Wednesday, April 15, 2020

JLA JSA Last Multiple Crisis

One last batch of JLA/JSA team-ups with the meetings of the heroes of Earth-1 and Earth-2....

...this one is a bit special, as these tales had not been collected in a tradepaperback for individual release (unlike all the other team-ups before).

A sad state of affairs, as the Crises faced by the teams got personal, and involved....then the red skies came!

Crisis In The Thunderbolt Dimension

This JLA/JSA team-up from Justice League Of America #219 (October, 1983) by Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, Chuck Patton and Romeo Tanghal (and cover by George Perez) started off fast....with the Flashes of two worlds taking down a terrorist gang on Earth-1.  Barry Allen and Jay Garrick took a little time to review the annual gatherings (including their first meeting), with Jay wondering why his Earth was called Earth-2, when super-heroes started their first.

As the two headed towards a JLA transporter tube, their musings were cut short when they were attacked by Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt!  While Jay was simply startled by the attack, Barry was put into a coma, which put some worry into Jay's need to see the Justice League.

Meanwhile, the various JLA and JSA members were catching up with each other on the JLA Satellite (Green Lantern Hal Jordan talking about his recent return to Earth duty, Firestorm thinking he and Power Girl could be an item after the last JLA/JSA team-up....)....when, suddenly a pink thunderbolt comes through the satellite wall, taking out JLA members (except for Earth-2 originators Black Canary and Red Tornado), but only blacking out the JSA members.  The JSA members put the JLAers in the infirmary, with Jay bring Barry along.  The members gather to review, and find the Thunderbolt damaged the Transmatter Machine that allows free flow between Earth-1 and Earth-2.

Jay asks Black Canary about when she switched Earths after Aquarius killed her husband (on a JLA-JSA team-up), and Dinah responds, taking her through how she then went to Earth-1 and joined the JLA.  Red Tornado interrupts, telling of how all the other current JLAers, like Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest were also either comatose or unreachable.

Power Girl finds the Crime Champions (villains from the two Earths) out attacking various mystical sites on Earth-1, and the heroes split into teams to chase them down, with Starman and Black Canary staying on the satellite.  Starman convinces Black Canary they must go to the Thunderbolt dimension to track down this errant Thunderbolt (and find out what happened to Johnny Thunder).  In the Thunderbolt dimension, they find the Thunderbolt, who takes them captive for the Johnny Thunder of Earth-1 (the evil doppelganger of the JSA's heroic Johnny Thunder, first faced in an early JLA/JSA team-up), as well as the preserved corpses of.....Larry Lance and Black Canary!

The Doppelganger Gambit

Under a George Perez cover, the story continues in Justice League Of America #220 (November, 1983) by Roy Thomas, Chuck Patton, Romeo Tanghal and Pablo Marcos.  The JSAers and Red Tornado start to head to the various places the Crime Champions are attacking when they are stopped by Sargon the Sorcerer (a mystic who was a member of the All-Star Squadron, but had in more recent years been on Earth-1).  Sargon explains he found the Earth-1 Jim Corrigan comatose as well (Jim being the host on each Earth of the Spectre), and he joined the heroes splitting up for battle.  The JLAers were still comatose in the JLA Satellite, and the Earth-1 Johnny Thunder was just beginning to explain the corpses of Larry Lance and the Black Canary to Starman and the Black Canary, who were prisoners of the Thunderbolt.

They also saw the JSA's Thunderbolt as a captive, and the Thunderbolt was told to explain things.  The Thunderbolt explained how in the late 1940s, Johnny started to work more with Black Canary, and she even replaced the T-bolt as Johnny's partner (then took his place as a member of the JSA, as well as his spot in Flash Comics).  Dinah Drake (Black Canary) even started dating detective Larry Lance at her florist shop (which drove a wedge between Johnny and the Black Canary).

The JSA then had to disappear, and Larry and Dinah were married.  Years later, Larry and Dinah were playing with their young daughter, Dinah Laurel Lance, when they were attacked by JSA foe, the Wizard, who put a spell on the young girl, cursing her with a sonic scream.  Distraught, Dinah called Johnny Thunder, who summed the Thunderbolt to keep young Dinah safe in the Thunderbolt dimension (as he was unable to cure the girl), and then wiped the memory of the three of young Dinah's existence.  Meanwhile, back on current Earth-1, Jay Flash and Hourman faced the Fiddler and Chronos at the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, Red Tornado and Huntress faced the Icicle and the second Dr. Alchemy at the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt, and Power Girl and Sargon faced the Wizard and Felix Faust at Stonehenge in England.

The JSA Johnny Thunder finally frees his mouth, and say, you'd see how fast he got free and knocked out the Earth-1 Johnny Thunder, and had the T-Bolt revive the JLA to go help with the Crime Champions (Elongated Man and Flash with Chronos and Fiddler; Firestorm and Green Lantern with Dr. Alchemy II and Icicle, and Zatanna with Felix Faust and the Wizard.

The JSA's Johnny Thunder, along with the Earth-1 Superman and Spectre, explained to Black Canary, how, when Superman was taking the Black Canary off Earth-2 after the defeat of Aquarius (and Larry's death), that she was wracked with pain, and remembered her daughter.  Getting the Thunderbolt to take her to the Thunderbolt dimension, she saw her now adult daughter, who had grown but was still comatose, and found that the original Black Canary was dying from being near the bolt that Aquarius threw to kill Larry Lance.  Superman and the Thunderbolt gave the child a copy of Dinah Drake Lance's Black Canary costume, and Dinah's memories, with the new Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance) making her (unknowning) debut as a JLA member (thus making Black Canary a legacy character).

The JSAers Flash had last appeared in his last solo team up with Barry Allen and a multidimensional battle in Wonder Woman, Hourman and the Thunderbolt after the JLA and JSA faced the Secret Society of Super-Villains, Starman after the JLA, JSA and All-Star Squadron fought (and forgot) Per Degaton, Power Girl when the JSA briefly met Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew, while Huntress had been in her solo series in the back of Wonder Woman's title.  The JSAers next appeared in Infinity, Inc. #1, except for Huntress (back to her Wonder Woman back-up slot) and the Spectre (who last appeared in the second to last Brave and the Bold with Batman, and next in the second Swamp Thing Annual).

Family Crisis

Something a little different for the next JLA/JSA team-up in Justice League Of America #231 (October, 1984) by Kurt Busiek and Alan Kupperberg, with a cover by Chuck Patton and Dick Giordano.  Most of the JLA was busy (Green Lantern/Hal off Earth, Atom/Ray searching for his jungle friends, and the rest dealing with the return of the Martian Manhunter), so Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash (dealing with the trial of his murdering the Reverse-Flash) were alone in the JLA Satellite (with Supergirl, who just celebrated the anniversary of her being revealed to the world), when some young kids appeared and took them to Earth-2 to help JSAers Doctor Fate, Dr. Mid-Nite, Green Lantern (Alan Scott) and Starman against...

...flying monkeys?

After the teams defeat their odd foe, and get confronted by a spectral head proclaiming doom....the JLA and JSA talk to the family....the Champion family of Victoria Champion, her brother Ian Champion and Aunt Meredith.  They tell of their father, physicist Dr. Joshua Champion, who was working on dimensional travel in his lab out in Arizona, when Victoria went to seem him....but didn't see him in his lab (but heard his voice....).

The family gathered as he was missing, but then he appeared, in holographic form, to threaten them...not at all sounding like himself....thus, they decided they needed to find help.  Superman, Flash, Dr. Mid-Nite and Starman went with the girls to find Dr. Champion, while Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Dr. Fate and Green Lantern stayed behind with Ian, to give the girls something to home in on and to protect Earth-2.  Both teams fought mystical monsters, yet it was the other dimensional team who confronted the Commander, who took those heroes under his influence (except for Dr. Mid-Nite, whose visual difficulties allowed his mind to remain free of the Commander's attempt at mind control).  The team found Dr. Champion, and was to return him to the rest of his family (unknowingly carrying out the Commander's plan).


The saga continued in Justice League Of America #232 (November, 1984) under a cover by Chuck Patton and Dick Giordano, as Kurt Busiek and Alan Kupperberg continued the adventures of reuniting the Champion family.

Oddly, the last issues adventure was summed up by the Monitor (an incredibly powered being watching over the Earth and more, as he was preparing with Lyla for the Crisis On Infinite Earths).

As the heroes reunited, the Commander put his plan into action (as he had possessed Dr. Champion).

While the heroes were battling, Victoria, displaying more powers beyond dimension hopping, battled the Commander, and was able to drive him from her father's mind.

The Commander, though, was able to survive, transferring his energy into the Pentagon, where he explained how Dr. Champion had made mental contact with the Commander, and the Commander had planned on using Dr. Champion to help him break out of his desolate, dead dimension (that he himself had destroyed, leaving him with nothing to do...).

Dr. Fate, working with the Champions, was able to open a dimensional portal that the other heroes were able to push the Commander through (with a little observing by the Monitor, which provided an odd distraction for the Commander, who could sense the Monitor watching him), but the heroes and the Champion family were also sucked into limbo as well.  Thinking themselves lost, they found Earth-3's Crime Syndicate of America floating in limbo (in the prison the JLA and JSA had put them in), and where able to return home, with the JSA going back to Earth-2, the Champion family taking off into the ether....and Supergirl, Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash....well, they found themselves slightly out of time (though it took until Justice League of America #237 for them to find out....when they met a whole new Justice League formed in the wake of the Martian invasion that took the rest of the team out of the satellite when this all started!).

The JSAers had a semi-regular home now, and had come into this crossover from issues of Infinity, Inc., and appeared next in the first issue of the four issue mini-series, America Vs. The Justice Society (with the Monitor's interactions leading up to the Crisis detailed in these meetings with the JLA and JSA....and more!).

Last Crisis On Earth-Two

The last pre-Crisis (or pre-aftermath of the Crisis, as this was happening during the Crisis On Infinite Earths) JLA/JSA team up started in Infinity, Inc. #19 (October, 1985) by Roy and Danette Thomas, Todd McFarlane and Steve Montano, with a cover by Todd McFarlane and Tony Dezuiga.  Infinity, Inc. was a team formed by the Star-Spangled Kid, with the sons, daughters and other inheritors of the mantles of the Justice Society of America, and were based in California on Earth-2.

The Infinitors (minus missing Obsidian, who was involved on the Monitor's satellite) were rushing Jade to the hospital (as she had been poisoned by Mr. Bones of the villain team of Helix).  The hospital they were at was the home of Dr. Charles McNider (the original Dr. Mid-Nite) and his protege, Dr. Beth Chapel.

The Earth was just starting to be enveloped with red skies, and the team was confronted by Commander Steel (a member of the All-Star Squadron who had disappeared during World War II) and Mekanique (a new being who Commander Steel was working with for her ability to traverse dimensions). 

Commander Steel was accidentally sent to Earth-1 (in All-Star Squadron #50, when Harbinger recruited Firebird) and was here to recruit Infinity, Inc. to help with some "super-powered young criminals call themselves the "new" Justice League". 

The Infinitors go with Commander Steel and Mekanique (leaving Star-Spangled Kid behind).  Meanwhile, Hawkman, Flash, Wonder Woman and Dr. Fate of the JSA to discern the direness of the Crisis.  On Earth-1,  Commander Steel briefs his team on the Bunker (the JLA's Detroit headquarters, as he has details on was his, and he let his grandson, Steel, have it...but he doesn't tell Infinity, Inc. that).  Inside, the teams meet and battle, with Martian Manhunter helping the JLA members exit, with the Infinitors left without Commander Steel and Mekanique and more mysteries....which they promise to solve....

The Final Crisis the last JLA/JSA team up in Justice League Of America #244 (November, 1985) by Gerry Conway, Joe Staton and Mike Machlan (with cover by Staton/Machlan).

Here, the JLA is regrouping, as Elongated Man scouts out the damaged JLA Satellite (wrecked during the Martian invasion which helped end the original JLA and led to the newest members of the team: Vibe, Vixen, Steel and Gypsy, as well as their Detroit Bunker HQ).  Elongated Man explains to Vibe about the multiple Earths (who doesn't believe him). Meanwhile, the Infinitors are checking out the Bunker, thinking something is wrong, as Fury finds Mekanique in the Med Bay, working on the cybernetic Steel, realizing they might be on the wrong side, as Commander Steel finds her, knocking her out.

As Martian Manhunter fixes the JLA's Transmatter Machine (that allows people to go between worlds), and Zatanna gives the machine power (with the JLA going to Earth-2), the Crisis hits the Motor City.  Commander Steel and Mekanique take out the rest of the Infinitors, with Commander Steel telling his reasons for turning his grandson, Hank Heywood III, into a make him stronger to face the challenges of the world. like he did during World War II. 

The JSA and JLA heard this, and attacked Commander Steel and Mekanique (revealing that they had confronted her before back when the All-Star Squadron had existed....but that story had yet to be told).  Mekanique teleported out (as much a mystery now as she was then...or would be), as the combined JLA, JSA and Infinity, Inc. started to deal with the red sky storms of the Crisis, and Commander Steel and Steel battled (with story points to be followed up in future issues of Infinity, Inc., All-Star Squadron, Crisis of Infinite Earths and Justice League of America....).

The Justice League of America and the Justice Society of America, as well as many other heroes and villains (like Seven Soldiers of Victory, Freedom Fighters, Marvel Family, Legion of Super-Heroes, Jonah Hex, New Gods and more), all were involved in the Crisis On Infinite Earths, which changed the entire DC Universe and DC Multiverse for decades to come!

The last two issues of JLA/JSA team-ups were reprinted in the Justice League: The Detroit Era Omnibus of 2018 and in the Crisis On Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition #2 of 2019, with all three JLA/JSA team ups being included in a massive multi-volume collection that included ALL the JLA/JSA stories, as well as Crisis Crossovers and Crisis On Infinite Earths.


1 comment:

  1. I never understood the purpose of that Black Canary story. It was convoluted and creepy as all hell and "solved" a problem that never existed.