Tuesday, May 7, 2019


100-Page FAKES! imagines mid-1970s DC 100-Page Super Spectaculars that never were...but should have been!

Even as a kid in the 1960s, I realized that Green Arrow was the only member of The Justice League Of America who didn't regularly appear in his own separate adventures somewhere. Superman and Batman each headlined two titles of their own, there were individual books starring The Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Hawkman, and The Atom, and The Martian Manhunter appeared as a backup strip supporting Dial H For HERO in The House Of Mystery. But other than a (very) occasional appearance teamed with another hero in The Brave And The Bold, The Emerald Archer's sole published appearances were with the JLA.

That struck me as unfair. Why couldn't there be a Green Arrow comic book, available for me to snag off the rack at Sweethearts Corner in North Syracuse and purchase with my hard-earned 12 cents? I also thought that Marvel Comics should publish a Human Torch comic book, and once dreamed that DC Comics had somehow finagled a deal with Marvel to publish a Human Torch book under the DC imprint. I was an odd kid.

Green Arrow had been one of only five comic book superheroes to survive the decline of costumed crusaders in the '50s and remain in continuous publication from the '40s into the '60s. GA outlasted Captain Marvel, Captain America, Plastic Man, The Sub-Mariner, The Justice Society Of America, the Golden Age versions of The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, The Human Torch, and Daredevil, and even Merry, Girl Of 1000 Gimmicks. But unlike fellow survivors Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, who held on in starring roles in their own comic book titles, Green Arrow and Aquaman benefited from being backup strips. There was space to fill in the back of the books, and neither GA nor the Sea King were important enough to cancel.

(In retrospect, it does seem odd that DC was willing to continue Green Arrow and Aquaman instead of replacing them by switching former headliners like the original Flash or Green Lantern to support status. For a backup strip, you'd figure heroes who had been cover-featured stars not long before would have been more attractive to potential purchasers of Adventure Comics than, to put it rudely, also-rans like Green Arrow and Aquaman. We're fortunate that didn't happen, our else we would have never had the newly-created Silver Age Flash and Green Lantern, but the chosen course of action still strikes me as strange.)

The Black Canary dated back to late '40s issues of Flash Comics, and had appeared as a member of the Justice Society until that Golden Age group went into limbo in 1951. She was revived when the JSA was re-introduced as alternate-world Earth Two counterparts to Earth One's familiar Justice League. The results of the annual JLA/JSA crossover in 1969 found the Canary migrating to Earth One to join the JLA.

The Arrow and the Canary set to sparkin' a little bit after that. When Green Arrow became Green Lantern's cover-billed co-star in Green Lantern in the early '70s, Black Canary was a frequent supporting player. Each starred sporadically in solo backup stories in various books before landing ongoing features in the dollar-sized World's Finest Comics in 1977.

How's that for a big ol' preamble?

This fanciful faux Super Spec takes the then-new GA and Black Canary stories from 1977's World's Finest Comics # 245, completing our three-part strip-mining of that book into three separate 100-Page FAKES! For reprints, we turn to an epic team-up of The Batman with 4 Famous Co-Stars--Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Robin the Teen Wonder--from 1972's The Brave And The Bold # 100. The story's absurd sexism of an experienced crimefighter like Black Canary abdicating her responsibility because she needed to dry her freakin' hair bugged me even as an unenlightened twelve-year-old (not even taking into account that's not even her real hair, but a wig). Ignoring that, I still re-read the story countless times, and Jim Aparo's artwork was jaw-droppingly good. We'll throw in some '40s and '50s Green Arrow stories, and treat ourselves to Alex Toth's gorgeous artwork on a 1972 Black Canary two-parter.

The Green Arrow in "The Man Bear Stalks At Midnight," World's Finest Comics # 245 (June-July 1977)
The Black Canary in "Hospital Of Fear," World's Finest Comics # 245 (June-July 1977)
The Batman, Green Lantern, The Green Arrow, The Black Canary, and Robin the Teen Wonder in "The Warrior In A Wheel-Chair," The Brave And The Bold # 100 (February-March 1972)
The Green Arrow and Speedy in "Banishment Of Green Arrow!," Adventure Comics # 195 (December 1953)
The Green Arrow and Speedy in "The Mystery Of The Mathematical Master," More Fun Comics # 88 (February 1943)
The Black Canary (untitled), Adventure Comics # 418-419 (April, May 1972)

All characters copyright DC Comics Inc., and depicted here only in sample pages. I share the whole book with my subscribers. More 100-Page FAKES! coming soon.


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  1. I've always thought that Green Arrow and Aquaman lasted so long because they were co-created by Mort Weisinger, who gave them berths in the back of comics he edited. That could also be why Aquaman had an animated TV series in 1967.

    1. Yes, another reader also reminded me of the Weisinger connection, something I'd forgotten when writing the piece. Kind of explains why Aquaman and Green Arrow survived as backups while the All-American stars like Flash and Green Lantern were discarded so quickly. It still strikes me as short-sighted, but it does make sense.