Comic Book Coffee, number 112: Justice League of America #89

Comic Book Coffee, number 112: Justice League of America #89, penciled by Dick Dillin, inked by Joe Giella, written by Mike Friedrich and lettered by Ben Oda, published by DC Comics in May 1971.

“The Most Dangerous Dreams of All” is an incredibly odd story. There is no way I can possibly do it justice in a short summary. I definitely recommend reading Alan Stuart’s insightful, detailed retrospective of JLA #89 on his blog Attack of the 50 Year Old Comic Books.

For the purposes of this Comic Book Coffee post, I will say that JLA #89 features Harlequin Ellis, a very thinly disguised stand-in for science fiction author Harlan Ellison. Harlequin is majorly attracted to the beautiful Black Canary. He wishes he was in the Justice League with her, only to find that his fantasies are starting to become reality. On the first page here Ellis convinces Black Canary to have a cup of coffee with him, only for them to be interrupted by a jealous, possessive Green Arrow. Later in the story a brooding, despondent Ellis stops in at hip, swinging nightclub The Derrick for another cup of coffee.

Dick Dillin was the regular artist on Justice League of America for 12 years, penciling the series from 1968 to 1980. Prior to that, he had a lengthy run on Blackhawk from 1953 to 1968, first penciling it when it was still with its original publisher, Quality Comics, and continuing on it when DC acquired the series in 1957. Another regular assignment of Dillin’s was World’s Finest Comics during the 1970s. Sadly, Dillin passed away at his drawing board in March 1980 at the much too young age of 51.

Inking Dillin on this issue is Joe Giella, a prolific embellisher at DC Comics during the Silver and Bronze Ages. He was paired with Giella on JLA from 1966 to 1972.

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