Wednesday, June 13, 2018

JLA JSA Super Spectacular

Probably one of the greatest covers of its time, Neal Adams drew the combined Justice League of America and Justice Society of America (as well as Robin, Vigilante and Johnny Quick) on the cover of DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6 (1971)....and what an issue it was.

This issue reprinted some interesting stories, and here they are....featuring quite a few people on that cover.

Justice League of America #21 

First up is the "Crisis On Earth-One" from Justice League of America #21 (August, 1963) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, and historic cover by Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson.  Important for so many reasons....the first meeting of the JLA (charter members Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter, plus Green Arrow and Atom) with the JSA (a representative team of Flash, Green Lantern, Dr. Fate, Hourman, Hawkman, Atom and Black Canary....a slightly different line-up from when Barry Allen Flash saved them from Vandal Savage).  It also featured the Crime Champions, villains from two worlds, from Earth-1: Felix Faust, Chronos and Dr. Alchemy, and the Wizard, the Fiddler and the Icicle from Earth-2).  This issue also was where the names of Earth-1 and Earth-2 came from...but so much happening, that it had to continue in the next issue...

Justice League of America #22

...that being Justice League of America #22 (September, 1963) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, with a cover by Murphy Anderson, and the second half of the story, with the "Crisis On Earth-Two".  To be fair, the reprint took out the summary first page, annoying, but as the two issues are together.  The teams of heroes had to work together to get out of their interdimensional prison where their foes put them, but, the heroes pulled it together, and even had time to make a joke about how they'll have to sum all this up for missing honorary JLAer, Snapper Carr!

These two team-ups were so popular, that the JLA/JSA team-ups became a regular thing for the next 19 summers, with an ever rotating cast of JSAers!

More Fun Comics #55

The two team-ups weren't the only issues reprinted in this Super Spectacular.  A tale where "The Spectre Meets Zor" from More Fun Comics #55 (May, 1940) by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily (with a Spectre cover by Bernard Baily) was next, where the ghostly guardian had to defend his girlfriend, Clarice Winston, from the supernatural menace of Zor!

The Spectre had many of his Golden Age tales reprinted, but this was one soon after his origin, so his full powers as a deadman had not been revealed as of yet, but readers were starting to realize how much power Jim Corrigan's alter ego had.

Adventure Comics #190

Next up is a fun tale of Johnny Quick, an at-the-time unaffiliated speeder from Adventure Comics #190 (July, 1953) where he had to be a "Stand-In For 100 Convicts", with the story by Don Cameron and Hy Mankin (though Superboy, not Johnny, was the cover star).  Johnny had to save 99 convicts who were thought to have escaped, but didn't.

Johnny Quick was all over More Fun Comics and Adventure Comics, with many reprints, and later, had been a member of the All-Star Squadron, thanks to some retroactive continuity from Roy Thomas in the 1980s.

Action Comics #146

Next up was a story of the Vigilante and his young sidekick, Stuff, where they faced the Fiddler (not the Crime Champion/Injustice Society member) from the story of "The Galleon In The Desert" from Action Comics #146 (July, 1950) by Joe Samachson and Dan Barry (with a non-Vigilante cover from the issue).  Vigilante and Stuff had to stop this villain from plundering a ship lost in the desert....

The Vigilante (a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory) also had a few of his Golden Age solo tales reprinted, as did the members of his team.

Wildcat Story

The Wildcat story in this issue was something odd.  It was an unpublished Golden Age story, found by the industrious interns at DC Comics at the time, saved from destruction, and published as a treat to all fans of the Golden Age. 

This tale, where "Crime Wore A Costume" featured Wildcat facing off against his foe, the Golden Age Huntress, who had faced Wildcat many times in Sensation Comics, as well as joining the Injustice Society of the World.

If you are looking for tales of the Wildcat and where they were reprinted from the Golden Age, look here!

Brave and the Bold #36

Last, but not least, a story from the JLA member who wasn't on the team when the JLA and JSA first met, Hawkman, and the tale of the "Strange Spells Of The Sorcerer" from Brave and the Bold #36 (June-July, 1961) by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert (who also did the cover of the issue, which featured the other story of the issue, Hawkman's first battle with the Shadow-Thief).

In this tale, Hawkman and Hawkgirl faced Konrad Kaslak, an amateur sorcerer who was quite capable enough to cause some mystical menaces for the Thanagarian Hawkman and Hawkgirl to face with their scientific prowess, all the while with the pair having to deal with Mavis Trent, and her intentions of breaking up the married super-hero couple, or at least their Earth identities of Carter and Shiera Hall, who worked at the Midway City Museum.

Along with a back cover that supplied a key to the heroes on the cover (but readers here know them all, right?), it provided a checklist of character debuts, all the heroes who had their own features from Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin and the Teen Titans, the Doom Patrol, Deadman, Eclipso, Metamorpho and the Metal Men, even Forgotten Heroes like Animal Man and Dolphin, to the most modern characters of Orion, Mr. Miracle and the Thorn!

Best of all, this whole issue was reprinted as the DC 100-Page Super Spectacular No. 6 Replica Edition in May, 2004... you, too, can thrill to these exciting stories without having to break the bank!

1 comment:

  1. I had completely forgotten about this reprint jewel! I have a hugely tattered copy in my collection that may have to bear another read-through...