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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Non 1st Appearance Origin Key Comics Part 7

Alright, this part only has DC Comics, but there's only two. Reason for that is because of a highly confusing character that went through one of the weirdest retcons that changed everything for the Pre-Crisis version of the character.

It's not a very clean transition in terms of pinpointing her 1st origin. You'll see what I'm talking about and you can probably guess who I'm talking about from the banner image above.

The most I can say is that it is interesting and not all that well-known, so click the Part 6 link in case you missed it. Otherwise, let's get to the nitty-gritty here.

1st origin of Black Canary II?
True origin of Black Canary II 

Okay, first off, I left the key notation with a question mark at the end, because this does get a bit confusing. We all know by know that there's two versions of the Black Canary - the original Golden Age Dinah Drake and her daughter Dinah Laurel Lance or Black Canary II.

Dinah Lance is the more well-known version of today. However, the Black Canary in the stories during the Silver Age and most of the Bronze Age were originally suppose to be Dinah Drake or the Black Canary from the Golden Age.

Dinah Drake as a member of the Justice Society of America had several Earth-1 and Earth-2 cross-overs with the Justice League of America. Justice League of America #74 was one of them and in that issue Dinah Drake left Earth-2 to move to Earth-1 after Larry Lance dies.

Okay, Larry Lance is a supporting character for the Golden Age Black Canary. He is the love interest of Dinah Drake throughout the Golden Age of comics.

However, this infamous issue here, issue #220, wipes most of this out and is where the "true" origin of Black Canary II is revealed.

Okay, so it's revealed that Dinah Drake and Larry Lance married and had a child on Earth-2. This child was cursed with the Canary Cry by a villain named the Wizard, and this power was uncontrollable. That retcon totally wipes out the reason how the character receives her Canary Cry in Justice League of America #75, which is the 1st time we see Black Canary receive her power, after fighting Aquarius.

Dinah asked her long-time crime fighting partner and friend Johnny Thunder if his Thunderbolt could cure her, but all it could do was send the infant to it's dimension in a state of suspended animation. There her daughter stayed, while the Thunderbolt conveniently erased everyone's memories of the incident.

So, back to Justice League of America #74. Apparently off-panel and in-between issue #74 and issue #75, Dinah Drake is dying of radiation after their battle with Aquarius, and she asks to see her daughter one last time.
Now an adult but still in suspended animation, Dinah Drake wishes that her daughter could somehow be her successor, and Superman and the Thunderbolt magically hook her up somehow since Supes says Dinah Drake only has moments to live.
Transferring Dinah Drake's memories into her daughter, Dinah Lance went on through the years thinking she was actually the original Black Canary until this issue here where she discovers her specific origin.
With this retcon, the 1st appearance of Black Canary II or Dinah Laurel Lance as the character should be in Justice League of America #75. 

With all that mind-bending information, the origin in DC Special Series #10 only recounts the story of Dinah Drake becoming the Black Canary and Dinah Drake leaving Earth-2 to go to Earth-1 and join the Justice League of America.

Another wrench to throw in there is if DC Special Series #10 is seen as the 1st origin of Black Canary II then wouldn't Justice League of America #74 technically be the 1st origin of Dinah Lance as Black Canary since that is the issue we first see Black Canary going with the JLA to Earth-1 in that issue? I'd have to say not really since it really isn't an origin story specific to Dinah Lance and how she becomes Black Canary.

Sure, that could be argued like most things, but the retcon in this issue also implied that Dinah Drake died when Dinah Lance was revived from suspended animation. So it was actually Dinah Drake in issue #74 that supposedly left with Superman to Earth-1, but before they made it there, the events in this issue happened.

I know, completely whacked out and I blame possible drug use. However, despite whatever debate is raging about this issue, I think the comic featured here in this origin key comics series is the 1st origin of Black Canary II or Dinah Laurel Lance. 1st appearance of Dinah Laurel Lance as the Black Canary is in Justice League of America #75, and that issue is still the first time we see her use the Canary Cry.

So, since this one is widely a sleeper and not that known at all. Expect a low CGC Census and a terrible Overstreet growth performance for sure.

Overstreet 1982-83 12th Edition
Overstreet 1990-91 20th Edition

Mint: $0
Fine: $0
Good: $0

Near Mint: $1.50
Fine: $.75
Good: $.25

Overstreet 2002-03 33rd Edition
Overstreet 2015-16 45th Edition

Near Mint: $3.00
Very Fine/Near Mint: $0
Very Fine: $0
Fine: $0
Very Good: $0
Good: $0

Near Mint (low): $5.00
Very Fine/Near Mint: $0
Very Fine: $0
Fine: $0
Very Good: $0
Good: $0

Despite the data, this is an important comic for the character, even though the origin contained in this issue was widely retconned again with the collapse of the multi-verse during Crisis on Infinite Earths. Overstreet notes this issue as the "True origin of Black Canary II", and that's just fine. 

Whether it's the 1st origin of Black Canary II is debatable, but I think it could or should be. I find it funny how Overstreet has values in the 1990-91 guide for this comic at GD and FN grades, but in the 2002-03 and most recent one, they say all grades are worthless except for NM and low NM grades.

Oh, well, like I said, this comic is pretty much a sleeper and under the radar for now. One CG 9.8 sold on eBay for $78.55 last year in 2015. Whether the market wakes up to this one is a toss in the air. Justice League of America #220 has the cover date of November, 1983.

1st Silver Age origin of S.A. Aquaman

Once again, when it comes to the Pre-Crisis versions of characters, we can't ignore what's technically and in all reality retconned origins. This is definitely not the first origin of Aquaman which is told in his 1st appearance in More Fun Comics #73.

However, Earth-2 and Earth-1 Aquamans are different characters indeed. The Golden Age Aquaman was a normal human who learned secrets of the ocean from his father in order to breathe underwater and talk to sea creatures. He was just referred to as Aquaman with no first or sir name.

In this origin, we find out that Aquaman of Earth-1 is Arthur Curry, the half-human and half-Atlantean son of Tom Curry (a lighthouse keeper) and Atlanna (a princess of Atlantis). Since he is Atlantean, he already possesses his powers.

Earth-1 Aquaman is the character that ends up joining the Justice League of America as most already know. There is debate about his 1st Silver Age appearance and so far no one has officially concluded that it's this issue or any others, so this one goes on here for now.

If they do finally conclude that this is the 1st appearance of Earth-1 or Silver Age Aquaman, then I'll take it off. No worries there.

So,  a VF/NM raw copy sold on Heritage in 2008 for $776.75 and a CGC 8.5 sold at the same place for $657.25 in 2012. Highest grade in the CGC Census are 9.2s and there are a total of 7 so far.
A CGC 9.2 of this comic sold at ComicConnect for $1,100 back in 2013, and there aren't that many graded copies over-all when it comes to CGC. Definitely a key comic investment that's pretty known in the market already, so it isn't a sleeper by any means.

Overstreet 1982-83 12th Edition
Overstreet 1990-91 20th Edition

Mint: $30
Fine: $15
Good: $5

Near Mint: $125
Fine: $54
Good: $18

Overstreet 2002-03 33rd Edition
Overstreet 2015-16 45th Edition

Near Mint: $850
Very Fine/Near Mint: $657
Very Fine: $463
Fine: $222
Very Good: $148
Good: $74

Near Mint (low): $1,175
Very Fine/Near Mint: $831
Very Fine: $486
Fine: $228
Very Good: $152
Good: $76

Not huge growth between 2002-2015, but at least it didn't go down. If you got a NM minus copy back in 1982 or 1990, you had some pretty impressive gains for the last 34 or 26 years with this key issue.

Adventure Comics #260 has the cover date of May, 1959.

I'm definitely not one for retconned 1st appearances or origins, but in the case of Dinah Lance, you really can't ignore the retconned origin. Actually, there's really no way to ignore it since the Black Canary was originally written and intended to be Dinah Drake running around the DC Universe of comics before Justice League of America #220.

It may be sloppy as hell and one of the worst and confusing ways to introduce a new character or version of a character into any comic book universe, but without it, we wouldn't have Dinah Laurel Lance as the Black Canary. Once again, it's hard to pinpoint Black Canary II's 1st origin without argument.

I'm saying that it's Justice League of America #220 even though it's a retcon, because of several reasons. 1st it definitely differentiates between Golden Age Black Canary and the contemporary Black Canary, and without this story, the character of Dinah Lance as Black Canary would not exist.

Another reason is that the origin presented in DC Special Series #10 is still about Dinah Drake as the Black Canary and retells events told prior in Justice League of America #73 and #74. That cannot be considered a first origin for Dinah Lance since the flashback events in Justice League of America #220 take place right smack in-between issue #74 and issue #75.

Once again, issue #73 and #74 still has the Dinah Drake version of Black Canary in those issues, so Dinah Lance isn't even in those two comics. Like I said, a confusing mess when it comes to designating a 1st origin for the character, but regardless, there are quite a few raw copies of Justice League of America #220 up on eBay alone. Don't expect that one to be rare no matter what the CGC Census reports.

As for Aquaman and his Silver Age origin, the 1982-83 Overstreet Guide did note Adventure Comics #260 as the 1st appearance of Silver Age Aquaman, but stopped noting it as such in later guides.

1 comment:

  1. That Adventure Comics 260 was a nice quick flip book for me a couple of years ago. I got a steal on a lower grade copy on Ebay for around $30 and then sold it on Craigslist for $90 a couple of months later. Been looking for a better grade copy to add to my collection ever since. Those silver age Aquaman books have been heating up in the market.