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  1. #1
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    Default JLA:THE SILVER AGE TPB Review

    Just bought the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA:THE SILVER AGE softcover trade paperback. It contains THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #28-30,JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1-8 and MYSTERY IN SPACE #75. That's more than 300 pages for $19.99!

    Writer-Gardner Fox,Pencilers-Mike Sekowsky and Carmine Infantino,Inkers-Bernard Sachs,Murphy Anderson and Joe Giella, Cover Artist-Michael Cho

    So,thought I'd do an overview of it first. The stories can be seen now as rather "cheesy" or "silly" but they can also be refreshing as the characters are (gasp!) happy and friendly with each other.

    The main characters are The Flash (Barry Allen), Manhunter from Mars (J'onn J'onzz), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) and Aquaman. (Would say Arthur Curry but don't think anyone called him that in these stories) appearances by Superman (Clark Kent) and Batman (Bruce Wayne) are kept to a minimum. Guessing it was much like the editorial decree when they were part of the original super-hero team the Justice Society of America,i.e. they didn't want to "overexpose" the two. Ha, ha! Could you imagine that today!?

    Oh,yeah and ..."Snapper" Carr. Their "mascot." He's...helpful. Sometimes. But mostly just talks in ridiculous slang and snaps his fingers. IIRC,much,much later he gains the ability to teleport when snapping his fingers.

    This team is somewhat less powerful in comparison to later and more recent versions. J'onn basically takes Superman's role and they just replace Kryptonite with fire and relies on his -*ahem* "Super-breath" quite a bit. Wonder Woman depends on her magic lasso -a lot!- and has to use her "robot plane" to fly. Aquaman has the unfortunate weakness of only being able to stay out of contact with water for 1 hour at a time and the sea creatures do most of the work. (Lol This,no doubt,led to his much joked about appearances on the SUPERFRIENDS cartoon) GL ,naturally,uses his power ring but it has the weakness to yellow and has to be charged every 24 hours. There's a couple of different things he does with it that are rather creative but there are limited constructs (much like John Stewart on the JL/JLU animated series) The Flash could be seen as the most powerful of the full time roster as he's seen many times as almost unstoppable.

    Will be trying to do a review of each story as much as possible and-hopefully-others will join me.

    Next time- "Starro the Conqueror!"
    Last edited by Brian Adkins; 05-14-2017 at 12:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Spectacular Member mooch's Avatar
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    Any chance of some photos?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mooch View Post
    Any chance of some photos?
    No. Sorry.

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    Was going to try and update this at a specific time each day but with a somtimes erratic schedule it's just not feasible. Oh,well.

    Before I get to the first story just a few more musings on the characters-mainly about the art including the uniforms.

    J'onn J'onzz's head looks odd. Not sure if he was based on anyone or not but he kind of looks like a green Lex Luthor. His uniform has always baffled me.

    Hal Jordan's outfit has a very sleek design and looks great. The only "silly" thing being that the mask doesn't cover anything but his eyes. (Not getting into a debate about it though as yes,there are others with obvious flaws to try and hide their identities.)

    Wonder Woman's outfit had to have influenced the 70's t.v. show with Lynda Carter.

    Aquaman has dark briefs for some reason.

    The Flash also has a great outfit.

    Batman doesn't look the least bit scary.

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    Since this was written for a younger audience in mind we are given,at times, notes on geography and science! And even though the first story doesn't count it with big numbers up in the corner the way the others will do,the stories are done in "Chapters", usually 5. Because,you know,5 members.

    So- first up :"Starro the Conqueror!"

    Aquaman is alerted via "thought beaming" by Peter, a "puffer fish", to the arrival of a giant alien starfish. Note: By swallowing air into a special sac beneath its throat,the puffer fish becomes inflated like a football-whereupon it rises to the surface and floats upside down! See,kids,educational! Too bad that isn't true with goldfish. Sorry,kids but they're dead.

    Something I never knew was that Starro ,in this first appearance,is telepathic,shoots lasers from its tips and ,as seen here,can pass on its powers to Earth's starfish and make them grow! Starro isn't too bright though as it mistakes our starfish for distant relatives. And uses them to try and take over the world. Why? ...I don't know. It never says. That's just what evil does,okay?

    Aquaman alerts the other members by using "ultra sonic vibrations from his solar powered 'A' belt." Hmm,that sounds -ahem-fishy. Sorry,sorry.

    Wonder Woman is shown with "boy toy" Steve Trevor turning him down yet again until she's no longer needed to battle crime and injustice. Steve,you poor,lonely guy. WW summons her robot plane which responds to the vibrations of her voice. Someone sure liked the idea of vibrations doing a lot of stuff. And it's never called the "invisible plane" but "robot plane." It does seem more transparent than invisible.

    Superman is busy smashing up meteors but assures us he'll be there if he's needed. What a pal.

    Next is Hal Jordan piloting an experimental rocket plane when he gets the summons. Hal ditches the flight duds for his GL outift and "wills" the "air-space craft" to fly around the world for 24 hrs. without him. In other words,just like Captain Kirk,he's a cheater!

    Batman is shown in the Batmobile thinking that he's also too busy trying to catch 2 of his villains in Gotham City but will keep in touch. Such a nice Batman...it's kind of weird.

    Next up is The Flash! Barry is busy trying to stop a tornado. Barry helpfully teaches us that:" A tornado is a violent rotary storm a few hundred yards wide-with winds up to 500 miles an hour!-the winds revolve spirally upaward in a counter-clockwise direction." And then tells us all he has to do is to counter the counter clockwise directions to cancel them. Science! Ha! Beat that,"Boy Scout!" Maybe he could have tried "reversing the polarity." That's for the Whovians.

    Meanwhile in a "metropolitan police office" -so basically anywhere in the U.S.A.just pick one,okay?-John Jones is granted a vacation just as his "super hearing" pick up Aquaman's emergency call. He has blonde hair as John. Always thought he had brown hair. Well,he IS a shape shifter. Right? And I don't think he's ever called Martian Manhunter,it's either J'onn or "Manhunter from Mars."

    We finally see all of them together in what is described as their "modernistically outifitted cavern" that serves as thir secret headquarters. It is indeed a swanky pad with a room sized computer,a video monitor on the wal,those neat looking steps that don't seem to connect with each other,a huge couch,a large library,natuarally a large table with 7 chairs and Wondy's plane parked right in the entranceway.

    Apparently, Peter the puffer fish didn't tell Aquaman everything as he doesn't know Starro's powers but somehow knows the 3 locations of where the "starfish warriors" will be to start their conquest. Dang you,Peter!

    The Flash is the chairman and gives out assignments to everyone. Like a boss!

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    Chapter 2: STARRO VS. GREEN LANTERN!

    Hal goes to the Rocky Mountain National Park Area to confront Starro's "star deputy." It's attacking a U.S. Air Force jet bomber. They fight back by shooting at it to no avail as it rips through the jet and steals an atom bomb! GL makes a ramp for the damaged craft to land on so it can slide safely back to earth. Hal was at a distance and so doesn't know it stole something until "probing the minds of the Air Force men with my power ring." Wait,...what!? So,he just casually invades the minds of people?? Wow. The consequences of that' would be a plot point for a huge crossover these days.

    But then...it explodes the atom bomb! And Hal is caught in its path but then forms a bubble with a "verdant glow." They use the word verdant quite a bit. Guess saying green all the time was too plain. This is long before Indiana Jones but is definitely a "nuke the fridge" moment. Hal should be dead.

    Starro-deputy is now absorbing the atomic energy. So, GL lets his force field fade away. No nuclear fall out to see here,folks. Move along.

    GL "wills" it to shrink in both power and size. Um,why not just do this to begin with?

    Of all things to not teach us was the definition of the word "volpaning." Hal thinks "It's volpaning groundward,no longer able to fly." Volplane means "a steep controlled dive,especially by an aircraft with the engine off." You're welocme.

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    The next chapter is with Wonder Woman and John Jones:Manhunter from Mars. Yes,they put all of that on there for John. It's like they couldn't decide which name was best.

    They encounter the next "deputy" in "Science City." Wonder which state that's in? It's attacking the HALL OF SCIENCE-you can tell because those bold letters are on the front of it. Wherever it is, according to WW, "the greatest scientific minds of the United States" are there. Have to wonder who and how many? But ,hey at least we know it's in the U.S.

    The Starro "deputy" tells us its mission is to "rob the brainpower of the scientists" and so the giant,tentacled,telepathic,flying monster lifts the building up into the atmosphere and we learn that "the scientists have been put into suspended animation so they'll be alive until their mind power is taken from them." Don't know why the telepathic creature doesn't just take it from their minds. Maybe it should ask Hal how to do it.

    Oh,and it's taking the building into the atmosphere to avoid destructive weapons.

    Oops,I was wrong it says right here that- J'onn J'onzz-the Martain Manhunter (!)-flies by the negation of gravity. So,yes they did call him The Martian Manhunter. My bad.

    Wonder Woman balances on the wing of her robot plane to try and snare the building and the creature with her magic lasso while John decides to...leave. To go find a weapon. Cause,...um,he doesn't have enough powers? I dunno. Just go with it. Even Diana wonders what kind of weapon he can find in the upper atmosphere. Good for you,Diana. Good for you.

    WW does snare a tentacle with her lasso but it takes her by surprise and yanks on her,so she does a great somersaulting feat onto the building. So far,WW is treated with quite a bit of care and is shown as an equal to all of the guys.

    Well,John is back and he brought some meteors-it's kind of suggested these are the smaller bits from the ones Superman was smashing -and he blows them at Starro. Just as he explains that if they had fallen just a little further into the atmosphere,the friction would have caused them to flaare up and he wouldn't be able to handle them. Just in case,we didn't know his weakeness from all of that exposition,a wooden window frame catches fire. Fire is his weakeness! John spots some storm clouds with his "Martian super-vision" and,once again,uses super-breath. This time to draw the clouds near him so the rain will put out the fire. Couldn't he just have blown at it from a distance and accomplished the same thing?

    Now that there's a drenching rainfall and John has rcovered,WW says: "Good! Then let's STORM into this menace!" Heh.

    Starro-lite zaps nuclear bolts at them. WW deflects them with her bracelets,made from Amazonium-the strongest metal there is! Honest! John lifts up a piece of lead roofing to protect himself. No radiation poisioning for these two.

    WW finally gets the building away from it as she lassos her plane from the building and the force yanks it out of it's grasp. Meanwhile,John tries to distract it and gets tangled up in its tentacles.

    Diana gets the building and its people safe to go back and help John. They defeat it by...wrestling it. It just stops for some reason and falls to the ground. Did they unintentionally kill it? It's still gaint size but inert. We may never know.

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    I just wanted to say I'm really enjoying your posts. I haven't seen these comics since I was a kid. Classic story: my collection got left behind in a move when I was away at college. At one time I had nearly the entire JLA run and had read reprints of what I didn't have -- the earliest stuff. It's a really great trip down memory lane reading your posts. Thanks for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BatmanJones View Post
    I just wanted to say I'm really enjoying your posts. I haven't seen these comics since I was a kid. Classic story: my collection got left behind in a move when I was away at college. At one time I had nearly the entire JLA run and had read reprints of what I didn't have -- the earliest stuff. It's a really great trip down memory lane reading your posts. Thanks for them.
    Oh,wow. Well,I'm glad you're enjoying them. Was kind of afraid no one was looking at it. Lol Or,if they did,they'd think I was being mean. I just like throwing in some humor. Thanks again for reading! :-)

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    Next chapter: Starro vs. The Flash! Why does the villain get top billing? Oh,and "Snapper" Carr too.

    The Flash is speeding towards Happy Harbor to confront the 3rd Starro "deputy." Not sure when but later on in their history it will be revealed that this is in Rhode Island and the base of their secret HQ. The text gives away what's about to happen next because "not only must he find a way to defeat the creature-he must also learn the secret behind the strange immunity of his teenage pal-Snapper Carr!" Gosh,letter box thanks for ruining any suspense of danger.

    We find out that "hipster" - don't worry it doesn't mean what it does today-Snapper Carr has been busy for 3 hours spreading turf builder-lime, and Sodium Chlorate on his family's lawn. And this is where we find out he either is extremely nerdy,has a drug addiction,has a mental illnes or possibl all three via his dialogue. "Man,this grass mat is the coolest!' Wait'll Daddy-O casts his orbs on it!" Okay,so that one isn't too bad.

    Next panel we see his mom ,dad and sister come out of the house and stare blankly ahead. "Hey! What's with the family circle? Where are they beating their feet too?"

    We learn Snapper's dad's name is John. SPOILER: We will learn one day that Lucas is this teenager's first name not "Snapper." So,Carr's family along with every one else in town is in a trance thanks to the Starro thing. "It's so crowded...it's ANTSVILLE! Like everybody is out putting soles in their sandals." Yeah,I don't know what the last part means either.

    "Dig that crazy pinwheel! What bit is playing in this spectcular?" Least the pinwheel comment towards Starro,III. makes sense. It's about to give an order to everyone when it realizes Snapper is immune and shoots a nuclear bolt at him! Flash arrives in time to save him and question why Snapper isn't affected. "I don't know,Flash! I'm bugged! I'm really swinging,casting orbs on you like this,Flash! Like I'm having a "happy-mare" you dig?" Flash is too nice to tell him he sounds ridiculous. As Flash leaves,Snapper says he's getting his hot rod to follow them.

    The starfish is shooting "atomic lances" at Flash but,naturally,can't hit him. Why not try to hypnotize Flash?

    Flash spins the sucker around and arond so fast it decides to find water to hide! Flash folows and pulling a Moses and parts the sea! With his feet! Okay,the immense vibrations from his feet. They really had a thing for vibrations back then. The waters keeping rolling back and then land on the starfish with "piledriver force!" So,yep it's dead. If you were to take it seriously,the JLA never even tried non-lethal tactics just straight up hardcore violence to kill them.

    Snapper shows up to congratulate Flash on his impressive kill. Er,win. Flash pushes Snapper in his hot rod but not too fast as to not burn up the car's tires. They meet up with Snapper's family who have snapped out of the trance since Starro III was killed.- do they ever show Snapper's parents or sister ever again after this? John tells Flash the order was going to be to go to Turkey's Hollow. Flash decides to bring Snapper due to his apparent immunity to the creature. Snapper tells Flash he likes it that's why he's snapping his fingers-it tells he likes something and that's why folks call him "Snapper!" Thanks,Captain Obvious! I think it would have been funnier if Aquaman had named him Snapper. ...no? Anyone get that? Okay,moving on...

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    Default The 5th and final chapter!

    The "real" Starro vs. Justice League of America! Like all classic super-villains it tells us its entire motivation and nefarious plans!

    "My starfish deputies have been destroyed but not before they accomplished their missions! The atomic energy of the first was relayed to the second,the second transferred the scientists' knowldege to the third and from the third, learned I can control human minds!" "Earth beings will obey me when I order them to explode all their atom bombs so I can bathe in them and absorb their energy! With enough nuclear power I can travel to other worlds..." "This is my first attempt to conquer a world! I had to test the powers of these humans by using three agents! Now that I have succeeded -I can conquer the universe!"

    Starro just sound slik he's maing excuses. But,thanks for the summary! The text says Starro was waiting for the people of Happy Harbor to com to him but wouldn't he know they've snapped out of it due to his "deputy" being dead? And why not just explode the bombs on his own? It's always amusing that the villains can't believe the "humans" -the super-heroes-are so powerful even though most aren't "normal" humans at all.

    Gl,John,WW and Aquaman all come blazing in to kill...sorry,stop Starro. GL is stopped by a mental blast probing his mind. Now,he knows how it feels! Hal quickly shakes it off. Like,in a literal second. Wow,"real" Starro sucks at mind control. The 3rd one took mental control of a whole town but he can't do anythting against Hal. But it did find out GL's power ring weakness of yellow and changes its color to yellow!

    Starro fires another blast at Flash but he dodges it and it hits Snapper! Again,nothing happens. I'm guessing this was meant to be a mental bolt and not a nuclear one. But how would Flash know the difference beforehand? We could have ended up with fried Snapper. That's another fish joke.

    Flash wants to know why Snapper isn't poached or boiled or hypnotized so after pointing out he's secretly Barry Allen, a "police laboratory scientist" he asks GL to use his power ring as a Spectroscope and scan Snapper. And yep,a spectroscope is a real thing: "An optical spectrometer (spectrophotometer, spectrograph or spectroscope) is an instrument used to measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, typically used in spectroscopic analysis to identify materials." Unfortunately,it doesn't tell us that I looked it up myself.

    GL tells us that Snapper's spectrum shows nothing unusual except for spectroscopic lines of calcium. He's covered with Calcium Oxide-a.k.a.Lime!

    Aquaman pitches in with this: "Oyster men use quicklime to fight starfish who prey on oysters in the sea!" Gosh,that could have been helpful 4 chapters ago!

    So,deducing lime will help them kill, ...um,stop Starro, GL uses his power ring to grab barrels of lime from a nearby farm. He claims they'll pay the farmers later for it and pours the lime all over Starro. Flash takes only a moment to go to a chemical warehouse and returns with bags of lime which J'onn blows everywhere with his super-breath. Good thing John doesn't smoke.

    Starro is defeated as it's covered in lime. Yep,another giant starfish just laying there that we never see the JLA clean up and put away somewhere. So,we learned a giant,flying,tentacled,telepathic,nuclear absorbing outer space starfish is just like an ordinary Earth starfish. Science!

    With the threat over and by unanimous vote- Superman and Batman show up now-they elect Snapper Carr as an honorary memeber and Flash present shim with a band-or medal-with a signaling device.. I have no idea why he's an honorary member since his help was purely incidental,he was always in danger and he did absolutley nothing. Heck,his dad John did as much where's his medal?

    Okay,end of the first story of the Justice League of America! Yay!

    But seriously,did anyone really talk like Snapper Carr in the 60's?

  12. #12
    Incredible Member andersonh1's Avatar
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    I have the hardcover Omnibus, which has The Brave and the Bold #28-30 and Justice League of America #1-30, but left out Mystery in Space #75. Where does it fit chronologically?

    Snapper's dialogue is hilarious. I can't say I like him, but I find him amusing and he doesn't take up too much of the page count, so I can live with his presence in the book.
    "Why do the trunks not "hold up with the times"? What exactly is the problem with them? And don't tell me "nobody wears them" because nobody dresses in a blue body suit and red cape and boots either.

    It's a superhero costume. It's the original superhero costume. It's not real clothing, it's not bound to the ever-changing fashion trends of real life. It's nothing like real life clothing. How exactly can it become outdated?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by andersonh1 View Post
    I have the hardcover Omnibus, which has The Brave and the Bold #28-30 and Justice League of America #1-30, but left out Mystery in Space #75. Where does it fit chronologically?
    This edition has it between JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA vol. 1,#3 and 4.

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    Hello, I'm new around here. Just fell back in to the comic book frenzy. Used to manage a comic shop, during the implosion. Anyway, I've been enjoying the JLA omnibus, and according to solicitations volume 2 contains Mystey in Space 75.....so it all works out in the wash.....yes?

    Sorry, this s an extremely clumsy introduction....
    Last edited by Racnil; 03-21-2016 at 11:13 PM. Reason: K

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    Quote Originally Posted by Racnil View Post
    Hello, I'm new around here. Just fell back in to the comic book frenzy. Used to manage a comic shop, during the implosion. Anyway, I've been enjoying the JLA omnibus, and according to solicitations volume 2 contains Mystey in Space 75.....so it all works out in the wash.....yes?

    Sorry, this s an extremely clumsy introduction....
    It's all good. Welcome!

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