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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What Are You Reading? | Detective, Uncanny X-Force and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their “to read” list lately.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately. In this week’s edition, we take a look back at Rick Remender’s opening salvo on Uncanny X-Force and the first Batman collaboration between Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, among other comics. You can play along in the comments if you’d like.

Now here we go …

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Denny O’Neil passes away at 81

The prolific writer, editor and teacher died from natural causes June 11.

Writer, editor and teacher Denny O’Neil has passed away at the age of 81. According to Newsarama, O’Neil died of natural causes in his home last night.

O’Neil was one of the most prolific writers of Batman, having written more than 200 issues featuring the character. His work appeared in Batman, Detective Comics and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight. In the 1970s, he was credited with bringing Batman back to his darker roots, following the campy Batman TV show of the 1960s. He co-created Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, Leslie Thompkins and Azrael, and also edited the Batman titles from 1986 through 2000.

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What Are You Reading? Justice League, X-Men and more!

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their “to read” list lately.

Welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, our weekly journey into the center of our reading lists. This time around, hear about Tom’s endless trek through old Justice League issues, Shane’s adventures with 1990s X-Men comics and my own scattershot batch of comics.

And as always, tell us what comics you’ve been exploring in the comments.

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Neal Adams to write and draw ‘Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul’

DC’s ‘Year of the Villain’ continues in August with a new miniseries about one of Batman’s greatest foes.

DC Comics is giving the devil his due this year in their “Year of the Villain” event, which will come to a head in the fall with lots of broken comic logos. But before that, Neal Adams will pit Batman against his son’s grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul, in a six-issue miniseries.

Here’s how DC describes the comic:

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Comics Lowdown: Oni Press, Lion Forge announce merger, restructuring, layoffs

Plus: Patrick Gleason, Emily Carroll, awards and more!

Oni Press and Lion Forge will merge in order to “strengthen their library of original comics and graphic novels and help them to leverage their characters on other media platforms, including animation and film,” according to a story in the New York Times. The new publishing company will fall under the Polarity umbrella, a media entertainment entity launched by Lion Forge co-founder Dave Steward II last year.

The new company’s combined publishing efforts will be overseen by Oni Press publisher James Lucas Jones, who will be president and publisher. “We’re going to take a look at efficiencies and identify a number of areas of growth as well,” said Steward. The Beat details several layoffs that have already occurred at both companies, including Andrea Colvin, Lion Forge’s editor in chief, and Oni’s Desiree Wilson. According to Publisher’s Weekly, Joe Nozemack, founder of Oni Press, will join the new entity’s board and serve in an advisory role.

As far as their publishing lines go, Lion Forge Senior Publicist Jeremy Atkins tweeted that Oni Press “will be the publisher of all creator-owned books going forward,” while company-owned IP, like the Catalyst Prime universe, will fall under the Lion Forge banner. This one is still developing, so no doubt more information on the new structure and publishing entity will be forthcoming.

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‘Detective’ #1000 to feature Dini, Lee, Bendis, Cloonan, Ellis and more

DC Comics has unveiled the line-up for Detective Comics #1000, the landmark issue that arrives in stores in March.

The comic will feature short stories by a variety of creative teams, from classic Batman creators like Denny O’Neil, Paul Dini and Kelley Jones, as well as more recent creators like Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Tom King.

“Following in the footsteps of the blockbuster Action Comics #1000, Detective Comics #1000 is going to be a must-have for every kind of Batman fan,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio. “Everyone we asked to be a part of this monumental issue immediately said yes and we can’t wait for fans to get their hands on the comic book.”

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