Review: Justice League of America #171

Justice League of America #171 cover
Cover by Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano

Justice League of America #171
Published and © by DC, October 1979

Title: “The Murderer Among Us: Crisis Above Earth-One”
Synopsis: The Justice League and Justice Society gather for their yearly get-together – but the good times end in murder!

Writer: Gerry Conway
Penciler: Dick Dillin
Inker: Frank McLaughlin

Review: Familiarity could sometimes sap the punch from the Justice League/Justice Society get-togethers, but the 1979 edition of their annual team-up was one of the better ones. Instead of gathering the typical army of supervillains for the heroes of two Earths to battle, writer Gerry Conway goes for a more intimate drama this time out. The story begins with the two teams gathering on the JLA satellite for food and drink, and ends with a locked-room murder mystery. In between, Conway delivers some great character moments. The art team of Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin delivers solid work, as usual.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: The first meeting between Earth-1’s Batman and the Huntress since the death of her father, the Earth-2 Batman, is a touching, poignant moment.
Not-so-cool factor: No one wants to pile on the dead guy, but Mr. Terrific’s costume is in desperate need of an update.

Notable: Death of Mr. Terrific.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there are 15p British and Whitman variants of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable:One of us is a murderer!” – Superman (The smart money? It’s not him.)

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on April 7, 2009.

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