fan about Gerry Conway and you’re likely to get an answer involving Gwen Stacy. Ask a DC fan about Conway and the answer may well involve his eight years as regular writer of Justice League of America. We’ve mentioned his statistics already, but they bear repeating: Gerry Conway wrote 102 of JLA‘s 261 issues (including 81 in the Satellite Era), plus one of its three annuals. Original JLA writer Gardner F. Fox is in second place with 65 issues.

Between Fox and Conway, an assortment of writers worked with the scarily dependable penciller Dick Dillin. Denny O’Neil, Mike Friedrich and Len Wein each contributed solid, multi-year runs before writing duties were shared among a bullpen for three years. After that was Conway’s immediate predecessor Steve Englehart, whose 10 oversized issues successfully combined existing DC lore with new characters and relationship-driven subplots. Included in the latter was friction between Flash, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman over her alleged bossiness (in reality mind-manipulation from new villain The Construct). Englehart left everyone on good terms, but it was awkward and a little bumpy getting there.

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U.S.Agent suits up for a new series by Priest + Landini

The former Captain America returns in an ongoing series this November.

Marvel has announced plans to launch a U.S.Agent series this fall, from the creative team of Christopher Priest and Stefano Landini.

The first arc, titled “American Zealot,” starts with the former Captain America, John Walker, operating as an independent contractor for the U.S. government. His latest job pulls him into a conflict between a small town and a big corporation, as he suits up in a new costume, recruits a new sidekick and takes on a new enemy.

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Wally West can’t stop running

Tom Bondurant recounts the history of Wally West, from reluctant superhero to generational avatar.

For many superhero-comic readers of the 1980s and ’90s (not to mention viewers of the Justice League animated series in the 2000s), Wally West was the Flash – the fastest man alive. Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino for January 1960’s The Flash issue #110, Wally gained super-speed just as his idol did, by being doused in Barry Allen’s laboratory chemicals and struck by lightning. Today Wally has become a symbol of DC Comics’ superhero legacies, so much so that his role in 2016’s DC Universe Rebirth special signaled a wholesale return to a previous timeline. However, when editorial fiat dispatched him in 2011, Wally had arguably done everything he’d set out to do. Indeed, Wally’s history includes a couple of prominent retirement periods already. Now he’s inherited Metron’s Mobius Chair and Doctor Manhattan’s powers, but the question still remains: What’s left for Wally West?

Wally started out as Kid Flash, sidekick and sometimes backup-feature star. At first he wore a kid-sized Flash costume, so his more familiar duds (acquired in March 1963’s Flash #135) represented a significant step in his development. He was a charter member of the Teen Titans from its primeval beginning (June-July 1964’s Brave and the Bold #54) to its February 1978 dissolution (Teen Titans #53). Shortly thereafter, in 1978’s DC Special Series issue #11, writer Cary Bates and artist Irv Novick had Wally tell his family that he would only be Kid Flash through the end of his college career; and upon graduation, he’d retire from superheroics.

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The Justice League at 60, Part Three: Into Orbit

Tom Bondurant jumps into the ‘Satellite Era’ of the 1970s and ’80s this week, as he continues his look 60 years of the Justice League.

Check out part one and part two of this series!

What we’re calling the “Satellite Era” of Justice League of America began in November 1968’s issue #66, several issues before the team would move into its new headquarters stationed geosynchronously 22,300 miles above Metropolis. Still, writer Gardner Fox’s departure with #65 was the end of an era which stretched arguably back to the Justice Society; and successor Denny O’Neil was making changes even before the satellite was built.

Just as the Silver Age was dominated by Fox and artist Mike Sekowsky, the Satellite Era would be directed mostly by writer Gerry Conway and artist Dick Dillin. This period lasted until November 1984’s issue #232 (after which the team had moved out of the satellite for good); and of those 164 regular issues and two Annuals, Conway wrote 81 and Dillin pencilled 116. Because Conway arrived long after Dillin started, the two only collaborated on 39 issues. Nevertheless, one or the other was part of just about every JLA issue from November 1968 through February 1984.

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Aja + Nocenti’s ‘The Seeds’ will wrap up this December

A trade paperback collecting the entire story arrives just in time for Christmas.

The long-delayed ending to writer Ann Nocenti and artist, colorist and letterer David Aja‘s ‘The Seeds’ will arrive in December. Dark Horse has announced that the entire story will be collected and released as a trade paperback.

The Seeds was announced back in 2017 as one of the launch titles in the Berger Books line, which is spearheaded by veteran editor Karen Berger. Originally intended as a four-issue miniseries, only two issues were published.

“I’m so thrilled to finally to share our hopeful dystopian tale The Seeds with everyone,” Nocenti said. “Grateful for the patience of the readers for our slow-growing Seeds. At this point the characters feel like family, even our nasty aliens. And who knows? Maybe all the world needs is a love story between an alien and a human to lead us someplace better…”

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The Justice League at 60, Part Two: Setting The Standard

Tom Bondurant continues his look at the different eras that have defined the Justice League with an overview of the team’s early years.

Check out part one in this series here!

On or about Dec. 29, 1959, newsstands received new issues of 10 comics series. Next to the four different Archie Comics titles and two Prize Comics romance series were four DC books: Sugar & Spike #27, Detective Comics #276, Strange Adventures #113 and (cover-dated February-March 1960) The Brave and the Bold #28. Like its fellow DC series Showcase, B&B had switched to rotating features and had just concluded three issues’ worth of the spy-centric Suicide Squad. Therefore, dominating B&B‘s cover this month was the title of the newest feature, Justice League of America.

Thanks to Strange Adventures #113, Starro the Conqueror was not the only tentacled menace on that day’s newsstands; but he was the only one being fought by a quintet of familiar superheroes. Martian Manhunter had been around for a few years in Detective; just a few days before, DC had published new issues of Flash and Wonder Woman; and on New Year’s Eve, readers would find a new Aquaman tale in Adventure Comics #269. The relaunched Green Lantern was the newest of the group, having concluded his three-issue tryout a month or so earlier, in Showcase #24. (GL’s solo book wouldn’t start until May 24, 1960.)

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CCI@Home: ‘Crossover’ team reveals details on the new title

Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe and John J. Hill discuss their upcoming ‘anti-event’ title.

After teasing their new comic earlier this month, Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe and John J. Hill revealed more details about Crossover during a virtual panel as a part of Comic-Con@Home.

“Crossover is the scariest goddamn book I have ever attempted to produce in my entire life, and that is why it’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever done,” Cates said. He compared it to “Avengers: Endgame, but as Cloverfield,” then shared that the idea came to him while talking to Geoff Shaw about event comics back in 2017, before he worked for Marvel.

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IDW announces ‘Marvel Action: Chillers’ for October

The miniseries written by Jeremy Whitley will feature Ironheart, Doctor Strange and more.

IDW’s Marvel Action line, which stars Marvel characters in comics aimed at younger readers, will launch a biweekly Halloween-themed miniseries in October.

Written by former Unstoppable Wasp writer Jeremy Whitley, each issue will feature a framing story starring Doctor Strange and Ironheart, with a second “spooky adventures” tale starring Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Elsa Bloodstone and more.

“Marvel characters have an incredibly long and colorful history in horror stories, from the traditional Marvel Monsters, to Werewolf By Night, to Tomb of Dracula. Those were all titles that I loved growing up, and getting to introduce young readers to the world of spooky Marvel characters is an honor and a privilege. I can’t wait for everyone to see what we’re cooking up,” Whitley said.

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Transformers head ‘Back to the Future’ in a new crossover miniseries

IDW will debut the first issue in October.

Great Scott! Marty and Doc Brown will meet the Transformers in an upcoming crossover miniseries from IDW Publishing.

“When I was asked to write the official crossover comic, I could only shout ‘Great Scott’ and dive in,” said writer Cavan Scott. “It’s the perfect fit. Both Transformers and Back to the Future are packed with adventure, humor, and (most importantly) heart. Plus, it gave me a chance to play with multiple Transformers timelines, harkening back to some of my favorite Transformers storylines of the ‘80s, while also bringing in elements of all three Back to the Future movies. Look out for classic characters, both human and Cybertronian, and a few surprises along the way!”

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