Thursday, May 28, 2015

Original Seven Soldiers of Victory

It wasn't that far from Robin Hood and his merry men.  A group of ordinary men gathered together to stop crime, including an archer, a man with a gun, someone with a star, and a sword...except it wasn't any ordinary crime, and these weren't quite ordinary men.  They were soldiers in the war against crime, leading us to victory...but, they also didn't know how to count, these Law's Legionnaires...otherwise known as the Seven Soldiers of Victory.

Leading with Seven Soldiers

See, when they started in Leading Comics #1 (Winter 1941-1942...

...overall story by Mort Weisinger and Mort Meskin, with chapters by Jerry Siegel, John Lehti, George Papp, Hal Sherman and Creig Flessel)...

...there were eight members!

Let's count them off and get to know the men that made this great super-team of the 1940s...

Green Arrow and Speedy 

Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), the battling bowman and his partner Speedy (Roy Harper), who first appeared in More Fun Comics #73, November, 1941 by Mort Weisinger and George Papp.
These two probably were the most visible of the Seven Soldiers during the Golden Age, appearing on early covers of More Fun Comics (though not his first one), as well as one World's Finest Comics...
...but even then, it wasn't for all of their appearances in More Fun Comics (they went from #73 to More Fun Comics #107 in January-February, 1946, where they then moved over to Adventure Comics starting with Adventure Comics #103, which was headlined by Superboy, as well as a feature in World's Finest Comics starting with issue World's Finest Comics #7 in Fall, 1942.
The end of the runs of Green Arrow and Speedy get a little odd, as though the feature was continuous, the universe changed around the character, adding a slight bit of confusion as to when the Earth-1 (Justice League of America) version of Green Arrow started....and when the Earth-2 (Seven Soldiers of Victory) ended....

...which could be Adventure Comics #217 (October, 1955) or Adventure Comics #245 (February, 1958) and World's Finest Comics #78 (September-October, 1955) or World's Finest Comics #93 (March-April, 1958), but they weren't on any Adventure Comics covers until the later days of the JLA's Green Arrow....


The Vigilante

The Vigilante (Greg Saunders), the law of the old west, from Action Comics #42, November, 1941 by Mort Weisinger and Mort Meskin.  The prairie troubadour was an old style hero in modern times.  During the course of his run in Action Comics from issue #42 to Action Comics #198 (November, 1954), as well as the first four issues of Western Comics, working with two partners over the years, old western cowboy Billy Gunn (who started with the Vigilante in Action Comics #43, December, 1941), and then Stuff the Chinatown Kid (who appeared first in Action Comics #45, February, 1942), and facing foes like the Shade and the Fiddler (same name but no known relation to two Flash foes of the time), the Dummy, the Head, and the Rainbow Man.

Sadly, this cowboy masked man didn't get too many cover appearances during the Golden Age besides Leading Comics...

...only landing Action Comics #52 (September, 1952) along with the Americommando, Zatara, Congo Bill, and action super-star, Superman!

The Shining Knight

The Shining Knight (Sir Justin), came from Camelot to fight the forces of evil in the 1940s starting with Adventure Comics #66, September, 1941 by Henry Perkins and Craig Flessel.  With his trusty steed, Winged Victory, Sir Justin was freed from the ice by Dr. Moresby and battled evil in any era!  The Shining Knight did well with his magic sword and armor, and even picked up a squire in the modern age, Butch Boyle, whom he called Sir Butch, and the two even travelled back in time to Camelot to aid Merlin and King Arthur.  Shining Knight also faced foes like the giant Blunderbore, the Red Dragon, crimelord Savarr, the Black Baron, the Black Queen, and evil mage Archimago.

The Shining Knight's adventures in Adventure Comics continued until Adventure Comics #166 (July, 1951), but other than Leading Comics, Sir Justin didn't make it onto any covers in the Golden Age (as the covers were filled with Starman and Sandman, whom Justin worked with in the All-Star Squadron, as well as Superboy), only making Masterworks Series of Great Comic Book Artists #1 and #2 (reprinting Frank Frazetta drawn tales of the Shining Knight) in 1983!


The Star Spangled Kid and Stripsey

The Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton), patriotic youth, working with Stripsey (Pat Dugan), his equally patriotic butler independently deciding to fight crime...and then team-up, starting in Star-Spangled Comics #1, October, 1941 by Jerry Siegel and Howard Sherman.  Their origin was finally given in Star-Spangled Comics #18 (March, 1943), and the two patriotic heroes fought the good fight (even though they were confused often about who was the hero and who was the sidekick...both claimed to be the hero!), both in the feature in Star-Spangled Comics, and in World's Finest Comics #6 through #18, even making one cover of World's Finest Comics with Superman, Batman, Green Arrow and the Boy Commandos!

The duo fought menaces like Dr. Weerd, the Needle, Mr. Ghool, Moonglow, King Midas, the Eel, Mr. Gadget, High-Brow Herby, and Pin-Ball, until Sylvester's dad adopted Merry, (who started to vex the Star-Spangled Kid with Star-Spangled Comics #82 of June, 1948, and joined Sylvester as his new partner to fight the Rope after Stripsey broke his leg in Star-Spangled Comics #83 of August, 1948, which was also Stripsey's last Golden Age appearance).  The Star-Spangled Kid left the feature with Star-Spangled Comics #84 of September, 1948 (with Merry the Gimmick Girl continuing on until Star-Spangled Comics #90 of March, 1949). 

The Crimson Avenger and Wing

The Crimson Avenger (Lee Travis), who was the earliest of super-heroes, wearing a dark suit, hat and mask in Detective Comics #20, October, 1938 (by Jim G. Chalmers), and...his partner, Wing (Wing How, who was credited as the unofficial "eighth" soldier....thus allowing them to be seven; the Crimson Avenger got a more regular super-hero costume in Detective Comics #44...with a cape!  The cape was gone by Detective Comics #54, and Wing got into his own costume by Detective Comics #59).

The Crimson Avenger and Wing even predated Batman, who quickly took over the covers of Detective Comics after he premiered, thus regulating Crimson Avenger and Wing to background status (and, other than Leading Comics, his new look never made it onto a cover!).  The pair were more pulp heroes to start (not unlike Green Hornet and Kato), and didn't quite make the transfer over to super-heroics...with the Crimson Avenger appearing World's Best Comics #1 (Spring, 1941), World's Finest Comics #2 through #5 (to be replaced by the Star-Spangled Kid!), and not even keeping his own feature running while the Seven Soldiers were active...with the last solo Crimson Avenger story happening in Detective Comics #89 (July, 1944), and the Seven Soldiers bowing out with Leading Comics #14 (Spring, 1945).

The Seven Soldiers did return, coming straight out of the 1950s into a JLA/JSA Crisis with Justice League of America #100 to #102, and the team appeared a little in Infinity, Inc. (which had the Star-Spangled Kid as it's leader, just before he turned himself into Skyman) before the Crisis on Infinite Earths....

...this caused a lot of confusion, as Green Arrow and Speedy couldn't be considered members, so it became quite a mystery for a time as to who the 7th (and 8th) Soldier were for a time (and come back as we'll go into that at a later date)....

...but that original team is back for Convergence: World's Finest #1 and #2 (June and July, 2015) by Paul Levitz and Jim Fern....and we all couldn't be happier to see this team again, especially since they brought Scribbly and the original Red Tornado with them, and proving that old heroes can still fight new menaces!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Freedom Fighters Quality

True, the team of the Freedom Fighters got their start in Justice League of America #107 and #108 (September-October and November-December, 1973) by Len Wein and Dick Dillin, and then a fifteen issue series that ran from March-April, 1976 to July-August, 1978...but the team started decades before that, in Quality Comics, and here's a quick look at those earlier appearances!

Doll Man

Darrell Dane was a scientist who developed a formula that allowed him to shrink in size...

...and he used this ability to save his girlfriend, Martha Roberts, taking on the identity of Doll Man, starting with Feature Comics #27 (December, 1939, by Samuel Maxwell Iger and Will Eisner).

Doll Man had many adventures over the years, remaining a feature in Feature Comics until Feature Comics #139 (October, 1939), as well as gaining his own book...

...first Doll Man Quarterly for its first four issues (Fall, 1941; Spring, 1942; Summer, 1942; and Winter, 1942)...

...before just becoming Doll Man with issue #5 (Spring, 1943), which lasted all the way to Doll Man #47 (October, 1953).

Among many foes, the biggest thing to happen to Doll Man was when Martha Roberts became Doll Girl in Doll Man #37 (December, 1951) during a battle with the Skull...

...where she replaced Elmo the Wonder Dog (who Doll Man first partnered up with in Doll Man #31, December, 1950),  as a regular helper in Doll Man. 

Black Condor

Richard Grey, Jr. was thrown into his heroics at birth, when his father and mother were killed soon after in Outer Mongolia and raised by the condors (where he learned to fly), eventually being taken in by missionary, Father Pierre, who is then also killed by raiders.  The young man uses his abilities to stop them, becoming the Black Condor, all in Crack Comics #1 (May, 1940, by Will Eisner and Lou Fine).  The Black Condor comes up with a paralyzing ray gun in his next appearance (in Crack Comics #2, June, 1940), and later, adopted the identity of Senator Thomas Wright (who died, and just happened to look exactly like the Black Condor) in order to vote in an important appropriations bill (in Crack Comics #11, March, 1941).

Even with the odd plots and turns, the Black Condor series lasted all the way to Crack Comics #31 (October, 1943), and along the way, he faced foes like Ali Kan, Ras Gyn, Sinh Fang, De Graf, the Sapphire King, the Master, Karlo Klug and his Kite-Men, the Great Yaho, Lung Woe and the Spinning Deaths, Monks Gallagher, the Sophisticated Lady, Senator Jasper Crow, Carl Stark, General Korn, Miranda, the Ghost-Gun Killer, the Hand, Mysto, Karle Kurt, Skull-Face, Draku and the Black Dragon Society, Senator Dan Bird and Fury the Eagle and Senator Joe Logan (and with all these Senators as foes, you'd think Black Condor was in Congress today!). 

The Ray 

"Happy" Terrill was a reporter who joined Professor Styne on a balloon experiment that took them to the upper stratosphere, during which "Happy" was thrown from the blimp into a "cosmic storm", turning him into a being of light energy who can fly and project energy, leading "Happy" to become the Ray to save the Professor from spies in Smash Comics #14 (September, 1940, by Will Eisner and Lou Fine).

The Ray continues his adventures through Smash Comics #40 (February, 1943), facing foes along the way like Anton Rox, Cadava the Crumbler, Bela Jat, Stradivous, Miss White and her 7 dwarfs, Slash Scraponi, Jud Marshwood and Slyme, Captain Blue, Lupo, the Beetle and Long Woo, the  Great Ivan, Dr. Kompf, Zimmerman, El Lobo, Von Ribboncounter, Monsieur Le Rat, Baron Hoff, the Khan, Hammer Hand, the Headsman, and Oscar Slott.

Human Bomb

Roy Lincoln was the son of a scientist, and that chemist is the reason Roy became the Human Bomb, after Axis spies broke into the professor's lab, trying to take the explosive formula 27-ORX, which Roy swallowed, gaining the power of explosive fists (as well as a degree of invulnerability to things like bullets) all in Police Comics #1 (August, 1941, by Paul Gustavson).

The Human Bomb never really was a cover feature on Police Comics, as Plastic Man hogged most of the covers (except for Firebrand, who later became a Freedom Fighter), even though the Human Bomb feature went on to Police Comics #58 (September, 1946).  Along the way, the Human Bomb fought lots of Nazis, the Black Vanguards, a phony Human Bomb, Hoiman Schtrugmeyer, Mr. Chameleon, the Three Mosquitos, Patch-Eye, Swami Kazombo, femme fatale Nola, vampiric Miss Walpurga, Mustapho, the Robber Baron, the Butcher Boys, the Shrimp, and Yarboe, as well as his loyal companion, Hustace Throckmorton, who gets an emergency blood transfusion from the Human Bomb, and develops explosive powers (in his feet) in Police Comics #15 (January, 1943) and the Bombardiers (Montague T. "Curley" McGurk, Swordo and Miss Red Rogers) who aid the Human Bomb in Police Comics #21 (August, 1943) and Police Comics #22 (September, 1943).

Phantom Lady

Sandra Knight was the daughter of Senator Henry Knight, and worked with Professor Abraham Davis to develop a black light ray projector in Police Comics #1 (August, 1941, by Arthur Peddy).  Sandra lost contact with the Professor when he was kidnapped, and saw the same men try to take her father, and sprung into action, stopping the thugs, who never got a good look at her, telling police they were stopped by a "phantom lady"...a name she kept.  Later stories had Sandra being related to the original Starman, who encouraged her to continue as Phantom Lady, and she perfected the black light ray projector, which then also allowed her to become invisible and the special glasses she wore which allowed her to see in the dark.

The Phantom Lady's run lasted until Police Comics #23 (October, 1943), and also included a crossover in Feature Comics #69, #70 and #71 (July, August and September, 1943) with the Spider Widow (Dianne Grayton) and the Raven (Tony Grey) who never became Freedom Fighters!  Villains she faced in her run included Tikoy, Captain Ortega, a phony Phantom Lady, the Bunny Man, and the Boss (the foe the three heroes faced).  Phantom Lady also never had covers during her original run, but did as she developed on her own (but, in stories outside her regular continuity, stories past Police Comics #23 weren't produced by Quality (and resulted in a color change in costume for Phantom Lady as well....) when the Phantom Lady returned to comics under Fox with Phantom Lady #13 (August, 1947) by Matt Baker.   

Uncle Sam

A national hero taking form in the comics with National Comics #1 (July, 1940, by Will Eisner and Dave Berg), and the man that eventually formed the Freedom Fighters, Uncle Sam!

Sam was a patriot, loyal to the United States during the Revolutionary War, and as he was dying to complete a mission for General George Washington, he had a vision of the "spirit of America", who joined with him, creating the hero known as Uncle Sam.

Uncle Sam carried a feature all the way through National Comics #45 (December, 1945), and even had his own Uncle Sam Quarterly that lasted 8 issues (from Fall, 1941 to Autumn, 1943), facing foes like the Black Legion (later the Black Guard), Scar, the Purple Shirts, Mias, Yiffendi, Yoritomo Rawlins, Heinrich Brun, Scalini, King Killer, Dr. Link and Dr. Blink, the Steel Helmets, Cadaver, the Witch Queen, Malvolo, the Jinx, Jeremiah Korntooth, Blackout, Dr. Dirge, Hamid the Astrologer, Boss Spring, Professor Bump, Count Torza, Zando and of course, plenty of Nazis, all with his little buddy...Buddy Smith!

Uncle Sam even had the first major hint of a Quality hero crossover, with a prose story in Uncle Sam Quarterly #2 (Winter, 1941), with Uncle Sam convincing Quality's villains they have to go back to work to face Hercules, Neon, Quicksilver, the Ray and Black Condor, or they'd all be out of business!

Uncle Sam was the backbone of the Freedom Fighters and we salute you!

The founding of the Freedom Fighters didn't get covered until DC Comics took over the characters, and it was in All-Star Squadron #31-35 (March-July, 1984, by Roy Thomas and Rick Hoberg), and told how these (and other) Quality heroes (like Miss America, Magno and Neon the Unknown as well as DC hero and JSA founder, Hourman) had originally started on Earth-2, and left to help Earth-X, and unintentionally allowed the Nazis to win World War II!

The team began in the two issues of Justice League of America (#107 and #108), and then had its own series for 15 issues that ran from March-April, 1976 to July-August, 1978...

...with stories by Gerry Conway, Martin Pasko, and Bob Rozakis and interior art by Ric Estrada, Mike Royer, Pablo Marcos, Ramona Fradon and Dick Ayers!

These issues had the team leaving their Earth-X, coming to Earth-1 and being thought of as villains, thanks to the Silver Ghost, and facing foes like King Samson, Skragg the Super Sniper, the Crusaders, Cat-Man, and the Renegades, as well as heroes like Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Batwoman, and having old Quality hero Firebrand (Rod Reilly, who appeared in the first 13 issues of Police Comics, even taking most of the covers from Plastic Man) join the team in Freedom Fighters #12 (January-February, 1978).


Rod Reilly premiered in  in Police Comics #1 (August, 1941, by Samuel Maxwell Iger and Reed Crandell), and he was the son of a wealthy steel tycoon, but wanted more from his life, working with ex-boxer Slugger Dunn to become the crime fighter known as Firebrand!

Firebrand fought criminals and spies like Baron Von Hanson, General Alfredo Muerte, Boss Slaine, Dr. Kruger and the White Gardenias, before ending his short run in Police Comics with issue #13 (November, 1942), all happening before Pearl Harbor (as explained in the early issues of All-Star Squadron).

But back to the Freedom Fighters!

After the 15 issues of the Freedom Fighters, and a few other appearances like DC Comics Presents #62 (October, 1983) and Wonder Woman #292 (June, 1982), the original Freedom Fighters fought their last battle with the Crisis on Infinite Earths, with later revivals focusing on new versions of the Quality characters.

But, with DC's Convergence, and the 2015 2 issues of Convergence: Freedom Fighters, Simon Oliver and John McCrea have brought new adventures of the old Quality Freedom Fighters (added Plastic Man to the team!).

Monday, May 25, 2015

For Memorial Day

For those that serve, and those that did not make it back home, we remember you and honor your service...the real heroes!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Conway's Corner of the Justice League of America

This time around, it's all Conway's Corner of the JLA....the members of the Justice League of America that Gerry Conway co-created, and then brought into the JLA!

That means Firestorm, Vixen, Vibe, Steel and Gypsy!

Nuclear Man

Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein met by accident...a nuclear accident no less!  In Firestorm #1 (March, 1978, by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom), high school jock Ronnie Raymond was convinced to break into the Hudson Nuclear Facility (which had been designed by Professor Martin Stein) by activist Edward Earhart (all so Ronnie could impress his girl, Doreen Day, and smite his school nemesis of Cliff Carmichael).  Martin Stein wanted to start the nuclear facility early, as Stein had been falsely accused by his assistant, Danton Black, of stealing the designs for the automated plant from Black.  This all came together as the plant was activated, Earhart knocked Raymond and Stein unconscious, locked them in the core and set a bomb to explode to destroy the facility.  Ronnie woke up just before the bomb went off, and Stein and Raymond merged into one nuclear being, Firestorm!

Possessing strength, flight, some degree of invulnerability and nuclear transmutation powers (including the ability to alter his own density, but not other organic beings), Ronnie is in control of the Firestorm entity, with Martin only there as an advisor (and, for a time, unaware of his co-identity as Firestorm).  During his first five issues, Firestorm faced Multiplex (Danton Black), Killer Frost (Crystal Frost) and the Hyena ...and was all set of face the menace of Typhoon in issue #6...but Firestorm was cancelled with Firestorm #5 (October-November, 1978, as part of the DC Implosion, with all issue by Conway and Milgrom).

But, Firestorm met Superman in those early issues, and met him again in DC Comics Presents #17 (January, 1980, by Gerry Conway and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez), wherein Ronnie explained to Superman that Firestorm was messing up his (and Martin Stein's) life, and gave up being Firestorm for a time, at least until Superman sponsored him to be in the JLA, which happened in Justice League of America #179 (June, 1980, by Gerry Conway and Dick Dillin), wherein (in this and the next issue, the League faced off against the Satin Satan).  This led to Green Arrow leaving the JLA for a time (taking the street hero idea Black Lightning professed to), and for a back-up series in the Flash for Firestorm as well, starting with Flash #289 (September, 1980, by Conway and George Perez), and even a team-up with Flash in Flash #293 (January, 1981, facing off against Superman foe, the Atomic Skull), as well as regular standing in the JLA, and even a team up with Batman in Brave and the Bold (#172, in March, 1981) and another with Superman in DC Comics Presents #45 (May, 1982), remaining in the back of Flash until #304 (fighting Typhoon, Multiplex and Hyena),  before getting his own title, the Fury of Firestorm (written by Conway, and art to start by Pat Broderick, starting in June, 1982).

Firestorm was a regular fixture in the JLA, being especially close to Red Tornado after learning Reddy's secret, and facing many new foes, like Black Bison, Pan, Firehawk, the Enforcer, Tokamok, Slipknot, the Mindboggler and more in his own least until original member, Martian Manhunter returned ahead of his own people, and the team fractured during the Earth-Mars War....with Aquaman dismissing any team member who couldn't fully commit to the team (which meant Firestorm and others were out, leaving the JLA down to Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna and Elongated Man, who brought along his wife, Sue), and the team without a headquarters (as the JLA Satellite had been severely damaged during the Martian battle....).

New Kids On The Block

Aquaman dismissed the original JLA, found new members, Vixen and Steel, and Steel provided a new headquarters, the Bunker, based in Detroit (and, there, they got an additional member, Vibe, and met a local super powered girl, Gypsy)...

...all in Justice League of America Annual #2 (October, 1984, by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton).

Each of these characters had their own history, and some even before the JLA Annual....

Animal Instincts

Vixen was a victim of the DC Implosion, because Vixen #1 was cancelled before the title was even finished!  Mari McCabe was a model who used the power of Tantu Totem (a mystic artifact given to her ancestors, with which she is able to control the powers of the animals via the morphogenic field).  Mari had taken this icon from her uncle, General Maksai of Zambesi, who killed the Reverend Jiwe (who was raising Mari in Africa, until the general had him killed).

Eventually premiering in Action Comics #521 (July, 1981, by Gerry Conway and Curt Swan), the Vixen helped Superman stop poachers in India, and then, in DC Comics Presents #68 (April, 1984, by Gerry Conway and Curt Swan), the pair faced the psychic force of Admiral Cerebrus before joining the JLA.

Industrial Force

Steel was a legacy, as his grandfather was Commander Steel of the All-Star Squadron during World War II.  Hank Heywood III volunteered to become a cyborg (unlike his grandfather) to enable himself to become a hero, and he supplied the headquarters called the Bunker (located in Detroit) as a headquarters for the new Justice League (as well as Dale Gunn, who worked for the first Hank Heywood, and ended up supporting the new JLA).

Hank's powers as Steel were strength, speed, the invulnerability (at least as much as metal), and enhanced senses (making him a super-hero version of the Six Million Dollar Man), and came from the operations his grandfather had performed on the young man to quite literally make him a hero.

What's Shakin'

Vibe was an Hispanic breakdancer street thug with vibration powers...seems simple enough.  Paco Ramone grew up as part of a large family in Detroit, Michigan, and became a member of the street gang, "El Lobos" (how it was originally, it should have been "Los Lobos"), and while could speak perfect English, used to fake dialogue in a mix of Spanish and English.

Vibe joined the JLA when they ended up in his backyard with their new HQ in Detroit, and his fiery personality and youth clashed with more experienced members of the team (and, Vibe was none to happy that his sister, Rosa, was infatuated with Steel).

Hide In Plain Sight

Gypsy liked to hide, just blending into the background.  Cindy Reynolds was just an unhappy suburban kid, who had her powers cast illusions and chameleon into the background (not quite invisibility, but close) develop when she became 14, at which time she ran away from home to end up in Detroit, where she took up her look and the myth of being the Gypsy of Cameron Street (also coincidentally near the closed plant where the JLA would call home).

Gypsy simply observed the JLA during the Annual, as well as during the early days of the new team in Justice League of America #233 to #235, finally officially joining the team during their battle with the Overmaster and the Cadre in Justice League of America #236 (March, 1985).

This new JLA faced new villains like the Maestro (Pasha Gorki), the Ox (General Maksai), and Adam, as well as classic JLA foes like Amazo, the Lord of Time and Despero.  The team even participated in a team-up with the Justice Society of America (as JLA/JSA Crises had become a regular event, and this one also included Infinity, Inc., the inheritors of the JSA and Infinity, Inc. #19 of October, 1985), and this led them into the Crisis on Infinite Earths (and the total destruction of the JLA Satellite)...

...even meeting up with past JLAers like Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary and Firestorm in finding the fate of the Red Tornado in Justice League of America Annual #3 (1985).

This new JLA was never quite accepted (even Aquaman left after his wife, Mera, returned to him in Justice League of America #243 of October, 1985), and that's when the world changed with the Crisis On Infinite Earths, including a fight with Commander Steel and Mekanique (and working with the JSA and Infinity, Inc.), giving Joe Staton time to do the art of Justice League of America #244 (November, 1985) and Luke McDonnell to take over with Justice League of America #245 (December, 1985), where he'd stay as artist until the end.

Commander Steel took away their Bunker with Justice League of America #246 (January, 1986), forcing the team to face "Junior", who infested the old JLA mountain HQ they had to move to in Justice League of America #247-250 (of 1986), which original members Superman, Batman, Green Arrow and Black Canary had to help defeat the menace (with Batman remaining on to help train this new JLA (though he left in Justice League of America #254 (September, 1986), and writer Gerry Conway left with Justice League of America #255 (October, 1986), with J.M. DeMatteis finishing that issue, and then having the villain Adam take Zatanna away, and after helping Firestorm in a battle with Brimstone in Legends #1 (November, 1986), Elongated Man left as well, and this Justice League ended with Justice League of America #261 (April, 1987) as the team was destroyed by Professor Ivo and his androids (as well as ending the continuous run of Justice League issues, as the next Justice League started with a fresh #1).


Vixen moved over to the Suicide Squad starting with Suicide Squad #11 (March, 1988 by John Ostrander and Luke McDonnell) where she worked with folks like Speedy and Captain Boomerang, and she was a mainstay of the team (and fighting with Amanda Waller) until the War of the Gods.  Vixen also guest-stared in books like Animal Man and the Flash, and even ended up back in the newer Justice League of America with Red Arrow/Arsenal (the former Speedy).   Vixen even got her own five issue mini-series in 2008 and 2009 by G. Willow Wilson and Cafu.

Gypsy popped up for a brief time in Justice League America as Despero finished off her family, and thus she joined Booster Gold's Conglomerate (along with Vibe's brother, now going as Reverb and other heroes like Echo and Maxi-Man in Justice League Quarterly #1, Winter 1990).  Martian Manhunter recruited her for his Justice League Task Force, where she remained a member for its 38 issue run, and later, in the Martian Manhunter's own book (Martian Manhunter #25, in December, 2000 by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, after an earlier appearance in Martian Manhunter #12 in November, 1999 by Ostrander/Mandrake, where J'onn and Gypsy dealt with the remains of Vibe and Steel), it was revealed that Gypsy might be one of many descendants of Martians (which explains where her powers came from!).

Firestorm continued on after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and even Legends, with his title getting a new writer with John Ostrander with Fury of Firestorm #55 (January, 1987), and many of Firestorm's foes ending up (and just ending) in the Suicide Squad (including Mindboggler, Plastique and Slipknot).  Firestorm himself underwent changes, becoming an elemental (and dealing with all that entails, including Red Tornado) before the series ended with Firestorm #100 (August, 1990), with Martin Stein as Firestorm.  Ronnie eventually got back his Firestorm powers as well, and worked with Captain Atom, Blue Beetle and more in Extreme Justice (having slightly reduced powers and no Martin Stein in his head) for the run of Extreme Justice.  After the Identity Crisis, Detroit high school student Jason Rusch got added to the Firestorm matrix!

All of this...and they were still the great creations of Gerry Conway!

The "Detroit League" even had a few later additions, with looks back at their time such as JLA: Classified #22-#25 by Steve Englehart and Tom Derenick (and covers by Mike Zeck and Jerry Ordway) with the team facing two versions of the Royal Flush Gang, and Gerry Conway and Ron Randall having the team face off against Felix Faust in DC Retroactive: JLA - The '80s in October, 2011!

Even better, the JLA made in the Motor City comes back as part of DC's Convergence, with Convergence: Justice League of America #1 and #2 (June and July, 2015) by Fabian Nicieza and ChrisCross!

Seems Detroit will still hold on to its super-heroes!