Wednesday, November 12, 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.

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