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Comic Theme Time Month – Best Debut Story by a Justice League Member

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “what was the best debut story of a character who later became a Justice League Member?”

For the sake of economy, let’s limit it to just Pre-Crisis Justice League Members.

With that in mind, what was the best debut story by a Justice League member? Detective Comics #27? Action Comics #1? All-Star Comics #8? Showcase #4? Showcase #22? Detective Comics #225? More Fun Comics #73? Showcase #34? Brave and the Bold #34? Hawkman #4? Flash #112? Firestorm #1? Phantom Stranger #1? Justice League of America #64? Flash Comics #86?

What’s your pick?


I know you want pre-crisis, but Connor Hawke (Green Arrow) has to have been the best one of the past 25 years easily.

Of course I am referring to debut in the Justice League and not first appearance ever. This might have been a separate topic though. It was just brought to mind by the question. Sorry to stroll off topic.

I saw the title and thought “Connor Hawke,” but on reading the topic I guess I’ll vote for Showcase #4.

I’d vote Connor Hawke as the most annoying Mary Sue or Pet Character ever to join the Justice League. Although I found the Connor Hawke idea more interesting when Marvel slightly subverted it in Daken.

Action Comics #1, of course.

Justice League of America Annual #2

And of course I’m being sarcastic.

What about Justice League 75? (black canary) great stuff by Denny O’Neal (really don’t care much for the dcu before he got there)

I also like Firestorm 1 as a story but I just can’t get over that guys horrible costume.

Given that, these days, they’ll let (or have let) absolutely anyone into the League, New Teen Titans #1(Or DCCP #27, I guess) and Aztek #1 are both contenders. For that matter, if Justice League Dark counts, then Swamp Thing #37 (or the earlier one with the cameo), clearly.

If we limit ourselves to ‘classic’ Leagues (say pre-Detroit only), then I’ll go with Flash #112.

Oops, missed the pre-crisis restriction. (And, less than a season into Dcnu, that demarcation is already starting to seem a bit arbitrary.)

I’m disappointed. I saw the title and was expecting a comic theme of “What’s the best issue about somebody joining the Justice League?” It looks like I’m echoing people. (And for that topic, I’ll throw in what’s effectively Booster Gold’s intro to JLI and the fight with the Royal Flush Gang in Justice League 4.)

I mean, this is really “who has the best debut issue in DC” with a somewhat arbitrary restriction. I’m tempted to suggest something quirky involving a part timers(say Deadman or Adam Strange’s debut), just so I don’t say Action 1 or Detective 27.

Pre – Crisis? What are you thinking?…. Is this post only for people over 60, or who are made of money, and can afford those stories?

I havent read any of those stories you mentioned…. and I have no desire too, of the time and money to hunt them down.

Based on the debut (and only the debut), it is pretty tough to top BRAVE AND THE BOLD #34.

It had everything that you could ask for in a single issue from the Silver Age. Blyth was a perfect one time villain. The story moved quickly and almost logically. You had a decent romantic B-plot, which was not common for DC in that period. There were some decent moments of suspense. Joe Kubert was working at the peak of his powers and you would be hard pressed to find a better drawn comic.

Great stuff.

Sadly, the Silver Age debut of Hawkman and Hawkwoman was almost too good. Fox and Kubert did not leave anything unresolved. There was no reason for those characters to stick around. Still, it is damn good comic on its own terms.

No Brave And The Bold #28? How could you forget the introduction of Snapper Car??? 8-O

Tough choice, guess I’ll go with Action Comics #1 since without it, the others wouldn’t have happened.

Yeah, I agree with Dean. Hawkman in Brave and the Bold 28 was damn near perfect.

Pre – Crisis? What are you thinking?…. Is this post only for people over 60, or who are made of money, and can afford those stories?

Err… Haven’t every one of these been reprinted at relatively low costs?

I don’t get the complaint.

@ Thok – I agree on both points. First, why not the “Best first appearances as A Leaguer” since it doesn’t trick the reader? And based along those lines, then my favorite also has to be Booster’s first foray with the JLI in JL #4; it didn’t go the obvious route of just having him show up, show he has powers, and then BOOM he’s on the team. Batman turning him away and then he proves himself against foes Max has paid to fight him for just such an eventuality? This is comics at their best.

I’d have to say Connor Hawke taking down the Key in Morrison’s JLA is a very close second. I loved the whole atmosphere of that issue, where he was trying to live up to the legacy his dad left, both honoring it and making it his own at the same time. I wish Morrison would have done more with him. And on that note, I still say Superman Blue would have worked had Morrison done more with him like he did the two-parter that introduced Zauriel (my third favorite first appearance, btw – I actually really liked zauriel, since it made novel use of the angel imagery that all winged super-heroes play on).

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