Who is Crying on the Cover of JLA #80?

Who is Crying on the Cover of JLA #80? – I got all excited this morning because I thought I had discovered a “missing” Hawkgirl cover from the 1960’s. I say “missing” as in missing from my very thorough list of every cover that either Hawkgirl or her alter ego has appeared on. This is that list that I meticulously researched for nearly a year and that I do continue to now and then stumbled upon a “missing” cover. I used to refer to these discoveries as “rare bird sightings”. I have documented ~220 sightings of some incarnation of Hawkgirl appearing on a cover within the main DC Comics continuity from July 1940 to July 2018. (collection)(wishlist)

I discovered this “missing” cover kind of by accident as I was looking for something to read and decided I would go back to the end of the first Hawkman series in the late 60s and read the last two issues that Hawkgirl appeared in. That was issues #43 and #44 of the series that was now titled “The Atom and Hawkman”. These two issues were published in the late summer of 1969.

After I finished my reading, I reviewed a list of issues in which Hawkgirl appeared either in or on the cover of or both. This list, sorted chronologically, can be found at DB comic book.com. The list does not specify what characters are on the cover.

The very next item in the list after the two issues that I had just read was a Justice League #80 (May 1970). I could not remember if I had read this issue; so, looked at the cover and when I saw it my jaw dropped. I got all excited because I thought I was seeing a weeping Shiera Hall being consoled by Green Arrow. It was her red hair that tipped me off.

Cover Artist: Murphy Anderson – Writer: Dennis ‘Denny’ O’Neil

Ever since I made a couple of mistakes recently in purchasing covers upon which Hawkgirl was NOT, I have been on the lookout for any DC cover upon which there is a green-eyed, red-haired woman. There is a precedent for Hawkgirl appearing on the cover not as her hawk-self but as her alter-ego Shiera Hall, yet that was way back in the 1940s before she became the Hawkgirl. In fact, the first six issues that she appeared on were without a mask. On other occasions, she has appeared not as her hawk-self.

Flash Comics #7 July 1940 – Cover Artist: Sheldon Moldoff

Also, I will add that I have yet to be fooled by a cover featuring Starfire.

At any rate I had to check this out but the first thing I did instead of doing some research on the material, I went to the comic book dealer that I normally visit to find out how much it was going to cost me to acquire this issue in the event it did turn out to be indeed a “missing” Hawkgirl cover.

At myComicShop.com, I found Justice League of America #80 listed in very fine condition (VFN) for $16.50. Very first thing that popped into my mind was that the price is more than what I pay normally for comic books. Then the next thing that popped into my head was “It’s my birthday! The third thing that popped in my head was “I had better check this out.”

So, my next stop was, Comixology.com where I found and purchased a digital copy of the issue in question for $1.99.

I got all excited again when I looked at the very first panel on the second page and I saw this… Floating at exactly 22,300 miles above Earth was Hawkgirl.

Artist: Dick Dillin

The main plot of the story involved the Hawks and the girlfriend of the Atom, Jean Loring. This story tied back to the final issue (#45) in the series “The Atom and Hawkman” where Jean Loring had lost her mind. The Hawks had taken Jean to the planet Thanagar where they hoped that Thanagarian science could help cure Jean’s insanity. On their way back to the planet Earth something terrible happened and the Justice League needed to save them.

Justice League of America #80 – Artist: Dick Dillin

It just so happens that the very next thing that I planned to research was the fate of Jean Loring between the end of the original run of The Atom and  Identity Crisis 35-years later.

The Justice League rescued Hawkgirl early in the story. She appeared to be stricken with the same madness as was Jean Loring. Both Hawkman and Miss Loring were missing. So, it made sense to me that at some point we might see Hawkman’s frenemy, Green Arrow, consoling Shiera (Shayera).

Yet, towards the end of the book, I saw this panel…

Artist: Dick Dillin

Green Arrow was consoling Black Canary. Which makes perfect sense because she is his girlfriend and Duh!

Taking a closer look at the cover I see that the woman being consoled by Green Arrow has two shades of hair color – half redhead and half blonde. Does blonde hair in shade or shadow look like red hair? Not that I recall.

Artist: Dick Dillin

And looking even closer, I see that she is wearing Black Canary’s trademark choker and black leather jacket.

It was settled there was no “missing” cover to be had. So, what I did was I went back to www.mycomicshop.com and instead of buying one comic book from the 1970 for $16.50, I bought seven comic books from the late 1990s and early 2000’s for $16.50 + shipping.

This is not all “fake news” because while I was there browsing I did happen to find an actual “missing” cover. I am sure that I missed this one because it is a special edition that was probably given away to retailers.

This is All Star Comics #1 RRP (May 1999). The description says “Golden Age Justice Society story by James Robinson and David Goyer with art by Michael Lark. Variant edition, no cover price, blank inside front and back covers, May 1999 dated Retailer Representative Edition (RRP).”

There is a problem… it ain’t cheap. It may be my birthday, but I am not ready to pay $140 for a comic book.