Back in 1996, you could call anyone as long as you’ve subscribed to two DC Comics titles:
And as long as you didn’t want to talk for more than five minutes, that is.
Seriously? A five minute pre-paid phonecard is something worth touting as an incentive to subscribing to two titles?
Any of my American visitors want to try ringing (516) 756-0350 and letting me know what happens . . . ?
But look – Conner, Wally and Kyle! The 90s weren’t all bad.
From the DC Universe news page in Justice League Europe #50 cover dated May 1993:
Can’t quite make that out? Here, allow me:
NOTICE: Madonna worshipping groundhogs are flipping Flash’s emblem upside down. This makes them instantly collectable. Hoard any copies you can!
Was this some weird critique of the 90s collecting mania? Or had someone at DC dropped some serious mushrooms?
Man . . . I just . . . I mean . . .
Or at least miniature pictures of characters. Sort of.
Looking back at some old copies of Justice League America and Justice League Europe recently and I remembered the little pictures of characters that used to appear in the issue number box on DC comics back in the early 90s. Oddly, despite the larger membership at the time, the JLA only had two pairs:
JLE fared a little better:
and even managed to get a few more in after their revamp and new members:
I’d thought for a while that JLA/JLE were the only titles with those but a quick look through my collection turned up these from Green Lantern:
A couple from the Justice Society
(There was a Wildcat one but he was largely obscured by the cover art) as well as some odds and sods:
A little detail on the cover which always appealed to me for some reason.
I’ve just finished reading The Flash: Emergency Stop trade paperback from a few years ago which details Grant Morrison’s (and Mark Millar’s) first stories as writers of The Flash. There’s a lot of nice moments in there (not least of which is Jay Garrick accidentally losing the pen which contains Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt who would later show up in Morrison’s JLA – a lovely bit of foreshadowing, subtly done) but one thing that caught my eye was the following scene. Wally and Jay are having lunch in a very Planet Krypton-style restaurant with a heavily disguised Nightwing and Jay waxes lyrical about how times change:
This conversation comes from The Flash #134 from 1997 which ties in with Wally’s assertion that “the Dark Age only just ended in ’95”
If Wally (via Gerard Jones and Will Jacobs in The Comic Book Heroes: The First History of Modern Comic Books) is correct in the 20 year cycle of heroic ages, then we’re just coming out of the age that Wally mentions as having just started from his point of view which means the recent DC Rebirth is pretty much on time . . . and I can’t help thinking how apposite Jay’s words are even now when he says “We’ve been through the darkness. Now let’s see a little light.”
Of course, with everything that’s happened in comics in the last 20 years, you also have to wonder whether the Dark Age really did end in 1995.