There are nine word balloons on this cover.

§ June 22nd, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on There are nine word balloons on this cover.

Justice League of America #161 (Dec. 1978) – art by Dick Dillin & Frank McLaughlin

Whenever I come across this cover at the shop, I just sorta pause and ponder it briefly.

1. Like the subject line on this post says, there are nine world balloons and eight speaking parts on this cover. This is almost the exact opposite of modern superhero comic books, which openly shun word balloons. Shun, I say.

2. Most of the folks on the cover are pretty pissed at Zatanna turning down membership, but Superman’s innocent-yet-arrogant shock always amuses me. “But we’re so great…why would anyone turn us down?” (Here’s another guy who turned down these jive JLA turkeys.)

3. Who or what is Zatanna looking at? Is it at us? Is Zatanna magically breaking the fourth wall, years before she did it in Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers: Zatanna mini?

4. That’s probably Zatanna’s worst costume. This other costume of hers wasn’t bad, particularly when George Perez was drawing it, but clearly her best look was this.

5. I don’t recall that Zatanna shot magical energy blasts out her fingertips all that often. Maybe I’m just not remembering.

6. Just picture the members of the Justice League standing around that long, gray table, passing the notepad and pencil around as they write in Zatanna’s name (or not write it in, or write “no way,” or something) and tear out the page to place in the bowl. Seems like an awfully mundane process for a superhero team. I mean, even the Legion of Super-Heroes had the Planetary Chance Machine. Then again, the Legion is a thousand years in the future…perhaps the Justice League was not yet prepared for such technology.

7. But seriously, that’s a lot of word balloons. Can any of you folks think of comic covers that have more than nine? I’m sure they’re out there…a lot of those old crime comics seemed to give speaking parts to every man, woman, and child that happened to be on that cover. If you can think of one, go ahead and pop it into the comments.

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