Welcome back for the second part of my annotations of “The Lightning Saga,” the five-part storyline currently unfolding in DC’s Justice League of America and Justice Society of America titles. Writers Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns have revived the tradition of JLA/JSA teamups, once a staple of the original JLA series. That’s not all they’ve brought back either, as some semi-obscure references keep popping up in the script and plot. I broke down the first chapter from JLA #8 here, and now it’s time to turn our attention to the second episode, in JSA #5. Hopefully, this will be of assistance to newer readers, unfamiliar with the nostalgia-inducing source material.
With Brad Meltzer’s relaunch of a more traditional JLA series with Justice League of America v.2, he and Justice Society of America writer Geoff Johns have brought back another 1970s/’80s tradition, and that’s the annual JLA/JSA teamup. Both writers have demonstrated that their super-hero work draws upon the continuity from that period, which coincides with their youth. As a result, a wide variety of characters, conventions and continuity points come into play in their writing, so newer readers may find some reference material handy. As such, Eye on Comics presents an annotated guide to the “The Lightning Saga.”
Welcome back to the first annual Glass Eye Awards (click here to check out Part One). Everybody who is anybody in the world of comics is… well, not here but somewhere else, probably getting soused on holiday eggnog and rum. And I think I’ll join them (hold the eggnog, please). As I pour liquor over the pain of the past 12 months, I’ll reflect back on the comics creators who stood out as the best in the industry in 2006. Bear in mind, there’s no way for one person to read all that the comic-book industry had to offer in the course of a single month, let alone a full year. This is by no means a definitive list, just my two cents’ worth. But hey, people seem to like these “Best of” lists.
It’s time to roll out the red carpet and dole out my personal “awards” for the best of the past year. Of course, the carpet in question was originally an off-white, stained red by the blood of pizza-delivery guys and endangered birds. Anyhoo, welcome to the first annual Glass Eye Awards, honoring the cream of the crop in comics, as best as we here at Eye on Comics can figure (and by “we,” I mean me). Bear in mind, there’s no way for me to have read all comics and graphic novels released in 2006, and a few choices — perhaps even obvious ones — may have been accidentally omitted, as my mind is no steel trap. In other words, don’t view this list as any kind of final word or all-encompassing, definitive list of the tops in comics.
[The scene: a nondescript storefront in Small Town Main Street America.]
Man Off Street: Hi, I was wondering if I could use the can?
Recruitment Officer #1: Hi there! Welcome to the Civil War Recruitment Office.
Man: Um, hi. I really gotta take a whiz…
Recruitment Officer #1: I’m Happy Hogan, and this is Pepper Potts.
Recruitment Officer #2: Hi! I have freckles!
Man: Sure. They’re nice. You got a bathroom here or what?
Recruitment Officer #1: Absolutely! But first, why not fill out a form? Pepper’s got pens!
Recruitment Officer #2: I have blue ones and black ones, Happy! And I keep drugs in this one, just like the FBI guy on Prison Break!
Man: Who names people Happy and Pepper?
Recruitment Officer #2: Stan did! Are you finished with your form?
Man: What’s this for?
Novelist and comics writer Brad Meltzer is clearly a fan of old-school DC comics, especially from the 1970s and ’80s. It shows through in his writing in the form of a myriad of characters and continuity references, ranging from the easily recognizable to the obscure. Last month, I wrote and published annotations of Meltzer’s first issue of the new Justice League of America series back on my previous site, The Fourth Rail. Those notes were pretty well received (and thanks to those who offered feedback). After perusing the pages of the second issue, it struck me that another set of annotations might be welcomed, as some lesser known references are to be found in this second chapter of “The Tornado’s Path.” So, without ado, let’s proceed, but beware, there are spoilers ahead…
There’s no denying the importance of Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans/Tales of the Teen Titans comics of the 1980s. Not only have those stories heavily influenced the recent Cartoon Network Teen Titans series (and movie), but the characterization and concepts are still being felt today. Furthermore, DC has announced that among its direct-to-video animation plans are a faithful adaptation of “The Judas Contract,” a classic story arc from 1984.
I was thumbing through my copies of the original comics, enjoying the rediscovery of the writing and art. I also discovered something else — some familiar names in the letters column. Welcome to another edition of Letter Bugs, in which we explore the fan letters of yesteryear written by the comics industry pros of today.