When the JUSTICE LEAGUE Was Brave, Bold — and Brand New

An INSIDE LOOK at The Brave and the Bold #28 Facsimile Edition — with cameos by Mickey Mantle and Charles Atlas!

UPDATED 12/6/22: DC is re-releasing The Brave and the Bold #28 Facsimile Edition this week. Perfect time to re-present this piece from March 2020, when the original FE came out. Dig it. — Dan

Pop quiz, hotshot: Who was the first superhero shown in the first Justice League of America story in The Brave and the Bold #28? The answer may surprise you — and we’ll show you below.

Meantime, it’s worth noting that the Justice League has had dozens of line-ups over the last 60-plus years but on March 18, you’ll get a chance to take a thrill ride with the original Magnificent Seven with DC’s The Brave and the Bold #28 Facsimile Edition.

Naturally, the League’s first appearance is one of the major landmarks in comics history and it’s a real kick to be able to buy a replica of B&B #28 — ads, bonus features and whatnot — for a penny shy of four bucks.

So dig this INSIDE LOOK, with story pages, a couple of nifty ads featuring some of mid-century America’s biggest stars, a swell Superboy PSA — and a current events lesson about faster-than-light space travel!

The answer is Aquaman!

A few thoughts:

— Want to know what hardcore comics fans first thought of the JLA? Click here.

— The story was written by Gardner Fox, pencilled by Mike Sekowsky and inked by Bernard Sachs, Joe Giella and Murphy Anderson. The cover was by Sekowsky and Anderson.

— As with most Facsimile Editions, you’ve probably read this story before. But like this week’s Detective Comics #38 (click here), I don’t believe the issue has ever been reprinted in full before now. Neat!

— Why now, anyway? Well, the issue came out at the end of 1959 but the official publication date is February-March 1960, with March on the cover. That’s 60 years ago this month, kids. Also, DC will be publishing a hardcover collection celebrating six decades of the League in April.

Standard Price Comparison: A high-grade, unslabbed copy of the original recently sold on eBay for $3,850 — well out of the price range of most collectors. The Facsimile Edition? $3.99.


— EXCLUSIVE: THE FLASH #135 — Featuring the Debut of Kid Flash’s Classic Outfit — to Be Re-Released as a Facsimile Edition. Click here.

— Landmark GREEN LANTERN #76 to Get Facsimile Edition. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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    • As your article was transporting me back to the beginning of the JLA, I was thinking about the choice of the word “League” for the team. It was a popular choice for a group name in that day, just as “Society” was back when the JSA formed. Made me wonder, if there had been today a 10-year gap in publication of DC’s primary super group like there was between the JSA and JLA, what would we call such an assemblage? Justice Posse? Justice Squad? Justice Keepers? Justice Crew? (No, Legion won’t be popular for another 1,000 years.)

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  1. Sadly, the Facsimile Edition of Green Lantern #76, to which info was linked in the original 2020 article, never came out.

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  2. Hal Jordon-Green Lantern has just finished his 3 issue run in SHOWCASE…but hadn’t got his own series yet – so allowing for lead time, early sales figures must have been good enough to put him in the JLA.

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  3. I’ve long known of Starro from flashbacks, reboots and the like but I’ve never read this tale. I always had the impression it was the JLA’s first case as well as its first published story—an origin for the team. But the League infrastructure—its name, membership, signal devices and, presumably the Happy Harbor meeting place(?)—were evidently established (off-page) prior to these events. Was the tale of the League’s first case ever told in the Silver Age? If so, what was the menace that first brought the heroes together?

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