Every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a suggestion for a future installment!
Today, we take a look at an odd issue of Justice League of America from 1970 (by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella) where the plot turns on everybody being really, really into Zatanna…
Mike Friedrich’s run on Justice League is famous (infamous?) for how…well…emotional it was. This comes up very quickly in the issue. First off, this issue, #87, is most famous for being part of a kind of sort of crossover between the Avengers and the Justice League (read more about it at this ooooold Comic Book Legends Revealed installment from way back in 2006). However, the fact that the Justice League face off against analogues for the Avengers (Thor, Scarlet Witch, Yellowjacket and Quicksilver)…
is not really the strange part about this issue. No, it is the weird way that Zatanna is treated in the issue.
First off, the basic concept behind the issue is that there is this world that destroyed itself in a battle between two powerful corporations. The Justice League faced a robot from one of the corporations while the Super-Defenders of Angor fought a robot from a rival corporation (Gee, I wonder what kind of message Friedrich is trying to get across here?).
I love when they meet – complete with a depiction of the “license” the writer is using to allow us to understand the Defenders of Angor.
How the Justice League got to this point was that a robot from the corporation encountered Batman and Hawkman and drove them nuts. It made Batman into a power-mad despot and made Hawkman into his hopeless flunky. Batman and the robot attacked the Justice League and things didn’t seem to go well for the JLAers, as they were seemingly all killed. Luckily…
Of COURSE that’s what happened!
So they tracked the robot down and encountered the Super-Defenders and they, of course, all fought each other.
Let me go back a bit. Zatanna had not yet joined the Justice League (she wouldn’t actually join until roughly 80 issues later), but she decided to go visit the Justice League to celebrate the anniversary of her first meeting with them.
Anyhow, check out how Friedrich has Superman interact with Zatanna…
First off, how emo is Superman there? And then, he’s totally checking out her ass, right?
Okay, so cut back to the big battle between the Justice League and the Super-Defenders…
Wow. That is quite an ending. A Justice League key party, if you would. What really makes the last panel stand out is the look Dillin gives Zatanna. It’s quite…interesting.
That’s it for this installment! If you have a suggestion for a future I Love Ya But You’re Strange, drop me a line at email@example.com
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