Thursday, November 13, 2008

DC Sampler #2 (9/84)

Presenting: the first ever appearance of Justice League Detroit! Click on the image below to see the full, high resolution glory...

Drawn by Chuck Patton with inks by future "Martian Manhunter" artist Tom Mandrake, this piece was part of a free comic DC used to circulate once a year to hype their entire line. I loved these things growing up, as they really did feel like a window into another universe; always featuring exclusive art, synopsis, and other information on comics I didn't or couldn't read.

As was the case for most of Patton's run, J'Onn J'Onzz and Zatanna are the furthest in the background, though it's strange Steel is also way out. Maybe Patton wasn't as enthusiastic about a carryover from a long-canceled series by writer Gerry Conway as he was the new characters they co-created? After all, Gypsy is surprisingly prominent... as is her green eyeshadow, making her look like a glamorous raccoon. The Disco Dazzler had even abandoned that look by then.

Poor Aquaman. Patton drew him so well, and he seems so hopeful about his newfound spotlight as team leader. A shame he was guiding the lot to infamy, and that he himself would bail out midway through their run as Justice League of America. It's also funny that he's directly below Batman, his successor in the role, who himself vanished after one story arc without explanation.

Vixen was another leftover of Conway's, but Patton got to design an entirely new costume for her, though the domino mask vanished before it appeared elsewhere.

I wonder if Patton misjudged how much space he needed, crowding five team members onto one page, while only three spread out in the next. I suspect that's why Elongated Man was given such attention, as his power allowed his to cover a lot of ground. It's also funny to see Vibe so dark complected, a real reminder of the multicultural aspect of the team. I don't think he ever wore those dish washing gloves again, thankfully.


Bookgal said...

"After all, Gypsy is surprisingly prominent... as is her green eyeshadow, making her look like a glamorous raccoon. The Disco Dazzler had even abandoned that look by then."

LOL I caught that too. I was a big X-men reader in high school/college and I remember thinking later on that Gypsy and Dazzler seemed kind of similar persona wise to me.

Diabolu Frank said...

I always figured Dazzler's role model was Olivia Newton-John by way of Dale Bozzio. Gypsy was more of an early Madonna/Cyndi Lauper/Stevie Nicks in the Detroit years. Neither were very timely, though sadly, Gypsy was a little more relevant. Both were middle class girls pretending to be something they were not, thought life on the street gave Gypsy a legit edge that carried over into the snark of the JLTF years. Dazzler just continued to sit five years behind the times ("Dazzler: The Movie," starring Olivia-John, circa "Physical.")

Bookgal said...

Oh god, Now I'm thinking

Yeah I did catch the Gypsy/Cyndi Lauper connection (I'm still a big fan of hers even today.)

Still I always did like Gypsy, I thought her relationship with J'onn was wonderful.

Diabolu Frank said...

Oh yeah-- Cyndi's great. I haven't heard anything since the "Shine" EP (except sampling some tracks off her album of standards,) but she's had a special place in my heart since the old days. I even saw "Vibes."

It's going to be a while before I start on the JLTF days, but I'm really looking forward to covering Gypsy's stories under Priest.