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Justice League of America: The Greatest Stories Ever Told Paperback – February 1, 2006
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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I was an avid comic book reader, and had even aspired to being a writer because of my love for the medium.
I thoroughly enjoyed Justice League of America: The Greatest Stories Ever Told. I have to say that it was a bit of a shock to realize that most of these stories were still familiar to me.
I would highly recommend this book and only gave it four stars because a few stories were missing which I felt could have qualified.
I hope anyone who gets this book will enjoy it with the same enthusiasm I did; though being 50 years old is not a prerequisite.
Justice League of America #19 1963
Justice League of America #77 1969
Justice League of America #122 1975
Justice League of America #166 - 168 1979
Justice League #1 1987
JLA Secret Files #1 1997
JLA # 61 2002
We can see with these stories that the editors have made a concerted effort to cull stories from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and 2000's. And in all fairness, these are some solid stories for the most part. In JLA # 19, Doctor Destiny uses the dreams of the members to create super versions of the team that commit crimes. The JLA gets blamed and goes into self-imposed exile off Earth to try and figure out how to defeat their duplicates. This is by far the weakest story in the book. Gardner Fox's script is clumsy, even for the early 1960's. At one point Doctor Destiny goes into one of those villainous monologues (alone in his jail cell I might add) and uses the word "wicked" four times in the space of a couple of panels. Add to that, I always found Mike Sekowsky's art to be very blocky and unattractive.
In JLA #77 the league is betrayed by their mascot Snapper Carr who turns over secret knowledge to a man called John Dough who is leading a sort of religious quest to rid the world of superheroes. Interesting to note is that this story features a Black Canary who has just joined the team and doesn't yet know how to control her sonic scream powers. Story and art by Denny O'Neil and Dick Dillin.
JLA #122 is called "Great Identity Crisis" and rather ironic considering the events at DC over the past year. In this story, which, coincidently Dr. Light figures prominently in, the league members reveal all of their identities to each other to avoid problems in the future. How prophetic is that! Story and art by Marty Pasko and Dick Dillin.
JLA # 166 - 168 is a three part storyline featuring the Secret Society of Super Villains who use a magical artifact to switch bodies with the league and then imprison the JLA into a stasis cube. Some nice interplay between the characters in this tale. Story and art By Gerry Conway and Dick Dillin.
Justice League #1 was the Keith Giffen revamp that went for a good deal of comedy and slapstick...usually at the expense of Guy Gardner and Blue Beetle. In the first issue, Gardner is being his usual loudmouth self and starts a fight with several of the new members until Batman puts him in his place. That is still a classic scene! Kevin Maguire handled the art.
JLA Secrect Files #1 is a modern retelling of the League's origin and their first threat of Starro the Conqueror. The Spectre shows up to warn the league not to interfere with the military's response to the alien threat and shows them the dire consequences of what will happen if they disobey him. Story written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar.
JLA Vol. 2 # 61 - The League has to face the wrath of a horde of mythological creatures such as the Greek Titans and Krakens in a story by Joe Kelly, Doug Mahnke, and Tom Nguyen.
If I had a few hours I could certainly find stories I think were as deserving to be included such as the story from Justice League #99 - 100, but overall it's a solid collection. Dick Dillin was an underrated artist. Not spectacular but steady. Kind of like a George Tuska or Sal Buscema. The greatest stories? Well, it's awfully hard to choose the greatest from literally hundreds of issues but all in all a pretty good job.
Reviewed by Tim Janson