Thursday, August 20, 2015

America vs the Justice Society Plus

DC Comics recently put out a tradepaperback collection of a four issue mini-series about the Justice Society of America...

...and quite the collection it is, of America Vs The Justice Society!

It details the JSA's battle against the accusations of Batman (via his diary), and how the heroes have to go through their history to find clues to prove their innocence.

The Mini-Series 

The original series came out in January through February, 1985, and was written by Roy Thomas, with art by Rafael Kayanan, Michael Bair, and Howard Bender, with special features by Rich Buckler and Jerry Ordway, with four incredible covers by Jerry Ordway.  

It is a must have series for fans of the Justice Society of America, taking Roy's love of teaching and the JSA, and combining them into one!

But, while the collection is worth getting, as the original prints suffer from DC using a new coloring process at that time, the collection does miss Roy Thomas' extensive notes, which include where to find various Golden Age reprints, as well as details on the JSA's cases (and their various foes, like Vandal Savage and Per Degaton), and even information on where unpublished Golden Age stories were published (like the Atom's tale in Batman #238 of January, 1972, or Black Canary's tale in DC Special #3 of 1969...and oh so much more!  Check back for more on these and other tales coming soon).

1970s All-Star Comics

But, working our way back....the Justice Society had a revival in the 1970s, with All-Star Comics #58 (January-February, 1976), the team was back, and with a new, younger Super-Squad along, consisting of Robin, the Star-Spangled Kid and introducing Power Girl!  Robin was already in the JSA (but updated his costume), and the Kid and the Girl joined up later!  Even can get All-Star Comics #58 though All-Star Comics #67 (July-August, 1977), as well as Paul Levitz and Joe Staton's origin of the Justice Society (from DC Special #29 of August-September, 1977) in the first Justice Society tradepaperback (in 2006, with cover by Brian Bolland, no less!).

The second Justice Society tradepaperback collection (also with a Brian Bolland cover, from 2007), covers the later half of the JSA's solo adventures, starting with All-Star Comics #68 (September-October, 1977), the introduction of the Huntress in All-Star Comics #69 (November-December, 1977) and her eventual addition to the JSA, as well as the rest of the JSA's run through All-Star Comics #74 (September-October, 1978), and their solo tales from Adventure Comics #461-466 (from 1979, with all these tales by Paul Levitz and Joe Staton).

Huntress and Power Girl

If the idea of Batman's daughter being grown up and fighting crime grabs you, you should grab the Huntress: Darknight Daughter collection from 2007, with a cover by Brian Bolland, which collects the solo appearances of the Huntress from DC Super-Stars #17 (November-December, 1977, by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton and Bob Layton, which came out the same day as All-Star Comics #69, so both can claim to be her first appearance, but read this story first), and her solo stories from Batman Family #18 to #20 (1978), and Wonder Woman #271-287, and Wonder Woman #289, #290, #294,  and #295 (from 1980 to 1982), all written by Paul Levitz and penciled by Joe Staton, with inks by Bob Layton, Steve Mitchell, Robert R. Smith, Bruce D. Patterson, Mike DeCarlo and Jerry Ordway.

If you want to see Superman's cousin in solo action in the 1970s, look for Showcase #97 to #99 (February to April, 1978, by Paul Levitz and Joe Staton, #97 inked by Joe Orlando, and #98 and #99 inked by Dick Giordano)...or find the first Power Girl tradepaperback (from 2006, with cover by Adam Hughes), which also reprints Paul Kupperberg & Mary Wilshire's post-Crisis origin from Secret Origins #11 (February, 1987), and pages from JSA #32 (March, 2002) and JSA #39 (October, 2002), and the Power Girl stories from JSA: Classified #1 to #4 (September to December, 2005), all written by Geoff Johns, JSA art by Peter Snejbjerg and Patrick Gleason and  JSA: Classified art by Amanda Conner, all of which help to clarify her relationship to the original Superman of the Justice Society!

Pick up all these, and you can consider yourself a pretty fair expert on the Earth-2 of the 1970s and 1980s, and check back as we delve into the list of footnotes Roy Thomas provided about the JSA!      


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