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Cover Date: March 1977
Cover Price: US $0.50
Issue Tagline: A New Double-Length Thriller!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 48 pages
Story Arc(s): Add/remove story arcs to this issue
Letters Column: JLA Mail Room
Manhunters come to Earth in search of Hal Jordan, whom they wish to bring to trial on a distant planet. He willingly surrenders to them, after the other Justice Leaguers attempt to prevent his capture through force. They follow him to trial where they discover he's accused of having accidentally committed, effectively, "negligent genocide". The trial reveals that a well-inhabited planet was destroyed when his ring's beam was deflected on to it.
Under adverse legal conditions, and with the guilt being incredibly apparent, the Justice Leaguers must determine whether the crime has actually been committed. They unmask it as a hoax, but they are faced with an even larger question: why bother framing Jordan?
The answer becomes frighteningly apparent: it's all a trap for the Guardians of Oa . . .
Bruce Timm attributes this issue as having been the basis for the Justice League animated episodes, "In Blackest Night" (parts 1 and 2). Substantial modifications were made to the story (the cast being mostly different in the two versions), but the core idea of a "Green Lantern framed for the destruction of an entire planet so that a Manhunter-led attack on Oa could take place" remains constant.
The most story-significant cast change, however, was that of John Stewart for the comic version's Hal Jordan. In the animated series, the episodes based on this issue mark the real "introduction" of John Stewart and the Green Lantern Corps.
Contains a two page flashback of JLA #40 "100 Issues Ago In..."
Contains a one-page text piece introducing Jenette Kahn titled "And Now... We Interrupt This Comic To Bring You a Word From Your New Publisher..." Includes an unflattering gag illo of Kahn by Neal Adams.
Noteworthy advertisements include a full-page house ad for DC Dollar Comics with cover reproductions of SUPERMAN FAMILY #182 and HOUSE OF MYSTERY #251. Gerry Anderson fans will appreciate the ad headlined "Join The Dinky Starfleet!" that offers toys from such Anderson programs as SPACE: 1999, UFO, JOE 90 and others, as well as a Starship Enterprise that shoots checkers out of its saucer section. The Hostess Twinkies ad this month stars Aquaman in "That Dirty Beach."
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