Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Celebration Of The JSA, Green Lantern, Catwoman And Luthor

With this, the last week of the year, yet another chance to look back at collections of stories of your favorite DC heroes....

...with a focus on long lasting teams, heroes, and even a couple of villains, with the four DC Celebration anthologies of Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years, Green Lantern: A Celebration of 75 Years, Catwoman: A Celebration of 75 Years and Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years....

...gathering heroes, expanding into space, and featuring a pair of fearsome foes that have bedeviled the heroes for decades!

Justice Society Of America

The first gathering of DC heroes happened in All-Star Comics #3 (Winter, 1941) by writer Gardner Fox and artists Everett Hibbard, Sheldon Moldoff, Bernard Bailey, Sheldon Mayer, Chad Grothkopf, Howard Sherman, Ben Finton and Mart Nodell, with a meeting of the members of the Justice Society Of America, though, that story did not find its way into this collection of the JSA that came out in July, 2015.

Issues reprinted:
All-Star Comics #4 (March-April, 1941) "For America And Democracy!"
All-Star Comics #37 (October-November, 1947) "The Injustice Society Of The World!"
All-Star Comics #55 (October-November, 1950) "The Man Who Conquered The Solar System"
Justice League of America #21 (August, 1963) "Crisis On Earth-One!"
Justice League of America #22 (September, 1963) "Crisis On Earth-Two"
Justice League of America #30 (September, 1964) "The Most Dangerous Earth Of All" 
Justice League of America #47 (September, 1966) "The Bridge Between Earths!"
Justice League of America #82 (August, 1970) "Peril Of The Paired Planets" 
Justice League of America #83 (September, 1970) "Where Valor Fails...Will Magic Triumph?"
Adventure Comics #466 (November-December, 1979) "The Defeat Of The Justice Society!"
Justice League of America #193 (August, 1981) "All-Star Squadron" 
All-Star Squadron #67 (March, 1987) "The First Case Of The Justice Society Of America"
Justice Society Of America #10 (May, 1993) "JSA No More?"
JSA Returns: All-Star Comics #2 (Late May, 1999) "The JSA Returns, Conclusion: Time's Arrow"
JSA #25 (August, 2001) "The Return Of Hawkman: Seven Devils"
Justice Society of America #10 (December, 2007) "What A Wonderful World"
Earth-2 #6 (January, 2013) "End Times"

A truly epic collection, gathering a few important tales of the Golden Age (though not the first, though that was just a meeting and retelling of individual tales, not the JSA's first case), as well as the first Injustice Society of the World's appearance, and the first Crisis (JLA/JSA team-ups, sadly with a couple and only their second half), a lot of retroactive continuity (detailing the JSA's first ending, and the World War II super-group, the All-Star Squadron, as well as a meeting of the JSA and a few extras), as well as tales taking the JSA into the modern day.

Green Lantern

Green Lantern made his first Golden Age appearance in All-American Comics #16 by Bill Finger and Mart Nodell, but the focus of this collection that came out in October, 2015 was on the second Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, as well as those who followed him into the emerald ranks, with Hal making his first appearance in Showcase #22 by John Broome, Gil Kane and Joe Giella.

Issues reprinted: 
All-American Comics #16 (July, 1940) [Introducing Green Lantern]
Comic Cavalcade #6 (Spring, 1944) "They Are Invincible"
Green Lantern #30 (February-March, 1948) "The Saga Of Streak"
Showcase #22 (September-October, 1959) "S.O.S. Green Lantern"
Green Lantern #7 (July-August, 1961) "The Day 100,000 People Vanished"
Green Lantern #11 (March, 1962) "The Strange Trial Of Green Lantern"
Green Lantern #16 (October, 1962) "The Secret Life Of Star Sapphire"
Green Lantern #40 (October, 1965) "The Secret Origin Of The Guardians"
Green Lantern #59 (March, 1968) "Earth's Other Green Lantern"
Green Lantern #76 (April, 1970) "No Evil Shall Escape My Sight"
Green Lantern #87 (December-January, 1971/1972) "Beware My Power"
Flash #237 (November, 1975) "Let There Be Darkness"
Flash #238 (December, 1975) "The Day Of The Falling Sky"
Flash #240 (March, 1976) "The Floods Will Come"
Green Lantern #188 (May, 1985) "Decent Exposure"
Justice League #1 (May, 1987) "Born Again"
Green Lantern #50 (March, 1994) "Emerald Twilight Part Three: The Future"
Green Lantern #51 (May, 1994) "Changing Of The Guard"
Green Lantern/Green Lantern #1 (October, 2000) "Against The Dying Of The Light"
Green Lantern: Rebirth #1 (December, 2004) "Blackest Night"
Green Lantern Secret Files And Origins 2005 #1 (June, 2005) "Flight"
Green Lantern #0 (November, 2012) "The New Normal"

A galaxy of tales shrunk to fit in one volume, with the first appearances of Green Lanterns Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner and John Stewart, as well as villains Sinestro, Star Sapphire and Krona, as well as appearances by the Green Lantern Corps and Kyle Rayner, and even New 52's Simon Baz, and the origins of the DC Universe and the Guardians of the Universe as well.  Epic!


Catwoman has been bedeviling Batman since Batman #1 (by Bill Finger and Bob Kane), but Selina Kyle was so much more than a femme fatale with a feline fetish, she developed into a foe for many, as well as befriending other heroes and villains, and becoming the love of Batman's life, as detailed here in this collection of stories from November, 2015.

Issues reprinted: 
Batman #1 (Spring, 1940) [The Cat]
Batman #3 (Fall, 1940) "The Batman vs. The Cat-Woman"
Batman #65 (June-July, 1951) "Catwoman -- Empress Of The Underworld"
Batman #69 (February-March, 1952) "The King Of Cats"
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #70 (November, 1966) "The Catwoman's Black Magic!"
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #71 (January, 1967) "Bad Luck For A Black Super-Cat!"
Wonder Woman #201 (July-August, 1972) "The Fist Of Flame"
Wonder Woman #202 (September-October, 1972) "Fangs Of Fire"
DC Super-Stars #17 (November-December, 1977) "From Each Ending...A Beginning!"
Batman #323 (May, 1980) "Shadow Of The Cat!"
Batman #324 (June, 1980) "The Cat Who Would Be King!"
Brave And The Bold #197 (April, 1983) "The Autobiography Of Bruce Wayne!"
Catwoman #1 (February, 1989) "Metamorphosis"
Catwoman #28 (January, 1996) "Larceny Loves Company"
Solo #1 (December, 2004) "Date Knight"
Catwoman #20 (August, 2003) "Other Cats"
Catwoman #52 (April, 2006) "Backward Masking"
Gotham City Sirens #1 (August, 2009) "Union"
Catwoman #35 (December, 2014) "Comfort To The Hunt Of The King"
Batman '66 #5 (January, 2014) "Tail Of The Tiger Topaz"
Batman: Gotham Adventures #4 (September, 1998) "Claws"

Catwoman has an odd collection, being a villain, then supporting character for Batman (though popping up in issues of Lois Lane and Wonder Woman), having an alternate Earth marriage to Batman (with a daughter, no less), while slowly developing as a character herself, getting her own mini-series, then multiple titles of her own, or some shared with fellow Bat-villains like Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, Catwoman is truly a diamond taken from its owner to shine well on its own.

Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor had been a thorn in the side of Superman for longer than both of them would like, starting with their original first meeting as shown in Action Comics #23 by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster and Paul Cassidy, and from then on, it was brains versus brawn, as shown in this collection of tales from December, 2015.

Issues reprinted:
Action Comics #23 (April, 1940) [Europe At War, Part 2]
Superman #4 (Spring, 1940) [The Challenge Of Luthor]
Superman #17 (July-August, 1942) "When Titans Clash"
World's Finest Comics #59 (July-August, 1952) "Superman's Super Hold-Up"
World's Finest Comics #88 (May-June, 1957) "Superman And Batman's Greatest Foes"
Adventure Comics #271 (April, 1960) "How Luthor Met Superboy!"
Action Comics #277 (June, 1961) "The Conquest Of Superman"
Superman #164 (October, 1963) "The Showdown Between Luthor And Superman"
Superman #248 (February, 1972) "The Man Who Murdered Earth"
Action Comics #544 (June, 1983) "Luthor Unleashed"
Superman #416 (February, 1986) "The Einstein Connection"
Superman #2 (February, 1987) "The Secret Revealed"
Superman #9 (September, 1987) "Metropolis - 900 Miles"
Action Comics #678 (June, 1992) "Talking Heads"
JLA #11 (October, 1997) "Hostile Takeover"
President Luthor: Secret Files And Origins #1 (March, 2001) "The Why"
Lex Luthor: Man Of Steel #3 (July, 2005) "Lex Luthor: Man Of Steel Part 3"
All-Star Superman #5 (September, 2006) "The Gospel According To Lex Luthor"
Action Comics #894 (December, 2010) "The Black Ring Part 5"
Justice League #31 (August, 2014) "Injustice League Part 2: Power Players"

Whether he was a dictator, scientist, Smallville student, Metropolis businessman or even United States President, Luthor saw himself as a hero, fighting off Superman...and that's a good portion of what this collection presents Luthor as, as some of his best stories over the years was with Lex trying to do good (though usually for himself), but either being foiled by Superman, or something more powerful, his own ego.  As much as the collection of Superman stories didn't hit home, this one of his arch-nemesis did.

There's still a few left, collections of Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Batgirl and Harley Quinn, as well as the Spirit and Wildstorm which DC Comics collected when they had the rights to do so....but, those might wait until well into next year.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I found a battered copy of "Where Valor Fails Will Magic Triumph?" when I was about twelve in the early 70s, right around the time I read JLA 100-102 (If I remember right!) which teamed the JLA and the JSA to find the Seven Soldiers of Victory. I've loved them all ever since! Thanks so much for this blog! Brings back memories!